GST Council meet: The second day of the GST Council meeting in Chandigarh will see deliberations on more vexed issues like compensation to states beyond June 2022, and a Group of Ministers (GoM) report on 28 per cent tax on online gaming, casinos and horse racing.
On the first day, the 47th GST Council chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state counterparts, decided to tweak tax rates of some goods and services, including bringing pre-packed and labelled food items under the tax net to check evasion. Besides, a host of procedural and legal changes, including monthly GST return form, and mechanisms for dealing with high-risk taxpayers were also discussed.
While suggesting a uniform tax rate and valuation method for online gaming, casinos and horse racing, the Group of Ministers, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, said for the purpose of levy of GST, no distinction should be made in these activities merely on the ground that an activity is a game of skill or of chance or both.
The GoM has recommended that online gaming should be taxed at full value of the consideration, including contest entry fee paid by the player on participating in the game.
Rishabh Bhansali, co-founder, FanClash said, "The GoM proposal is anticipated to drive players away from licensed skill gaming venues... The Indian gaming sector, which was expected to generate $5 billion in revenue by 2026, could suffer significantly as a result of the decision."
In case of race courses, the GoM has suggested that GST be levied on the full value of bets pooled in the totalisators and placed with the bookmakers. In casinos, GoM recommended that the tax would be levied on the full face value of the chips/coins purchased from the casino by a player. No further GST would apply on the value of bets placed in each round of betting, including those placed with winnings in previous rounds.
On the extension of compensation paid to states for revenue lost from their taxes such as sales tax (VAT) being subsumed into a national GST, beyond June 2022, opposition-ruled states have pitched for taking a decision based on consensus in the Council. Severa non-BJP ruled states want the compensation regime to be extended by 5 years or the share of states in the GST revenues be increased to 70-80 per cent from the current 50 per cent.
When GST was rolled out, states were promised compensation for revenue loss till June 2022. The compensation amount was raised from levying a cess in luxury, demerit and sin goods over and above the 28 per cent tax.
With PTI Inputs