The re-elected Modi government is ready to announce the ‘Union Budget’ for 2019-2020. This upcoming budget could be focused on some major issues of the country in different areas. In past months country faced some major difficulties and still struggling to get over it. The decline in the GDP that hampered whole nation was one of the major concerns for economists and perhaps the government could address some strategies in the upcoming budget to regain the good stats. The different industries such as ICT, logistics, real state, and manufacturing are expecting the government to bring some policies for them to assist them in getting on the track of growth. Some of the policies (Make in India, Digital India) which came into existence in the last tenure of the government showed great results. So now everyone is eagerly looking forward to the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman who will be announcing the budget tomorrow in parliament. Here we have listed the demand of ICT players in India. Read below their expectations:
“We Are Expecting Announcements to Spur The Make In India, Digital India And Smart Cities Initiatives”
G. Prabhu, Chief Financial Officer, DIGISOL Systems
“Players in the IT Industry are excited about Full Union Budget 2019-20 as this will be the first Budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government after gaining a massive victory in the Lok Sabha Election 2019. We are expecting that the upcoming budget will have measures to spur the Make in India, Digital India and smart cities initiatives. During the interim budget, the government allocated 7 percent more for smart cities compared to last year and I believe more funds would be allocated to the Make In India and Digital India schemes along with Smart Cities Mission.”
“Government Should Reduce Tax Compliances and Support Ease of Doing Business”
Suresh Pansari, Co-founder and Director, RP tech India
“The Government should reduce Tax compliances and support ease of doing business at faster pace. This will reduce transection cost. Newly drafted GST Laws are highly complicated for Business entities, hence, it should be simplified. The Government should reduce scope for same product for multiple classification to avoid confusion. Only Central Government should give advance ruling, which should be acceptable across India. The Government should focus on specialization of Industries in different States, to increase productivity and reduce production cost. The Government should also introduce Honest Tax Payers policy in order to increase faith in Tax Payers. It should also remove arresting Power unless it related to national security.”
“Government Will Pave The Way For A Holistic Economic Development”
Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India
“As the re-elected Modi government stands to present their first Union Budget FY2019-20 this week, we are optimistic that the government will pave the way for holistic economic development by ensuring a proper road map for Digital India 2.0, focusing on better sops and tax exemptions for both the startup community as well as the IT sector. With this Budget, we are also hopeful that the Government of India will provide special impetus on creating the stronger infrastructure to accelerate the growth of women entrepreneurs and small business owners in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of the country.”
“Government Should Make The Open Cell Duty To Zero Which Is 5% Today”
Arjun Bajaj, CEO and Founder, Daiwa
“Government should not consider TV as a luxury good. It is not luxury but a need in today’s world. We hope the government will reduce the GST for bigger sizer to 18% from 28%. Secondly, government should make the open cell duty to zero which is 5% today. Opencell is not made locally in India and is imported. The 5% duty on a product which is not made locally is too heavy and this part accounts for 70% of the product value.”
“We Look Forward To See The Government Fortify Investments In Artificial Intelligence Sector”
Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp
“The re-election of this government ensures continuity of the Government’s compelling vision for India to boost the economy and put India on the technology superhighway by 2030. Through the Union Budget 2019, it would be key for the Government to put the spotlight back on its flagship initiatives like Digital India enabling digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens. With the help of technology, the government should focus on catalyzing the smart city programme, to become growth engines for the country’s economy. We definitely look forward to see the government fortify the investments in the Artificial Intelligence sector as indicated in the interim budget, so that the benefits of AI technology can reach the masses. Priority should be laid on delivering this in the short, medium as well as long term – in order to shape the architecture of our society into a global one.”
“We Look Forward To The Indian Government Being Startup Friendly”
Ashok Kumar, Founder & Managing Director, RAH Infotech
“In the Union Budget 2019, we look forward to the Indian government being startup friendly. Startups require a continuous flow of fund, operation and regular upgradations, To meet this requirement, both the governments, central and state, must take measures/initiatives that are specifically focused towards the development of startups. The government must conduct programs, formulate policies and schemes to encourage new age startups. The government should introduce a policy framework that ensures seamless operations, efficient company registration and less of paperwork. Another key area, where we want our government to take action is “demand-supply-cost gap”. With various technological developments in the IT industry, evolved customers buying patterns, variable GST rates in goods/IT products, the government should consider reducing the current 18% GST.”
