The finance minister of Delhi, Atishi, expressed her opposition to the imposition of a 28% goods and services tax (GST) on online gaming platforms by the Centre. The Delhi government issued a statement stating that Atishi had raised this concern during the 51st GST Council meeting, emphasizing the need to reconsider this decision in order to support and encourage startups in the country.
According to Atishi, the online gaming industry is the fastest-growing sector in the country, attracting significant investments from both domestic and international investors, amounting to millions and billions of dollars. She argued that imposing heavy taxes on this rapidly expanding industry would only burden it and discourage investments in Indian startups, ultimately having a negative impact on the startup ecosystem.
Atishi further argued that instead of burdening the online gaming sector with excessive taxes, the central government should focus on promoting and supporting it. However, she expressed disappointment in the fact that Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not willing to reconsider this decision despite repeated requests.
The government highlighted that Atishi pointed out that more than 400 million people of all ages across the country participate in online gaming activities. Besides being a significant market and attracting multi-million-dollar investments, the sector also generates employment opportunities for thousands of individuals.
Atishi warned that if a 28% GST is imposed on the online gaming industry, it may lead to its collapse, resulting in the ruin of more than 80% of startups associated with it. This, in turn, could lead to a loss of over 50,000 jobs.