The union budget 2020 presentation is scheduled on Feb 1, 2020. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present her 2nd budget. In the last years, budget 2019 presented by Piyush Goyal highlighted technological advancements, digital India initiatives, and emerging technologies, empowering MSMEs, strengthening corporate sectors. CXOs and industry leaders have expressed their expectations from the union budget 2020.
Following are the pre budget 2020 quotes/expectations from IT, Technology and Finance industry leaders.
Diwakar Nigam, Managing Director at Newgen Software
“The Indian IT sector provides significant opportunities for growth. The government can further incentivize organizations creating software intellectual property through tax exemption on IT exports. We expect that the government would bring in more business-friendly policies and take steps to reduce regulatory compliance, thereby creating a holistic environment for ease of doing business.
As data security, privacy and compliance become increasingly critical, the government should encourage the private sector to set up data centres in the country. The government should also continue its thrust towards various initiatives, namely Digital India, Skill India, Make in India and emphasize on technologies that encourage digitization and creation of rural e-infrastructure.
Sustaining the global competitiveness of the Indian IT sector will require increased government investments in skill development for the new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, robotics, and blockchain. Reintroducing the SEZ scheme and streamlining the current SEZ processes, will give the required boost to the IT industry and provide a more conducive business environment. The labour laws governing the IT sector also require streamlining owing to its unique requirements.”
Aditya Agarwal, Co-Founder of Wealthy
“All eyes are on the Union Budget 2020. Given the current status of the economy, reviving investments and consumption demand is key to restore the confidence of both the common man and market entities. This would help investments to flow in and provide a much needed boost to the economy.
It would be in the country’s best interest to focus on investment options for big budgets. We are hoping for the government to accord Cat 3 AIFs with a tax pass through status and simplify NRI participation in our financial market via Equity Mutual Funds, Debentures and other market linked instruments. The under penetration of the insurance industry is also an opportunity that can be leveraged. Creating a central repository of insurance policy data through PAN would be beneficial in taking insurance to the nooks and crannies of India where it is required the most. A reduction of GST on Health Insurance would also prove to be a positive enabler in this regard.”
Dr. Pulkit Mathur, CEO at Queppelin
“Deep tech which includes Augmented Reality, Computer vision, Artificial Intelligence will play a big role across sectors in accelerating India’s quest towards becoming a $5tn economy. Driving greater value as well as job-creation will both be impacted by it. We, therefore, would like to see the FM incentivise this sector. Deep tech should be a special focus separate from the IT/ITeS SEZ sunset clause which also should be extended beyond 2020.”
CP Gurnani, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at Tech Mahindra
“Realizing the dream of India becoming a 5 Trillion Dollar economy by 2025 truly outlines the ‘art of possible’ and depends largely on the choices we make. Digital continues to be the cornerstone of India’s strategy, therefore, sharpening focus on enhancing skills in new age technologies like 5G, improving the quality of education, and nurturing the start-up ecosystem are some key measures that will accelerate India’s IT exports and will help sustain its global competitiveness. As part of the Union Budget 2020, we hope to see focused initiatives by the government that will help India fortify its digital growth momentum and contribute to the global growth story.
With 1.3 billion consumers and a large talent base including over 400 million millennials, India can play a key role in scripting a unique success story amidst the global economic slowdown.”
Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director at Barco India
“As the country gears up for the Union Budget 2020 on Feb 1, the Indian economy is dealing with several issues including a drop in GDP, liquidity crunch, rising inflation and low tax revenue. While the Centre took multiple measures to boost the slowing economy, some of which have borne fruit, we believe that more steps are needed, especially in promoting growth in rural consumption and labour-intensive segments.
Barco remains positive on the India growth opportunity and we look forward to favourable measures from the Centre, predominantly in the technology-enabled sectors and the domains we cater to – medical imaging, smart cities, technological innovation in tourism, among others”
Rakesh Kharwal, Managing Director, India/South Asia & ASEAN at Cyberbit
“The Digital India initiative has done a remarkable job and as Digital India 2.0 gets contemplated, the focus of the government should be to build superior trust in technology. We hope that this Union Budget 2020 will focus more on cybersecurity measures to protect the integrity of critical infrastructure for financial systems, public health, science, safety institutions, defense, aerospace, and intelligence agencies. We are anticipating additional budgetary allocation for the national cybersecurity programmers and at least 10% of the technology budget for cybersecurity initiatives.
