The India’s finance minister Arun Jately has revealed the government budget for 2014-15 with clear strategies and objectives for the overall and required development of the country. With this budget, the Indian government has planned an overall development incorporating all the major and requisite areas, with supporting almost all the sectors. These are areas which covers the maximum employment, skills and economy empowerment of the country. Government has clear plans to boost economy-driven growth of the country.
The budget 2014-15 of India has arrived as a magic box with a host of opportunities for IT, Technology and Telco sectors of the country. The India’s FM Arun Jaitley has proposed a range of initiatives for the overall growth of the country with a very active participation of IT & Tech industry.
And, it covers all the sizes of businesses in these regions, with special focus of the government towards start-ups. Besides, as the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to a rational and business-minded leader, the Indian industries are very optimistic about the government plans.
Starting from the Railway budget 2014-15, the government has endeavoured to cover all the major and significant concerns for fast-tracking the expansion of Indian Railways, along with improvising its standards and state-of-art services. From introducing 58 new trains with planned routes to advancement of railway stations, the budget has included almost everything that is needed. On the other side, government has revealed bundles of opportunities for IT & Tech companies to raise their business, as the government has planned to raise efficiency and better transparency in the railway system.
“The thrust of technology-led initiatives in railway budget is set to improve efficiency and modernisation with customer satisfaction and access. Providing next-gen eTicketing, WiFi services and GIS mapping, along with digitisation of records will help Indian Railways in its overall growth objectives,” said R Chandrashekar, who is the president of Nasscom. “Leveraging technology for India’s transformation is at priority for Nasscom and we are looking forward to work with railways ministry for helping the private sector to collaborate in these initiatives,” he added.
DV Sadananda Gowda, Indian railway minister, has announced a range of proposals requiring IT intervention, real time tracking of trains, combining paper-less offices in next five years and rolling stock, station navigation information system, mobile alerts for wake-up calls and destination arrival and improvisation of eTicketing that will support 7,200 tickets to happen every minute compared to 2,000 tickets every minute and increase at-a-point number of users to 1,20,000.
Digital India Budget
Indian government has proposed Rs 500 crore for national rural internet and technology mission for promoting local manufacturing of software and hardware products. This combines a special focus on supporting and involving software product start-ups in the country. Plus, government has proposed 7,060 crore for the development of 100 smart cities in the country. FM Arun Jaitley has also proposed Rs 100 crore for setting up a Technology Development Fund for providing resources to public as well as private sector firms that will support research & development of defence systems.
He also notified that all the government departments and ministries will be integrating e-Platform by December 31 this year, along with a nationwide incubation and accelerator programme. Plus, there will also be an online platform for bill payments. Besides this, Jaitley also shared that the government will take steps for reviving special economic zones – SEZs in the country and will also be introducing e-visas at nine airports.
India Empowerment Budget
Besides this, with a clear objective to raise domestic electronics manufacturing industry, the India’s finance minister, Arun Jaitley has announced tax on imports of telecom and IT products. “For booting domestic production and reducing the dependency on imports, I am taking following steps. Imposing basic customs duty – BCD of ten percent on imports for certain telecommunication products that are beyond purview of IT agreement,” said Jaitley.
India is signee of IT agreement 1, as being a member of World Trade Organization. Within ITA 1 agreement, the member countries should offer duty free imports on products under eight categories combining telecom, computers and semiconductors, such as on electronic chips and mobile phones. “The Indian government had signed ITA 1 on March 25, 1997. India committed duty free imports for 217 articles. However, various items not covered within ITA 1, were also having duty free imports. Hence, now, it’s corrected by imposing duty on non ITA 1 products,” said NK Goyal, chairman emeritus, telecom equipment manufacturers association.
This budget signifies that while India will fulfil all of its WTO commitments, it will support domestic manufacturing. This will be encouraging domestic production of VoIP phones as well as some telecom network equipments, whose demand is rising rapidly.