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Sanjaya Kumar Mishra to head GST Appellate Tribunal

Retired Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra has been appointed as the President of the Goods & Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) by the Centre. The move aims to streamline the resolution of disputes concerning businesses efficiently. The appointment, made by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet based on the recommendation of the Search-cum-Selection Committee, comes with a salary of ₹2.50 lakh per month for a tenure of four years.

Appointment of President of the GSTAT

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, upon recommendation by the Search-cum-Selection Committee (SCSC), approved the appointment of Justice (Retd.) Sanjaya Kumar Mishra. His tenure spans four years, commencing from the date of assuming charge or until reaching the age of 70, whichever comes earlier. The order from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) outlined his monthly salary at ₹2.50 lakh.

Establishment of GST Appellate Tribunal

The Finance Ministry has issued vacancy circulars for 63 judicial members and 33 Technical Members for the Centre and States. Last September, the Centre notified the setup of 31 GSTAT benches with a Principal Bench in Delhi and additional benches across various States. Uttar Pradesh will host three benches, the highest in any State, while others like Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra will have two each. These tribunals are crucial for handling disputes related to GST, providing a specialized mechanism for timely resolution.

Role of GST Tribunal

GST Tribunals are envisioned as specialized bodies to address GST-related disputes promptly and efficiently. Their establishment is essential to ensure fairness, accountability, and the rule of law in tax administration. With the rise in appeals against orders of first Appellate Authorities, the need for dedicated and specialized GSTATs has become even more pronounced. Businesses previously had to resort to High Courts, resulting in prolonged and costly legal battles. The establishment of GSTATs is expected to alleviate this burden, fostering a conducive environment for business and enhancing ease of doing business in the country.

Enhancing Business Sentiments

Industry experts have welcomed the move, highlighting its potential to boost business sentiments and facilitate economic growth. Chandrajeet Banerjee, Director General at CII, emphasized the importance of GSTATs in ensuring speedier and cost-effective resolution of cases. With a significant increase in appeals over the past years, the establishment of GSTATs in major cities across the country is seen as a critical step towards streamlining tax dispute resolution and relieving pressure on jurisdictional High Courts.

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