From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : GST
Mains level : GST Appellate Tribunal
The Supreme Court has warned that the government had no option but to constitute the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Appellate Tribunal.
What is GST Appellate Tribunal?
- The GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) is the second appeal forum under GST for any dissatisfactory order passed by the First Appellate Authorities.
- The National Appellate Tribunal is also the first common forum to resolve disputes between the centre and the states.
- Being a common forum, it is the duty of the GST Appellate Tribunal to ensure uniformity in the redressal of disputes arising under GST.
- It holds the same powers as the court and is deemed Civil Court for trying a case.
Constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal
The GSTAT has the following structure:
- National Bench: The National Appellate Tribunal is situated in New Delhi, constitutes a National President (Head) along with 2 Technical Members (1 from Centre and State each)
- Regional Benches: On the recommendations of the GST Council, the government can constitute (by notification) Regional Benches, as required. As of now, there are 3 Regional Benches (situated in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad) in India.
- State Bench and Area Bench
Why in news now?
- The GST tribunal has not been constituted even four years after the central GST law was passed in 2016.
- Section 109 of the GST Act mandates the constitution of the Tribunal.
- Citizens aggrieved are constrained to approach respective High Court and the same was overburdening the work of the High Courts.
Back2Basics: Goods and Services Tax
- The GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption.
- It was launched into operation on the midnight of 1st July 2017.
- It subsumed almost all domestic indirect taxes (petroleum, alcoholic beverages, and stamp duty are the major exceptions) under one head.
- The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services.
- GST is levied at four rates viz. 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The schedule or list of items that would fall under these multiple slabs is worked out by the GST council.
- The GST to be levied by the Centre is called Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States is called State GST (SGST).
- Import of goods or services would be treated as inter-state supplies and would be subject to Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST) in addition to the applicable customs duties.
The GST Council
- It is a constitutional body (Article 279A) for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to GST.
- The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.
- It is considered as a federal body where both the centre and the states get due representation.