**Gamers and Technology Leaders Call for GST Review Ahead of Budget 2024 Vote**
As the Indian government gears up for the upcoming Interim Budget 2024, leaders in the technology and gaming sectors are optimistic about potential benefits that could result from the impending vote-on-account and the Interim Budget.
Amrit Kiran Singh, the President of The Skill Online Games Institute, has stressed the urgent need for a comprehensive review of the substantial GST hike, which has significantly impacted the Skilled Online Games industry.
He emphasized that the Skilled Online Games industry has been promised a ‘review’ of the significant GST hike by the Finance Minister, which it was hit with last year. Singh highlighted the global scale of the Online Games industry, which is nearly three times the size of the combined worldwide Movie and Music industry. He also argued that the negative aspects of the gaming industry could be effectively minimized through technological interventions, such as implementing restrictions on players’ gaming duration. Singh further pointed out that this borderless industry, driven by innovation, is facing an unlevel playing field for Indian companies, resulting in closures, downsizing, and razor-thin profit margins.
Yash Agarwal, a tech-policy expert, and founder of Public Policy India, predicts a broader tech policy landscape, emphasizing the government’s shift towards a mix of incentives and taxation measures to promote local manufacturing and value addition. He anticipates that this trend will continue in the Interim Budget, expecting a combination of measures to encourage more tech-related businesses to establish themselves in India.
**The Call for GST Review**
The President of SOGI appealed to the government for the promised GST review, emphasizing the need for collaboration between the government and the industry to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives that this huge industry can provide for the Indian economy and the job situation. He urged for the GST review to be promptly executed, and the impending vote on account (mini-budget) was highlighted as an opportune time for this review.
**Anticipation of Tech Policy Measures**
Yash Agarwal’s anticipation of the shift towards a mix of incentives and taxation measures in the Interim Budget indicates a broader focus on promoting local manufacturing and value addition in the tech policy landscape. This expectation aligns with the government’s objective to encourage more tech-related businesses to establish themselves in India, ultimately contributing to the growth and development of the country’s technological landscape.
**Implications for the Gaming Industry and Future Trajectory**
As the nation awaits the Interim Budget, the online gaming industry’s plea for a GST review takes center stage. The response of the government to these expectations will play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of these dynamic industries, finding a balance between economic growth and regulatory considerations.
In conclusion, the plea for a comprehensive review of the GST hike by leaders in the gaming and technology sectors underscores the critical need to address the challenges faced by the industry. The impending Interim Budget brings with it the potential for policy measures that could stimulate the growth of the tech and gaming sectors, ultimately shaping the trajectory of these industries in India.