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Feb
 
Tech Take on Union budget 2017

February 2 2017:  Industry views on national budget 2017:
Government

J. A. Chowdary, Advisor IT & Special Chief Secretary to Chief Minister, Government of Andhra Pradesh: The transformative potential of Union Budget 2017 is enormous. Thanks to the initiatives proposed in the Budget, next-generation Knowledge Service Hubs such as Fintech Valley, Andhra Pradesh can emerge as growth magnets and growth drivers for the Indian economy
INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS:
M N Vidyashankar, President IESA: Benefits to the start-ups will fillip in promoting the start-up ecosystem in IndiaWith the Government's announcement to promote women entrepreneurship, Dalits and all the sections of the society, there will be an increased boost in independent business and entrepreneurship in the country with more focus on the garment, textile and food processing. We will have an immense role to play along with MSMEs in making the Startup India Scheme initiative successful as 96% of the Indian companies will benefit from this. The investments made by the Government in SWAYAM which will provide 350 online courses in IT and enable students to attend the courses virtually. This initiatives will give impetus to implementation of national programmes like Digital India, Make in India, Smart Cities as skilled workforce is at the core of the programs’ success, overall accelerating India’s economic development.
NASSCOM: For the IT sector, leading the start-up journey, extending the time period for eligibility for the 3 year income tax exemption, from 5 years to 7 years will allow for startups to actually avail the benefit, as most startups do not make profits in the initial years of their operations. Govt support for investments and scaling up, by allowing carry forward of losses even if stakes are diluted beyond the stipulated 51%, subject to safeguards, was part of several recommendations from NASSCOM on strengthening the start-up ecosystem. However, other equally critical recommendations related to  harnessing domestic investors and removal of angel tax have not been accepted.TDS on payments to call centres have been reduced from 10% to 2%. This will improve working capital available with call center companies and potentially support cos in their expansion to Tier 2/3 locations, However, this is possibly the only IT sector focussed announcement in the budget. Several Industry recommendations to help sustain and grow global competitiveness of the sector like support for Research, development and innovation, rationalising safe harbour margins to more realistic levels and roadmap for corporate tax reduction have not seen place in the Budget 2015-16.
Analysts
Partha Iyengar, VP and Gartner Fellow, India: The biggest positive is the continued focus on infrastructure (roads, railway, housing, tier-II airports et al) in general and rural infrastructure (affordable homes, rural electrification) in particular, including e-infrastructure with the increased allocation to BharatNet (erstwhile NOFN). This will allow commercial activity to expand to the rural segment in a much more efficient manner, if the aim of achieving the broadband connectivity targets by 2018 is actually met.
In another sign of the fact that the IT industry has become quite mature and does not need sops to continue its growth trend (other factors like Trump notwithstanding), there were no overt steps taken – and none expected – for the industry, and there is no hue and cry about it. In a sense it is a no-news is good-news story for the sector from a budget perspective.”

Tech industry
Aniketh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Solutions Infini
: The union budget is perfectly balanced to speed up the business growth of start-up sector in Indian economy. We welcome the proposition of 25% tax for companies having less than 50 crore turnover in a year. Though there were some expectations regarding removal of MAT but our finance minster has allowed the companies to carry forward of MAT from 15 years as against 10 years is also a great move taken by them. This provides the companies an additional five years before they become liable to pay their MAT. There are many immense moves taken by finance mister like extension of 7 years holiday tax from 3 years for start-ups to encourage their entrepreneurship in coming years. This helps to boosts the entrepreneurs and generates maximum profit for the business.
Rostow Ravanan, CEO and MD, Mindtree: This budget has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cybersecurity in finance, and bringing greater coordination and transparency between departments. The Computer Emergency Response Scheme is a great initiative which will smoothen coordination between finance regulators. The push to drive adoption of mobile and an Aadhaar-enabled payment system will help bring in greater financial inclusion amongst citizens. Additionally, IT exemption for start-ups will help reduce income tax for smaller companies with a turnover less than INR 50 crore, which we believe will significantly improve the ease of doing business for smaller businesses and start-ups in India.