“The Revamping Of The IoT Policy Is Done With Adequate Industry Representation”
Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communication and Chairman, IoT India Panel
“With the upcoming budget we hope to see the government’s focus on driving domestic innovation, coupled with fiscal incentive schemes and liberalisation norms with regards to IoT. We, the IET IoT Panel, hope the revamping of the IoT policy is done with adequate industry representation. The budget should look at 3 sectors that play a crucial role in establishing India as a leader in IoT, Manufacturing (Devices & Sensors), Telecommunications and IT/ITeS. It should also ensure key existing policies (National Electronics Policy, National Digital Communications Policy and National Software Product Policy) and formation of new policies (Data Protection, Cybersecurity, and IoT Policies) receive adequate financial assistance.”
“We Hope To See More Provisions For Academia To Spend On New Technologies”
Shekhar Sanyal, Director and Country Head, The Institution of Engineering and Technology
“The work environment is changing at a rapid pace, the government needs to set aside resources to ensure that the country creates an ecosystem for the future of work and skill development, to enable Indians to be globally valuable and competitive. The government regulatory framework around skilling and the future of skilling and work require continuous research and input which the budget should allow for. We hope to see more provisions for academia to spend on new technologies and expand their facilities to help students with exposure to real-time application of new-age technologies.”
“Startup, SME and SMB Need To Be Efficiently Addressed in the Budget”
Sriram S, Co-Founder, iValue InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd
“Startup, SME and SMB need to be efficiently addressed so that they grow and provide employment in a sustained way. Most incentives are being enjoyed today by large companies which are not growing and not providing incremental employment, whereas emerging companies do not get any of the benefits and they are the ones with the scope to grow and provide employment. IT will continue to drive the success of all types of business with innovations around AI, ML, social media, Cloud, IoT, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, etc. The success of IT innovation will determine the overall success of other industries including the government’s digital drive and hence IT industry, as the enabler for the success of all other government and private business should be accorded special status. Policy and framework to promote home-grown IT innovations is the urgent need of the hour to promote growth and provide large scale employment opportunities.”
“We Expect The Budget To Take Constructive Steps To Boost The Economy”
Prashanth G J, CEO, TechnoBind
“Budget 2019 would be a crucial session for the Indian government to push their initiatives stronger. We expect the budget to address the dip in GDP growth rates and take constructive steps to boost the economy. As an entrepreneur, I would also expect support for bringing back the credit availability and liquidity back on track which is critical to boost growth. Steps towards widening the tax base are an absolute must. I would personally like the agricultural income to come under the tax bracket. Both governmental, as well as private investments, should be supported to see traction in all the verticals. Reviving private investments will be a good expectation from this budget as this will spend government spend which is only limited given the fiscal prudence that the current government wants to maintain. Overall, a clear roadmap for tax reforms, especially corporate tax must be planned which will help enterprises plan their investments.”
“There Should Be Clear Actions, Policy And Reforms To Promote Latest Technologies”
Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales, Array Networks
“From this budget, we would require the government to create policy frameworks that will incentivize investments from big players in manufacturing locally in India. Creating transparency in governance and reducing regulatory compliances should be taken into consideration with special focus on reduction of customs duties for advanced networking and security products which is currently at 20% to 5%. We expect the import/export process to be made digital and transparent so as to have an efficient RMA system for customers. There should be clear actions, policy, and reforms to promote the latest technologies like AI, IoT, Zero Trust, Machine learning, 3D printing, blockchain and simultaneously ensuring training facilities for all the mentioned technologies as part of skill development. Declare IT as a special focus sector for the country and roll out 5G in line with global markets.”
“There Is An Urgent Need To Simplify GST, Especially for Logistics Industry”
Kushal Nahata, CEO & Co-founder, FarEye
“The Budget 2019 should include regulations that will drive organizations to digitalize key logistics and supply chain processes. For instance, by mandating digitalization of certain key accounting, billing, and logistics processes the government can ensure greater levels of compliance (especially with regards to environmental sustainability) and tackle corruption better. Also, this year’s budget should highlight the current state of eWay bill adoption. The government can plan to introduce special windows to help logistics startups compete with large technology providers when it comes to winning government tenders. Also, there is an urgent need to simplify GST, especially with regards to the logistics industry. Once multiple types of businesses are brought under an organized trade structure, supply chain organizations will be able to deliver better value propositions to customers and hence boost revenue collections for the government. Deploying a uniform GST rate across the country is another initiative that the government needs to talk about in this year’s budget.”
“Expectations Ranging From Clarity On Angel Tax To Tax Exemptions On ESOPS”
Kartik Agarwal, CEO, Staunch
“In last 5 years government has launched more than 150 schemes and policies for the startup community interest. Further pushing the Indian youth to look at start-ups as a viable career option, we hope that resources, funds, and capitals provided by the government will be easy to access. We have huge expectations ranging from Clarity on angel tax to tax exemptions on ESOPS, easing active compliance norms and state level funding & infrastructure support.”
