Why in News?
The Goods and Services Tax Council has decided to convert the GST Network into a 100% government enterprise.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Art 279A provides for the Constitution of a GST Council, comprising of-
i)Union Finance Minister as chairman of the council
ii)Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance
iii)One nominated member from each state who is in charge of finance or taxation.
The Functions of GST Council include-
i)Making recommendations on the taxes, Surcharge, cess to be levied by the Union, state and Local bodies.
ii)Decide on the Goods and services that may be subject to or exempt from GST. iii)Recommend model GST Laws, principles of levy etc.
iv)Recommend the threshold limit below which the Goods and Services may be exempt from GST.
Art 279A also provides that 1⁄2 of the members of GST shall constitute the Quorum;
Every decision of the GST Council shall be taken at a meeting by a majority of not less than 3/4th of the weighted votes of the members present and voting (The vote o the Central Govt. has the weight of 1/3rd of the total votes cast and the state govt. together shall have a weight of 2/3rd of the total votes cast in the meeting)
The GSTN is a firm that provides the IT backbone for the indirect tax regime, is currently 24.5 percent owned by the central government, and a similar percentage is held by state governments collectively. The remaining, 51 percent, is with five private financial institutions.
The Council has agreed to a proposal of buying out the stake of private entities to make GSTN a government-owned entity the central government will own 50 percent and the remainder will be collectively held by the state governments.