Most OK with higher GST on e-games, crypto

NEW DELHI: A majority of Indians want the government to levy a 28% or higher goods and services tax (GST) on cryptocurrencies, online gaming, casino and horse racing. But they are against a GST hike on household goods.
Nearly eight out of 10 Indian consumers want GST on online gaming, casino and horse racing to be raised to 28% or higher from the current slab of 18%. While 27% of the polled consumers said they want GST to be more than 50% for these categories, only 1% spoke about exemption. This was revealed by a survey that comes against the backdrop of subdued discretionary spending due to rising inflation.
Similarly, 60% consumers voted in favour of a 28% or higher GST hike on cryptocurrencies. The responses on the poll conducted by LocalCircles coincides with the GST Council comprising a group of ministers, led by Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma, agreeing to recommend hiking the GST rate on casino, race course and online gaming. This, however, is subject to a final approval of the GST council. The council may also consider 28% GST on cryptocurrencies, which will be on the back of income tax deductions on earnings from crypto asset transactions.
Indian consumers, however, voted strongly against the government increasing GST from 5% to 7-8% and 18% to 20%. As many as 71% citizens voted against such a move.
“Given the high inflation and 7 in 10 households in the country facing a squeeze, any change in the 5% rate structure to 7-8% will have a direct impact on household budgets, and hence the majority of household consumers are explicitly against such an increase,” said the survey. Similarly, 18% GST in the case of services leads to high evasion with smaller contractors not issuing GST invoices. Any further hike may leave only large businesses paying GST, the survey added.