“An Easy Regulatory System, Policies, And Norms For The Startups”
Yogesh Bhatia, CEO, PreLoved Device
“India has provided a nurturing ground to numerous startups in the past few years. The country has produced a great number of startups that are leading at a global stage. Having just started up, we urge the government for an easy regulatory system, policies, and norms for the startups so that we can run our business without any administrative obstacles”.
“We Anticipate A Strong Push To ‘Cyber Safe India’ Initiative”
Deepak Gupta, CTO & Co-founder, LoginRadius
“From this year’s budget, we anticipate a strong push to ‘Cyber Safe India’ initiative, especially when it comes to privacy and consent management. With the increasing digital transformation, its necessary to have a process that oversees how companies save citizen data. The focus of such a framework should be cybersecurity and cyber frauds so as to ensure that organizations prioritize data protection. The impetus will help position India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions; putting more emphasis on data privacy and security of Indian identities. The Indian citizen data should ideally reside in India. Government has certainly put India on a digital innovation fast track, A collaborative framework for the public and the private sector will help create 100% digitally enabled services ensuring secure and seamless citizen interactions across service managed by new technologies such as IoT, AI, and analytics.”
“Taxes Could Shift More Towards Consumption Rather Than On Earnings”
Mayank Bidawatka & Mr. Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder, Vokal
“An economy grows leaps and bounds when many new people get additional spending power. We’ve seen that happen in China and the positive effects of disposable income increasing. The amount collected from income tax is very low in India. A very small % of the population pays this tax and most non-salaried people find smart ways to avoid paying this tax. Of the salaried, majority of the people paying tax are in the lower rung. As a result the have-nots get axed. Instead if we could increase the lowest tax bracket from 2.5 lakhs to 6 lakhs, that could help increase disposable income for the majority. Taxes could shift more towards consumption rather than on earnings. Even abandoning income tax for people and increasing it on luxury consumption could have a huge effect in giving a fillip to the economy. The angel tax caused a lot of heartburn in the ecosystem. While the tax was abolished, we should be careful of any policy that hurts the startup ecosystem. In this day and age of technology, a lot of the innovation will be seen from startups rather than larger established companies. Anything that hampers this innovation will hamper India’s future growth. The government should do everything in its power to help fuel innovation in India and ban policies that hamper such future growth.”
“We Urge The Government To Encourage Investments In Technology Hubs”
Bhavin Turakhia, CEO, Zeta & Flock
‘’For the upcoming budget, two key areas to focus on are – technology and India’s salaried population.India’s online economy has made significant strides, shifting from a largely ‘cash on delivery’ model to now clocking a massive number of online digital transaction. In the upcoming budget, an increased focus on giving better sops to build an infrastructure that can continue to empower individuals digitally will further boost our economy. Also, with technological disruption being key for startups’ growth today, we would urge the government to encourage investments in technology hubs that will help strengthen technologies such as AI, ML etc. The government must also work towards bringing in some respite to GST, by reducing the tax slab for technology services and products, encouraging the early adopter market to flourish.”
“Government Will Continue To Promote Manufacturing In India Through Its ‘Make In India’ Initiative”
Kishan Jain, Director, Goldmedal Electricals
“We are hopeful that the government would continue the good work it began carrying out in its first term with regards to GST, Make in India, and the host of initiatives it has undertaken in the power / FMEG sector. In the upcoming budget, we also expect that the Government continues its keen focus on improving India’s infrastructure as this coupled with ease of doing business would ensure India becomes a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 as envisioned by the Prime Minister. Additionally, I am confident that the Government will continue to promote manufacturing in India through its ‘Make in India’ initiative as this would not only provide a boost to Indian companies but also aid in creating more employment opportunities.”
“I Hope This Budget Reduces The Compliance Burden So That Businesses May Focus More On Growth”
Jitendra Chaturvedi, Director & Co-Founder, Batooni Mobile Advertising
“The economy has seen tightening of regulations in the past few years. Now the time has come to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurs and let a million businesses flourish. We need a jungle of new businesses and ideas that generate employment for a large number of semi-skilled people, and not curated gardens that favor a few. I hope this budget reduces the compliance burden so that businesses may focus more on growth.”
“The Government Must Introduce Favourable Policies, Tax Benefits Etc”
Javed Tapia, MD & CEO, Clover Infotech
“The Indian IT services industry is at a watershed moment. It has strongly aligned itself to ride the global digital transformation wave. There is a huge demand for skilled talent in IT services and the budget should earmark funds to address this. A thriving IT services sector will not only augment exports but also fuel the growth of our consumption economy. The government must introduce favourable policies, tax benefits etc. for skilling manpower and provide much needed employment boost. Enabling IT companies to strengthen India’s digital capabilities and train and employ human capital to seamlessly work on new-age digital technologies is the need of the hour.”
