GST amendment bill misses tentative Parliament monsoon session agenda, may delay 28% tax rate implementation

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The proposed amendments to GST Law to impose 28% GST on full face value may take time with the agenda of monsoon session of the Parliament not featuring the issue.

The government is likely to discuss 31 bills in the monsoon session of Parliament, including the data protection bill but a bill to amend GST Law does not feature in the agenda. The session will conclude on August 11.

Earlier, the Ministry of Finance has. indicated that a bill to amend GST Law will be introduced in this session. While the GST Council has decided for an increase of tax rate to 28% applicable on full face value, the same is not effective until the union and state governments amend the corresponding GST enactments.  Amendments are required to be made to Schedule III of the CGST Act and SGST Acts to include online gaming and horse racing as taxable actionable claims.

Reports suggest that investors Tiger Global, DST Global, Alpha Wave Global, Matrix Partners India, TPG and Steadview Capital are planning to make representations to the government to reconsider the tax rate. These are some of the top investors in gaming startups like Dream11, Mobile Premier League (MPL), Games 24×7 and Zupee.

Union Government may also fast track the bill without having the same in the agenda. The current monsoon session has 16 working days as per the initial agenda.

Until now, all decisions of the GST Council were taken with consensus of union and state governments agreeing on tax rates irrespective of the fact that some states are ruled by allies of the opposition. But after the recent GST Council decision, several states including BJP ruled Goa have expressed the intention to press for reconsideration.

If the amendment bill misses the monsoon session, the implementation may be delayed giving room for the industry to lobby for a lower tax regime.

Despite the industry expressing concerns, the government said there will be no reconsideration of the decision taken after long deliberations.