Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha on February 2, 2022. Some of the highlights related to the Information Technology sector include:
– The introduction of a digital rupee and 5G auctions planned for this year. Digital Banking has also been identified as a prime area of focus, with e-passports embedded with chips that will start rolling out as early as 2022-2023.
Sharing his thoughts post the announcement of the budget, Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager – India, Pure Storage stated, “The rollout of the Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance program will help address the challenges faced by the sector, through injection of liquidity and ease of compliance norms. The Credit Guarantee Trust for MSME will not only enable them to revive their businesses with additional funds but also enhance employment opportunities and enable job creation. There is also a strong push for digital transformation in the education sector by announcing Digital University and high-quality e-content across regional languages for the students to skill, upskill and reskill the youth. Another impactful announcement is the confirmation of the auction of 5G spectrums this year which will improve accessibility, speed, and availability of the internet across India and particularly in rural areas. This budget’s emphasis on Digital India will further attract investment and put India firmly on the global innovation map.”
For Debasish Mukherjee, Vice President – Regional Sales APAC at SonicWall Inc., the key takeaway from the announcements has been the number of initiatives taken for the growth & expansion of the IT sector.
He rightly points out that the Union budget 2022 is quite a futuristic one for India’s growth for the next 25 years. “A lot of good initiatives have been proposed like giving data center services and infrastructure sector status, the introduction of the digital rupee, initiation of 5G Auction, e-passport services, etc. The ultra-fast 5G network will allow devices to connect faster and transfer exponentially more information making it a cybersecurity challenge to protect servers, cell phones, security systems, vehicles, smart homes, etc., from being breached. We at SonicWall are already ahead in this game with our boundless security models to combat them,” reiterated Mukherjee.
Venkatraman Narayanan, Managing Director & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies, too, thinks the budget is promising. “I expect the private sector to more than match the capital spend of the government, thus supporting GDP growth of 9% plus, leaving enough headroom for expenditure on farms, health, education, and other social sectors. The theme of continued ease of doing business, consistency, and stability in tax rates, rebates, push to further digitize the economy, issue of RBI backed digital currency, legitimizing digital assets, etc., seem to aid and support all. In particular, it will support the IT Industry, which the NASSCOM expects will grow to become $350 billion in size in 5 years. It all sounds like a ‘financial budget’ of the country,” stated Venkatraman.
Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO, INT, opines that the thrust provided to digital assets in the form of giving a green signal to cryptocurrency is a much-needed welcome step. “With a flourishing fintech ecosystem, this openness to digital currency will help optimize and fasten the mass scale leverage of digital infrastructure. The B2B sector is expected to be among the first movers to include digital currency-based transactions for businesses. From a demand perspective, we believe that the country’s push towards a digital-led framework for all key aspects will result in increased opportunities for IT services from the domestic market,” he said.
To sum up, the much-anticipated Union Budget 2022 has made some key announcements with respect to policy, economy, and taxation. The government has taken initiatives to push the telecom and tech sectors with the introduction of the Digital Rupee and 5G spectrum auctions.