GST Council Likely To Meet Virtually On Aug. 2

States have been notified on Wednesday afternoon and a detailed agenda is still awaited.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Source: Ministry of Finance/Twitter)</p></div>
(Source: Ministry of Finance/Twitter)

The council of state finance ministers is likely to meet virtually on Aug. 2, less than a month after the 50th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council on July 11.

States were informed on Wednesday afternoon, and a detailed agenda was awaited, according to an official with knowledge of the matter, who spoke to BQ Prime on the condition of anonymity.

There has been media speculation that the council is likely to table a discussion on the mechanism of levying 28% GST on online gaming, horse racing, and casinos. The decision to tax them at 28% on full face value was met with criticism from the online gaming industry, which viewed the move as detrimental to the growth of the industry in the country.

The council also aimed to make an amendment to add 'online gaming' to Schedule 3, Entry 6 of the GST law and place it at par with betting, lottery and gambling, which are considered as actionable claims that are subject to GST levy.

On July 21, Indian and foreign Investors of the Indian Online Skill Gaming Industry jointly wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, outlining their worries and seeking a meeting to discuss the issue.

The letter, viewed by BQ Prime, highlighted the impact that the tax levy could have and the message that such a policy would convey on the ease of doing business in India.

Investors, which included Tiger Global, Kalaari Capital, Peak XV Partners, expect this to be in the form of job losses for over 50,000 highly skilled persons and loss of livelihood opportunity for over one million Indian citizens who are indirectly associated with this industry.

The letter warms of a 'cascading' impact on media and entertainment industry, with losses in advertising revenue amounting to $1 billion.

"The current GST proposal will set up the most onerous tax regime for the gaming sector globally, which will lead to a potential write-off of the $2.5 billion capital invested in this sector," it said.

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