Pre-Budget expectations from Mr. Dinesh Malkani – President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC:
India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world today is poised for a breakthrough. In order for the country to strengthen its position on the global platform, strategic investments in technology are critical. In line with that thought is the new government’s mantra of ‘maximum governance through technology’ which has brought in a sense of optimism both among the citizens and the industry in general.
Like the rest of the industry, we look forward to a growth oriented budget that will revive the economy, bring back growth to 8% and perhaps even accelerate it. We hope the government will announce measures that would tame inflation and reinstate confidence to attract investments. Addressing the issues curtailing investment sentiment is vital because that will help to bring renewed optimism for sustained economic growth in the long term. As part of the budget we also hope that the government will signal reforms that will ease doing business in country.
Keeping in mind the government’s focus on technology and given that e-governance is clearly a priority for the governments at both the Central and the state level, we expect IT infrastructure-related announcements, especially pertaining to broadband that will provide impetus to projects like National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) besides a host of e-governance projects that will help improve overall economic efficiency. The government’s intent to create100 smart cities across the country, leads us to the hope that the budget will also include measures for building a sound IT infrastructure that will speed up the process.
There is no doubt that the IT sector can contribute immensely as a transformation agent for governance. In order for that to happen, we hope the government brings in reforms and policies that will remove the impediments for the industry and encourage the adoption of IT in government. Like NASSCOM recommends, the launch of India Technology Entrepreneurship Mission (ITEM) could provide a supportive framework to technology start-ups and SMEs.
Given that the demand for electronics hardware in the country will increase to USD 400 billion by 2020 (Task Force report by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology), the electronics manufacturing sector needs to be incentivised. We hope the budget will recognize the structural issues that have inhibited electronic manufacturing in India and hope the government will announce schemes to remove cost impediments to position India as export hub for electronics manufacturing.
We look forward to a stable tax regime which will help create a business environment that is conducive for economic growth besides accelerating job creation. We look forward to signals in the budget that will show Government’s commitment to predictability, clarity and stability of taxation regime.
Tier 2 and tier 3 cities are critical for the overall economic welfare of the country. In order to generate employment in these cities, we hope the government will incentivise expansion into these regions and therefore increase employment opportunity, ensure balanced growth and drive urbanisation across country. We believe this will also encourage the overall competitiveness of the Industry.