“When it was announced, the budget hurt the Sensex. In the grip of a slowdown, businesses in India expected a far more pro-business budget. While the budget may not be precisely what the business community wanted, it has several silver linings, especially for the IT sector. Data centres are at the heart of a modern digital economy; the government’s decision to promote the establishment of data centres in India is a win-win for businesses and consumers. A considerably more significant number of data centres in India will make the economy more competitive globally. Indian IT players will benefit from the building of additional data centres. The relaxation related to Employee Stock Option Plans is another huge plus. Employees awarded stocks need not pay tax on them for the next five years. Not paying tax on stocks will go a long way in making companies competitive by helping them attract the best talent. Finally taxing dividend when it is in recipients hands will be beneficial to the business”.