The long overdue meeting of the GST Council will be held on December 17 virtually. The council is likely to take a decision on the GST levy on casinos, online gaming and horse racing and on rate rationalisation in the meeting.
“The 48th meeting of the GST Council will be held on December 17 via video conference,” the GST Council said in a tweet.
Amit Mitra, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s principal chief adviser and former member of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, had last week urged Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hold the meeting of the council and and resolve contentious tax policy issues on the basis of consensus.
He had pointed out that the procedures of the GST Council mandated holding a meeting at least once every quarter.
The GoM on GST levy on casinos, online gaming and horse racing will submit its report to the GST Council next week, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma has said.
The group of ministers (GoM) headed by Sangma held its final meeting on the issue earlier this week and is understood to have recommended a GST levy of 28 per cent on online gaming, irrespective of whether it is a game of skill or of chance.
However, in the absence of a consensus on whether the tax should be levied on only the fees charged by the portal or the entire consideration, including the bet amount received from participants, the GoM has decided to refer all the suggestions to the GST Council for a final decision.
At present, online gaming attracts 18 per cent GST. The tax is levied on gross gaming revenue, which is the fees charged by online gaming portals.
The GoM, in its earlier report submitted to the council in June, had suggested a 28 per cent GST on the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee, paid by the player without making a distinction in terms of games of skill or chance. However, the council had asked the GoM to reconsider its report.
During the 47th GST Council meeting, it was decided to give more time to the group to re-examine the issues and submit its fresh report, thus deferring the proposal to levy a 28 per cent tax on these activities.
The GoM on tax slab rationalisation was also given more time to submit its report.
The government plans to reduce the number of GST slabs from the current four to three. A new slab of 15 per cent may be introduced in place of 12 per cent and 18 per cent slabs. The 5 per cent rate might be replaced by a new rate which will be 6 per cent or 7 per cent.