Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman introduces CGST (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023 in Lok Sabha today. The Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, proposes to cap the age for president and members of the GST appellate tribunals (GSTAT) at 70 years and 67 years, respectively, higher than 67 years and 65 years specified earlier and allows advocates with 10 years of experience to be eligible to become a member.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the bill which is intended to amend the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. According to the provisions of the Bill, the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 is being aligned with the Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021 to initiate the administrative process for operationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals. The GST Council chaired by the finance minister and all the finance ministers of all states and union territories, in October approved the change in the age criteria.
According to the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, Section 109 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) provides for the Constitution of Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, which is the second appellate authority within the Goods and Services Tax framework for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and the State Goods and Services Tax Acts.
The GST regime was introduced in July 2017 and had provisions for setting up the Appellate tribunals as the second appellate authority for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority under the Central and State GST laws.
“Non-constitution of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals is denying the taxpayers of second appellate remedy and consequently the taxpayers are seeking relief directly from the High Court, thereby burdening the High Courts,” Nirmala Sitharaman said. The Minister also introduced the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill provides for giving immediate effect for a limited period to provisions in Bills relating to the imposition or increase of duties of customs or excise. The Bill also provides for the repeal of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1931.