Uniform tax rate on lotteries: Legislative Assembly adopts resolution against centre's move

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Assembly Monday adopted a resolution against the Centre's proposal to impose a uniform tax rate on lotteries instead of the current differential tax rate system.

State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, in a resolution moved in the assembly said that as of now, a state-organised lottery attracts 12 per cent GST, while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax.

The main opposition Congress led UDF supported the resolution.

"The Centre's move is to reduce the tax on lotteries run by intermediaries and bring it on par with the state-run lotteries.

This will affect thousands of lottery agents and sellers in Kerala.

This move will affect the tax revenue of the state, as well as the Centre," Isaac said.

The Finance Minister said that the beneficiaries would be the intermediaries in the business.

Opposition Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala said the move to unify the tax rate on lotteries showed how influential the lottery mafia was.

The rate for lottery tickets in Kerala, where the business is run by the state government, has been at 12 per cent, and this move by the government was to guard the intermediaries from entering the state.

The state government has maintained that the entry of private firms in the sector had to be controlled to prevent people from being cheated and to guard them from fraud.

A GST ministerial panel was asked to suggest whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system should be continued.  

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