Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac speaking to ANI in Trivandrum on Thursday. Photo/ANI
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac speaking to ANI in Trivandrum on Thursday. Photo/ANI

Kerala govt will approach Centre to bring amendment in lottery laws: Thomas Isaac

ANI | Updated: Dec 19, 2019 20:38 IST

Trivandrum (Kerala) [India], Dec 19 (ANI): A day after voting was carried out in the GST council meeting held in Delhi for the first time to decide on uniformed tax on lotteries, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Thursday said that state will approach centre to bring in an amendment in lottery laws.
Speaking to ANI, the Kerala Finance Minister who wanted the duel GST rates to continue which eventually led to the voting in the GST council, said that middlemen in the lottery business are going to benefit by the centre's move for uniform GST rate of 28 per cent.
"The move will benefit the lottery mafia. In the course of discussion in GST council, it was promised by the Union Finance Minister that the states will be given the right to control the activities of lottery run by middlemen. Kerala will be writing to Union Government to amend the lottery laws giving state governments greater regulatory powers in the lottery," he said.
Earlier, the GST Act had prescribed two rates, 12 per cent, for the lotteries sold within the same state, and 28 per cent, if a state sells its lottery in other states.
Kerala does not sell lottery in other states.
Thomas Isaac also alleged that the centre is having 'strange priority' when it comes to uniform rate to lotteries.
"So the question is whose interest the Centre and BJP are trying to protect. We have state-specific rules under lottery and special rules under GST, which we are going to be used," he said.
Detailing on circumstances that led to the voting in the GST council meeting, Thomas Isaac said, "I do not understand why the Centre is insisting on uniformed and high GST. The only argument that was put forward was that North Eastern states depend on this revenue."
"I made an open offer in the meeting that Kerala will give double the revenue to those states, but don't insist on uniform GST of 28 per cent, but this argument of ours was not heard," he added (ANI)