52nd GST Council meeting today; online gaming likely part of agenda: Top points

The 52nd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax or GST Council will be conducted in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan on Saturday, October 7 where matters such as extending the concessional tax rate on vehicles for visually impaired persons, exemption on millets sold in powdered form and clarifying tax on bank and corporate guarantees, among others are likely to be discussed.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 51st meeting of the GST Council, via video conferencing, in New Delhi. (Nirmala Sitharaman Office Twitter)
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 51st meeting of the GST Council, via video conferencing, in New Delhi. (Nirmala Sitharaman Office Twitter)

Top points on 52nd GST Council meeting:

1. The GST Council is likely to review the progress made by the states in incorporating changes with regard to taxation of online gaming in SGST laws as approved by the council in its August meeting, news agency PTI reported. The central government has notified the amendments in GST legislation passed by the Lok Sabha in August so as to impose a 28% tax on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing. The amendments came into effect from October 1.

2. The GST Council, chaired by the Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state counterparts, had last month cleared amendments to Central GST and Integrated GST laws to give clarity on the levy of 28 per cent tax on the full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos and horse race clubs.

3. The Economic Times reported the GST Council is expected to provide clarification on the taxation of bank and corporate guarantees furnished by directors and promoters to a company.

4. The council is also expected to discuss exempting distilled alcohol used to manufacture liquor from the indirect tax at the meeting, news agency Reuters reported citing a source. High distilled or extra-neutral alcohol contains 95% alcohol by volume and is used for producing liquor and for industrial purposes.

5. The council will also consider a proposal to lower GST on molasses to 5% from 28%, the source said. Molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, is used to make extra-neutral alcohol and ethanol.

6. The panel will also consider a plan to exempt GST on some millet flour products from 18% at present, and plans to stick to 18% tax applicable on electric vehicle batteries.

7. The government is likely to study how to tax some services provided by cryptocurrency platforms.

8. During its 51st meeting, the GST Council suggested for revisions in the CGST Act 2017 and IGST Act 2017. These recommendations encompassed changes to Schedule III of the CGST Act, 2017, aimed at offering a better understanding regarding the taxation of transactions related to casinos, horse racing, and online gaming.

(With inputs from agencies)

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