Rs 1 crore as a prize money sounds crazy, right? No! Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) will provide a chance to consumers and merchants to win up to Rs 1 crore under the GST lottery scheme. This is being done to encourage customers to take bills while making purchases.
The government is planning to launch lottery offers between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore under the GST from April 1 by conducting lucky draws every month for invoices of all business to customer (B2C) transactions, according to a PTI report.
The new lottery scheme is being envisaged by the revenue department to encourage customers to buy goods and take valid GST bill from shopkeepers. Every bill under GST is supposed to be a prize-winning lottery ticket. There will be an option to win the lottery through the bill that customer takes after buying goods.
Under the scheme, the revenue department will conduct monthly lucky draws which will have one bumper prize, while there would be second and third prizes state wise, an official told the news agency.
Last month, CBIC member John Joseph had said that the lottery offers would range between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
"We have come with the new lottery system. Every bill under GST is supposed to be a prize-winning lottery ticket. It will go for a draw and price are so high that people will say that by not saving 28 per cent, I have a chance of winning Rs 1 crore or Rs 10 lakh. It is a question of changing the consumer behaviour," Joseph had told media at an ASSOCHAM event.
As per the plan, the customer will have to scan and upload purchase bill using a mobile app, which is being developed by GST Network (GSTN), which handles the technology backbone of GST. The mobile app would be made available for both Android and iOS users by end of this month.
According to official, there would not be any threshold on the invoice value to be eligible for lucky draw.
The move is being seen as a part of the ongoing efforts of the government to boost GST collections that have been lagging in the current fiscal year due to the economic slowdown and fake invoices. To plug leakages in GST revenue, the government is mulling various options in business-to-consumer deals, including lotteries and incentivising QR Code-based transactions.
Under the four-tier GST, goods and services are taxed at 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Besides, cess is levied on luxury, sin and demerit goods on top of the highest tax rate.
The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state counterparts, has subsumed over a dozen indirect taxes, like excise and service tax. However, revenue under the new indirect tax regime has not picked up as per expectations, mainly on account of evasion.
Officials hope the lottery scheme will improve compliance and check on tax leakage.
By Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs