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GSTAT Set for Operationalization by End of 2024 or Early 2025

Last updated: 15 May 2024

In a significant development, progress on establishing the long-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) Appellate Tribunal has accelerated, with expectations high for its inauguration within the next few months.

According to sources closely involved in the process, efforts are underway to ensure the expeditious operationalization of the GST Appellate Tribunal. While initial projections aimed for establishment by mid-year, slight delays may push the timeline to the end of this year or early 2025.

The recent induction of Justice (Retd) Sanjaya Kumar Mishra as the President of the GST Appellate Tribunal, following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's administration of the oath of integrity and secrecy on May 6, marks a significant step forward.

GSTAT Set for Operationalization by End of 2024 or Early 2025

Furthermore, the government is actively engaged in appointing both judicial and technical members for the appellate tribunal. With the finance ministry having advertised 96 positions earlier this year, comprising 63 vacancies for judicial members and 33 for technical members, the process is well underway.

The GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) is slated to have its principal bench in Delhi, accompanied by 31 state benches dispersed across various locations nationwide. Notably, states like Uttar Pradesh will host three benches each, while Gujarat and Maharashtra will accommodate two benches each.

This development follows the Centre's notification of the GST Appellate Tribunal benches in September of the preceding year, marking a significant milestone nearly six years after the GST's inception in July 2017. Anticipated benefits include expedited resolution of GST disputes, relieving the burden on higher courts, a longstanding concern for India Inc.

The necessity for such a tribunal is underscored by the staggering backlog of over 14,000 appeals pending in High Courts by August 2023 concerning Central GST, with a further increase anticipated.

In the current landscape, GST taxpayers seeking recourse amidst disputes with tax demands and orders from the first appellate authority can resort to the High Court. However, the establishment of the GST Appellate Tribunal promises a more streamlined and efficient resolution mechanism, a development eagerly awaited by stakeholders across sectors.

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