Not much gain seen in Kerala’s Lucky Bill kind of scheme implemented nationwide: Central Tax officials

Shishir Sinha | Updated on: Aug 20, 2022
Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal taking a ride in an open-top double decker city bus arranged as part of the campaign for the Lucky Bill mobile app, which was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last Tuesday.

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal taking a ride in an open-top double decker city bus arranged as part of the campaign for the Lucky Bill mobile app, which was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last Tuesday. | Photo Credit: PRASANTH VEMBAYAM

It is said that a consumer can upload the bill(s) on the app, participate in lucky draws and win prizes

The Centre does not see much gain in implementing Kerala’s model nationwide to reward consumers who submit GST paid invoice and eligible for award. Earlier, this week, Kerala launched ‘Lucky Bill App’’ which is a platform introduced for the first time in India to promote ‘Ásk for Bills’. 

“We do not feel such a mechanism is going to be effective,” a senior Government official told BusinessLine. Further, there will be a lot of logistic issue. Then question will be asked on lottery method,. That is the reason, an idea floated in this regard two years back, could not be taken forward, he added.

According to the website of Kerala government, a consumer can upload the bill(s) on the app, participate in lucky draws and win prizes. It also said the app adds value to bills through lucky draws. The app can be downloaded and installed. Post that the consumer can upload his GST bills, participate in the Lucky draws and win rewards in the form of gift vouchers, gift packages and cash prizes subject to the conditions. The gifts are facilitated by State Government Agencies/Public Sector Undertakings. 

“The Lucky Bill App gives you the opportunity to support the efforts of the State Goods and Services Tax Department to ensure tax compliance among the tax payers and contribute to the development of the State,” the website said.

Lottery scheme for B2C

The official quoted above said ‘Lottery scheme for B2C (Business to Consumer) supplies was brought up for discussion in the GST Council meeting held during March 2020. Plan was to soon launch the scheme from April 01, 2020. The thinking was to conduct lucky draws every month for invoices of all business to customer (B2C) transactions. It was being envisaged by the revenue department to encourage customers to take bills for every purchase, which will in turn help the government in curbing GST evasion. 

Under the scheme, it was proposed that the revenue department will conduct monthly lucky draws which will have one bumper prize, while there would be second and third prizes State-wise. The lottery offers would range between ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore. Consumers would have to scan and upload any B2C invoice using a mobile app, which is being developed by GST Network (GSTN), which handles the technology backbone of GST.

There would not be any threshold on the invoice value to be eligible for lucky draw, the official added. As per the plan, the money for the lottery scheme would come from the consumer welfare fund, where the proceeds of anti-profiteering cases are transferred. 

However, the minutes of 39th GST Council meeting said that agenda item with respect to the Lottery scheme for B2C supplies was discussed in the Officers’ meeting on March 13, 2020,. It was said that the objective was to expand the tax base so as to include the last mile value addition in GST, which was considerable. Participating in the discussion, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister felt that the scope of the scheme should be broadened and should not be restricted only to digital payments. He also felt that it should be made State-specific. He said that their scheme of “Bill Banao Inaam Pao” of the Delhi government in the VAT era was hugely successful. “It was, therefore, decided to defer this proposal for further detailed examination,” the minutes noted. Since, then no decision has been taken, but States are free to bring their own scheme.

Published on August 20, 2022
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