India’s revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra revealed the exchequer aims garnering Rs 14,000 crore in 2024-25 fiscal from levying 28% GST on online gaming companies, a nearly 100% spike over Rs 7,500 crore collections expected this financial year ending March ’23. Robust receipts defied sector concerns since surprise imposition in October.
The tax so far fetched Rs 3,500 crore between October-December validating government rationale despite critics arguing high taxation dampens investor sentiments, innovation and lawful ecosystem growth fueling grey channels indirectly. A framework review looms in April.
Defending High Taxation on Addiction Grounds
Authorities defended heavy-handed GST citing proliferation risks around online betting/gaming that lure vulnerable citizens into gambling addiction debilitating families financially plus socially besides. Hence fiscal disincentives intend restraining unlawful acts from shielded identities.
Sector players however underline occasional recreational dabbling in games of skill being conflated with illegal betting/casino type services pervading other channels anyway. Clarity around classifications can enable rational segmentation.
Targeting Rs 1.8 Lakh Crore Monthly GST Run-Rate
Beyond gaming, India recorded monthly GST receipts averaging Rs 1.7 lakh crore buoyed by post-pandemic formalization. On rising economic activity aiding compliance alongside anti-evasion drives, the administration eyes crossing Rs 1.8 lakh crore average GST collections per month in 2023-34 amid multiple headwinds.
With GST completing half a decade of nationwide rollout, plugging remaining loopholes and exemptions holds the key to meeting ambitious tax targets from next fiscal.