In the past one year the government has announced plenty of key initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India and Startup India and with the budget the companies are expecting that these initiatives will get further impetus.
Micromax is one of the first Indian mobile brands that offered devices. We spoke to Rajesh Agarwal, Co-founder, Micromax Informatics, to ask him about his budget expectation. He shared,”Growth, Infrastructure development and Employment should be the three big pillars of the upcoming Union Budget 2016. PM Modi’s Make in India and Digital India are well thought out initiatives that can fuel the slackened growth and help India achieve the projected GDP growth rate at 8-8.5%”.
He added, “India has a great potential to become the next global hub for electronic manufacturing to address the needs of both local as well as the global markets in the ICT segment. However to make ‘Make in India’ a success policy amendments with respect to fair, predictable and rational taxation practices have to be implemented. In the budget, the government must do away with extremely cumbersome and complex IGCR processes for availing duty concessions on import of parts, components for manufacture of mobile phones”.
While, Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology- India, said, “Right now, India is a big opportunity for us on the global business map. With the big day getting closer, we look forward to key announcements around tax reforms and changes in the duty structure, which came into effect last year. We expect the budget to focus on building the infrastructure required to complement India’s growing tech sector at multiple levels. This will in turn help the industry make better technology more accessible to Indian market.”
On the other hand, Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations at Sennheiser Electronics India Pvt Ltd expressing his wishlist shared, “India continues to be at a sweet spot in the global economy with a global rating of 8-9% GDP which makes it more pivotal for us to be wary of complacency especially while setting pre-budget expectations. There is a dire need to demonstrate tangible actions to address issues of simplifying tax regulations, improve ease of doing business, generate employability and accelerate the speed of big-ticket tax reforms. Easing inflation mainly fuelled by reducing energy costs, easing interest rates creates a headroom for government to manoevour subsidies and plan infrastructure. We believe that there should not be any further increase in Indirect Tax rates till GST is implemented since increase in tax rates without GST credit facility will increase the operating cost considerably. ”
He further suggested that, “Simplification of Special Valuation Branch (SVB) procedures especially with regard to renewal of existing orders would be welcome. As far as the microphone industry is concerned, we hope for a global alignment in Microphone Tariff heading since globally there is only one tariff heading (8518000) for all types of Microphones, where as in India there is a separate Tariff for wireless Microphones (85255050) this is creating lot of confusion and litigation.”
Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Managing Director, South Asia, Intel said, “This year’s budget needs to walk the talk and show real execution towards the government’s intent of making it “easier to do business in India” as well as towards “developing India as an innovation hub” for India and the world. Towards fulfilling the Digital India vision, we also expect that this year’s budget will address anomalies like differential duty structure for PCs as provided to other compute devices.” She added, “We believe that PCs are important tool of productivity, learning and development and that it is critical to provide consumers a wider choice of affordable computing devices for their specific needs. In line with this, we hope that this year’s budget will extend duty incentive schemes given to mobile phones and tablets to all the ITA goods including PCs which is critical for empowering every citizen with technology”.
Saptarshi Nath and Alexander Souter expressing his opinion said, “Our expectations from the Budget that the Finance Minister will be presenting is clarity where E-Commerce Industry in India stands from a legal, financial, and compliance standpoint. Defining the meaning of retail in the new world is critical to setting up of future legislation. Single-window approvals, streamlined documentation requirements, and ease of transactions and government payments will help E-commerce companies maintain their pace. ”
He added, “Given that the E-commerce industry is a very vibrant industry with rapid innovation and change, the government must focus on facilitating fast and transparent interactions on all the government touchpoints. We certainly need more clarity on FDI Policies and GST Roadmap too, but given its wide implications, we do expect that progress will be slow. The FM should ensure that consumer interests are foremost in any new policy developed”.
Vinay Sinha, Head of Sales – India, Director – Commercial Business, AMD Asia Pacific-Japan (APJ) Mega Region is of the opinion that, “Last year’s budget was rational and realistic for IT companies, and we hope that this year’s budget will continue in the same vein. In fact, programs such as Digital India, Start-Up India, Stand-Up India, Smart Cities and Skill India, etc. require the creation of technological infrastructure that will need budgetary support. We therefore expect the focus of this year’s budget to be on digital literacy, improved connectivity and access to technology supported by radical government process re-engineering, which will not only empower citizens but also enable start-ups and large organisations to experience digital transformation. ”
Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder & Chairman, Smartron while talking about the expectations from the budget talked about the what the start ups will be looking forward to. He shares, “In this budget, we expect government to continue to address innovation and startup infrastructure challenges in the country, from new companies act to availability of risk capital to foreign direct investment into startups to patent reforms to tax holidays. Start up and stand up India initiative must be supported through substantial actions and measures on the ground. Government supported sector specific investment funds must be announced to create a robust investment ecosystem, which is critical to healthy startup ecosystem.”
Sudhin Mathur, Director-Smartphone Business, Lenovo Group said, “The previous year witnessed pioneering schemes to attract investments in the country for increasing domestic manufacturing. The policy on duty differential has been effective in attracting significant manufacturing of smartphones. We saw good growth for mobile phones as nearly 100 million devices were locally produced according to the Indian Cellular Association. However, this number has to further go up if India is to truly become the global innovation and manufacturing hub. This would require focus on addressing factors that would make manufacturing globally competitive.”
Talking specifically on make in India, he said, ” Manufacturing companies in emerging and high growth sectors need to be given a shot in the arm in the form of simplified tax structure, better infrastructure and robust component ecosystem. Appropriate budgetary allocations need to be made for this. The Budget should also focus on electronic R&D including innovation and design. Though not directly related to the Union Budget, one also really hopes that the GST Bill too gets passed soon and we have better labour laws that aid manufacturing and employment generation.” he added.
From one smarpthone to maker, we spoke with Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies to know what his wishlist comprises of and he shared, “Being a domestic mobile handset manufacturer, we expect the budget to further encourage & felicitate an environment for the creation of a mobile ecosystem that will give impetus to domestic manufacturing. Digital India & Skill India are the other key initiatives we look forward to working on. An imperative concern of this sector is the existing Cenvat credit scheme wherein suitable steps are required to justify input credit scheme to make home-grown facilities viable against imports. It is certainly the right time for firming up industry friendly tax regimes. We hope the Union Budget will effectively takes forward the reforms agenda.”
Ritesh Suneja, Group CFO, Lava International commenting on his budget expectation said, “We feel that the next decade will be dominated by the electronic manufacturing services sector and it will bring about the next revolution in India. This sector has the capability to not only meet our country’s burgeoning employment needs but also make India – ‘World’s factory’. We have seen the government extend its unflinching support to the mobile handset industry by declaring it as a priority lending sector and through single window clearance mechanism, tax exemption on direct and indirect taxes for made in India products, tax holiday and incentives for startup entrepreneurs among other exemptions. Additionally, supports like deduction of CSR expenses, lowering the MAT rate can further boost the Indian economy and will accelerate investments in R&D, enable localization of electronic components and digital content’s availability in offline areas.”
Shankar Nath, Sr. Vice President – Paytm expressing his views told TechRadar India, “I hope that the budget continues on the path of fiscal consolidation. India is standing out as a beacon of growth and stability in an otherwise troubled global outlook. We expect the budget to invest significantly in strengthening the digital infrastructure of the country. We would also like to see tax breaks on budget smart phones, which support vernacular languages. We hope that the KYC requirements will be simplified, and eKYC will be the way forward in the future. We have moved up from a ranking of 134 to 130 among countries in ease of doing business. I hope the Govt will overall introduce measures that take us among the top 100 in the medium term.”