Wise words: more tech industry reactions to the Indian Budget 2014

July 11 2014: We bring you more industry reactions the 2014 Union Budget:
Dr. Kaustubh Nande, Country Marketing Head, ANSYS India:This budget definitely addresses some long pending reforms particularly on tax and duty structure on electronic imports. However, today's budget also extends investment deductions to semi-conductor wafer fabrication manufacturing units. This will boost electronics manufacturing and attract a greater share of R&D investments in the country. India needs to build intellectual capital in the long term and this budget perhaps is a good start. A positive and much needed boost to the electronics manufacturing and R&D sector.
Vivek Varshney, Vice President & Global Head Telecom Practice, UST Global: We feel that the new government has presented a progressive budget, which will help in creating an investor friendly environment and attract more foreign and domestic investment in the Telecom sector. Allowing FDI in telecom will attract more investment across functional technology areas like 4G and WiFi enablement of cities, railway stations and trains will create more opportunities for telecom solution providers like UST Global. Another key highlight of the budget is the creation of rural broadband vision which will allow telecom companies to be a part of inclusive growth and improve the penetration of technologies to rural households, thereby improving the living standards of the citizens. Government earmarking Rs 7,060 crore in this financial year for developing 100 smart cities in the country would also help create communication infrastructure.
Pardeep Jain, Managing Director, Karbonn: With the announcement of progressive measures aimed to strengthen domestic production, the first budget of new government is quite impressive and serves the purpose of strengthening the consumer electronics industry in India. The budget is geared towards developing a robust manufacturing infrastructure in the country. This budget promotes domestic manufacturing, which will help bring greater prosperity to Indian economy and help in creating immense job opportunities in the country. The Finance Minister has also proposed greater FDI into the economy that will boost up the domestic production.
 Anil Valluri, President: NetApp Indian & SAARC: It is a well-rounded, directional budget which doesn’t overpromise but tackles important issues. The proposal of a Digital India programme which begins with 500 Crore INR to facilitate pan-India broadband connectivity and eGovernance, encourages indigenous hardware and software entrepreneurship and supports a National Rural Internet and Technology Mission is another big step in the right direction. The ambitious project will enable delivery of imperatives such as healthcare and education and financial inclusion to the grass roots, while creating new job opportunity and innovation in the software, hardware and services industries. The  Rs 100 Crore provided to enable virtual classrooms through the CLICK initiative is a welcome gesture and the conundrum of skill  demand and supply  has also been addressed with strong initiatives around the IITs and AIIMS. The strong focus on the SME and start up ecosystem is refreshing. But the highlight of this year’s budget is the focus on use of technology to empower infrastructural projects such Smart Cities.Rohil Sharma, CEO, Perpetuuiti: Indian entrepreneurs can breathe a sigh of relief with the announcement of Rs 10,000 Cr fund to provide equity and soft loans for startups. For the first time, the finance minister’s budget speech talks of a special focus on software product startups. The fund would encourage product development ideas in IT and innovations. Earlier, multinational companies would easily grab market share because of lack of competition in the domestic Indian market. It is heartening to see that the government has finally realized the huge potential of the country's growing yet ignored startup space.
Anurag Rajpal, Director and CEO of American Swan: In the budget it has been stated that :FDI in the manufacturing sector is today on the automatic route. The manufacturing units will be allowed to sell its products through retail including E-commerce platforms without any additional approval.
This means that manufacturing units can sell through e-commerce platforms like Snapdeal, Ebay, Flipkart, Amazon.com etc in their current format in India, which they could do earlier as well. The budget is still ambiguous about allowing FDI in ecommerce.   While the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP)  is keen on opening E-commerce to FDI, as was made abundantly clear in the meeting with industry stakeholders, but they were also clear that they needed to understand how FDI would help boost manufacturing. A more robust online retail sector will spur manufacturing and help an economic revival. It is interesting to note that India currently does not allow global online retailers from selling goods directly to customers but allows them to own 100% of a marketplace business, where third-party suppliers can use their platform. Both Amazon and eBay use such a platform to operate in the country.