The government must also add stimulus to the market segment and the economy at large. Perhaps, a good way of doing it can be to include simulation-based cybersecurity training solutions like Cyber Range in the Skill India campaign. It will help in addressing the gap of 1 million professionals in the Indian cybersecurity industry while also aptly positioning the segment for the ripe global market. Apart from that, we expect that the budget 2020 will lay down a few more reforms to boost the service provider ecosystem in India”
[ Also Read: Blockchain Technology Advancing Procurement Functions ]
Yogesh Bhatia, Founder, and MD of Detel
“In order to increase the penetration of LED Television in the country, we urge GOI to introduce entry-level GST Slab for TV i.e. 5%-10%. This move will certainly impact the sales of TVs in India with the affordability aspect and hence making the Television a mass product.
Also, recently we have been invited at Government of Haryana’s Pre-Budget Consultation 2020-21, where Honorable Haryana CM, Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar has acknowledge our suggestion for Budget 2020 and have also appreciated Detel’s vision of connecting 40 crore Indians.”
Sunny Nandwani, Founder and Managing Partner of Acuver Consulting
“The Budget 2019, was a power booster for the supply chain industry, that was inspired by the ambition of making India a $ 5 Trillion Economy by the year 2025. The cost of transportation was reduced, new-age technologies were given a green-flag, and a massive investment of 100 crores for infrastructure development was announced. So the expectations from the 2020 budget increased, as it is expected to act as a recalibration considering the new economic environment in India.
Many Retailers, E-commerce companies plan to create deep-rooted capabilities within their supply chains, which can be later leveraged to adapt to the new budget. Investments for resolving impending issues in supply chain sector like countering any threats of supplier disruptions, volatility in foreign exchange markets and commodity prices will strengthen the ground of India’s stand in the global market.
Acuver, as an IT service provider to its clients, especially in the supply chain dominion, expects that the new budget 2020 will act as an enabler of technological progress in the industry and create a striking balance in between cost competitiveness and economic foresight. We look forward for policies that enhances consumption power of consumers, addresses infrastructure improvement that improves reachability.”
Basavaraj Puttappa, Founder and CEO of Zeva Astras
“In the wake of recent developments, it is apparent that the economy is showing signs of a slowdown. The government is on the ‘disaster management’ mode to get the economy back on track. Given the situation, the Budget 2020 is expected to focus on immediate measures to propel the economy towards growth. The government has already reduced corporate taxes and might also consider cutting down personal taxes. Such a move will increase consumption levels and stabilize the economic slowdown. However, this would increase the fiscal deficit and might put inflationary pressures on the economy.
Thus, along with the tax relaxations the government can push-up the tax exemption levels on long-term capital gains. Formulating such a strategy would increase investment and boost the capital market.”
- Also Read: IT Industry Leaders Reaction on Budget 2019
Suganthi Shivkumar, Managing Director, ASEAN, India & Korea at Qlik
“The current government’s focus on aspects such as digitisation and data handling is fantastic and the IT industry has great expectations from the Union Budget 2020-21. We hope that the upcoming budget has provisions that can strengthen progressive initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, and the ‘Smart Cities Mission’. Given how data and analytics is enabling organisations to bolster productivity through smarter, more effective work, the government must also look to incentivise data analytics and AI projects as well as introduce technology-friendly policies and better tax structures for the industry.”
“More importantly, it must look to increase the ease of starting-up a company, as it will help in creating more job opportunities for the country’s youth. The IT sector will continue to drive success for businesses across industries with our innovations while also creating new high-value jobs with evolved skillsets, including data literacy. We are hopeful that the budget announcement will help companies in this sector recover from the recent slowdown and optimally realise its growth potential to drive a large-scale transformation within the economy.”
