Pre-Budget Statement – Mr Sriram S, Co-Founder, iValue InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd

Mr Sriram S, Co-Founder, iValue InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd

Indians have re-elected the same party with a higher majority to form the government recently. It is a golden opportunity to continue reforms which are bolder and at a faster pace addressing basic needs of larger set of people in the area of home, education, health, employment for an inclusive growth. During the last stint, progress was made in some of the areas. MNREGA with DBT along with electrification progress was good. It is time now to focus on health, education and employment for the larger masses. Infrastructure continues to lag in larger cities and needs focused attention and drive. Water is becoming a national issue across states which require sustainable solutions on a larger scale such as desalination plants around coastal areas, inter-linking of rivers, enriching ground water through RWH, leveraging on monsoon season to collect and store rain water, rejuvenating lakes etc.

Long-term fund raising for infrastructure development from countries like Japan with tenures of 25 to 50 years should be pursued to provide employment. Affordable public transport in cities is needed to bring traffic growth to manageable levels. Startup, SME and SMB need to be efficiently addressed so that they grow and provide employment in a sustained way. Most incentives are being enjoyed today by large companies which are not growing and not providing incremental employment, whereas emerging companies do not get any of the benefits and they are the ones with the scope to grow and provide employments. This needs to be addressed from a holistic perspective covering tax reforms, easing debt and equity fund raising, simpler GSTN regime and scopes for growth in employment generation.

Share of revenue from indirect taxes should be reduced while increasing the share from direct taxes as the former impacts all classes of people regardless of their earnings. Currently close to 50% revenues still come out of indirect taxes which need to be reduced to 20% levels urgently. Tax rates need to be reduced to promote spending and revival of economy and business on an immediate basis.

IT will continue to drive success of all types of business with innovations around AI, ML, social media, Cloud, IoT, Cybersecurity, Blockchain etc. Success of IT innovation will determine overall success of other industries including government’s digital drive and hence IT industry, as the enabler for success of all other government and private business, should be accorded special status. Policy and framework to promote home grown IT innovations is the urgent need of the hour to promote growth and provide large scale employment opportunities. Local manufacturing needs special promotion to reduce dependence on imports of basic electronic goods such as mobile and other house hold items there by promoting employment and reducing dollar outflow for low tech mass volume goods

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