Budget 2024: Skilled Online Games industry stresses for GST review ahead of vote-on-account

Leaders in the technology and gaming sectors are optimistic about potential advantages in the upcoming Interim Budget 2024 in India, including a comprehensive review of the GST hike impacting the Skilled Online Games industry.

Updated5 Jan 2024, 05:51 PM IST
For representation purposes only
For representation purposes only(Photo: iStockphoto)

As the Indian government prepares for the impending Interim Budget 2024, leaders in the technology and gaming sectors are optimistic and anticipate potential advantages stemming from the forthcoming vote-on-account and the Interim Budget.

Amrit Kiran Singh, the President of The Skill Online Games Institute, emphasized the urgent need for a comprehensive review of the astronomical GST hike that has significantly impacted the Skilled Online Games industry. 

He said, “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.” 

Singh pointed out that this borderless industry, fueled by innovation, is facing an unlevel playing field for Indian companies, leading to closures, downsizing, and razor-thin profit margins. He highlighted the global scale of the Online Games industry, which is nearly three times the size of the combined worldwide Movie and Music industry. Singh argued that the negative aspects of the gaming industry could be effectively minimized through technological interventions, such as implementing restrictions on players' gaming duration.

“Government and industry need to work together  with the aim of minimising the negatives and maximising the positives that this huge industry can  provide for the  Indian economy and the  jobs situation. In this context I would appeal to the government for the promised "GST  review" at the earliest. The vote on account (mini-budget) is as good a time as any,” added the President of SOGI.

Yash Agarwal, a tech-policy expert and founder of Public Policy India, predicts the broader tech policy landscape, highlighting the government's shift towards a mix of incentives (carrots) and taxation measures (sticks) to promote local manufacturing and value addition.

Agarwal anticipates that this trend will continue, expecting a combination of measures in the Interim Budget to encourage more tech-related businesses to establish themselves in India.

In conclusion, as the nation awaits the Interim Budget, the online gaming industry's plea for a GST review takes center stage. The government's response to these expectations will play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of these dynamic industries, balancing economic growth with regulatory considerations.


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First Published:5 Jan 2024, 05:51 PM IST
HomeBudgetBudget 2024: Skilled Online Games industry stresses for GST review ahead of vote-on-account

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