Budget 2023: Wishlist of top tech execs for hardware, cybersecurity and electronics industry
With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman getting ready to present the last full budget of the Modi 2.0 government, expectations are high. The finance minister has held several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, and final touches are being given to the Union Budget for 2023-24, unveiled in the Lok Sabha on February 1. Since this will be the last full Budget before the 2024 general elections, Sitharaman may offer income tax relief for salary earners, and incentives for industry. Here’s looking into wishlist of top execs of Kaspersky, Skye Air and World of Play:
Spending on digital public infrastructure and incentives to boost electronics manufacturing
Genie Gan, head of public affairs for APAC and META, Kaspersky, said, “The Indian government is rightly rethinking its approach to tackling technology-related issues, given the unprecedented scope and impact of cyber attacks. Investments in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity are crucial for the tech sector in the Union Budget 2023. CERT-In and Kaspersky have been striving to enhance the overall security of the Indian computing environment through our collaboration and commitment to security, privacy protection, reliability, incident response and integrity.
“The Indian critical sector plays an important role in securing the nation from external threats and cyber-attacks and also has been an area of concern for governments. And I believe the country’s cybersecurity sector will be closely looking at the spending on digital public infrastructure, skill development, and incentives for boosting electronics manufacturing, along with measures to facilitate ease of business.”
Full-fledged component ecosystem
Hamish Patel, chief product officer, World of Play, which makes Bluetooth headphones, neckbands, smartwatches, said the electronics sector lacks a full-fledged component ecosystem, which results in higher import costs and increased lead time for the manufacturers. Patel said tax exemptions and schemes will boost the confidence of investors and entrepreneurs, leading to the creation of a component manufacturing ecosystem.
Reduction in duty on raw materials
Ankit Kumar, CEO, Skye Air, said, “We expect the government to ensure better synchronisation between customs, tax and GST authorities. Apart from this, a reduction in duty on raw materials would also go a long way in boosting the confidence of local manufacturers and brands. The government should lay down clear export and import policies which are in favour of the sector to keep with the momentum and tap on global opportunities. Giving more tax and non-tax incentives to the UAV sector will be a game changer even for the allied industries and the economy as a whole.”
Entrepreneurs three years of 100% tax deductionsHe added, “More funding for drone pilots’ training and skill-building program should be allocated in the upcoming budget, along with increased government support. The budget for the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) programme for manufacturers should also be increased.
The market has great potential and will require trained professionals to realize the aim of making India the global drone hub by 2030. So, the government should also take initiatives to introduce more training institutes for the industry.”
Incentives for investment in innovative technologies
Rajiv Srivastava, MD, Redington Ltd, said, “In the Union Budget 2023, we look forward to policy initiatives which will accelerate our journey to a $10 trillion economy in the near term. Economic growth is now increasingly driven by digital transformation and therefore investment initiatives that lead to the build-out of a quality digital infrastructure – data centres and high-speed internet – will be crucial. India is a global leader in technology services and we expect incentives for investments in new innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Metaverse, 5G, Internet of Things, and Data Sciences to ensure we maintain our leadership. We have to encourage people to participate in the digital economy and towards this, the budget should also address the need for talent and skilling in digital technologies. This has the potential of creating a range of sustainable jobs.”