03.02.2024: Amendments to State GST Act will not encourage online gaming, says Balagopal

The Kerala Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2024, will not encourage online money gaming in the State, and is intended to bring clarity on taxation related to such activities, Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal said on Thursday.

Presenting the Bill in the State Assembly, Mr. Balagopal was reacting to a concern raised by Opposition UDF members that the Bill would give a seal of approval to activities like online money gaming, casinos and gambling in the State.

Centre’s decision

Mr. Balagopal said that the Bill was necessitated by a Union government decision amending the GST Act to implement 28% tax rate on online money gaming, casinos and horse racing. The Bill does not contradict the provisions of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, nor does it harm in any way the State’s right to prohibit online gaming, he said.

“The Bill does not encourage online gaming. It is merely a condition to bring clarity to the taxation on gaming. Before GST, gaming was under the ambit of service tax with 18% tax. But this was not imposed on the basis of gross value,” he noted.

The Union Finance Ministry had issued the notification in September, which required States to make corresponding changes in the State-level GST laws. The Kerala government had issued an Ordinance to make the changes and the Bill is meant to replace it.

Source: The Hindu

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