Education/skills:
Shekar Sanyal, Director and Country Head,  IET: The Union budget 2017-18 with its very specific focus on Higher Education is a welcome relief to this sector. The enhanced focus on skill development, with over 100 India International Skills Centres established across the nation and the INR 2,200 Crore allocated for vocational training will  help bridge the skill gap among the youth. The Finance Minister has rightly shifted his focus on the youth as we stand as the nation with the largest youth population in the world with 356 million youth.
Sanjay Jalona, MD & CEO – L&T Infotech: One key take away from the Union Budget is that technology will continue to play a pivotal role in governance as well as the ecosystem of the nation. Overall, the budget is well balanced and new initiatives such as SWAYAM, imparting education on foreign languages under Skill India, AADHAR enabled payments, augur well in skill development and digitalisation. On direct tax front, extending period of MAT credit, additional favourable measures for start-ups to foster innovation, concessional tax rate for Small and Medium Enterprises, are all welcome moves.   
Partha DeSarkar, CEO, HGS Hinduja Global Solutions, the IT-BPM arm of the Hinduja Group:  The Government’s transformative move to enhance the ‘Skill India’ campaign with 100 skill centers and online training platform Swayam is a positive step.  The focus on quality education through a revised framework for educational institutions and employable skill development for the younger generation will encourage the IT /BPM sector to further deepen their presence in Tier II and Tier III cities. Also, increasing the MAT credit carry forward period from 10 to 15 years will help companies in SEZs to utilize the same when moved into normal tax regime.
Ajay Chhangani, CEO & Co-Founder of RISE INDIA The finance minister has taken numerous great moves in union budget’17 like implication 25% tax on companies having less than 50 crore turnover. Also, the setup of 100 international skill development centres and 350 online courses with top faculty would help in energize the youth and accelerate the employment growth of the country. Allocation of 1.84 lacs crores for skill development for women is the biggest ever initiative on women empowerment taken by Government of India.
MOBILES:
Sanjeev Bhatia, CEO of Zopo Mobile India
 In the direction of making India a Digital nation a needful decision was made, with the focus rightly on digital India the budget also gave boost to telecom and manufacturing sector through Digital India. Modernization is good for any nation, for a successful and powerful nation fast growth can only be reached with the help of technology. Those portions of India that are deprived from the fruits of technology will now be able to enjoy it.
Government's mission to connect 1,50,000 gram panchayats with hotspots and digitization will increase the use of technology and will create a friendly environment for digital payment system. No doubt Smartphone will play a crucial role in strengthening Indian economy. In today’s world technology and smartphones go hand in hand this step will lead to more demand of smartphones and will create the a wide spectrum for smartphones companies to compete for and to deliver.
Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager for ASUS India: The budget gave the smartphone industry a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Government’s thrust on digitization through its push on Aadhaar-enabled payments will provide impetus to the demand of mobile phones in the country. The BHIM app has already been adopted by 125 lakh people and government’s plans to introduce two new schemes to promote its use will make the concept of a cashless society and digital currency, a reality. In addition to this, proposed extension of the OFC network to 1,50,000 gram panchayats for high speed broadband connectivity and rollout of 4G in the country will create a more digitally inclusive society. The budget was also conducive to promoting domestic manufacturing of electronics. With a provision of INR 745 crores in 2017-18 in incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF, manufacturing of smartphones in India should see a boost.
Arvind R Vohra, Country CEO & MD, Gionee India: We are positive, that the Government’s increased allocation and incentives in schemes like M-SIPS and EDF will provide the necessary push to the mobile and internet manufacturing economy . Also the allocation of INR 10,000 crore in BharatNet provides the much needed boost for the penetration of Digital India into the rural segment, and for strengthening the consumptions of smartphones.