“Government Would Announce Further Measures To Improve The Ease Of Access To Finance For MSMEs”
Dr. Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun and Bradstreet
“The government’s commitment to support entrepreneurs could be evidenced in the form of credit guarantee schemes, easing of regulatory requirements for start-ups and time savvy technology introduced for tax compliance. In the Interim Budget, the government increased allocation to Interest Subvention Scheme for Incremental Credit to MSMEs by 25% over the previous year’s allocation. Given the current slowdown in MSME credit, it is expected that the government would announce further measures to improve the ease of access to finance for MSMEs.”
“Government Needs to Take Strong Steps Towards Ease of Doing Business”
Rajendra Chitale, CFO, Crayon Software Experts
“While the overall intention of the Government is in the right direction, it needs to take strong steps in reducing the bureaucracy and make life simpler and easier for doing business. Paying TDS on 7th of the next month means paying this out of your own pocket as the sales proceeds are not received by then. This causes a huge cash flow issue to businesses – especially those in the trading business and those with very low margins. Ideally this due date should be shifted to the end of the next month to ease out the cash flow pressures on businesses – say 26-27th of the month. Not to mention GST payments as well. Also would need more clarity on notifications issued earlier – especially considering the changes in business models – due to which earlier notifications are no longer relevant and have lost the very purpose for which they were issued.”
“We Expect That The Upcoming Budget Will Have More Emphasis On Financial Literacy”
Rustom Irani, MD, Hitachi Payment Services
“Notwithstanding the effort to make India a less-cash society, cash still holds prominence in all our day to day payments. In order to build a less-cash society, the government should build a mechanism where everyone in the country is empowered with regulatory, social, commercial and infrastructure framework that will help in last mile access to financial and other primary services. The idea to create 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years in the interim budget was one step towards creating such a framework. We expect that the upcoming budget will have more emphasis on financial literacy, push towards creating technology-led infrastructure and additional distribution channels in rural areas for last mile access.”
“We Are Optimistic That In This Budget Govt Will Provide Tax Relaxations For Fintech Companies”
Himanshu Pujara, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Euronet Services India
“With measures being taken to make cash and digital payments more accessible to the common man, the Government has demonstrated its willingness to work towards a more financially inclusive and empowered India. From past few years, the Ministry of Finance and the RBI has been creating an enabling environment for the payment sector. We are optimistic that in this budget Govt will provide tax relaxations for fintech companies and payments players which will led us to increase penetration and provide better customer service through constant innovation.”
“We Look Forward For The Government To Strengthen Investments In The IoT Sector”
Juergen Hase, CEO, Unlimit
“We expect the government to announce a budget that will encourage the entrepreneurial energy in the economy leading to more jobs and development. Most start-ups have a variable source of income and need support from various government sources and investors to grow and become successful. They won’t have the bandwidth to manage multiple GST registrations. We’re hoping the forthcoming Union Budget will boost the start-up eco-system by abolishing the Angel Tax and introducing a single GST registration. We look forward for the government to strengthen investments in the IoT sector, so that the benefits of IoT technology can reach the masses. As the government aims to build one lakh digital villages in India in the next five years, it’s imperative that the services are affordable to the end customers, hence, companies working in digital sector should be given incentives.”
“Government Should Encourage Technology Research And Initiatives Towards Skills Development”
Anjali Amar, Country Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions
“The Interim Budget which was announced early this year paid attention to strengthening the digital transformation and development of disruptive technologies across various sectors. The successful implementation of the Digital Village project will play a vital role in India’s digital transformation and vision to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. With this in mind, it is important for the Government to continue to work with the private sector and to encourage technology research, digital infrastructure development and initiatives towards training and skills development to take advantage of the next-generation of technologies. Technological development has outrun regulatory development but the tech industry deserves a strong and balanced regulatory framework which is technology neutral, flexible, dynamic, transparent and future-proof. The right regulatory and public policy environment is critical for driving investment – and investment which will, in turn, fuel the innovation which will be needed to bridge the digital divide.”
Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India
Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India.
Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India.
“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.
ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament
ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.
The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.
The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion.
The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:
- Country qualifiers
- Country finals
- Asia Pacific finals
Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.
Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals.
Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.
3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:
|ROG Masters APAC Championship||APAC Finals (USD/ team)|
Registration and Official Tournament Website
Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.
Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.
Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars
Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region.
The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia.
The team captains for each nation are:
- Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
- Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
- Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)
- Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
- Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
- Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)
- Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
- Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
- Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)
- RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
- Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
- The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)
Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!.
To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
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