GST Council defers tax on casinos, lottery

Chandigarh, June 29:
The GST Council today deferred decision on levying a 28 per cent tax on casinos, online gaming, horse racing and lottery pending more consultations with stakeholders, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
A Group of Ministers headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has been asked to consider submissions of stakeholders again on the valuation mechanism and submit its report by July 15, she told reporters here.
The Council will meet again in the first week of August to decide on the issue, she said.
A two-day meeting of the panel considered a report of the GoM but deferred a decision as Goa and some others wanted to make more submissions.
The GoM had recommended that online gaming should be taxed at the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by the player on participating in the game.
In cases of race courses, it had suggested that GST be levied on the full value of bets pooled in the totalisators and placed with the bookmakers.
It also recommended that no distinction should be made on grounds of game of skill or game of chance for the purpose of the levy of GST and should be taxed at the highest rate of 28 per cent.
Meanwhile, about a dozen states cutting across party lines on Wednesday pitched for extending the mechanism to compensate states for revenue lost from the implementation of GST beyond June 30, but no decision was taken.
Sitharaman said finance and other ministers of 16 states spoke on the compensation issue.
Of the 16 States, 3-4 spoke of evolving their own revenue stream to break from the compensation mechanism, she said.
The Centre did not reveal its mind on the issue.
When a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) subsumed 17 central and state levies from July 1, 2017, it was decided that states will be compensated for any loss of revenue from the new tax for five years. That five-year term is ending on June 30.
With two years being lost in the pandemic, states have sought an extension of this compensation mechanism.
The Council – the highest decision-making body of the indirect tax regime, which is headed by the Union Finance Minister and comprises representatives of all states and UTs – discussed the issue at a meeting here but did not take a decision. (PTI)