The GST council is anticipated to take on the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the appellate tribunal. If approved, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce the setting up of the GST Appellate Tribunal in the Union Budget 2023-24
The Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal may be set up by the middle of 2023. The GST council is anticipated to take on the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the appellate tribunal in its upcoming meeting on 17 December 2022. If approved by the council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce the setting up of the GST Appellate Tribunal in the Union Budget 2023-24.
The tribunal would hear appeals against orders passed by the GST appellate administrations. Appeals for cases involving up to Rs 50 lakh would be heard by a single member, while a division bench would listen to those above this point of at least one judicial and one technical member. According to the reports, the GOM which is headed by Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, has recommended setting up a principal bench in New Delhi.
The tribunal will also set up provincial benches in the states. In more significant conditions, depending on the population, up to five benches may be set up. Each local bar would have one technical member, a senior tax official, and one judicial member.
Initially, the GST Appellate Tribunal may be set up on the lines of the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) and will be at select centres only. According to information, setting up tribunal benches in each state will be a time consuming and costly process, and for now, it could be fast-tracked.
The action comes at a moment when there are a considerable number of GST-related cases pending with high courts across the nation. This has also been a strong demand in the industry to ensure that matters get settled at the earliest. With GST being a relatively new tax regulation, there are several cases of understanding the law, classifying goods and services, and the rate pending at different stages. The GOM submitted its report in August this year.
The government is likely to take up amendments to the Central GST Act in the Budget Session of Parliament. The CGST Act will be amended to provide for all benches of the same kind with a bar in New Delhi, where the tribunal's president will sit.