Rajesh Agarwal, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics: It is heartening is that the government has announced multiple measures which can improve local manufacturing and create a better component ecosystem for mobile handset makers. The allocation of Rs 745 crore is a welcome move which will provide impetus to local component manufacturing in the electronics sector.  "Make in India" is a great opportunity given India has attracted huge investments in local manufacturing lately not only benefitting the economic growth but also creating increased employment. The investment of Rs. 10,000 crore towards that aim will definitely be beneficial to further grow local manufacturing. At Micromax we are committed to support the Make in India initiative and invest accordingly.
Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei India. We are pleased to note that the current budget strongly supports the progressive vision of a Digital India set by Government. The allocation of Rs 10,000 crore towards BharatNet will give an overall boost to broadband connectivity in the country. The success of the BHIM app and announcements related to its promotion, Aadhar based swipe machines, and tax exemption to those who use Aadhar based POS machines, will all help accelerate acceptance of digital payments.
Startup views
Girish Rowjee, Co-founder and CEO, Greytip Software: The 2017 Union Budget has several positive elements that will significantly impact the MSME and Startup sectors. While the overall budget was well-balanced, the reduction in corporate taxes by 5% will immensely benefit the MSMEs in India and spur growth in the domestic sector. Legislative reforms to streamline and amalgamate existing labour laws into four codes will significantly help in simplifying the effort required on statutory compliances and result in improved compliance across organisations.
Adhil Shetty, CEO & Co-founder, BankBazaar: Often, for start-ups and MSMEs, the smaller funds at critical points have the potential to change their operating landscape. The budget has several provisions for start-up that can help them conserve that amount. Taxes for start-ups and small businesses have seen a dip, with the profit-linked deduction available to start-ups for 3 out of 5 years extended to 7 years now. The Income Tax for MSME up to 50cr turnover has been reduced to 25% and the presumptive income tax for enterprises whose turnover is up to Rs.2 crore has been reduced to 6% from 8%. These measures bring down the operating expenses and give start-ups a little more breathing space and room to conserve resources and grow.
Nita Kapoor, Head – India New Ventures, News Corp: Much like the Startup India initiative, the Union Budget 2017 has left the Indian startup community asking for more. Be it a 5 year tax holiday or the profit linked-deductions for start-ups are benefits which are virtually redundant. This is because there is a long gestation period for them to even break even, forget achieving profitability. Had there been fiscal incentives for private sector to support the setting up of more incubators through industry academic partnerships, that would have been a positive for startups in India.
Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Manager, DigitalOcean.: The Government's announcement to allow eligible startups to avail their 3-year tax holiday in a block of 7 years as against the earlier 5 years is a useful one and should give further impetus to the Startup India initiative. Also, the intent to move towards a cashless economy and initiatives to strengthen the digital infrastructure augurs well for the ecosystem. 
Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder, UrbanClap:The new policy proposed in the budget, allowing startups a 3 year tax holiday in the first 7 years of their existence is a welcome change. However, this policy could have been more impactful had it included startups incorporated prior to 31 Mar'16, and extended the period when the tax holiday can be availed from 7 to 10 years. 
Rajiv Vij, CEO & MD, Carzonrent.com:The investments proposed in the area of skill developments are a welcome step. The investments in building National Highways is a welcome step for the car rental industry. The impact of the demonetization drive is visible with progressive steps taken for an inclusive and cashless economic future of India 
B S Nagesh, Founder, TRRAIN, a Mumbai-based startup working towards betterment of retail shop floor employees: The Union Budget’s focus job generation at village and rural level is a big plus for millions of youth looking for employment. Setting up of Pradhan Mantri Skill Kendras in 600 districts and additionally providing foreign language education will broaden their chances to get better paying jobs. Also, setting up of Mahila Shakti Mantra to empower women with skill development and computerization would translate into including more women into the workforce is a big plus too.
