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Consumers to pay more GST from tomorrow, check list of items becoming expensive



New Delhi, Jul 17: Customers will have to shell out more for household items, bank services, hospitals and hotels from tomorrow with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council’s decision scheduled to come into force.

From Monday, July 18, the prices of several essential commodities and services are going to increase, including pre-packed, labelled food items and hospital rooms.

The decision was taken last month at the 47th GST meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising her state counterparts, where they pruned the exemption list and imposed tax on a host of goods and services. The Council, based on an interim report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation, had also removed duty inversion for goods where the taxes on inputs were higher than those on the output.

Also Read: Covid case count irrelevant now, ‘Causes unnecessary public panic,’ says Doctor’s body

List of items that are becoming more expensive from Monday:

Customers will have to pay 5 per cent GST on pre-packed, labelled food items like atta, paneer and curd, besides hospital rooms with rent above Rs 5,000.

In addition, hotel rooms with tariff of up to Rs 1,000/day, maps and charts, including atlases, will attract a 12 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST)
A total of 18 per cent GST will be levied on tetra packs and fees charged by banks for the issue of cheques (loose or in book form).

Tax rates on products such as printing, writing or drawing ink; knives with cutting blades, paper knives and pencil sharpeners; LED lamps; drawing and marking out instruments will be hiked to 18 per cent on Monday, from 12 per cent currently, to correct the inverted duty anomaly.

Solar water heater will now attract 12 per cent GST as compared to 5 per cent earlier.

Some services such as work contracts for roads, bridges, railways, metro, effluent treatment plants and crematoriums too will see tax going up to 18 per cent from the current 12 per cent.

Services rendered by regulators such as RBI, IRDA and SEBI will be taxed at 18 per cent and so will be renting of a residential dwelling to business entities.

Bio-medical waste treatment facilities shall attract 12 per cent GST, while non-ICU hospital rooms exceeding Rs 5,000/day will be levied 5 per cent GST, without input tax credit, to the extent of the amount charged for the room.

Besides, individuals will only be able to claim GST exemption for training or coaching in recreational activities relating to arts or culture or sports.

Also Read: Pulwama Attack: Injured CRPF ASI succumbs at hospital

List of items that are becoming cheaper from Monday:

Taxes will be cut on on ostomy appliances and on transport of goods and passengers by ropeways to 5 per cent from July 18, from 12 per cent.

Renting of truck, goods carriage where the cost of fuel is included will now attract a lower 12 per cent rate as against 18 per cent.

GST exemption on the transport of passengers by air to and from northeastern states and Bagdogra will be restricted to economy class only.

Electric vehicles, whether or not fitted with a battery pack, would be eligible for the concessional GST rate of 5 per cent from July 18.


Delta Corp Resurfaces with Easing of Covid Grip



Physical Casino and Hospitality Divisions Rise Up Again

Srinagar, Jul 29: India’s only publicly listed casino operator Delta Corp has reported a 233 percent YoY (year-on-year) growth in gross revenues to Rs 314.46 crore for the first quarter of the 2022-23 Fiscal Year and a 16.5 percent increase over its Q4 FY 2021-22 results. The growth has been driven mainly by the company’s casino gaming division, backed up by a significant increase in hospitality revenues and continuous improvement of the online skill gaming division.

After staying closed for the greater part of 2021, Delta Corp’s main business – casino gaming, registered gross revenues of Rs 250.72 crore, marking a 505.17 percent YoY growth from the Rs 41.43 crore gross revenues of last year’s quarter ending on June 30, and a 19.02 percent growth over the Rs 210.66 crore gross income in the quarter ending on March 31, 2022.

Delta’s hospitality business rose 103 percent YoY and 18.5 percent from the previous quarter to Rs 19.91 crore. The company’s profits grew by 10.29 percent to Rs 77.38 crore from the Rs 70.16 crore reported after March, reversing the Rs 35.22 crore loss of Q1 FY 2021-22.

The Fiscal Year that ended on March 31, 2022 brought a total of Rs 765.2 crore in gross revenues for Delta Corp marking a 48.4 percent YoY growth.

Online Casino Gaming Keeps Growing

While the country’s land- and river-based casinos went through major ups and downs caused by the pandemic-related restrictions, online casinos together with SevenJackpots India and other casino comparison platforms experienced a constant surge of interest and steady growth. The upward trend was fueled not only by Covid-19 stay-at-home rules, but also by rising smartphone penetration and internet coverage, cheap mobile data plans and convenient digital payment options.

