Decision on GST Rates for Realty, Lotteries Deferred

GST Council postpones key meet to Feb 24 as some states sought face-to-face discussions on these issues:

The GST Council deferred a decision on rationalisation of tax rates for real estate and lotteries till February 24 when it will continue the discussion, as some opposition-ruled states sought a meeting where members were physically present in view of the importance of these decisions. The council held its 33rd meeting on Wednesday via video conferencing. It decided to extend the deadline for filing summary sales return — GSTR-3B — for January by two days till February 22.

“Considering the speed at which returns are getting filed, thousands of returns being filed every hour, the suggestion before the GST Council was to extend the deadline by two days for all states; and since some areas are facing disturbance, for Jammu & Kashmir it be extended till February 28. So, we took that decision,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said after the meeting. A group of ministers set up by the council and headed by Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel had suggested cutting GST on underconstruction residential properties to 5% without input tax credit (ITC), from 12% now. For the affordable housing segment, it suggested that GST rate of 3% against 8% now.

Ministers from all states attended the meeting. Jaitley said the report of the GoM on real estate was considered but some states wanted a physical meeting before a final decision is taken on the issue. However, GST on lottery was not taken up for discussion by the council on Wednesday. “The discussion which remained incomplete today through video conferencing… Few ministers expressed their opinion and the rest will express their opinion and we will try and take a decision on this issue on Sunday. So, the meeting stands adjourned,” Jaitley said.

Opposition-ruled states such as Delhi and Kerala demanded a physical meeting on crucial issues like real estate and lottery. “I have always followed an approach of moving as per consensus, and since some of the states wanted a meeting where members are physically present, keeping the idea of consensus in mind, I adjourned the meeting to Sunday so that a physical meeting can be held and the same issue will be discussed on Sunday,” Jaitley said. Currently, a state-organised lottery attracts 12% GST while a stateauthorised lottery attracts 28% levy.

The GoM favoured GST rate on the state-organised lottery raised to 18% or 28% while lowering rate on state-authorised lottery to 18% or retaining it at 28%. PwC India partner and leader indirect tax Pratik Jain said restricting the input credit is not a good idea for any sector, particularly real estate which requires more formalisation.

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