Make in India
Kuldeep Malik, Country Head - Corporate Sales International, MediaTek India: We were expecting Financial Budget 2017 to offer incentives to start inflow towards design led manufacturing in place of assembly led manufacturing ecosystem, but it seems government not yet convinced towards adopting multiple layered incentives for localization while increasing the duties on CBU (Completely built Units), overall based on the information available from the budget the impact of the policies seems to be neutral for mobile/tablet industry, at best.
There has been a 2% increase in duties levied on import of PCBA in India, which still will reflect only on one part of the manufacturing cycle with focus on assembly of mobile handsets. On the other hand, providing attractive incentives for localization of design and R&D capabilities would have bolstered the 'Make in India' initiative, and driven more handset makers to introduce design led manufacturing in India.
Security
Altaf Halde, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab- South Asia
:Post demonetisation the number of digital transactions have increased, and also the concerns about cyber security. The government has taken a step to address this by announcing to set up ‘Computer emergency response’  team for cyber security of financial sector. It will lead to collaboration between the technology companies and the banking system in the country.  For sure, this will create more opportunities domestically for the IT and technology businesses in India and offer higher trust level for customers.
Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Axis Communications: We see conducive growth for the security and surveillance industry. Axis Communications sees tremendous potential in India as a market for security solutions as the country is experiencing rapid economic growth and sectors like banking, IT, transportation, retail, healthcare including the Government, City Surveillance/Safe City & Critical Infrastructure where security is a key concern.
Digital economy
Rakesh Desmukh, CEO & co-Founder, Indus OS
:The Budget is an extremely promising one, and extremely pro digital economy. Several of the initiatives rolled out seek to include the masses into the ‘Digital’ India’ fold, making it possible for them to not only have the right technology to transact online, but also the right broadband infrastructure to provide Internet to data dark areas. Specific announcements and provisions like the target of Rs 2,500 crore digital transactions across platforms like UPI, AadharPay, IMPS, launch of AadharPay for merchants, and Aadhar-based smart cards for senior citizens, all encourage more Indians to come online and gives them more reason to transact online. Incentives to promote the use of BHIM app will make citizens more comfortable with mobile wallets, and we see all of these as providing a major boost to India’s move to digital.
Thyagarajan Seshadri, President of Banking Relations at Electronic Payment and Services:Budget 2017 provides impetus and growth to Digital Payments, proposes change to the Payments and Settlements Systems Act, and envisages a Payment Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India. It paves way for digital economy by focussing on speed, accountability and transparency. 
In the payments platform, there is no concrete implementation plan passed yet, which further requires deeper understanding on action plans catering to Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and cashback scheme for merchants, and target set for 2,500 crore digital transactions by 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards.
Govind Rajan, CEO FreeCharge: FreeCharge welcomes the policy measures aimed at accelerating the adoption of a digital economy in India. The incentives for adoption of fintech equipment, expansion of digital infrastructure in under-served areas, Aadhar Pay for wider adoption by merchants and capping cash transactions at Rs 3 Lakhs, all together have kept the spotlight on building a less-cash India. In doing so, we will all help build a transparent and efficient future for our country.
Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-founder and Managing Director, Capital Float: This budget is transformational at its core, aimed at propelling India towards becoming a digital economy while increasing employment opportunities and having a determined focus on rural development. The Government’s push for digitizing infrastructure is heartening. Incentivizing cashless transactions at fuel stations, hospitals and railways, rolling out 1 million POS terminals by March and proposing a payment regulatory body to the RBI will help create a robust architecture for digital transactions. Activating Aadhaar Pay and providing referral bonuses and cashback schemes to promote BHIM will drive digital money in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.
