The Union Cabinet on Monday notified and approved the formation of the Goods and Services Tax Council, the body that will oversee various issues regarding the new tax regime, PTI reported. The council, which comes into effect from Monday, will be chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It will have state ministers as its members.
The council will decide on the tax rate, which taxes make into the GST and which ones do not, and how disputes will be resolved. The council will feature all the states and the Centre, but New Delhi gets 33% of the votes and the rest will be divided equally among the states. Any decision will have to get a two-thirds majority to go through.
The notification of the council came four days after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the GST Constitution Amendment Bill, which has been ratified by 20 states so far. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Narendra Modi-led government is “running against time” to implement the new regime by the April 1, 2017 deadline.
The GST Constitution Amendment sought to bring in a single tax rate to replace India’s complicated current rules, which include Central excise duty, service tax, additional customs duties, value added tax, entertainment tax and so on. It will replace 17 indirect tax levies. The Centre believes this will help create a unified market in the country, avoiding double taxation and increase compliance.