22 Sep 2019  |   06:07am IST

Casino lobby too cries victim of slowdown

Wants GST brought down to 12%; GoM formed to decide on the request

SURAJ NANDREKAR

PANJIM: As the central GST Council was debating and discussing the reduction in tax rates, in view of the economic slowdown, the casino industry in Goa too cried it is a victim of the slowdown and demanded slashing of taxes.

Casino operators in Goa claimed they were heavily taxed and demanded that the central government bring down the GST rates from 28 per cent to 12 per cent on gross earnings, said a source speaking to Herald.

The delegation of casino operators made a presentation to the GST council, but their request was turned down by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, keeping in view the sentiments of the people of Goa. “Not only the Union Finance Minister but also most of the council members were not in favour of GST reduction,” the source said.

Thereafter, source added, the council decided to refer the matter to the Group of Ministers in which State Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho was also appointed as member. “The Group of Ministers will now meet and decide the fate on the request for reduction in GST,” he said.

Asked what grounds were given for the request, a source revealed that the lobby argued that they are paying huge licence fees to the State government and it was difficult to operate with such huge GST burden with dwindling footfalls. “They also spoke about employment given by the industry to the Goans and people from other States,” he said.

When Herald spoke to CM Pramod Sawant about the casino lobby request, he said there was some casino related issue, which was not taken up. “There was some issue on GST on gross revenue, which has now been handed over to the Group of Ministers for further discussion,” he said adding, “It is for the GST council to decide.”

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