'Needs positive initiative for ease of doing business'

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Saurabh Saxena, Country Director, Micro Focus India
“The 2nd term of the Government at helm ensures a perfect opportunity to rehabilitate the economy for sustainable development in India. India is heading towards becoming a knowledge economy. With the rapid digital transformation happening across industries, the cybersecurity concerns have also risen significantly. It is hence imperative for the government to ensure data privacy of Indian citizens so that they are truly empowered to use IT infrastructure and e-governance services. We look forward to collaborating with the government to help our nation in their digital transformation journey. As such, we hope to have policies around Information Technology that would provide the industry with certainty and enable them to invest in a long-term strategy. Moreover, we hope to have tax-friendly policies that would contribute significantly to the country’s GDP, and owing to the huge workforce and India’s potential, we are confident that the government will come up with innovative reforms.”

 Anil Valluri, President of NetApp India & SAARC
"The re-election of this government ensures continuity of the Government’s compelling vision for India to boost the economy and put India on the technology superhighway by 2030. Through the Union Budget 2019, it would be key for the Government to put the spotlight back on its flagship initiatives like Digital India enabling digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens. With the help of technology, the government should focus on catalyzing the smart city programme, to become growth engines for the country’s economy. We definitely look forward to seeing the government fortify the investments in the Artificial Intelligence sector as indicated in the interim budget so that the benefits of AI technology can reach the masses. Priority should be laid on delivering this in the short, medium as well as long term - in order to shape the architecture of our society into a global one."

Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India and SAARC
“We believe that with the re-election of NDA government will ensure the continuity of its vision 2030 and continue the momentum on infrastructural development of highways, ports, transportation and rural connectivity. We expect more investment in Geospatial and Defence sectors, envisioning India to become the launchpad for satellites as part of Vision 2030. We look forward to seeing the Government fortify investments in the defence and border security for protecting our soldiers who are the pride and honour of the nation. Furthermore, with its flagship initiatives of Smart City and Digital India, the focus on internet penetration in rural areas would help democratize AI for citizens. Priority should be laid on delivering these to augur the economy by providing a growth impetus that lays down a vision for the next 10 years."

Vineet Chaturvedi, Co-Founder, Edureka
"The future of the Indian professional sector, especially IT and IT services, hangs on how soon they can adopt the skills relevant to future economies. Investments in skills and education can be directly mapped to a country's commitment to economic growth, and at the moment, a re-skilling allowance for all tax-paying individuals can be a catalyst for faster and wider adoption of skills. There is already talk of the government planning on incentivizing corporates to invest in skilling their workforce, but a rebate that treats skills on par with allowances such as HRA, LTA, DA is the need of the hour to help retain our country's reputation as a skilled powerhouse and give a boost to our GDP. Also, a re-classification of re-skilling in GST to treat it as a necessity and not a luxury would help accelerate up-skilling among Indian professionals." 

Abhishek Goenka, CEO & CFO, CoWrks
Every budget comes with high expectations and when you have a new Government, and a new Finance Minister, expectations increase even more. I have always been a believer that we need to de-mystify the budget exercise. It should remain what it is meant to me, and policy initiatives and announcements should be made as needed and indeed, in today’s fast-paced and changing world, continuously. Nonetheless, since that paradigm shift will take some time, here are some expectations that I have from Budget 2019.
The complexity of doing business remains very high. For every positive initiative taken, there has been, perhaps unintended, measures that drag down the entrepreneurial spirit. No doubt we have had a marked improvement in the rankings and that is commendable, but if there is one area that the Government really wants to focus on, it should be on simplifying business. This requires a concerted effort, a plan that includes the smallest of steps to be taken and perhaps should be done without a slogan attached to it.
Corporate tax rates in India continue to be high, and rather than having a system of different companies paying different rates, a uniform 25% rate, to begin with, is overdue.
The implementation of GST has by and large been a success and some of the niggles that remain will be ironed out over a period of time progressively. However, and while the Budget is not the place for GST amendments, the continuing inconsistency on not allowing credits on the construction of commercial buildings for rent needed to be addressed, as it stands out as an eye-sore.
Infrastructure development has come to a standstill owing to the lack of confidence in the financial markets. Urgent action is needed to restore order and bring stability in the credit markets.
There seems to be a trend of overzealous regulation to ensure governance. This has been counterproductive everywhere in the world, and the Budget would be a good time to address some structural concerns around bankruptcy, governance, reporting and enforcement. 

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