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Browse Law School Education Taxation GST & Constitutional Changes

GST Council is a Constitutional Institution. This itself is a huge change. It's not every day that a Constitutional Institution is born. GST has led to birth of another Constitutional Institution. GST Council is unique in many ways. First of all, it is the only Constitutional Institution which has membership of both the States and the Centre. Second, the membership is of the executive governments. The Union Finance Minister and Minister of State for Revenue are the representatives of the Union, and the State is also having one representative in GST Council.

For that matter, there are two Union Territories, namely Union Territories with legislature who are also entitled to have a representation before the GST Council. Therefore, Pondicherry and Delhi are also represented before the GST Council. GST Council also has a prerogative to decide upon its own procedure. This has got a significant bearing. It is significant because there is a huge range of functions, huge powers assigned to GST Council. 

It has got a recommendatory function. It recommends on model laws, it recommends upon the rules, place of supply rules, valuation rules and all other rules which are related to GST. It recommends to the Parliament and to the State Legislature, on which taxes to be subsumed in GST and which to be excluded from GST. It recommends to the executive who should be taxed who should not be taxed, who should be exempted and what should be the rate of tax. Wide range of functions. 

Moreover, it is also required to take into account what should be the special status for special status States, for eg. Northeastern States, for eg. Himachal and Uttarakhand, for eg. Jammu and Kashmir. The GST Council is constitutionally obliged to ensure, that if there is a need, special provisions are provided for these States. 

Furthermore, GST Council has also been endowed with the dispute settlement mechanism, whereby GST Council is required to lay out the mechanism for adjudication of disputes between the Centre and States and between the States inter se.