Despite shortfalls, budget to prepare strong foundation for India’s ‘techade’

Hailing the Union Budget on digital skilling and digitisation of education to prepare a strong foundation for India’s ‘techade’, key industry players on Tuesday said that certain areas that have been left unaddressed include industry-led R&D in emerging technologies and clarifications to allow units in SEZ’s flexibility to adopt hybrid-work model.

IT industry’s apex body Nasscom said that some other concerns are easing the taxation of ESOP by making the taxation regime available to all DPIIT-recognised startups and taxing employees only when they sell the shares.

“Lack of action on enabling direct foreign listing, and tax parity between domestic and foreign investors are some other things that we believe were not included in the budget,” Nasscom said in a statement.

The industry players, however, welcomed the budget’s focus on digital skilling.

“We are encouraged to see the government focused on digital skilling to encourage continual skilling avenues, sustainability, and employability through online training, programmes, and industry collaborations, as well as the establishment of skilling e-labs for simulated learning settings,” Nasscom said in a statement.

According to Ketan Patel, MD, HP India, the focus on digitisation of education and skilling infrastructure can be a game-changer for learning and training continuity for youth from all segments of the society.

“The setting up of a digital university in regional languages will help bridge the digital divide in rural parts of the country, especially enabling the vision of ‘quality education for all’ for the students coming from economically weak backgrounds. The announcement to build a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood e-portal along with new skill development courses will provide new job opportunities to the remotest parts of the country,” Patel told IANS.

The decision to set up a task force for the animation and gaming segment can be a catalyst for further boost of this sector in India as this sector has the potential to create lakhs of job opportunities in next few years, Patel added.

Amidst the Omicron uncertainties, the budget has given the desired push towards the productive side of the economy with a focus on employment opportunities and climate sustainability, says analysts.

“The government is going digital from agriculture to education to digital currency to MSMEs, the message is clear. Measures such as swift payments, resolution of disputes and arbitration, and improved logistical efficiencies are likely to enhance the ease of doing business and boost investors’ confidence,” said Rumki Majumdar, economist, Deloitte India.

According to Lingraju Sawkar, President, Kyndryl India, there are definitely strong themes of progress and development at the heart of the Budget 2022-23.

“It’s encouraging to see callouts for the use of IT and technology in the areas of financial inclusion, education and skilling announcements, green energy use, e-health, and delivery of citizen services,” Sawkar said.

Tech major IBM spinned-off its managed infrastructure business as a new entity called Kyndryl last year,

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