The Cabinet today approved setting up of the GST Council, which will decide on the rate of tax under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, likely to kick in from April 1, 2017. The GST Council will consist of Union Finance Minister, Minister of State in charge of Revenue Department and state finance ministers, government’s official spokesperson tweeted after the Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Cabinet “approved setting up of GST Council and setting up its Secretariat,” an official statement said here. The Council will hold its first meeting on September 22 and 23, it added. It will make recommendations on important issues related to GST, including items and rates. Its secretariat costs will be borne by the central government. GST implementation steps are ahead of schedule so far, the government said. “The steps required in the direction of implementation of GST are being taken ahead of the schedule so far.”
“The Cabinet also decided to provide for adequate funds for meeting the recurring and non-recurring expenses of the GST Council Secretariat, the entire cost for which shall be borne by the Central Government. The GST Council Secretariat shall be manned by officers taken on deputation from both the Central and State Governments,” the statement said. While the GST Council will be created as per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, GST Council Secretariat will have its office at New Delhi.
Revenue Secretary will be the ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council, which will have Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) as a permanent invitee (non-voting). Also, a post of Additional Secretary to the GST Council in the GST Council Secretariat and four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India) will be created.