Meghna Suryakumar, Founder & CEO of Crediwatch
“The Financial Technology industry has been on growth trajectory over the past few years because of a supportive environment by the RBI and government policies. The recent announcement of allowing Video KYC for on-boarding new customers by RBI has set a positive outlook for the industry allowing financial institutions to scale their operations digitally. However, it will be important to see if the upcoming budget 2020 allows uniform stamp duty on every state for Digital documents that will create ideal situation for the industry. Additionally, there is a significant opportunity to fuel the Indian economy by widening the acceptability of MSMEs by the BFSI sector. Fintechs are going to be instrumental in bringing new data analytics and solutions for this opportunity.
Fiscal incentives for Fintechs building such solutions would be welcomed. Several fintechs providing payment solutions have asked for incentives for setting up data centres in India given the need to expand their services to Tier 3 cities and beyond. This will allow them to scale faster at an economical cost. However, the biggest challenge in the market today in India is that the setup cost is 10% higher as compared to Singapore and Japan.
With data security, privacy and compliance coming under scrutiny, Government should encourage the private sectors to establish data centers in the country. And continue to emphasize on technologies that encourage digitization and creation of data infrastructure. Additionally, there should be no or less Dividend Distribution Tax on Fintechs and NBFCs companies.”
Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University
“For India to progress towards achieving higher quality employment, the government should invest more in the education sector this year. The Draft Education Policy which suggests increasing the spending on education to about 6% of GDP should be a good target for this year’s budget. It is also imperative to provide very low interest rates on education loans to support higher levels of enrolment.
The government needs to double the investment in Research and Development in the country, which is currently only 0.7 % of the overall GDP and also encourage the private sector to invest more in R&D by providing translational incentives. Additionally, to encourage corporates to invest in training of its people which is crucial because of the changing work landscape, government should provide for tax credits for investments made in deep training of employees.”
Talking about manufacturing, Professor Chandra added, “The industry is expecting the government to rectify the inverted tariff structure for manufactured products. Tuning up cluster-based incentives for electronic companies will bring in more investment into the country and more importantly, complete the ecosystem for electronics manufacturing in India.”
Murali Urs, Country Manager-India at Barracuda Networks
“As we are witnessing rapid adoption of technology in every sector, the government has surely put India on a digital innovation fast track to achieve the $5 trillion economy. This advent has also led to cyber security and data protection becoming key concerns in businesses and government agencies.
Attacks keep getting more advanced, and there is less talent available to manage it. As more and more businesses leverage public cloud infrastructure and solutions, human error will continue to be the primary source of breaches, leading to misconfigurations and overlooked vulnerabilities., email remains a top threat vector and continues to be the easiest and most effective way for cyber-attackers to harvest user credentials and personal information, or install malware on a target’s machine.
The government has taken lot of initiatives to strengthen the cyber space in India, However the government needs to emphasize more on the infrastructure and a lot of systems need better hardware, proper software audits and execution of proposed projects. More importance can be given to ensuring that e-mail is more resilient to threats, and offering more effective ways to detect spear-phishing and other fraudulent activities.
There should be a clear cyber security framework for encouraging businesses to partner more closely with government agencies, to share threat information in ways that will help keep consumers and companies more aware and protected. Organizations will be looking at both security companies and the government for help in navigating complexity in a way that helps them stay secure. With the increasing amount of breaches emerging across the country along with government websites getting hacked, the necessity of creating a secure framework for all institutions is very critical and we hope to see more funds being allocated to ensure cyber security.
In the Union Budget 2020, we also hope to see more initiatives and policies towards training and skill development of the youth especially in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, 5G, Machine Learning, Blockchain, among others.”
Dr. Vivek G Mendonsa- Director, Sales, Lynx – Lawrence & Mayo
“With the growing need for infrastructure development, the industry demands an appreciable part of the 2020 budget to be watchful towards supplying advanced tech-based infra solutions. While the Government has spoken on certain concepts, like the Smart City projects, which were launched initially at 30 cities and scaled up to 100 Smart Cities. Digital India and housing for all, these still need to materialize. Hence, the necessity of the Government taking concrete measures in advanced engineering is a must need for developing the sector. We certainly hope that the Government looks at opening up the infrastructure sector. Steps, like incentivizing the SME sector and providing additional financial flexibility, would certainly play a crucial role in benefitting the sector. “