New Delhi, December 19: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to raise the age limit of the president and members of the GST appellate tribunal.

Piloting the bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said taxpayers who are litigating against GST demands in various high courts or the Supreme Court will have the liberty to withdraw their cases and approach GSTAT once the benches start functioning. Lok Sabha Passes Bill to Amend CGST Act.

The Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, was passed by Lok Sabha by a voice vote. The bill seeks to cap the age for president and members of GST appellate tribunals (GSTAT) at 70 years and 67 years, respectively, higher than 67 years and 65 years specified earlier. An advocate with 10 years of 'substantial experience' in litigation in matters relating to indirect taxes in the Appellate Tribunal, would be eligible to be appointed as a judicial member of GSTAT.

As per the amendment, the president and judicial and technical members of GSTAT shall hold office for four years, or until he attains the age of 70 years and 67 years, respectively, whichever is earlier. Congress Constitutes Five-Member National Alliance Committee Ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, Mukul Wasnik To Be Convener.

The rules notified by the government earlier had fixed the age limit for the president and members of GSTAT at 67 years and 65 years, respectively.

Sitharaman said the passage of the bill would align terms of service of judicial and technical members of GSTAT with the Tribunal Reforms Act of 2021.