“Ashneer Grover Slams Massive Tax Notices to Gaming Firms, Calls for Government Intervention”

Ashneer Grover Criticizes ₹55,000 Crore Tax Notices to Gaming Firms as "Harassment of Businessmen"

Ashneer Grover, the founder of the fantasy gaming app Crickpe and former founder of BharatPe, has strongly criticized tax authorities for issuing substantial tax demand notices to gaming companies. The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) recently issued pre-show cause notices to 12 online gaming firms amounting to a staggering ₹55,000 crore. Among these companies, Dream11, a prominent gaming unicorn, received the largest tax notice, totaling ₹25,000 crore.

In a scathing tweet, Ashneer Grover questioned the rationale behind the actions of the tax department, accusing them of merely intending to “harass businessmen.” He expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of such hefty tax demands, suggesting that neither the businesses nor the government would benefit from this approach. Grover predicted that this situation would primarily benefit lawyers who would challenge the policy in the Supreme Court.

Grover went on to liken this scenario to a “game of monopoly,” implying that it was a counterproductive move. He highlighted that this could be considered a form of “retrospective tax,” drawing a parallel with the Vodafone Retrospective Tax introduced during the Congress era. He emphasized that such measures are not conducive to achieving the government’s vision of building a 5 trillion-dollar economy and called on the Finance Ministry to address this issue.

Responding to Grover’s tweet, one user pointed out that despite discussions about improving the ease of doing business in India, more efforts are needed to make the country truly business-friendly. Another user expressed skepticism, stating that the goal of achieving a 5 trillion-dollar economy seemed more political than practical.

Notably, Ashneer Grover had previously criticized the decision by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to impose a 28 percent tax on the turnover of online gaming companies. The online gaming industry has raised concerns that such high GST rates would limit their ability to invest in new games, impact cash flows, and hinder business expansion.

Ashneer Grover launched Crickpe, his own fantasy gaming platform, in April of the same year. The platform allows users to create virtual teams of cricketers based on their real-life performances, with players earning points based on the cricketers’ performance in actual matches.

Sources By Agencies

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