In India, an official government panel has reportedly recommended that the country of over 1.32 billion people introduce a uniform goods and services tax on all lottery products regardless of whether these are managed and sold by the state or private organizations.

Dual-rate tax brief:

According to a Monday report from The Economic Times newspaper, the independent body consisting of finance ministers from across the nation was commissioned by the Goods and Services Tax Council last month and tasked with investigating possible reforms to India’s existing dual-rate tax system on lotteries. The eight-member group had been based in New Delhi and was moreover purportedly asked to look into enforcement issues such as possible reforms that could help to further stamp out tax evasion.

Fairness concerns:

The newspaper reported that lottery products sold via non-government organizations in India are currently hit with a 28% goods and services tax although their state-run counterparts incur a duty of only 12%. This disparity has purportedly attracted criticism from private retailers concerned that it violates the Goods and Services Tax Council’s formal mandate of instituting uniform rates of tax and could ultimately lead to them being forced out of business.

No final decision:

The Economic Times reported that the panel has now advised the Goods and Services Tax Council that India should set a uniform tax rate for both private and state-run lotteries of either 18% or 28%. The government body was subsequently due to consider whether to institute this suggestion during its 33rd meeting on Wednesday but is purportedly said to have adjourned this get-together without having reached an ultimate verdict.