Get more Foreign direct investment
Every time Union Budget brings along hopes for revival, better growth opportunities as well as more conducive environment for information technology solution providers. At the same time, there are also concerns on possible tax benefits and insufficient indian government support in some initiatives. As the time has come about this year for the Budget, CIOL feels the pulse of top information technology officers to know about the one hope that they wish be fulfilled. "I believe the government of india should take a long view of the future and the theme for this year's budget should be infrastructure and connectivity," says Mr.SalilGodika, chief strategy and marketing officer, Industry Group Head at Happiest Minds Technologies, "There should be more focus towards tier-2 and tier-3 cities. It will be a great boost if the government could provide special economic zone like benefits to the existent STPI in these cities." Of late, tax authorities in India have been taking an aggressive position on certain tax benefits being given to the information technology industry, is the take of Mr.V.Balakrishnan, chief financial officer of Infosys Limited. "The information technology industry is not expecting benefits in the form of tax holidays and has come to terms with the existing tax regime. However, it needs greater certainty and clarity in the application of existing tax laws."
There is a need, feels Mr.V.Balakrishnan, for a dedicated Information technologyminister to accelerate Information technology sector adoption, bring in efficiency in Information technologyspending by the government and drive standardization across different arms of the government. Mr.AnilChanana, chief financial officer, HCL Technologies said that reigning in the fiscal deficit, while focusing on inclusive growth should be the government's prime focus. "With the enhanced spending on infrastructure, this budget would help stimulate domestic demand for Information technologyproducts and services." If inclusive growth is one, empowering rural India is another aspect that Mr.NareshWadhwa, president and country manager of Cisco India stresses on. "The government needs to do so by provisioning for broadband penetration and financial inclusion. According to the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, for every 10 per cent increase in Internet and broadband connections, India could contribute up to amount of $17 billion to the Gross domestic product." The structural reforms long overdue on DTC, GST and Company Law reforms, says Mr.M.P.Vijaykumar, chief financial officer, Sify Technologies, "should be allowed to happen.
This apart, tax administration has to be more efficient and tax payer-friendly, if industry has to see double digit growth and also get more Foreign direct investment." According to Mr.SureshRao, group chief financial officer, Mindteck, service tax refunds have been inordinately delayed by the government for all software exporters, despite good intent. So, he wishes the government strengthen its delivery mechanisms for effectively getting the service tax refunds paid out. "The Budget should address the challenges of closing of the fiscal deficit without impacting the Gross domestic product growth rate; promotion of inclusive growth initiatives. To this effect, technology can play a big role in helping India overcome infrastructure challenges as well as resource deficiencies that we face," concludes Mr.Jaswinder.S.Ahuja, corporate vice-president and managing director, Cadence Design Systems. Wait till Friday to know whether or not all their wishes come true.