Budget 2020: A strong tailwind to all things digital, say experts
Arun Gupta, Founder and CEO, MoMAGIC Technologies:
“As a new age technology player in the mobile advertising and IOT solutions space, the mention in the budget speech by the Honorable Minister about AI, IoT and Analytics and the Data being the new cliche for oil and hence the announcement of setting up of Data Centre parks throughout the country is a welcoming announcement,"said Mr. Arun Gupta, Founder and CEO, MoMAGIC Technologies.
Bharat Khatri, Country Lead, Xaxis India:
“The first Budget of this new brave decade continues to focus on digital infrastructure – BharatNet project getting additional Rs 6,000 crore funds to boost digital connectivity and allowing private sector to build data centers in India is a great move which reflects the Government’s clear vision to transform India into digitally empowered society. And as Sitharaman clearly pointed out that India has already started seeing innovations in the space of IOT, AI, data cloud, quantum computing, etc., which are all rewriting the world economic orders and will also disrupt the established conventional business models in India. To support these innovations and disruptions, the Budget also lays down a visionary roadmap on skill and education development by providing Rs 99,300 crore to boost quality of education and proposed to start degree level full-fledged online education programmes.
This Budget tried to accommodate expectation of various groups, however, the new income tax slabs regime looks like more of a jugglery of tax slabs and will end up bringing more tax burden for individuals, as one has to forego key exemptions like HRA, LTA, health insurance and more to avail of the new slabs.”
Chetan Asher, Co-founder & CEO, Tonic Worldwide:
“This Budget makes me optimistic about the growth of the digital ecosystem. Firstly, the Rs 6,000 crore allocation towards BharatNet will give last mile connectivity the impetus that it needs and pave the way for digital transformation at all levels. Allowing private players to build data centers and encouraging production of mobile and network devices will all complement each other in growing the ecosystem.”
MVS Murthy, Head - Marketing and Digital, Tata Asset Management:
“This Budget gives a strong tailwind to all things digital.
Support to smartphone manufacturing while harnessing the engineering and design skills is another progressive step in the Make in India story.
Over 6 lakh anganwadi workers being equipped with smartphones to upload the nutrition status of 10 crore households is a great step to leverage technology and address healthcare of children. Use of AI towards an endeavour to eradicate TB is yet another step towards human life enhancement.
Embracing technology through Analytics, IoT and AI augurs well for us as a 21st century powerhouse economy. Including 100,000 Gram Panchayats in this mission through BharatNet will integrate us as a nation digitally.
Smart meters, use of solar panels alongside railway tracks benefit the households and also make us be seen as a conscious consumer of green-tech.
There are enough opportunities for global companies, partners and start-ups in India to actively participate in India’s continued efforts in harnessing tech for public good and welfare.”
Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and Co-Founder, White Rivers Media:
“There will be views that support right and views that support left, but I strongly believe, data and digital occupied the centre piece of the Budget! The fact that we moved beyond jargon war and are marching towards embracing digital technology is a very strong positive move. New age technologies, keeping data and digital at the heart of it shall lead to big reforms. Focus on IoT, Data Parks, AI shall make India a strong contender amongst the top digital economies, globally. The ambitious fibre to home proposal shall get the next 100 million in the Digital universe soon. All in all, it’s a very positive Budget for digital by the Government, which has always vouched for the power of digital. The same, coupled with reduced tax slabs and abolition of DDT, shall lead to higher disposable income; thus enabling more consumption.”
Mitesh Shah, Head - Finance, BookMyShow:
“We would like to laud the Government for a growth-driven Budget. We welcome the progressive policies aimed at encouraging rural demand, changes in personal taxes to spur consumption, impetus to infrastructure development, measures aimed at bolstering growth and reversing slowdown. Additionally, taxation related to ESOPs as a perquisite and removal of DDT are significant moves. However, it would have been beneficial to have the benefits of taxation relief on ESOPs expanded to companies and industries at various stage of growth and not be limited to start-ups alone.
Compliance on e-commerce has been increased by mandating them to deduct a TDS of 1 per cent on all goods and services sold on e-commerce platforms. This would be in addition to TCS under GST and this amendment might further increase the cost of compliance for e-commerce companies. The Government’s vision to build data centre parks, allocation towards quantum computing and its focus on using artificial intelligence in statistical and other government departments will take India’s growth story to the next level and help further the Digital India dream.”
Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay:
“The Budget does meet some of the expectations from the FinTech industry and start-ups. The introduction of some sort of a tax relief on ESOPs was one of the biggest asks from the start-up industry – this deferment of tax payment by five years, to me, is one of the biggest welcome moves by the Government in this Budget. This is a good start and I hope we see more focus on this going forward. Secondly, the reduction on corporate tax to 22 per cent is an encouraging step. This is the lowest in the world and will be encouraging for Indian businesses. Lastly, the changed income tax slabs and rates is not only a huge income tax relief for individuals, but will also lead to an increase in disposable income, thereby giving a boost to consumer spending.”
Dr Pulkit Mathur, CEO & Co-Founder, Queppelin:
“It was heartening to see FM Sitharaman recognise the importance of Deep Tech in driving the next wave of growth in India. From AI in Ayushman Bharat to Data Centre Parks to allocation of Quantum Tech – there is enough in this Budget for the Technology sector to be enthused about.”