Not much gain seen in Kerala’s type of nationwide Lucky Bill scheme: central tax officials

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A consumer is said to be able to upload the invoice(s) to the app, participate in sweepstakes and win prizes

The Center does not see much benefit from implementing the Kerala model nationwide to reward consumers who submit a GST paid invoice and are eligible for a reward. Earlier this week, Kerala launched ‘Lucky Bill App’, a platform first introduced in India to promote ‘Ásk for Bills’.

“We don’t think such a mechanism will be effective,” a senior government official told BusinessLine. In addition, there will be a lot of logistical problems. Next, a question will be asked about the lottery method. This is the reason why an idea launched in this regard two years ago could not be advanced, he added.

According to the Government of Kerala website, a consumer can upload the bill(s) on the app, participate in sweepstakes and win prizes. He also said the app adds value to bills through raffles. The application can be downloaded and installed. Display consumer can download their GST invoices, participate in sweepstakes and win rewards in the form of gift certificates, gift boxes and cash prizes subject to conditions. Donations are facilitated by state government agencies/public sector companies.

“The Lucky Bill app gives you the opportunity to support the State’s Goods and Services Tax Department’s efforts to ensure taxpayer compliance and help build the state,” the website says.

Lottery system for B2C

The official quoted above said that “The B2C (business to consumer) supplies lottery program was brought up for discussion at the GST Council meeting held in March 2020. The plan was to launch the program soon from of April 1, 2020. The idea was to conduct lucky draws every month for invoices of all business-to-customer (B2C) transactions.It was envisaged by the revenue department to encourage customers to take invoices for every purchase, which in turn will help the government fight GST fraud.

As part of this program, it has been proposed that the Revenue Department will hold monthly sweepstakes which will have one top prize, while there will be second and third prizes by state. Lottery offers are said to be between ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore. Consumers should scan and download any B2C invoice using a mobile application, which is developed by GST Network (GSTN), which manages the technological backbone of GST.

There would be no threshold on the value of the invoice to be eligible for the draw, the official added. According to the plan, the money for the lottery system would come from the consumer welfare fund, where proceeds from anti-profit cases are transferred.

However, the minutes of the 39th GST Council meeting indicate that the agenda item regarding the B2C supplies lottery program was discussed at the leaders meeting on March 13, 2020. It was said the objective was to broaden the tax base to include last mile value added in the GST, which was significant. Participating in the discussion, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi opined that the scope of the program should be broadened and should not be limited to digital payments only. He also felt that it should be tailored to each state. He said their Delhi government’s “Bill Banao Inaam Pao” scheme in the VAT era was a huge success. “It was therefore decided to defer this proposal for further consideration,” the minutes read. Since then, no decision has been made, but states are free to bring their own diet.

Published on

August 20, 2022

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