Punjab has recently made amendments to its GST laws in accordance with the directives of the GST Council. Governor Banwarilal Purohit has approved two out of three Money Bills proposed by the AAP government, including the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023. This bill aims to impose a 28% GST on player deposits across online gaming platforms, aligning with the new GST policy implemented by the central government on October 1.
This approval by the Governor is significant, especially in light of the prior refusal to endorse the bills and the pending Supreme Court petition filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Governor Purohit had initially rejected the bills, citing the illegitimacy of the assembly session during which they were presented. However, the Governor’s recent approval of the bills precedes the Supreme Court hearing, showing a shift in his stance.
The Punjab government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on October 28, requesting the Governor to approve the Bills, with the case scheduled for November 3. In response, the Governor wrote to the Chief Minister, expressing his commitment to consider the Bills for the welfare of the state’s people. Subsequently, the Governor approved the Punjab GST (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2023 on October 30.
This development comes after the 52nd meeting of the GST Council, in which only 13 states and union territories, including Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka, had agreed to accommodate the new GST regulation. With the approval of the Punjab GST (Amendment) Bill 2023, Punjab is now set to join the Indian states and union territories amending their GST legislation to impose 28% GST on online gaming.
The decision reflects the evolving landscape of GST laws across different states and union territories in response to the changing regulatory framework at the national level.