Post Budget Reactions: What IT Experts think

A BUDGET FOR THE MASSES: here what IT expert say about this budget

Rajiv Srivastava, MD, HP India

“The Union Budget 2017-18 is extremely positive for the common man, farmers, small and medium businesses and would drive significant growth in Indian economy. Government’s commitment to make taxation rate reasonable, tax administration fair and expand the tax base is the step taken in the right direction. The tax relief given by the Government for the middle class tax payers will definitely boost the purchasing power, thereby aiding the overall growth of the economy. The major tax relief given to the MSMEs and SMEs with an annual turnover of Rs. 50 crores, would enable them to invest in job creation, increase capital expenditure and explore their digital journey.

The strong emphasis laid on technology in almost all the development areas in the budget reaffirms that technology has been at the forefront of India’s recent economic growth and digital transformation. It has been recognized as an important enabler across initiatives ranging from agriculture to skill development to manufacturing and infrastructural development. The Government’s focus on making India a digital payment economy will definitely help companies like HP to contribute in technology adoption in rural and semi-urban areas, thereby bringing the Digital India’ vision closer to reality. We also welcome the Finance Minister’s commitment to introduce and implement Goods and Services Tax (GST) as per schedule and start GST awareness program from April 1, 2017 for all stakeholders.”

 

Rajesh Maurya, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Fortinet

The IT industry is buoyed by this path breaking budget which takes another major step towards a complete digital economy. The Bharat Net project spend is being stepped up to     Rs 10,000 crore to make high-speed broadband on optical fibre available in over 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots. IT Infrastructure investments will see a substantial increase in rural India and as a leading security vendor we will focus on this new emerging market.

Aadhar based smart cards are being introduced for senior citizens to capture health details and 350 online process are being setup for students, all these initiatives needs the government to develop a strong security framework to protect sensitive information.

A strong public-private partnership with a security provider is essential for the government to safeguard the emerging Digital India. The partner can provide up-to-date information and threat intelligence to the IT staff, as well as define an escalation path when an incident is detected. Government agencies should also proactively partner cyber security organisations and solution providers to share threat information, so that collectively, the industry can have a more comprehensive view of the Indian cyber landscape to protect the new initiatives planned in this budget.

 

Satya Pramod – C.F.O ( Chief financial officer ) of Tally Solution Pvt ltd.

The best thing Mr. Jaitley has done is he has not tinkered too much, especially with indirect taxes and has gone with the flow which have made the markets buoyant . Overall, the economy is going in the right direction with a fiscal deficit of 3.2%. In terms of investment, the removal of FIPB and making the procedure simpler will attract foreign investments and facilitate ease of business. From a GST adoption standpoint, it is music to the ears to hear that the GST council has finalized most of the recommendations made to it and the states and centre are aligned. Also, not changing the indirect tax rates at this juncture is a clear indication that GST is all set for 1st July. The introduction of GST will further strengthen India’s push for better economic growth. Further to this, the seriousness of the government and the tax administration on compliance, whereby, the time limit for completion of assessments has been reduced from 21 months to 18 months which will subsequently be reduced to 12 months (FY 18-19) is noteworthy. For industries, the carry forward provision of MAT credit to 15 years and the reduction in corporate taxes to 25% from the existing 30% for MSMEs is a welcome move and will give a fillip to this segment. The Digital India mission is also live with the FM going on record to say that India is on the cusp of a digital revolution. This along with the various schemes that were announced in relation to making this revolution a success speak volumes about the commitment of the government towards this campaign.

 

Anil Valluri, President, NetApp India & SAARC.

“The Budget 2017-18 theme is to Transform, Energise and Clean India and every citizen to my mind will agree with this theme. The focus on both physical and digital infrastructure build out continues and there are clear milestones stated in the budget for instance that 150,000 Gram Panchayats will have Broadband connectivity by end of 2017-18 and these will be used to provide tele medicine & education is laudable. This is not a populist budget, but a budget which caters sensibly to the poor, youth, farmers, villages and infrastructure to propel India further every year. Demonetisation was a bold move and so is the move to bring in transparency in electoral funding as announced in this budget.”

 

Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Symantec.

“The union budget for 2017-18 endeavors to transform, energize and clean (TEC) Indian economy amidst an environment of growing aspirations of the people and global headwinds and post-demonetization environment. Enhanced investment in digital infrastructure; promotion of digital economy and cashless transactions; and, use of data analytics for improving tax compliance are welcome steps but proactive and prudent investments in cybersecurity are must for the desired outcomes.