Raja Lahiri, Partner, Grant Thornton India: The budget clearly covered the intent to expand the use of technology in India for a robust “digital economy” which would be enable speed, accountability and transparency and includes expanding the digital “less cash” economy with the launch of Aadhar linked pay, BHIM app etc to support digital payments and increased use of technology in tax and Government administration. 
e-commerce
Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder, ShopClues: Push for Digital transformation & financial inclusion is applauded but the government has deployed lot more sticks rather than carrots too to push the “less-cash” agenda. I would have expected zero TDR for small value digital transitions. Investments in infrastructure, focus on Bharat & employment guarantee & women empowerment, political trans is welcome. Corporate tax break for SMES is very nice, and much awaited, it is important that Government recognizes SMES to be the engine of India’s GDP growth. Incentive for Startup fell short of expectations.
MSME
Shilpa Mahna Bhatnagar, CEO & Co-Founder Evoxyz Technologies
:The Union Budget 2017 gives me a mixed feeling, certainly more on the positive side.  On the positive side, there has been tax reduction on MSMEs, these concessions will also build a platform for MSMEs to embrace the company’s format, reduction of custom duties on hardware for Fintech innovation and increase in child and women healthcare fund, the only concern which advances is that whether we as startups will be able to use them.
Sudhir Singh, MD Marg Compusoft: The government did not disappoint corporates, especially SMEs and MSMEs on the much expected reduction of tax rates. For small and medium businesses with annual turnovers of less than 50 crore, the tax has been reduced from 30% to 25%. This was a much needed tax reform. It will enable small businesses and medium size businesses to improve infrastructure and adopt digital technology. 
Sunil Gupta, Founder & Director, ExportersIndia.com.  This budget has upped allocation for rural, agriculture and allied sectors by 24% has opened scope for increasing investments and yielding multiple benefits. The rapid growth in manufacturing sector is a good sign for overall economy. The new FDI policy is a welcome move. MSMEs and start ups have all the reasons to cheer with a dip in income tax to 25% for companies with an annual turnover of Rs.50 crore. Their grin grows wider with the FM proposing dip in bank lending rates. Incentives such as cash backs, referral schemes on BHIM app is all set to push the use of digital transactions which is yet another reason for MSMEs to move to online business models.
Travel/Tourism
Aditya Loomba, Joint Managing Director, ECO Rent A Car
 I wished there could have been more focus on our Tourism and Hospitality industry as it has a much greater potential for growth and needs suitable investments.We are a large country with an amazing potential for tourism. If the tourism grows, it has cascading benefits on Employment, GDP and general image building of our nation
Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder ixigo: Kicking off on a good note, this year’s Railway budget brought happiness to many with the removal of service charges on bookings made through IRCTC - indicating the government’s focus to drive more digital transactions.

Electronics
Manish Sharma, President & CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia
: Tthe government’s move on imposing a 2% special additional duty on populated printed circuit boards (PCB) used for mobile phones imported into the country, will provide adequate protection to the domestic industry and give the necessary impetus to Make-in-India under the GST regime.

e-commerce
Manoj Gupta, Co- founder Craftsvilla
:There is nothing big bang in this Union Budget. There is very little for startups and ecommerce. Abolition of FIPB would hopefully make FDI easier. Was looking forward for the Government to take more proactive actions on areas like handloom and tourism that has huge potential for India. 
Vishwavijay Singh, Co-founder, SaleBhai.com. The hero of the Union Budget 2017 is definitely the rural sector, with finance minister Arun Jaitley allocating Rs 1,87,223 crore for rural-agri development. As an e-commerce player, I see consumption in rural areas going up. With rural areas likely to witness greater digital penetration, the e-commerce sector is surely to benefit.  
Neelesh Talathi, CFO-Pepperfry.com
The Indian furniture industry employs around 5mn people and over 85% operate in the unorganised sector. We are heartened with the Government’s investment in skill upgradation and tax relief for the MSME sector. 
Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal: We commend the focus on growing the digital footprint in the country  -  enhancing digital infrastructure, capping cash transactions, reducing cash donations, using Adhaar Pay to enable more digital payments are significant measures. Initiatives make an impact when there is continued attention and the announcement of today builds on the demonetization efforts of last few weeks.
