Centre Releases Rs 17,000-Crore GST Compensation To States

The central government has released Rs 17,000 crore to states towards balance GST compensation, taking the total amount released so far this fiscal year to over Rs 1.15 lakh crore, the finance ministry said on Friday, the PTI reported. “With this release, the Centre has released, in advance, the entire amount of Cess estimated to be collected this year till March-end available for payment of compensation to states,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in the country with effect from July 1, 2017, and states were assured of compensation for the loss of any revenue arising on account of the implementation of GST for a period of five years. For providing compensation to states, a cess is levied on certain goods and the amount of cess collected is credited to the compensation fund.

The central government released an amount of Rs 17,000 crore to states/UTs on November 24, 2022, towards the balance GST compensation for the period April to June 2022. The total amount of compensation released to the states/UTs so far, including the aforesaid amount, during the year 2022-23 is Rs 1,15,662 crore, the statement added.

“This is despite the fact that total Cess collection till October 2022 is only Rs 72,147 crore and the balance of Rs 43,515 crore is being released by the Centre from its own resources,” the ministry said.

This decision was taken to assist the states in managing their resources and ensuring that their programmes, especially the expenditure on capital are carried out successfully during the financial year, it added.

Meanwhile, in another development, the state finance ministers’ panel for GST levy on casinos, online gaming, and horse racing will submit its report to the GST Council next week, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Friday.

Sangma-headed Group of Ministers (GoM) held its final meeting on the issue earlier this week and is understood to have recommended a GST levy of 28 per cent on online gaming, irrespective of whether it is a game of skill or chance. However, in the 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 has decided to refer all the suggestions to the GST Council for a final decision.

Asked when the GoM would send the report to the council, Sangama said: “We will submit the report next week”. 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.

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