Budget 2016: Tech industry cheers Arun Jaitley's nine-point agenda

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Union Budget for FY 2016-17 on Monday, bringing with it a raft of reforms and changes. The changes will significantly impact our lives in the times to come and we all have our take on the final result. Here are the reactions of some of the biggest names in the industry:

Budget 2016: Tech industry cheers Arun Jaitleys nine-point agenda

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Mr Sudhin Mathur, Director, Smartphones, Lenovo Mobiles Business Group:
“The Union Budget for FY 2016-17 is a big step in terms of aiding the common man, small entrepreneurs and companies looking to invest in India. Ease of doing business and financial sector reforms being two of the Nine pillars that the Government will look towards to transform India, is a welcome move.
In addition, the rationalisation of custom duties and excise duties for raw materials, manufacturing for the IT and Hardware sector apart from various sectors to boost the Government’s ‘Make In India’ sector are definitely going to boost the manufacturing sector and lower costs for firms looking to do business in India.”

Partha Iyengar - VP & Gartner Fellow, Country Manager Research (India), Gartner:
• “The budget has a number of positives in it - though in some cases they are ‘baby steps’:
• Focus on rural skills development and improvement of rural digital literacy
• Incenting the creation of domestic IP, driving domestic innovation
• Creating a favorable environment for startups
• Focus on infrastructure outlays
• Continuing the ‘Make in India’ focus with a few more specific ‘catalysts’ announced in the budget
• The focus on ‘Quality of Education’ as a specific initiative
As always though, the devil is in the implementation of these schemes. It is good to see a mention of review of program effectiveness as one of the goals in the budget, but till we see that followed up religiously it is hard to give it credence.”

Vibhor Jain, CEO, Atlanta Healthcare:
“Last was the year of planning and indications are that 2016 will be the year of action for ‘Startup India’. With the announcement made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, the Government has underscored its focus on the Indian startup ecosystem. A Tax holiday for startups for three of five years of setting up the company and lowering of Corporate IT rate to 25% are welcome and are steps in the right direction. In addition to tax relief, we are looking forward to ease of regulations around start-up capital, registration and closure processes for entrepreneurs in the country.”

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, IndiaMART:
"There are all the right key words, in the Finance Minister’s 9 Point agenda in this budget. Governance and Ease of Doing Business, Education and Skills, Infrastructure, Financial Sector and Tax reforms reflect dedication towards a pro Technology, Infra and Trade oriented year ahead. The budget intends to build robustly Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Social Sector and Rural employment to further bridge the gap between Bharat and India.
Lowering of Corporate IT rate for companies (for new manufacturing companies and SMBs) not exceeding Rs. 5 crore turnover to 25% plus surcharge, tax holiday for startups for three of five years of setting up the company, the massive investment in the road infrastructure would provide support and boost to the MSMEs, startups and our overall ecommerce industry.
The Budget further strengthens the Financial System starting with the recapitalization of Banks. Since, Capital is the biggest woe for any entrepreneur, disbursement of MUDRA funds to 1,80,000 crore would add the apt backing.
What makes me particularly happy is the impetus being given to Skill Development. It assures the creation of a developed ecosystem where the Young Demographic Dividend of India has ample avenues of enterprise and means of excellence.
The Budget, however, lacks on simplicity quotient by initiating varied cesses this year unlike last year. Cess and surcharge on clean energy, for Infra and Agri, and even in Corporate tax shall prove to be raising complexities and hindrance overall."

Prafulla Mathur, Founder and CEO, WudStay:
“I see this as a promising budget for entrepreneurs and startups. I am glad that the government has relaxed its taxation policies for startups. It will be a great opportunity for startups to utilise these funds into further scaling its business and operations. Also, the Finance Minister’s decision to relax taxes on capital gains for investors will generate a positive sentiment amongst the VC community which could help entrepreneurs looking to raise funds.
From a travel perspective, the revival of 160 airports should see a slight increase in domestic travel. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for these airports to be fully functional. Overall, I believe this is a decent budget with no negative implications for the startup community.”

Pramod Saxena, MD and Chairman, Oxigen Services Pvt Ltd:
“We are happy with the general direction of the budget as it lays emphasis on development of the rural sector, digitisation and reforms in banking. The digital literacy mission that has been announced which will target 6 crore households with financial literacy, with this the digital connect and payments connect will play an important role. Also, statutory status to Aadhaar will play a very big role in promoting digital payments, social benefit transfers and allowing several services beyond banking & insurance to be also be brought into its fold, whether it is government subsidies or government payments it will open a way for more government payments and subsidies to flow into the financial inclusion program.”

Manish Sharma, President CEAMA and Managing Director Panasonic India and South Asia:
“The Indian economy is growing at a rapid pace despite the global slowdown. The Finance Minister has clearly highlighted the growth pillars of the Indian economy in Agriculture, Rural, Social sector, Skills, Ease of Doing Business and Tax and Compliance reforms. We are happy with the government impetus on Make In India by providing tax and duty benefits and these will go a long way in strengthening the manufacturing capabilities of India. Another important milestone has been the use of technology to increase accountability of the government, authorities, and courts is a welcome step and will provide the right fillip to fast track procedures and will become the growth engine of the country. Skilling of youth of India by way of multi-skilled training institute and MOOCS will go a long way in tying the India growth story with the demographic advantage of India. Like always, we will continue supporting the government in its endeavour to fast track growth.”

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Updated Date: Feb 29, 2016 22:17:19 IST

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