Javarai S. Poonawalla, GST Cell Chairman and Turf Authorities of India (TAI) Council Member, along with his team and senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, made a presentation to the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the adverse impact of GST on horse racing. ) on Tuesday.
TAI, the apex body for horse racing in the country, has cited Supreme Court and High Court judgments confirming the fact that prize money does not fall within the ambit of GST actionable claim as far as horse racing is concerned.
Since its streamlining in 2017, the GST Act on actionable claims has created uncertainty and anxiety for affected industries. Different interpretations and understandings of the actionable claim clause in the Act indicate errors that have prompted discussions and the need for correction.
It has been almost three months since the GoM was formed to study the implications of GST application on horse racing and despite several meetings, the matter remains inconclusive.
“All betting on race courses is done through an electronic foolproof system called Totalizator. A fixed percentage of the bet amount is charged as a service fee purely for organizing the horse racing event and for the welfare of the equestrian including the workforce involved. This is the only amount retained by the club as commission and the club is not part of the betting in any way. Race clubs are non-profit organizations governed by set guidelines and run by honorary committee members,” explained Mr. Poonawalla.
“Horse racing industry in India has seen a drastic decline in its activities since the evolution of GST and is now on the verge of closure. It is a great misfortune for our country and horse lovers that one of the oldest sports in the world is losing its glory while flourishing in other developed countries that have no history of horse racing unlike India.
“We have made all efforts to substantiate our appeal on GST reform with facts and evidence and we humbly hope that justice will prevail and the GST Council will accept our appeal on merit,” said Mr. Poonawala.
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