Healthcare
 Ravi Virmani, MD & Founder, CrediHealth:  The Union Budget 2017 has taken a step towards making healthcare not just affordable but structurally robust as well. However, technology could prove to be a disruptive factor in assuring that the healthcare reaches out to those who have been hitherto isolated from it. But, unfortunately the budget has completely overlooked the health-tech startups which are changing the landscape of healthcare industry in India. With a focus on transparency and reach, they have been deprived of an opportunity to make an dent in healthcare ecosystem. 
Pradyumn Singh, Co-founder and CEO, Pharmarack: The thrust on cashless transaction and move towards digital economy will help startups like ours which is all about bringing stakeholders of Indian pharma sector online and facilitate automated sales order processing. The encouragement to go digital will encourage more and more distributors to move important component of their business online. From a company perspective, reduction in tax rate for MSMEs with annual turnover of Rs 50 crore is a big plus and for startups exemption from paying taxes on income has also been changed to 3 out of 5 years to 3 out of 7 years is a big incentive to foster more innovative startups in India.
Housing
Sangeeta Banerjee, Co-Founder & CEO, ApartmentADDA: When it comes to Real Estate / Housing, the Budget is solely oriented towards boosting Affordable Housing, as expected. Affordable housing defined as House Cost up to Rs.50Lakh or Carpet Area of 300 sqft in metros and 600 sqft in other cities.. This definition varies for different benefits in the budget.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ( RECEIVED ON  Feb 3)

Gaurav Vohra, CEO & Co-Founder, Jigsaw Academy, The Online School of Analytics: Limiting cash transactions to 3lakh, is a big push to advance towards a digital economy that ensures more digital transactions coming under the radar for tracking. Analytics can help the government follow user transaction trends, plan and target subsidies better, weed out black money and tax evaders, thus helping improve govt finances. We are also helping the government achieve this and are proud to say that employees from Income Tax department and the central government are also among our student base. This shows that the Government and employees are putting their focus on analytics and we at Jigsaw Academy are proud to partner with them!
Adhil Shetty, CEO & Co- founder, BankBazaar: The budget reiterates that the road to financial inclusion is through digital finance. As a Fintech company, this attitude is very encouraging to BankBazaar as well as the Fintech industry as a whole.From our perspective, the budget has two highlights: the push on infrastructure and the cap on cash transactions. On one hand, we have the Bharat Net project to bring high-speed broadband to gram panchayats to enable higher connectivity and access to banking services, and POS and Aadhar-based POS especially in rural areas to facilitate digital payments. On the other hand, we have a cap on cash transactions above Rs.3L. There is also a Computer ERT for cyber security being planned. All these measures will enable a culture of digital finance and provide the required support and confidence to people to enter the formal banking system in the country and transact digitally.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO - Paytm: It is a digital economy budget. Government has pushed the digital theme in every area of the budget. Every person from a small shops to consumers are pushed towards the digital economy. Tax benefits, incentives to use digital payments and extending loans based on a digital footprint will create a larger merchant ecosystem for digital payments. Incentives for labour intensive sectors including housing,  farming and dairy will help SMEs to create new jobs.
Sudhir Kumar, CEO, itel Mobile India: The Union Budget-2017 carries significant prospects for manufacturing brands. The FM has included provisions meant to boost electronic manufacturing by promoting MSIPS and EDF. Such policies would further receive funds worth 745 crores in FY18, hence, promoting indigenous manufacturers and attracting innovation and technology prowess engineered by foreign countries. And while the manufacturing sector celebrates policy changes, we further appreciate the streamlined delivery of these products, via the GST bill.
Abhesh Verma, COO nexGTV: I welcome the budget and appreciate the clear commitment shown by the Government towards fueling the growth of digital adaptation. by focusing on underlying infrastructure. This is reflected in the availability of more spectrums and 10k crore worth of budget allocation for fiber optic laying beyond the already laid 155000 km. The availability of bandwidth will help Indians adapt to the digital lifestyle and thus, will help in the growth of the entire ecosystem
Aashish Kalra, Chairman of Cambridge Technology: The future of India is being defined, it is a digital India that can leap frog the world. With demonetization coupled with tax reform - GST and progressive taxation and other reforms proposed by this budget‎. The friction to savings and commerce are being removed.
Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, Dean of Academics, IIIT-Delhi: In his the Budget Speech 2017, it was heartening to hear the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley lay emphasis on energising the youth of the country. This is indeed important and has to be done by creating an environment conducive to innovation and scientific thought process. The Finance Minister also offered to set up an Innovation Fund for secondary education for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. This is a welcome move and hopefully it will include ICT enabled learning. In Higher Education, Mr. Arun Jaitely proposed to provide autonomy to institutes of higher education to further add impetus to growth in the private sector. More autonomy is always welcome. The Ministry also proposed the setting up of a National Testing Agency for all Entrance Exams. But the National Testing Agency should not only manage large scale tests, but should also have a research wing for research on testing like ETS in USA. 
Sudhir Singh, MD Marg Compusoft: The Union Budget which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented in Parliament today is on the whole progressive and forward-looking. The government did not disappoint corporates, especially SMEs and MSMEs on the much expected reduction of tax rates. For small and medium businesses with annual turnovers of less than 50 crore, the tax has been reduced from 30% to 25%. This was a much needed tax reform. It will enable small businesses and medium size businesses to improve infrastructure and adopt digital technology.
Reshmi Khurana, Managing Director and South Asia Head, Kroll : The proposed Computer Emergency Response Team is the need of the hour. It will encourage companies that have faced cyber incidents to report such incidents to the regulators and will hopefully lead to an organized effort against perpetrators of cyber-crimes. Currently organizations are not necessarily obligated to report cyber-crimes; they deal with them privately, because reports of such crimes can have an adverse effect on their reputation. Kroll’s Global Fraud Report for 2016/17 indicates that 73% of participants in India reported experiencing a cyber incident in the past year, indicating that this is a long term threat.
Tamaal Roy, CEO, Biomatiques Identification Solutions:The Union Budget 2017 is a significant move to push digital payments. The biggest highlight from the technology perspective is the exemption of components from taxes to encourage domestic manufacturing of these devices by providing exemptions like BCD (basic custom duties), excise duties, CVD (countervailing duties), SAD (special additional duty) on) on.  miniaturised card readers and mPOS micro atms, finger print readers, scanners and iris scanners. 
Sameer Narkar- Founder of Konnectinsights.com: The 2017 budget is appreciable as digitalization is the main focus of the budget. The budget also focuses on encouraging the emerging industry to grow by reducing the corporate tax for companies with less than 50 Crore annual turnover. The proposal of new initiatives for the digitalization through Make in India will also continue to open more employment opportunities for the youth. This will help to take our country to a brighter future.
Sumesh Menon, Co-Founder and CEO, U2opia Mobile:The Union Budget announced today, reinstates the government’s focus on creating a holistic growth opportunity for early stage start-ups in the country. The tax holiday for startups for three out of seven years of setting up the company, will ease the business process. This will lead to a positive growth environment in which new businesses can operate and thrive, moreover it will also allow early stage startups the right kind of headway required to kick start their operations.
Manoj Nair, CEO & Founder, RedGirraffe.com: One of the most profound effect on real estate that we saw in this budget relates to Section 23 of Income Tax Act. Individuals holding house property which is vacant throughout the year shall be subjected to tax on the properties’ deemed rental value. However all builders & developers shall enjoy a year long relief, who hold properties as stock in trade as there would be no tax on deemed rental value for a period of one year from the end of the year in which the occupation certificate was granted. While I expect an inundation of properties in the residential market thereby crashing rentals down further, this move indeed provides much needed respite, albeit for a year, for already stressed Real Estate industry.

 

 




    


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