Finance minister Sitharaman holds 48th GST Council meet: Key points – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The 48th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council began in New Delhi on Saturday. The meet is being chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman chairs the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode, in New Delhi, today,” the finance ministry tweeted on Saturday
Decriminalisation of offences under the GST law, setting up appellate tribunals and mechanism to curb tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses are among the issues slated to be discussed in the meeting . GST on online gaming and casinos may also come up for deliberations.
The Group of Ministers (GoM), chaired by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, set up last year on the issue, had submitted its report to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.
The Council would also consider a report of tax officers and give clarity on the rate applicability in certain goods and services.
On decriminalisation of offences, the GST Council law committee has suggested to the Council to increase the monetary threshold for launching prosecution for GST offences.
The law committee has also suggested that the fee payable by taxpayer for compounding of GST offences be lowered to 25 per cent of the tax amount, from up to 150 per cent currently, with a view to improving ease of doing business.
It has suggested raising the threshold of launching prosecution to Rs 20 crore, from Rs 5 crore at present. Launching of prosecution by taxmen means commencement of legal proceedings against the offender.
The report of the GoM on tax evasion by pan masala and gutkha companies is likely to be taken up for discussion in the Council, sources said.
With regard to setting up of Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTATs), the GoM has suggested that the tribunals should consist of two judicial members, and one technical member each from the Centre and states, besides a retired Supreme Court judge as President, sources said.
The GoM on GSTATs was set up in July under the chairmanship of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.
With regard to taxation of online gaming, casinos and horse racing, the GoM, in its last meeting in November, had agreed on a 28 per cent GST on these segments.
However, in absence of consensus on whether the tax should be levied on only the fees charged by the portal or the entire consideration, including the bet amount, received from participants, the GoM had decided to refer all suggestions to the GST Council for a final decision.
Currently, online gaming attracts 18 per cent GST. The tax is levied on gross gaming revenue, which is the fees charged by online gaming portals.
(With inputs from agencies)


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