New Delhi [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Finance minister Arun Jaitley will unveil Union Budget 2018-19 on Thursday. With investors expecting increased investment in key areas, such as e-commerce, healthcare, education, and agriculture; reduction in tax slabs, improvement of tech infrastructure, and data security remain the key concerns for the Information Technology (IT) sector.
Here are some expectations from the sector, ahead of this year's Union Budget:
"India as a country imports a large number of electronic goods from neighboring countries. There should be a focus to substitute imports with domestic manufacturing. This can again be achieved with attractive tax slabs. We have some success in that field but the value addition is still low. There is a need to provide an edge to domestic manufacturing. Similarly, there are a lot of low-end items being imported, and if produced locally they present a good opportunity to indigenous companies by providing local employment. We hope this budget would be sympathetic towards the sector so as to resurrect the affected businesses again. Overall, we are hopeful for the new budget to create a conducive environment for new job creation, exports and future economic growth of the country," said CFO, Acer, Alok Dubey.
"In the upcoming budget, we are hoping for some relief in terms of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the government. As we have always stated, DataWind aims to fill the gap between conventional and smart education by providing affordable devices and internet connectivity. Tablet PCs carried a five percent sales tax before the implementation of GST. Due to tax rebates in certain Indian states, as part of Make-in-India, the five percent was waived. In the last financial year, we have seen a steep rise due to GST from zero percent to 18 percent. The GST rate for 7" tablets is also at disparity with 6" smartphones, which have a 12 percent, while both sets of products carry the same functionality. This made educational tablets costlier and unaffordable among low-income groups. We look forward to reduction in GST on low-cost educational tablets from 18 percent to five percent and if possible remove it completely. We are hopeful that the process of GST refunds gets expedited thus helping to run the business with ease," said CEO and President, DataWind, Suneet Singh Tuli.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions
"The Government of India has made great strides to foster the growth and development of the Indian IT and telecommunication sector, strengthening the economic and digital transformation in the country. As the industry grapples with competition caused by digital disruption, we hope that the Union Budget 2018-19 will take into consideration key issues such as reforms in the telecom regulatory framework via industry consultation as part of new National Telecom Policy - 2018 deliberations to promote legal certainty, predictability and global consistency which will further foster innovation and investments in the IT and telecom sector. The key to success of the Digital India initiative also lies in making the necessary reforms to the tax structures including GST that have played an integral role in developing the country's economic prowess," said head of ASPAC Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Priya Mahajan.
"Looking at the current situation and the government initiatives like digitization in India, it is expected that the budget which is soon to be announced will focus a lot more on creating funds to battle the growing concern of cyber security in India. Cyber security according to me deserves to be in the top five list of concerns in India," said General Manager, Kaspersky Lab (South Asia), Shrenik Bhayani.
"Budget 2018 assumes significance as it comes post two historical reforms made by the government, demonization and the implementation of GST. It is great to finally see digitization assume its rightful importance and all-pervasive relevance for more effective governance in our robust economy. The government is already paying heed to the rise of disruptive technologies such as automation, advanced analytics, blockchain, internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and we hope that it facilitates the adoption of some of these technologies both, for itself to improve governance and citizen services as well as by industry and enterprise to hasten the development of new products and services. We are also looking forward to new measures by the government that will fuel the growth of innovation and R&D in India and further enhance ease-of-doing-business," said MD, Teradata India, Souma Das.
"In the past few years, The Indian Government has initiated a series of initiatives, directed at driving overall change for the positive in the economy, and results are sure to follow suit. One positive impact for example is the fact that The World Bank now ranks India as one of the top 100 nations in terms of business friendliness, a significant jump of 30 points from the preceding year. I believe more success and impact is yet to come. The upcoming budget will be an important one, as it will be expected to provide the booster to this forward direction. This government has demonstrated that it values technology led governance for transparency and efficiency. A stronger thrust on research and development that enables more indigenous innovation and increased investments in future technologies will be welcome. I do believe that we will see more of citizen focused and friendly decisions, and initiatives to bolster investment into India," said President, NetApp India and SAARC, Anil Valluri.
On a related note, the Union Budget will be presented on February 1.