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As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A.
As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States. This Council shall consist of the following members namely:
a) Union Finance Minister… Chairperson
b) The Union Minister of State, in-charge of Revenue of finance… Member
c) The Minister In-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government… Members.
As per Article 279A (4), the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws, principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates including the floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional resources during natural calamities/disasters, special provisions for certain States, etc.
Central Government has inter alia, taken the following decisions for smooth functioning of GST Council -
a. Creation of the GST Council Secretariat, with its office at New Delhi;
b. Appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council;
c. Inclusion of the Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council;
d. Create one post of Additional Secretary to the GST Council in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India), and four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).
The Cabinet has 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.
While discharging the functions conferred by this article, the Goods and Services Tax Council shall be guided by the need for a harmonised structure of goods and services tax and for the development of a harmonised national market for goods and services. The Goods and Services Tax Council shall determine the procedure in the performance of its functions.