28.09.2023: Tax on millet-based drinks, online gaming on GST Council agenda for October 7 meeting

The GST Council, chaired by the Union finance minister and comprising state ministers, will meet on October 7. It is likely to consider reducing the tax on millet-based health drinks from 18 per cent and discuss the implementation of GST on online gaming among others.

Officials said there have been specific demands for GST rates on millet-based health products. Considering that 2023 was declared as the ‘International Year of Millets’, it would be appropriate to finalise the rate of such products.

“As on date, there is no specific entry for millet-based health mix products, so these attract rates up to 18 per cent,” the official said.

Now the effort would be to classify the product according to the percentage of millets and based on that the rate will be prescribed.

The fitment committee is expected to submit its report to the Council in time for the tax body of the Centre and states to take a call.

At present, India is the second-biggest exporter and the foremost producer of millets.

A typical millet-based health mix includes minuscule amounts of flour, groundnut powder and lentils that are roasted in the same manner as millets.

Insignificant amounts of other products, such as cardamom and pepper, can be used for flavour. All of these goods are combined, ground, and packaged for sale.

At the last GST Council meeting in August, it was decided to impose a 28 per cent tax on the full face value of bets placed on online gaming, which will be implemented from October 1.

The GST Council will review the implementation of the 28 per cent GST on online gaming and casinos after six months.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia opposed the levy of the tax on online gaming. At the same time, Goa and Sikkim wanted the levy to be based on gross gaming revenue (GGR) rather than the full face value of bets placed.

Source: The Telegraph Online

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