Budget 2013: Top expectations from CIOs

1 Author : February 18, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Last year, the IT industry weathered uncertainties in the global market, yet its aggregate revenues crossed the $100 billion mark. According to NASSCOM, export and domestic revenue stood at $69.1 billion and $31.7 billion respectively, growing by over 9 pc.

If that was something to cheer about, there was lots in general that failed to bring in positive outlook.

In December 2012, Credit Suisse lowered India’s growth forecast for the financial year ending March 2014 to 6.9 pc from 7.2 pc. That was alarming. Now, with yet another Union budget round the corner, there are hopes of a better growth graph for the country.

Expectations are high if you ask CIOs attending C-Change, CIOL’s business technology forum, in Bangalore from February 21-23.

Farhan Khan, AVP-IT at Radico Khaitan Ltd, doesn’t mince words when it comes to airing his priorities. And his long list includes custom duties, spectrum charges, etc. “The government needs to focus on infrastructure connectivity. Heavy duties on 2G and 3G make the services expensive. There is a need to streamline it and make it available for citizens. As we all know, 4G services are available only in few states even as other states struggle with 3G prices,” he says.

Another sector that needs attention is electronic manufacturing. “We all talk about and use Apple and Nokia phones, but why can’t we have their manufacturing units in India? Given the available skill set and infrastructure, it isn’t a big deal for them. The government must provide manufacturing facilities and create a conducive environment for the phone handset makers to set up their units in India,” he says.

Echoing Farhan’s views, Vinod Gupta, GM (IT), JK Corp Ltd, says: “It would be better if the government cuts infrastructure ownership cost so that application software procurement is made easy.”

Inflation hasn’t spared any sector. So with rising costs, it has been a difficult journey for almost all. However, that doesn’t stop anyone from making a wish list.

“The assembling of servers is a costly affair in India as they need to pay at least 20-25 pc of custom duties. The government must evade customs duty on server manufacturers,” says Farhan.

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