Monday, December 4, 2023

Government to Finalise GST Rates on Online Gaming in August: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said that the GST rates on online gaming, horse racing and casinos will be finalised in the 48th GST Council Meeting which will be held in the first week of August in Madurai. Sitharaman was addressing a Press Conference on the outcome of 47th GST Council meeting.

The Council directed that the Group of Ministers on Casino, Race Course and Online Gaming re-examine the issues in its terms of reference based on further inputs from States and submit its report by July 15 as Goa has raised the issue and asked to differentiate the Casino from online gaming and horse racing.

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“Following Goa’s request for special treatment for casinos, it was decided that GoM will give one more hearing for online games and horse racing as well; the GoM will submit the report by July 15 and GST Council will hence meet again on this GoM’s agenda in 1st week of August,” said the Finance Minister.

On the question of compensation cess, Finance Minister said that broadly states said that compensation can be continued at least for a few years, if not for five years. Around 15-16 spoke about the compensation.

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Minister said that GoM to be constituted to address various concerns raised by the States on GST Appellate Tribunal and amendments in CGST Act. GoM on IT Reforms, inter alia, recommended that the GSTN should put in place the AI/ML based mechanism.

Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said that the 3rd GoM has made specific recommendations on what GSTN needs to do to address issues such as fake invoice bills; for example, risk-based models will be developed which will place greater pre-registration checks on riskier entities.

“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning utilities will be developed to ensure that we have better compliance than we have now; the GoM will keep giving suggestions and the GSTN will keep implementing them,” he concluded.

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The two-day 47th GST Council meeting was held in Chandigarh on Wednesday. The GST on numerous items were also revised during the meeting.

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