Delta Corp’s online gaming division was no exception, registering a 3.06 percent growth to Rs 43.83 crore over previous quarter’s gross revenues of Rs 42.53 crore on the back of a 19.1 percent growth registered between Q3 and Q4 FY 2021-22.

The division features online poker site, online rummy platform and the new addition offering online fantasy sports.

Upcoming Legal and Tax Policy Changes will Shape the Future of the Sector

While growth and expansion are the words that best describe what is happening to India’s offline and online casino sector, its future will be shaped by the changes in the legal and tax policy environment related to gaming which are currently brewing in the country.

In May this year, the Central Government set up an inter-ministerial committee with the task to study global best practices on online gaming regulation, consult experts, and elaborate recommendations for a broad framework of laws to regulate online gaming in India on a national level.

The panel was mandated to examine a number of issues such as compliance burden and ease of doing business, creation of a level playing field, as well as gamer protection matters concerning the risks associated with gaming including addictions and problem gambling.

Another panel, an eight-member Group of Ministers (GoM) presided by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K. Sangma, was established in May 2021 with the mandate to examine GST applicability and valuation issues concerning levy of services provided by online gaming, casino, lottery and horse racing operators.

In May this year, the GoM submitted its report with recommendations for GST policy updates including a uniform levy for all gaming varieties at a rate of 28 percent over the full ticket value of all transactions. Concerning casino gaming, the suggestion was to charge GST on the full value of chips purchased by a player, but subsequent bets, including those made from winnings, not to be charged.

Based on input from Goa Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho, the GST Council at its 47th meeting held in June did not adopt the GoM recommendations and directed the panel to reexamine its report. The GoM has scheduled its final report to be delivered in August, after failing to reach consensus in July.

It remains to be seen how the work of both panels will be finalized and adopted by legislators and what the effects will be on the functioning and scope of India’s offline and online casino gaming industry.

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Crypto carnage: Investors lose millions as BTC falls over 70 percent from peak



Srinagar, June 19: Crypto investors have been facing a tough time since the inception of the Russia Ukraine war.

Also Read: Crypto carnage: Bitcoin breaks $19k, Ethereum below $1k

But the situation has turned especially dire in the last few weeks. On June 19, 2022, Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency, fell to $18,000. It is over 70 per cent lower than its peak price of $64,000 in November 2021. In the last 24 hours alone, it had fallen over 11 per cent, however, bounced back from lows. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Cordano, Avalanche and Dogecoin have also fallen.

Why are crypto prices falling?

Crypto prices have been falling due to a major sell-off by the investors. As the digital token has no intrinsic value, it is currently guided largely by only demand factors. With the bank rates rising, the investors are taking refuge in the bank deposits to save their money, pulling their investment out of the cryptocurrencies.

Along with this, the high inflation and projected recession among major western economies, have also put digital tokens under high pressure. It is for the first time since the launch of these tokens, that they have to face such macroeconomic uncertainty.

As of 10 PM (IST), Bicoin (BTC) was trading at $19,500, Ethereum (ETH) was trading at $1,057, according to WazirX.

What to expect?

The crypto investors may be in trouble if the macroeconomic factors do not improve in the coming days. The carnage is not limited to the crypto market. Several share markets across the globe have lost 5 per cent of their value in the last week, including India’s Nifty. Indian share markets fell to the yearly low last week.

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Crypto carnage: Bitcoin breaks $19k, Ethereum below $1k



Srinagar, June 18: Amid a wider cryptocurrency market carnage on the weekend, the largest digital currency by market capitalisation Bitcoin (BTC) has broken the $19,000 levels, the first time since December 2020, while the second largest crypto Ethereum (ETH) has broken the psychological $1,000 mark, CNBC TV18 reported.

Bitcoin is currently down about 10% and trading at $19,040, after making a low of $18,905, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

ETH is down around 10%, trading at $992, after making a low of $986.

The overall market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies has fallen by 5% in the last 24 hours and currently stands at $853 billion.

According to experts, the confidence level among investors dropped when the market capitalisation fell below $900 million and over $100m of Bitcoin futures contracts in the last 24 hours were liquidated.

Former CEO of BitMEX Arthur Hayes says massive sell pressure can be expected in the spot markets as key levels for BTC – $20,000 and ETH – $1,000 break, as dealers hedge themselves.

We can also expect that there will be some OTC dealers that will be unable to hedge properly and might go belly up,” he says.

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