IT leaders upset over excise duty on mobiles, continuation of MAT on SEZs
BANGALORE, INDIA: Overall, the Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, on Thursday, is deemed 'balanced' by the IT industry, despite the lack of any stand-out initiatives for the sector.
After the FM's budget speech, most of the industry welcomed a couple of proposals, in particular. Among the budgetary measures that drew their appreciation were the 15 per cent tax allowance for investments over Rs. 100 crore in the manufacturing sector and skills building for the youth, attracting FDI, and new initiatives for MSMEs and the semicon industry.
"The 15 per cent investment allowance on manufacturing investment should give a fillip to domestic manufacturing," said Asim Warsi, vice-president, Samsung Mobile.
"The exemption of 15 per cent in investments of more than Rs. 100 crore to set up plant and machinery should provide a huge leg-up to the manufacturing sector. The commitment to increase the availability of low cost funds to infrastructure sector is noteworthy," welcomed Pradeep Nair, managing director, India and SAARC, Autodesk.
According to Rajat Jain, managing director, Xerox India, "The 15 per cent tax allowance is among some of the important measures announced for promoting investment in the country."
Nair was particularly pleased with the emphasis on national skill development as well as the separate amount of Rs. 200 crore to fund technology for common man. "Reassurances around the innovative direct cash transfer scheme and allocation of Rs. 80,194 crore in 2013-14 for Ministry of Rural Development, along with measures to promote skill development amongst youth bode well," added Jain.
The focus on technology infusion in agriculture and provisions regarding MSMEs will spur the growth of the economy in the right direction, felt Jagdish Mahapatra, managing director, McAfee India & SAARC, who added that the budget was a realistic one hinged on growth and development-oriented expenditure.
"The incentives to semiconductor wafer fab manufacturing facilities, along with provisioning zero customs duty for plant and machinery, is quite positive," he further stated.
From a technology perspective, said N. Chandrasekaran, chief executive officer, Tata Consultancy Services, "Allowing funding for technology incubators located within academic institutions to qualify as CSR expenditure as per new Companies Act, would give a huge boost to entrepreneurs and start-ups and increase the engagement of the corporate sector and start-ups."
"From the perspective of the IT industry, the clarifications on taxation rules regarding development centers and safe harbor rules are very welcome as are measures to drive skill development, with a special focus on tier-II and tier-III towns."