The 48 th meeting of the GST Council is likely to take place next month as one of two Group of Ministers (GoM) is yet to submit its report. The meeting is to take place in Madurai (Tamil Nadu).

One GoM is on Goods and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal and it is believed to have finalised its report. However, the second GoM on online gaming, casinos and horse racing is yet to arrive at a consensus, delaying the final report. As decided during last meeting of GST Council, the Madurai meeting will have the limited agenda of deliberating upon two GoM reports. It was also proposed to hold the meeting during the first week of August.

Normally, the GST Council meets at least once in three months. The last meeting took place in June. However, it is not the first time, when three months period is going to end without a meeting. Earlier, there was gap of over 6 months between the 42 nd and 43 rd meeting.

GoM’s fine tuning

In its last meeting on September 5, the GoM on Online Gaming & Horse Racing indicated that it is open to recommending separate rates and mechanism to calculate GST for three segments. It also said it aims to submit the final report within 7-10 days (by September 15). However, there is no word on a fresh deadline.

The GoM is reworking its report after the GST Council said it should fine tune its recommendation. In the earlier report, the GoM recommended a uniform 28 per cent rate on online gaming, casinos and horse racing. For valuation, in case of online gaming, it suggested GST to be levied on full value of the consideration by whatever name including contest entry fee paid by the player without making any distinction between such as games of skill or chance.

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In case of casinos, GST was recommended to be applied on full face value of the chips/coins purchased from casinos by a player. For horse racing, it recommended, GST should continue to be levied at the rate of 28 per cent on the full value of bets pooled in the totalisator and placed with the bookmakers. But these recommendations are likely to undergo a change as there have been a number of court rulings.

According to sources, the second GoM on GST Appellate Tribunal, chaired by Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, recommended that states can relax the experience criteria necessary for the appointment of officers as technical members in the panel. The group also recommended that bigger states such as Uttar Pradesh can have more than one appellate authority, with a maximum of five such bodies.

The six-member body that met in Bhubaneswar last month also recommended that the section in the Central GST Act, 2017 should be amended to facilitate quicker formation of the appellate tribunals.

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