GST Council- New Powerful Policymaker

The GST Council has resolved more than a hundred issues, including tax rate-cut, to help consumers and has emerged as a powerful new entity in the country’s policymaking landscape. The rollout of GST in July last year witnessed the setting up of the council, tasked with overseeing implementation of the ambitious tax reform measure. Experts said the new entity, which is a constitutional body, has also helped in furthering the cause of “cooperative federalism”.  The council, which is headed by the finance minister, has state finance ministers as representatives and was set up with a large mandate, covering all aspect of the landmark tax reform measure, including recommending taxes, cesses and act as a dispute resolution body. “Till date, 27 meetings of the GST Council have been held. People of different ideologies, states sit together and all decisions till date have been taken with consensus,” PM Narendra Modi has said highlighting the impact of the decision-making body. “I would like to give maximum credit for successful implementation of GST to the states. It is the finest example of cooperative federalism,” Modi has said. Tax experts said the council has managed to evolve consensus on contentious issues and has helped resolve problems that emerged due to the glitches linked to the tax rollout. “The GST Council has been able to forge a consensus during the implementation stage on a range of critical issues including rates, compliance and policy. Several issues that have cropped up after the launch of GST have been addressed in a consultative manner during almostmonthly meetings. The changes made and clarifications provided have enabled businesses to make ongoing changes in their models and handle challenges posed by a multi-dimensional reform like GST,” said M S Mani, partner at Deloitte India.