Panel on GST Appellate Tribunal formed, report by month-end

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The GST Council has set up a Group of Ministers, chaired by Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, to suggest required changes in the law for setting up the GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT). The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state ministers, had last week decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to address various concerns raised by states in relation to constitution of the GSTAT.

As per the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the GoM, the panel would recommend required amendments in the GST law to ensure that the legal provisions maintain the right federal balance and are in line with the overall objective of uniform taxation within the country.

The 6-member GoM would also ensure that the amendments are in line with various court judgements relating to setting up the tribunal.

The GoM will consult legal experts for formulating its recommendations and will submit report to the Council by July 31.

Besides Chautala, other members of the GoM are Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath, Goa Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho, Rajasthan Law and Legal Affairs Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal, Uttar Pradesh FM Suresh Khanna and Odisha FM Niranjan Pujari.

The GoM is likely to address the concerns of states in light of the Madras High Court order which said that the number of technical members should not exceed the number of judicial members in the GSTAT.

The CGST Act had originally envisaged that the GSTAT would have one judicial member and two technical members (one each from the Centre and states).

The panel would also make recommendations for appropriate amendments in Central GST Act. The GSTAT would hear appeals against the orders passed by the GST Appellate Authority, which consist of tax officers.

Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj had earlier this week said the GoM on the GSTAT would give its recommendations within a month.

“In the next 6 months we should see a lot of progress on the tribunal front,” Bajaj had said.

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CA Ayush Poddar

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