Nirmala Sitharaman holds first pre-Budget consultations with representatives of digital economy, startups

  • The main areas of discussion during the meeting included data issues like use of big data technology for SMEs and unleashing its power for public governance.

  • The representatives of digital economy, fintech and startups shared their views on big data, incentives for encouraging setting up of data centres and fiscal incentives for data localisation

  • While industry experts suggested improvements in their respective fields, they also gave a variety of solutions to the sector-specific problems

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday started her pre-Budget consultations with different stakeholder groups, the first one being with those from the digital economy, fintech and startups.

Sitharaman is likely to present her second Budget for the Modi 2.0 government in Parliament on 1 February.

The main areas of discussion during the meeting included data issues like the use of big data technology for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and unleashing its power for public governance.

 Nirmala Sitharaman holds first pre-Budget consultations with representatives of digital economy, startups

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PIB photo

The other issues included digital infrastructure and role of government, regulation of digital economy especially in privacy, financial regulation, ease of doing business environment for startups, infrastructure gaps for Digital India and taxation issues.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar, Secretary of Economic Affairs Atanu Chakraborty, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and Secretary at the Department of Electronics and Information Technology Ajay Prakash Sawhney.

Besides them, Secretary at the Department of Telecommunications Anshu Prakash, CBDT Chairman Pramod Chandra Mody, CBIC Chairman PK Das, Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance were also present on the occasion.

The representatives of digital economy, fintech and startups shared their views on big data, incentives for encouraging setting up of data centres, fiscal incentives for data localisation, incentives for pushing digital penetration in rural areas, corporate guarantee to startups for competing with other nations, rationalisation of minimum alternate tax rate and tax exemption for startup units.

They also spoke about the creation of specific agency for looking after cross border financial crimes, increasing women employment (gender dividend in skill development), training youth in skill development along with international internships and incentivising research and development within India.

While industry experts suggested improvements in their respective fields, they also gave a variety of solutions to the sector-specific problems. Many speakers suggested giving tax sops to startups and nurture them in the country.

The participants included representatives from Electronic and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, IIM Rohtak, Indian School of Business, MAIT, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India, Indian Cellular and Electronics Association, NASSCOM, Chamber of Start-ups, Industries and Entrepreneur (India) Council, Vishwakarma Skill University, Indian School of Business, ELCINA, Wipro Ltd, Jio Mobiles, Lenskart, Uber India and South Asia, Velankani Electronics, Apple India, Lava International and Paytm.

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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2019 19:27:05 IST