What is meaning of local authority under GST Act

By | August 21, 2017
(Last Updated On: August 21, 2017)

Question 4: Who is a local authority?

Answer: Local authority is defined in clause (69) of section 2 of the CGST Act, 2017 and means the following:

• a “Panchayat” as defined in clause (d) of article 243 of the Constitution;

• a “Municipality” as defined in clause (e) of article 243P of the Constitution;

• a Municipal Committee, a ZillaParishad, a District Board, and any other authority legally entitled to, or entrusted by the Central Government or any State Government with the control or management of a municipal or local fund;

• a Cantonment Board as defined in section 3 of the Cantonments Act, 2006;

• a Regional Council or a District Council constituted under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution;

• a Development Board constituted under article 371 of the Constitution; or

• a Regional Council constituted under article 371A of the Constitution;

Question 5: Are all local bodies constituted by a State or Central Law regarded as local authorities for the purposes of the GST Acts?

Answer: No. The definition of ‘local authority’ is very specific and means only those bodies which are mentioned as ‘local authorities’ in clause (69) of section 2 of the CGST Act, 2017. It would not include other bodies which are merely described
as a ‘local body’ by virtue of a local law. For example, State Governments have setup local developmental authorities to undertake developmental works like infrastructure, housing, residential & commercial development, construction of houses, etc. The Governments setup these authorities under the Town and Planning
Act. Examples of such developmental authorities are Delhi Development Authority, Ahmedabad Development Authority, Bangalore Development Authority, Chennai
Metropolitan Development Authority, Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority, etc. Such developmental authorities formed under the Town and Planning Act are not qualified as local authorities for the purposes of the GST Acts.

Question 6: Would a statutory body, corporation or an authority constituted under an Act passed by the Parliament or any of the State Legislatures be regarded as ‘Government’ or “local authority” for the purposes of the GST Acts?

Answer: A statutory body, corporation or an authority created by the Parliament or a State Legislature is neither ‘Government’ nor a ‘local authority’. Such statutory bodies, corporations or authorities are normally created by the Parliament or a State
Legislature in exercise of the powers conferred under article 53(3)(b) and article 154(2)(b) of the Constitution respectively. It is a settled position of law (Agarwal Vs. Hindustan Steel AIR 1970 Supreme Court 1150) that the manpower of such statutory authorities or bodies do not become officers subordinate to the President under article 53(1) of the Constitution and similarly to the Governor under article 154(1). Such a statutory body, corporation or an authority as a juridical entity is separate from the State and cannot be regarded as the Central or a State Government and also do not fall in the definition of ‘local authority’. Thus, regulatory bodies and other autonomous entities would not be regarded as the government or local authorities for the purposes of the GST Acts.

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