The forty-eighth meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council began in New Delhi on Saturday morning, and is being chaired by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Union Finance Minister Smt. @nirmalasitharaman chairs the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode, in New Delhi, today. Along with the FM, Union Minister of State for Finance Shri @mppchaudhary, besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and Senior officers from Union Government & States are also attending the meeting,” tweeted the Ministry of Finance.

Tax rates, rules, and regulations under GST are governed by the Council, which consists of the Finance minister, and her counterparts from states and UTs.

In its latest meeting, GST Council may discuss these issues (among others):

Decriminalisation of offences: Increase in monetary threshold, from the current 5 crore to 20 crore, for launching legal proceedings against offenders. Additionally, the fee payable by a taxpayer for compounding of GST offences be lowered to 25% of the tax amount, down from the up to 150% currently.

Tax evasion: A report on tax evasion by the tobacco industry (pan masala, gutka), along with a possible mechanism to curb the evasion.

GST on online gaming: As proposed by a Group of Ministers (GoM), increasing the indirect tax on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing, to 28%, from the existing 18%.

GSTATs: Setting up GST Appellate Tribunals (GSTATs) with a retired Supreme Court judge as President, and also consisting of two judicial members, and technical members (from the Centre and states).

Rate applicability: The Council may also give clarity on the rate applicability on certain goods and services.

(With agency inputs)

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