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Unquestionably 2020 has been an unprecedented year and industry leaders hope that the upcoming budget will address the challenges faced by businesses and propel the economy towards faster recovery and growth.
IT experts opine digital technology and connectivity continue to be the cornerstone of India’s growth and leadership. Since the pandemic accelerated the shift to digital, they say there is a need to maintain this growth momentum, as it will have a cascading effect on creating efficient businesses, new jobs and all-round development.
Lower interest rate regime
According to CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, R&D spending must be increased to accelerate digital transformation and jumpstart education with a focus on next-gen technologies, skilling, reskilling and upskilling programmes to nurture young talent pool, subsequently accelerating a journey towards an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India).
“We also hope to see focused initiatives to boost consumer sentiment, accelerate infrastructure development, move towards a lower interest rate regime and increase investments in key areas including healthcare and education,” he said.
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From an IT perspective, Gurnani expects the government to create a fund for product companies along with extended SEZ (Special Economic Zone) benefits in the new normal of remote working, besides nurturing an ecosystem for deep tech startups in areas including blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality.
“India is on the path of a higher growth trajectory and the vision of a $5 trillion economy can be achieved with a focus on economic growth and development,” added Gurnani.
Sundararajan Sampath, EVP & Chief Financial Officer at CSS Corp, suggests that the upcoming tax regime must ensure that there should be 100 per cent clarity on the continued availability of SEZ tax benefits to all existing and new SEZ units even if they continue to operate on a WFH basis.
Furthermore, he said, “We hope all expenses to ensure WFH would be allowed as business expenditure. There should be no ambiguity on the allowability of such expenses.”
He further said, “With the recent Karnataka High Court verdict in M/S Biocon Ltd Vs Commissioner of IT, we hope the Employee Stock Option cost (Fair Market Value less strike price amortized over the vesting period of stock options) will be allowed as business expenditure.”
“We also urge the centre to bring back the 80G deduction for CSR expenditure for companies opting for the new tax regime,” added Sampath.