Focus On Technology And ICT In Budget Unprecedented: ESC Chairman
Welcoming the Union General Budget 2022-23, Sandeep Narula, Chairman, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) said that one aspect that stood in the Budget is its heavy dependence on technology, digital tools and platforms.
“Every new measure spelt out in the Budget, there is an interface with technology and digital platforms, be they are connected with introduction of the new digital currency to be operated through block chains, or welfare measures like education and healthcare, e-passports, banking, land reforms or programmes for ensuring better governance,” ESC chairman said, adding that as an organisation closely connected with digital India, “ we feel enthused and elated by this great transformation of leveraging technology for common good.”
Narula said that the impact of the Budget on the ICT industry could be gauged only after looking at the fine print of the Budget. Yet, ESC feels that the announcement by the Finance Minister to re-calibrate customs duties to provide a graded rate structure and duty concessions to help boost electronic products, is an encouraging one and hoped that such changes would be to further address the inverted duty structure on the ICT components to ensure a degree of protection to the struggling domestic component manufacturers.
Importantly, Narula said the government will be replacing the existing legislation on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to make it more attune to the needs of the industry and exporting community. It is important to take the business community, particularly the exporters into confidence while formulating the new policy to make the scheme industry friendly and to yield better results.
The finance minister has spelt out some of the expected benefits of the Production Linked Incentives, which the government has been coming out from time to time. The PLI scheme has, among other things, also extended to the ICT sector intended to create more production, exports and employment. While some of the large Indian and multinational companies have been beneficiaries of these schemes, MSMEs are largely kept out of it due to the entry level barriers. “We are hopeful the government will come out with a new scheme exclusively for the MSMEs to align them with global supply chains. Sooner that scheme for MSMEs is unveiled, the better since in countries where the ICT sector has been performing exceedingly well, MSMEs are the pillars,” ESC chairman added.
Focusing on the recently announced plan of Accelerated Corporate Exit Programme to ensure companies to walk out of the failed or unsuccessful business ventures, ESC Chairman opined that it is of equal importance as entry into the business. These two factors will greatly contribute substantially to ease of doing business. There should be a single window for the exit route to speed up the process of winding up instead of approaching various departments for such work, which is very time consuming. Narula also welcomed the other digital related aspects in the Budget, such as setting up of a digit.