Budget 2024: The skilled online gaming industry calls for a GST review in anticipation of vote-on-account

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As India prepares itself for the approaching Interim Budget 2024, the technology and gaming sectors are buzzing with anticipation, expecting potential advantages from the upcoming vote-on-account and Interim Budget.

As reported by Mint, Amrit Kiran Singh, the President of The Skill Online Games Institute, highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive review of the astronomical GST hike that has significantly impacted the Skilled Online Games industry. “The Skilled Online Games industry has correctly been promised a ‘review’ of the astronomical GST increase by the Finance Minister, that it has been hit with last year,” said Singh.

Singh pointed out the challenges faced by Indian companies in this borderless industry, citing closures, downsizing, and thin profit margins. He emphasized the vast global scale of the Online Games industry, which is nearly three times the size of the combined worldwide Movie and Music industry. Singh advocated for the potential minimization of negative aspects within the gaming industry through technological interventions, proposing the implementation of restrictions on players’ gaming duration as a viable strategy.

“The government and industry must collaborate to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives that this substantial industry can offer to the Indian economy and job market. He also appealed to the government for the promised ‘GST review’ at the earliest. The vote on account (mini-budget) is as opportune a time as any,” added the President of SOGI.

Yash Agarwal, a tech-policy expert and founder of Public Policy India, predicted the broader tech policy landscape, noting the government’s inclination towards a blend of incentives and taxation measures to strengthen local manufacturing and value addition.

Agarwal anticipated a continuation of this trend, expecting a mix of measures in the Interim Budget aimed at encouraging more tech-centric businesses in India.

As the nation eagerly awaits the Interim Budget, the online gaming industry’s appeal for a GST review remains at the forefront. The government’s response to these concerns will significantly influence the future trajectory of these vibrant industries, attempting to strike a balance between economic growth and regulatory measures.