The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is likely to hold its next meeting in June when the long pending issue of taxation of online gaming, horse racing and casinos will be taken up.
While no definite date has been decided as of now, official sources indicated that June is the most likely time for holding the next meeting of the Council as by then most states would have completed their budget-making process. Further, there would also have been significant progress in setting up the GST Appellate Tribunal and states would be in a position to propose setting up of benches in their jurisdictions.
Officials have also indicated that a significant revision in the rates and slabs of GST is unlikely as of now pointing out that the tax regime has just about stabilised. “There will continue to be revisions and review in rate of specific items as and when required and to clear confusion but a full-fledged overhaul of the rate structure is not being planned for now,” the official source said.
Proposals for revision of rates on millets and cement are likely to be taken up as well as the compensation cess on pan masala. All these issues are currently being looked into by the fitment committee.
“We expect the next meeting of the GST Council to be held in June when the report of the Group of Ministers on GST on online gaming, horse racing and casinos will also be taken up for discussion and hopefully for approval,” said an official source, adding that it is expected that the issue is likely to be addressed without the need for voting by the Council.
The report was not taken up at the 49th meeting of the GST Council held in February as the as the chair of the GoM and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma could not attend the meeting due to ongoing elections in the region. However, there was no consensus on how to tax online games and whether to consider it as a game of skill or game of chance and accordingly, it will require detailed discussion in the GoM.
At present, actionable claims in the form of betting and gambling including those arising from online gaming attract 28% GST and the GST Act does not make the levy dependent on whether it is a game of skill or game of chance.