Budget 2017: Technology industry praises cybersecurity measures and digital economy initiatives

Technology based companies have appreciated government’s push for digital economy and cyber security measures announced in the Union budget today. Amid government’s push on digital transactions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech today announced setting up of a Computer Emergency Response Team to strengthen security of the financial sector amid increasing incidents of cyber frauds.

“The thrust on digital economy, deployment of analytics in tax administration and initiatives on cyber-security demonstrate the significance of Information Technology among Government’s priorities,” Wipro Limited Chief Financial Officer Jatin Dalal said. Commending the Finance Minister for delivering a budget by calling it a clear continuation of policy direction, he said its focus on investments in infrastructure creation while easing private sector’s access to credit will generate jobs and increase productivity.

Corporate India welcomes the initiatives to expand the tax base and eliminate evasion, Dalal said, adding that, “while the targeted proposals on corporate taxation are welcome, progressive steps towards achieving competitive tax rates could have attracted global investors.”

Noting that several measures introduced in the budget are an important step towards building India into an important digital economy, Mindtree CEO and MD Rostow Ravanan said it has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cyber security in finance, and bringing greater coordination and transparency between departments.

He said the Computer Emergency Response Scheme is a great initiative which will smoothen coordination between finance regulators, and added that the push to drive adoption of mobile and an Aadhaar-enabled payment system will help bring in greater financial inclusion amongst citizens. Ravanan also said the IT exemption for start-ups will help reduce income tax for smaller companies with a turnover less than Rs 50 crore and “we believe (it) will significantly improve the ease of doing business for smaller businesses and start-ups in India.”

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“The new budget has also made provisions to raise India’s innovation quotient, through the setting up of an innovation fund to encourage and fuel innovation amongst youth,” he said. Calling it a “balanced” budget, Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said it underlined by the continued push to using technology to aid a digital economy.

“As India strengthens its position on the global map, the need for skilled youth is crucial. The budget’s focus on extending market relevant training for the youth and setting up 100 international skill centers across the country, is a positive move,” he said. Lauding the emphasis on science and technology for students, he also said, “I am glad to witness the increasing focus on cybersecurity, which is critical to securing the economy’s digital transformation.”

PTI