GST is established on the agenda of one nation one tax.The idea of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) for India was first mooted sixteen years back. On 12th September,2016 the Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of the Hon'ble Prime Minister approved setting up of GST Council and creation of its Secretariat as follows:
(a) GST Council as per Article 279A of the amended Constitution;
(b) GST Council Secretariat, with its office at New Delhi;
(c) Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council;
(d) Inclusion of the Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council;
(e) 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 Commissioners in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).
The mechanism of GST Council would ensure harmonisation on different aspects of GST between the Centre and the States as well as amongst the States. It has been provided in the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016 that the GST Council, in discharge of various functions, shall be guided by the need for a harmonized structure of GST and for the development of a harmonized national market for goods and services.
The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016 provides that every decision of the GST Council shall be taken at its meeting by a majority of not less than 3/4th of the weighted votes of the Members present and voting. The vote of the Central Government shall have a weightage of 1/3rd of the votes cast and the votes of all the State Governments taken together shall have a weightage of 2/3rd of the total votes cast in that meeting. One half of the total number of members of the GST Council shall constitute the quorum at its meeting.
The Goods and Service Tax Council (hereinafter referred to as, “GSTC”) comprises of the Union Finance Minister, the Minister of State(Revenue) and the State Finance Ministers to recommend on the GST rate, exemption and thresholds, taxes to be subsumed and other matters. One-half of the total number of members of GSTC form quorum in meetings of GSTC. Decision in GSTC are taken by a majority of not less than three-fourth of weighted votes cast. Centre has one-third weightage of the total votes cast and all the states taken together have two-third of weightage of the total votes cast.