 While setting up of dedicated Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for financial sector demonstrates the focus on cybersecurity, it would have been better to set aside 8 percent of the every digitalization project of the government exclusively for cyber security. Overall, it is a balanced and growth-oriented budget that should boost social development, economic growth and empowerment of citizenry”- 

 

Kenny Ye, GM-Overseas Business, UCWeb, Alibaba Mobile Business Group

Union Budget 2017-18 is a big relief for the common masses – from reduction in personal income tax to sops for affordable housing- the Finance Minister has announced various measures to benefit farmers and weaker sections of the society. On the corporate side, abolishing of FIPB is a bold step and further liberalization of FDI policy will cheer foreign investors. While last year’s auctions removed spectrum scarcity in the country, expansion of Bharat Net project will ensu re high- speed b roadband to 1.5 lk gram panchayats via Wifi. With increasing smartphone penetration and push for high-speed broadband connectivity in rural areas, a massive digital revolution is imminent in India. Lastly, reduction of corporate tax for MSMEs is a welcome step but larger Indian conglomerates looking to compete with global peers will continue to find the tax rate challenging.

 

Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal

“We commend the focus on growing the digital footprint in the country – enhancing digital infrastructure, capping cash transactions, reducing cash donations, using Adhaar Pay to enable more digital payments are significant measures. Initiatives make an impact when there is continued attention and the announcement of today builds on the demonetization efforts of last few weeks.

We also welcome the emphasis on skill development and technical education – this will enable India to successfully harness the demographic dividend. The attention to affordable housing, greater employment in rural areas are the right interventions to build a more equitable society”.

 

Rajesh Agarwal, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics.

This budget was intended to bring in a lot of optimism and I think the government has clearly defined its intention to revive the rural economy with spending on key areas demarcated, including the skill based education, healthcare, housing and infrastructure development which will definitely generate income in the rural areas.

The focus on digitisation and reforms on restricting cash spending is an important step towards making India a digital economy. Smartphones play a very crucial role in enabling digital payments and Micromax feels this they will be able to facilitate and contribute to this strategic national initiative in a big way through their wide range of phones and the customer reach they enjoy through their distribution network. . Also we feel that there will be a specific focus on the low and mid-price smartphones capturing a fair share of the market.

I think there were some corrective measures that were announced such as tax sops for SMEs and MSMEs, which will be a welcome gestures for that segment. Boosting more demand and upbringing rural economy will further give rise to public spending which will show results in the long run.

I think that the Rs. 10 Lakh crore credit announced for farmers is the probably the highest amount which has been provisioned in this budget and some of the other funds announced will benefit the farmers further and we are hopeful that it create rural jobs as well. There was a bold decision on electoral funding and that is commendable. We feel that the infrastructure spending including airports, railways and highways will generate employment and boost spending.

The government has also acknowledged the need to bring down lending rates to ensure cheaper funds for both industry as well as consumers. While GST is just around the corner, we had expected the government to use this opportunity to make some big bang announcements for boosting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling its aim of ‘Make in India’. While no big bang announcements have come, what is heartening is that the government has announced multiple measures which can improve local manufacturing and create a better component ecosystem for mobile handset makers. The allocation of Rs 745 crore is a welcome move which will provide impetus to local component manufacturing in the electronics sector.

“Make in India” is a great opportunity given India has attracted huge investments in local manufacturing lately not only benefitting the economic growth but also creating increased employment. The investment of Rs. 10,000 crore towards that aim will definitely be beneficial to further grow local manufacturing. At Micromax we are committed to support the Make in India initiative and invest accordingly.

With focus on growth, it is a progressive budget and is a stepping stone to India’s growth story. The delivery however will be contingent on effective implementation of these policies.”

 

Arvind R Vohra, Country CEO & MD, Gionee India

 

“We are positive, that the Government’s increased allocation and incentives in schemes like M-SIPS and EDF will provide the necessary push to the mobile and internet manufacturing economy . Also the allocation of INR 10,000 crore in BharatNet provides the much needed boost for the penetration of Digital India into the rural segment, and for strengthening the consumptions of smartphones”

 

Rajeev Sharma, Head- Corporate Services & Strategic Planning, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd

“The Union Budget is a fiscally prudent budget aimed at fiscal consolidation which should lead to a stable economic growth if implemented in a planned manner. Some announcements like a new metro rail policy, abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board are forward looking which will provide necessary policy impetus to investor sentiments. Selective reduction of corporate tax rate for companies below Rs 500 million turnover should be a game changer as far as corporate tax inclusion is considered since this will encourage higher compliance at the lower level of the corporate pyramid where percentage of tax leakages is usually much higher. We also welcome the government’s efforts and commitment to electrification program which mentions that 100% village electrification will be achieved by May 1, 2018 .”

 

Vivek Khandelwal, Vice President, Delta ID  

“We welcome the duty exemptions on iris enabled PoS devices, and are truly excited about the strong emphasis the government has placed on Aadhaar enabled payment initiatives. With all the foundations with respect to standards, certifications, and availability of devices, already in place, this impetus will further accelerate the adoption and integration of Aadhaar in programs and processes that touch the everyday lives of the people of India”

Delta ID is the supplier of iris recognition technology

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