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RMG Sector: Modi 3.0 signals continuity, here are three key ministers who will decide fate of the industry

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has retained several of key lieutenants in key Ministries while allocating portfolios to his Council of Ministers on June 10 despite the fact that the BJP relies on the allies for crossing the majority.

The key ministries for real money gaming: home, finance, information & technology all continue to be held by Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Ashwini Vaishnaw respectively.

This also means the intense policy framing activity will continue under the leadership of Ashwini Vaishnaw albeit with absence of Rajeev Chandrashekhar who was his deputy in the Modi 2.0 cabinet. Rajeev Chandrasekhar lost to Congress’s Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram. Uttar Pradesh MP Jitin Prasada will be the deputy of Ashwini Vaishnaw.

IT ministry, also popularly called as MeitY introduced online gaming regulations in 2023. The industry also expects the implementation of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 which received the approval of the Parliament last year.

Nirmala Sitharaman as head of the finance ministry will also head the GST Council. The tax rate for wagers on skill games was revised to 28% in October 2023 and the Council may review the status of new tax regime and controversy around retrospective tax dues in its next meeting. The issue of retrospective tax dues is pending before the apex court with final hearing expected in July 2024.

The government in 2023 constituted a group of ministers (GoM) to deliberate on issues related to regulating online gaming with Nirmala Sitharaman, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Amit Shah, and Anurag Thakur as members. With exception to Anurag Thakur, all three hold same ministries and GoM is expected to continue the work. The GoM in it’s earlier meetings discussed issues like money laundering by certain gaming companies.

The overall allocation has changed only slightly with key portfolios remaining with the Modi 2.0 ministers.

This might also mean that the policy continuity will be the order of the day in the Modi 3.0 dispensation. Many had expected that the NDA constituent parties would take hold of significant portfolios which turned out otherwise.

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