Nothing in the IT account: Ganesh Natarajan
News | 17 Feb 2014
Nothing in the IT account: Ganesh Natarajan The information technology industry in India, riding high after the recent projections of double digit growth for FY 14 and the possibility of hitting mid-teens growth in FY 15, hoped very little from the vote on account. In that sense, the industry has got what it expected. Some of us who worry about the continuing lack of clarity on the period of special economic zone benefits, the simplification of service tax and implementation and rationalisation of some of the thorny issues linked to transfer price matters, will now have to wait for the next government before progress is made on any of these. The very fact that growth has returned and that there is focus on skill development, Aadhar and ambitious IT modernisation projects like in the case of post offices are the high points of the speech. However, the ICT (information and communications technology) industry needs support in the next 12 to 15 months. It is during this time that virtuous eco-systems must be created for large and small companies and enough incentives need to be given to thousands of entrepreneurs and small towns that will determine the future of this industry. Also, investments to boost broadband connectivity across the country with the ability for ICT to empower entrepreneurs not only in IT but also in manufacturing and services will do a lot to power economic growth.
The new manufacturing zones must incorporate this. On a more long-term basis, one Bill that must see the light of day is “information technology for masses”. The ambitious National Digital Literacy Mission, which has the potential to move one person in every Indian family to the digital mainstream, needs comprehensive government support and linkages to skill, education and employability for the future. An opportunity to deliver on these areas will come again, and the industry hopes that it will be taken.