Pre-Budget Expectation from IT, Education and Telecom sectors

In order to provide a steady impetus to initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India, our manufacturing sector needs to ramp up. Towards this, we need to work towards providing tax sops and liberalise norms to ensure greater access to working capital.

Jan 31, 2018 04:01 IST India Infoline News Service

IT Sector

Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, Chairman, IET-IoT India Panel and President, Aeris Communications, India

“As far as IoT deployments are concerned devices form a key input. To bring down capital investments, we need seriously look at lowering tax on hardware from 18 to 5 percent. This will give a flip to IoT projects in the country. Another area that needs attention is the need to rationalise the spectrum license fees so that more MVNOs can enter and reduce connectivity bottlenecks. Banks should look at relaxing their norms for start-ups (as a subsidy or by offering soft interest rates for loans) . This will improve access to working capital for vendors and eco-system participants involved in IoT projects.

In order to provide a steady impetus to initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India, our manufacturing sector needs to ramp up. Towards this, we need to work towards providing tax sops and liberalise norms to ensure greater access to working capital. Nowhere is it more relevant than in the field of IoT as we are right now in the initial adoption stages and this is the right time to set the right vision and goals.”

Education

Shekar Sanyal, Director and Country Head, the IET

Mr. Shekar Sanyal, Director and Country Head, the IET.

“With the technology industry undergoing a massive transformation and with more processes becoming intelligent and autonomous, job security still remains a major threat. At the onset of Industry 4.0, it is essential to onboard our workforce to the digital economy. Changes will not only require reskilling of manpower but also have the ability to adapt to change and an intense desire to learn in order to front end the digital revolution. With this in mind, we at the IET look forward to the Budget 2018 to continue its focus on skill development initiatives and boost application based learning. With the change in Engineering syllabus which focuses on problem solving and catering to industry requirements, we hope to see a strong engineering and technology driven ecosystem in India.”

Ganga Rejuvenation

Prof. Dr. Pradeep Srivastava, Chairman, Ganga Rejuvenation Working Group IET India IoT Panel.

“The National Mission on Clean Ganga has been sanctioned Rs 20,000 Cr and out of which only Rs 2958 Cr has been spent, although lot needs to be done. The Pollution level of Ganga and not only Ganga but Yamuna and many such rivers are very high. At least for Ganga rejuvenation attempts should be at monitoring, and evaluation of Pollution levels using IOT tools at least across 56 points at Haridwar, Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi and Patna so as to efficiently design discrete methodologies for water treatment and also treatment plants using real time cloud data. Suggestions should include support for the design of Common Treatment Plants at least in Kanpur and Varanasi. The budget should include such provisions and support such activities.”

Telecom

The IET Telecom Working Group

Mohan Raju, Regional Manager - Bharti Airtel Limited

Jeurgen Hase CEO, Unlimit powered by Reliance

Satish Mittal, CTO, Senior VP, Vodafone

VS. Shridhar - Senior VP and Head of IoT business unit at Tata Communications

Monika Gupta, Telecom Consultant (Former CIO B2B, Bharti Airtel)

Mohan Raju, Chief Strategy Officer at Azuga, Inc

“The telecom regulatory levies and taxes today is 30% plus which is extremely high. This definitely has to be reduced to 20% or lower. With the sharp decline in revenue & profitability and increased debt burden, relief from high taxes and regulatory levies is much needed by the telecom industry. It is requested that SUC be reduced to 1% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) to recover administrative costs and USOF be brought down to 3% of AGR with the ultimate objective of doing away with it completely.

GST – 18% is very high. This has to be reduced. In addition to the license fee, SUC, USO fund paid by the telcos, GST at 18% is very high and should be brought down to the lowest slab of 5%. This would benefit the consumers and make the telecom services more affordable for all segments of society.

Custom duties of telecom gear ( 4G LTE equipment related, sensors, devices, set top boxes etc ) has to come down significantly. I think it is close to 11% . 

Lower cost of connectivity devices will go a long way in IOT adoption at scale. Custom duty exemption on 4G LTE network equipment import has also been withdrawn - so either new technology telecom equipment imports are exempted from custom duty or basic custom duty (BCD) rates applicable are reduced.

Request for formation of TFC (Telecom finance corporation) or Infrastructure bank by government to provide loans at reduced rates to telecom companies and be allowed to issue tax free bonds - this will help reduce the overall cost of capital and mobilize cheaper funds for the telecom industry.

Standards Legal and Regulatory

Mr. Dinesh Chand Sharma, Chairman, Standards Working Group IET India IoT Panel

“India through its representative from Standards Development Organizations [BIS, TSDSI, TEC etc.] shall have more regular and increased participation at Global Organizations [ISO, IEC, JTC1, 3GPP, oneM2M, ITU etc.] to contribute local requirement, and standards for their harmonization and establishment of Unified Standards, in the areas of Government mission mode projects such as Digital India, Broadband for all, Smart City missions, M2M/IoT Roadmap and Policies, Automotive Mission Plan 2016-26, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, Electrical Equipment Mission Plan, National Smart Grid Mission etc. Adoption and Implementation of Unified Standards in these mission mode project will help in realizing these missions for domestic and global market while Made in India. This activity would demand an increased budget allocation by these associated Ministry such as Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Science & Technology etc. Hence Budget 2018 shall make provisions to have an increased/additional budget allocation towards these Ministries for their respective department involved in the activities of Research and Standardization.”

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