The upcoming budget 2015-16 is an opportunity for the new government to accelerate the reform process unveiled over its first eight months in the office. While the growth rate has already started improving and the forecast for the next year is even better, we need a blue-print for sustained and sustainable growth over the next decade or two. It should focus on simplification, predictability and consistency in overall tax regime even as it goes for fiscal consolidation and broadening the tax net.
Technology has the potential to empower the 1.3 billion Indians through visionary programs like ‘Digital India’, ‘Smart Cities’ and ’Skill India’. The budget is a perfect opportunity to charter a clear plan in this endeavour. The budget should pave the way for expeditious implementation of e-governance projects, incentivising investments in world-class data centres and cloud computing infrastructure besides a chance to be a pioneer in the realm of Internet of Things. However, this should be done without causing disruptions in the free flow of data across borders – the lifeline of India’s IT exports. Such steps will ensure high availability of trusted and secure information ecosystem thereby providing much needed foundation for inclusive growth and development.