In response to the ongoing taxation challenges within the online gaming industry, the Union government is mulling the establishment of a ministerial group or GoM (Group of Ministers) to address regulatory concerns and other factors affecting the sector.
The proposed committee is expected to comprise key figures, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, as per a report by the Economic Times.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will maintain its role as the central ministry responsible for online gaming. The upcoming GoM will receive support from senior officials from various departments, including Revenue, Income Tax, and DPIIT, among others.
Earlier this year, the government introduced regulations for online gaming, requiring companies and industry bodies to establish a Self-regulatory Organization (SRO) within three months, in accordance with MeitY's guidelines.
Organizations like the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA), and All India Gaming Regulator (AIGR) Foundation, as well as a consortium of the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), have submitted SRO proposals. The industry suggests automatic account suspension on reaching limits, measures to prevent FEMA violations, and thorough user reporting, including player data and illegal betting site information.
The online gaming industry has been grappling with a multitude of issues owing to tax notices, some amounting as high as Rs 1 lakh crore.
However, concerns have also been raised by enforcement agencies regarding the potential use of gaming websites for money laundering, tax evasion, and the absence of adequate data. The GoM is poised to examine these concerns pertaining to online gaming and the framework regulating this sector.