Ajai Chowdhry, CEO and Chairman, HCL Infosystems Limited
Overall, this budget is good for the IT sector with certain facets that are encouraging for the sector. However, ICT Industry was looking for more support from the government. We had recommended a 100% depreciation on financing of IT equipments which was not included. On the taxation aspect, the excise/CVD exemption is unclear as it was not stated whether VAT is included in this or not. The government has also put a huge focus on R&D and it is good to see continuity of fiscal stimuli by the government. Various projects and schemes announced by government, will require increased role of Information Technology for example, the unique identification (UID) project. It is critical now to implement these projects at the earliest.
Other encouraging measures include the ‘Mission in Education through ICT’ which has been substantially increased to Rs 900 crore and the provision for setting up and up-gradation of Polytechnics under the Skill Development Mission enhanced to Rs 495 crore. More and More should be done to give an impetus to ICT in education and literacy. It was also discouraging to see that the extension of the Sunset Clause was only for one year which ideally should have been extended for a longer period.