No consensus in GST Council meeting; Lottery tax untouched

Posted On 15 Jan, 2019 0

Gutshot recently reported that the GST Council, the apex body who makes binding decisions regarding the Goods and Services Tax (GST), will have a meeting on 10th January 2019 to discuss the possibility of perhaps lowering the current 28% GST on Lotteries.

The council met on the day and was presided over by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley but failed to reach a consensus on the lottery tax issue. The issue, precisely, was of the uniformity of taxation on lottery, but it wasn’t something that saw its end on the day, due to “diverse opinions”.

Arun Jaitley was quoted as saying, “A seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM) has been formed to look into the GST on real estate. Another GoM with representation from lottery developing and selling states will be formed for uniformity of taxation on lottery or other issues arising out of lottery. These ministerial panels will give their recommendations in the next meeting.

The previous GST Council meeting saw a reduction in tax rates on seven items which were classified in the highest tax slab. The current scenario where a dual tax system (state and centre) is applied on the lottery business has received a lot of outrage by the concerned persons of the industry. The outrage is mostly due to the drastic lowering of the industry’s turnovers, culminating in massive job losses due to closure of lottery centres.

The authorities have been firm when it comes to illegal gambling and lotteries. The Mumbai Police recently raided seven lottery parlours across the city and even framed a few persons connected to the business. Another lottery centre in Bandra was raided and the owner arrested. Both these raids happened in December 2018, just last month.

In other related news, Kerala’s communist government last month has expressed its reservations about liberalizing lottery system through its Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac saying that private lottery companies are ‘lottery mafia’, adding that the current system shouldn’t be changed.

Although illegal gambling has been a concern for the economy and its people, regulating it, instead of increasing taxes, is the right solution, since authoritative force always leads to mass chaos and retaliation by the affected people. Keep reading for similar gambling industry news as well as for general poker news from across the planet.

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