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Kerala: Trade Unions protest uniform GST rate of 28% on lotteries

ANI | Updated: Dec 23, 2019 16:58 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Dec 23 (ANI): Trade unions including Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) took out a protest march in Thiruvananthapuram in front of the Accountant General's office here on Monday against the decision of the GST council to fix a uniform tax on lotteries at 28 per cent.
PR Jayaprakash, chairman, Kerala Lottery Agents and Sellers Welfare Fund Board who inaugurated the protest march said that they are planning to start a campaign to prevent the selling of lottery run by other states in Kerala.
"The Kerala lottery sector is going through a severe crisis with the centre setting the uniform GST at 28 per cent. All trade associations and the Kerala government had opposed the move when it first came up as a suggestion in January," he said.
"In three GST council meetings, it was opposed by Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and also by finance ministers of other states. But in the last GST council meeting, it was decided to increase the existing tax of state lotteries from 12 per cent to 28 per cent. This move will put the whole lottery agents' livelihood in crisis. We cannot pass the additional burden to the customers nor can we reduce the prize money," he added.
Kerala had vehemently opposed the implementation of uniform GST for lotteries in the GST council meeting, pointing out the move will help the middlemen in the lottery business.
Earlier, the GST Act had prescribed two rates, 12%, for the lotteries sold within the same state, and 28%, if a state sells its lottery in other states.
It is noteworthy that Kerala does not sell lottery in other states. (ANI)