Union Budget 2019 is expected to set the tone for the Narendra Modi government 2.0 on July 5. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present her first Budget. With the positive and determined approach of the government towards projects such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’, the IT industry has boomed in the last 5 years.CRN finds out what the IT sector wishes from Union Budget 2019, from taxation, cybersecurity to ease of doing business.
Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India
The interim budget in early 2019 rightly focused on digital transformation and the need to enhance technologies such as IoT, AI, ML, Robotics across key sectors like Manufacturing, BFSI, healthcare. With the upcoming budget, the Government with its ‘Digital India’ vision should look to pushing reforms on digital innovation and creating policy frameworks that encourage MSMEs in India to invest in deep tech locally. First steps the Government needs to take is to improve infrastructure that supports disruptive technologies and enable companies like SUSE to align strategies in sync with ‘Digital India’. With a little encouragement from the policy makers by making regulatory compliance policies friendlier, there is potential to boost India’s digital footprint and innovation journey.
Deepak Gupta, CTO & Co-founder, LoginRadius
From this year’s budget, we anticipate a strong push to ‘Cyber Safe India’ initiative, especially when it comes to privacy and consent management. With the increasing digital transformation, its necessary to have a process that oversees how companies save citizen data. The focus of such a framework should be cybersecurity and cyber frauds so as to ensure that organisations prioritise data protection. The impetus will help position India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions; putting more emphasis on data privacy and security of Indian identities. The Indian citizen data should ideally reside in India.
Government has certainly put India on a digital innovation fast track, A collaborative framework for the public and the private sector will help create 100% digitally enabled services ensuring secure and seamless citizen interactions across service managed by new technologies such as IoT, AI, and analytics.
Deepak Maheshwari, Director of Government Affairs, India, ASEAN & China, Symantec
With the ubiquitous hyper-connectivity and horizontal integration of technology across all walks of life, it is not at all surprising that cybersecurity threats featured amongst the top four risks by the World Economic Forum in its recent report. India is neither immune nor an outlier to this global phenomenon. To foster trust in technology and bolster overall security, it is imperative that India enhances its cybersecurity readiness and posture, especially in the critical infrastructures including governance, banking and financial services, energy, telecom, and smart cities. The budget should mandate setting aside 10% of the respective technology budgets for every government project exclusively for cybersecurity, as per the recommendations of the NASSCOM Task Force set up in response to the Prime Minister’s behest. Besides enactment of data protection, we need a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy, both enriched via public consultations; and aligned with global best practices.
Juergen Hase, CEO, Unlimit
The re-election of the Modi Government ensures steadiness of the government’s gripping vision for India to boost the economy and put the country in the forefront of the technology sector by 2030. We expect the government to announce a budget that will encourage the entrepreneurial energy in the economy leading to more jobs and development. Most start-ups have a variable source of income and need support from various government sources and investors to grow and become successful. They won’t have the bandwidth to manage multiple GST registrations. We’re hoping the forthcoming Union Budget will boost the start-up eco-system by abolishing the Angel Tax and introducing a single GST registration.
Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics, a Kodak brand Licensee
In last 5 years, there have been positive developments in the infrastructure sector. Our ranking in the global infrastructure has improved. Our expectation from the Union Budget 2019 is that the government should lay more focus on building express corridors to connect Tier 1 cities with Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. This will help many companies in reaching out to these cities without any hassle.
Sanjit Chatterjee CEO of REVE Antivirus
This year, we expect the government to rationalize the GST to 15% to boost the software industry. It is imperative that they strengthen the startup quality norms, in order to ensure that authentic and good-quality products by genuine players are available in the market. We hope to also see more encouraging reforms that will reinforce the start-up ecosystem in India. It gained rapid momentum with the launch of ‘Start-up India’ and Make in India campaigns. We look towards the introduction of more such programs which can further be taken to the global level as well. Last but not least, we expect more preference to be given to software developed in India. With an increased threat of data pilferage and other issues today, it is also time that more emphasis and focus are given to budget allocation for cybersecurity.
(Compiled by Sourabh Sarkar)
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