Wednesday, February 1, 2017

‘Technology Push to Aid Digital Economy’ - Union Budget 2017-18

Budget Reactions 2017

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India says, “The Finance Minister has presented a balanced budget, underlined by the continued push to using technology to aid a digital economy. As India strengthens its position on the global map, the need for skilled youth is crucial. The budget’s focus on extending market relevant training for the youth and setting up 100 international skill centers across the country, is a positive move. The emphasis on science and technology for students, and launch of SWAYAM, will further empower India’s youth for the future. I am glad to witness the increasing focus on cybersecurity, which is critical to securing the economy’s digital transformation. The reduction of corporate tax for MSMEs is a welcome move and will boost the economic growth. The momentum in the implementation of GST is promising and I look forward to seeing it unfold in the coming months.” 

Krish Iyer, President and CEO Walmart India says, “The Union Budget 2017 is a game changer and continues to rightly focus on rural, agriculture and infrastructure sector with an aim to give boost to formal economy.  The planned investment in these sectors will not only create much needed jobs in the country but also spur consumer spending and boost economic growth. Fiscal deficit too has been contained very well.

The continued focus on ease of doing business with several measures such as abolishing FIPB, 'Model law on contract farming', Simplification of Labour laws under four areas – wages, industrial relation, social security and welfare and Safety -  augurs very well for the economy. Major income tax relief in the lowest bracket is laudable as it will bring back consumer confidence and boost domestic consumption. 

The measures announced to boost the manufacturing sector are commendable. Rewarding MSMEs by reducing rate of income tax will further boost `Make in India’; Proposal to set up dairy processing fund will boost food processing while increased allocation to schemes such as MSIPS will boost the electronics sector. Rural sector gets a boost with increased allocation to MNREGA.

The agenda for the year to `transform, energise and clean India’ is indeed noteworthy. Government's commitment to lift 1 crore people out of poverty by 2019 is commendable.

Government's steps to promote digital economy post demonetisation are very logical and will boost formal economy.

Overall, this is a very good budget. Adherence to fiscal discipline, with emphasis on growth, development, increasing infrastructural and rural spending, and encouraging formal economy are key aspects of the budget.

Besides, there is focus on timely implementation and execution effective April 1 2017 as the Budget has been brought forward by one month, and combining Railway budget with Union Budget is a historic move.

Rostow Ravanan, CEO and MD, Mindtree says,Several measures introduced in the 2017 Union Budget are an important step towards building India into an important digital economy. This budget has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cybersecurity in finance, and bringing greater coordination and transparency between departments. The Computer Emergency Response Scheme is a great initiative which will smoothen coordination between finance regulators. The push to drive adoption of mobile and an Aadhaar-enabled payment system will help bring in greater financial inclusion amongst citizens.

Additionally, IT exemption for start-ups will help reduce income tax for smaller companies with a turnover less than Rs 50 crore, which we believe will significantly improve the ease of doing business for smaller businesses and start-ups in India. There has also been a revision in personal income tax rates which will boost consumption to some extent.

The new budget has also made provisions to raise India’s innovation quotient, through the setting up of an innovation fund to encourage and fuel innovation amongst youth. The budget’s focus on making education more accessible to educationally backward blocks, along with the steps taken to ramp up the Skill India Mission will also help in maximizing the potential and capabilities of youth in the country.”

Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris says, “Overall a very positive budget. Reduction of corporate tax rates from 30% to 25% for MSME firms will definitely encourage investors and corporates. Some of the steps taken will definitely increase foreign direct investment and lead to employment generation which will be good for country.”

Surendra Singh – Country Director, Forcepoint says, “We appreciate and welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement on setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the financial sector made today during Union Budget  2017. It reaffirms Digital India’s long term commitment towards securing consumer’s against cyber frauds. We believe that this initiative will help to strengthen security of the financial sector amid the increasing incidents of cyber frauds thereby protecting the consumers of various financial institutions”.

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