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NASSCOM today welcomed the focus on the ICT sector in the Union Budget proposals 2014-15 and termed it as a pragmatic and directional budget.

Mr. R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said, “The announcements on a pan India digital initiative, funding for start-ups, district level incubator network and leveraging technology for good governance are welcome steps. These measures along with the initiatives on skilling, smart cities and ease of business, reflect the thrust on role of technology in Budget 2014”.

The proposal to set-up a Rs. 10,000 crore fund for start-ups and entrepreneurs will act as a great booster for the growing start-up landscape and will help drive innovation and solutions for the global as well as the domestic markets. At the same time, a pan-India "Digital India" programme will promote digital inclusion with broadband connectivity up to the village level, thereby enabling improved access to services through IT enabled platforms.

Leveraging technology for access and governance was another key highlight of the budget. The Ebiz initiative, E-kranti, Virtual classroom, E-visas, Financial Inclusion Mission and many others will help to enhance technology usage in the India market. The industry will look to partner with the government on these initiatives and would urge the government to address key challenges in the current procurement processes so that the industry can contribute optimally in this national agenda.

NASSCOM and the industry thanked the government for addressing many key concerns raised by it on transfer pricing issues. The APA rollback, usage of multi-year data for benchmarking and other announcements should help to improve the business environment in the country. The budget proposal on proactively brining a closure to the retrospective tax issue and setting-up a high-level CBDT committee should address industry concerns. There remain certain areas of concern, which could perhaps be addressed through subsequent guidelines and/or clarifications such as those related to royalty definition, Place of Provision of Service Rules, etc.

Skills development, infrastructure, innovation and social development were other welcome highlights in the budget that would enhance India’s long-term competitiveness.

Lastly, the statements on providing a stable tax regime, reducing litigation related to tax and providing a conducive regulatory environment for start-ups and companies to establish, operate and where necessary, close businesses would help improve the business environment in the country.

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