Budget Wishlist from IT Industry
Anil Chanana, Chief Financial Officer, HCL Technologies
India's GDP growth rate is at its lowest in the last decade. Against this backdrop, it is absolutely essentialthat the Union Budget plays a major role in propelling the growth rate back to the levels of 8 to 9 per cent.
Information Technology is a key growth engine for the Indian economy and has played an important role in placing India on the world map, as a major knowledge based economy and outsourcing hub. In spite of the challenges, IT/ITES industry has showed buoyancy and managed to generate $100 billion in revenues, with exports amounting to $77 billion. Hence, Budget 2013 must include initiatives to further easethe challenges faced by the industry.
With this industry being one of the main-stay of exports and employment generation, it has become a necessity to continue the SEZ benefits. This clarity will pave way for further investments in the sector. Further, the over-crowded state of metros has necessitated the need to look at Tier 2 3 cities. Government investment on infrastructure in these cities and providing subsidy for the training facility for skill enhancement will be a positive step.
Introduction of MAT has significantly diluted benefits offered under the popular SEZ regime.Abolishing MAT levy on SEZ developers and units,together with the carry forward of MAT credit entitlement for an indefinite period would certainly be a welcome step. Then again, reasonable, stable and predictable regime on Transfer Pricing issues will go a long way in improving the competitiveness of the Industry.
Let us hope the upcoming Union Budget includes a slew of positive reforms that are a growth propeller for IT and other industries.