The Indian IT industry has shared its wish list from the Union Budget 2015.
Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik
Over the past nine months, the Government has set the right context and articulated its vision for India’s economic development. We look forward to this vision being realized over the next year with key announcements in the Budget.
Programs such as Digital India, smart cities and Skill India require the creation of technological infrastructure that will need budgetary support. A policy framework for industry and SMEs in particular that encourages innovation and adoption of technology can boost the Make in India initiative. We hope this year’s budget will create an enabling environment for Indian industry to realize its growth potential.
Ravi Swaminathan, managing director of AMD India
We are interested in a transparent, stable and sustainable roadmap for creating a vibrant domestic industry. In the interim budget last year, the government pledged to support the growth of domestic information technology capabilities in both hardware and software, this year we expect the budget to be aggressive, focusing on making India emerge in the top 3 hardware countries in terms of demand.
With this budget, we look forward to India becoming a centre of excellence for product development and design and also being integrated into the global supply chain with manufacture of key components for both domestic and international markets.
Talking about the industry at a whole, we believe affordable broadband, radical government process re-engineering and the use of IT in all government processes will be the biggest enablers.
Partha Iyengar, vice president and head of Research – India, Gartner
The biggest expectations for the IT industry will be to put teeth behind the two slogans of Digital India and Make in India. A manufacturing revival in an IT savvy India would be a tremendous multiplier for the Indian IT industry, unlike in China, where manufacturing took off without too much IT support, and China is only now (last 2-3 years) starting to focus on IT as a white-collar productivity effort. This can be a game changer for India in the inevitable India vs China comparisons and a huge boost for Indian competitiveness on the global landscape.
Similarly, the Digital India initiative has huge ramifications for the Indian IT industry and Indian industry overall as well. It will bring better access to the vast areas of untapped rural India, which can drive unprecedented economic growth across industry, by allowing companies across all industries to tap the elusive bottom of the pyramid economic opportunity.
Country level infrastructure improvements needed to drive Digital India will also help spur industries embrace of the digital business paradigm, which will increasingly be a competitive imperative in the coming decade, as digital business hastens the demise of geographical reach as a competitive barrier.
Jaswinder Ahuja, managing director, Cadence Design Systems
With the focus on economic progress, the FY2014-15 budget is keenly awaited by the business community. Manufacturing, rural and urban last mile connectivity, and smart cities are some of the concrete initiatives the government has rolled out since assuming office last year. Coupled with the overall focus on accelerating growth, the economy has responded positively to such announcements.
For the electronics and semiconductor industry, the launch of the Make in India campaign was a much needed catalyst to fast-track the development of the eco-system, given the ground work laid down over the last few years. Preferential market access (PMA) to Indian companies and removal of import restrictions for equipment used by R&D facilities are some measure that can nurture innovation, encourage the building of manufacturing units and create employment opportunities.
Setting up an electronics regulatory authority that can take the lead on policy implementation and developing regulations can provide the necessary governmental guidance and infrastructure to speed up the growth of the ESDM sector in the country and help realize the goals as set forth by the Make in India campaign.
We hope the government will be able to address the need for a strong Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will include all indirect taxes. A strong roadmap to implement the GST can have a substantial impact on R&D and manufacturing. In general the Government should continue the focus on ease of doing business and non-adversarial approach of the tax authorities.
Koichiro Koide, managing director of NEC India
India is on a high growth path currently. At the stage India is today, growth, both at social and economic front appears promising further with improvement in technology infrastructure in the country. Putting in place smarter ways of communication, public safety, transportation, and overall governance can empower India to achieve its growth and development objectives. The strategy has worked for Japan and several other countries across the globe, and is even more relevant today with technology is playing a much larger role in our lives. The union budget must encourage investment and innovation in technology infrastructure to make the new government’s agenda of building smart cities a reality.
Sanjay Rohatgi, president, Symantec India
The upcoming budget 2015-16 is an opportunity for the new government to accelerate the reform process unveiled over its first eight months in the office. While the growth rate has already started improving and the forecast for the next year is even better, we need a blue-print for sustained and sustainable growth over the next decade or two. It should focus on simplification, predictability and consistency in overall tax regime even as it goes for fiscal consolidation and broadening the tax net.
Technology has the potential to empower the 1.3 billion Indians through visionary programs like Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill India. The budget should pave the way for expeditious implementation of e-governance projects, incentivising investments in world-class data centers and cloud computing infrastructure besides a chance to be a pioneer in the realm of Internet of Things.
However, this should be done without causing disruptions in the free flow of data across borders – the lifeline of India’s IT exports. Such steps will ensure high availability of trusted and secure information ecosystem thereby providing much needed foundation for inclusive growth and development.”
Anil Valluri, president, NetApp India & SAARC
The Government has charted out quite an ambitious list of plans including the creation of a digitally enabled India, smarter cities and Make in India. To transform the lives of people by making them digital, the Union Budget 2015-16 should address the technology need of the hour. I’m sure that the budget will focus on providing investments in areas such as India’s technology infrastructure. A substantial amount needs to be earmarked to develop a robust network infrastructure across the country, which will be the foundation on which India’s digital economy will be built.
We also expect reduction in taxation for IT players, who will be key in realizing this network infrastructure. The government is taking up the ‘Make in India’ initiative in a big way. While this is a great initiative, the budget needs to address the issues of simplifying the tax regulations, improve ease of doing business and accelerate the speed of big ticket reforms on the anvil.