The recently rolled out ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives of the government have intensified corporate India’s expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2015-16. With a task of a growth oriented budget, we hope to see increased investment in infrastructure: roads, railways, power, water supply and sanitation – which are the main pain points of SMEs. In most cases, infrastructure development can be accelerated through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) which is a business model that the Government should make more attractive for businesses.
This coupled with increased spending on vital sectors like primary education and healthcare, will lead to positive growth and prosperity in the long term. One of the biggest challenges for the government is to balance development between the ‘leading’ and ‘lagging’ states in India. This mismatch leads to labour migration to a few cities thereby aggravating power, water, sanitation and hygiene issues, and hampering planned infrastructure development in cities. Balancing and accelerating infrastructure in the ‘laggard/lagging’ states is essential. This would lead to enhancement of productivity of individuals, in turn impacting the economy as a whole.
With an ambitious plan like ‘Digital India’, we do hope the Union Budget 2015-16 will provide investments in India’s technology infrastructure, and a significant amount should be invested in developing a robust network infrastructure across the country to build a foundation for our ‘Digital’ economy. A policy framework for industry and SMEs in particular that encourages innovation and adoption of technology can boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative.