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Union Budget 2021: Bold policy interventions needed to fast-track digitisation in post-COVID world – India News , Firstpost


Digital India wants a broader focus with the pandemic leaving organisations with no selection however to go digital

Representational picture. ANI

In 2020, across the similar time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was placing collectively a Budget that may doubtlessly drive India into the $5 trillion economic system membership, unexpected occasions due to the pandemic and ensuing lockdown altered not solely these plans but in addition the way forward for each attainable enterprise throughout the globe. Yet, the nation at this time is eagerly ready for some reduction measures to be introduced in the upcoming Union Budget 2021.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government of India introduced a slew of measures to assist revive the economic system. While the nation is slowly recovering from the COVID-created financial hunch, all eyes are on the post-COVID Budget and the potential for tax reduction for the typical center-class Indians; Medium, Small and Micro-Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) and startups which might assist increase spending and thus place the Indian economic system on a progress trajectory as soon as once more.

Need to maintain progress in startups

Startups are the spine in the event and progress of the Indian economic system. The Indian startup ecosystem has performed a pivotal position in the nation’s financial progress, with India now being the third largest startup vacation spot in the world. However, it is necessary that the federal government appears at ‘sustaining’ this progress. The key request from startups and specialists have centred round broad themes corresponding to together with tax reduction and enabling extra engagement between fintech startups and banks and different monetary establishments to help different sectors by way of organised lending.

The 2021 Budget ought to give attention to incentives for MSMEs and startups as these have been the worst-hit in the course of the previous yr. Though we now have had a number of bulletins with respect to startups over the previous few years, in actuality, there are solely a handful of corporations that have been ready to avail these tax advantages over the bigger startup inhabitants. Additionally, for startups, angel investing norms may be broadened to embrace debt investing in startups because the startup ecosystem matures in India.

Focus on 5G

Last yr, we noticed all industries turning to software program and closely counting on on-line functions and modes of communication. By now, we now have realised how information is the brand new oil and is vital to India’s digital aspirations. Faster web speeds to enable better information consumption will probably be vital to laying the foundations of a digitally empowered society in the nation. In 2020, there was an incredible rise in excessive (OTT) platforms, earn a living from home instruments, workforce collaboration and communication platforms, and e-commerce platforms. These took the lead in phrases of knowledge consumption. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in the necessity to transfer to sooner networks that minimise web lags to an important extent.

If India is to preserve tempo and compete with different main developed economies of the world, fast adoption of 5G could have to be quick-tracked in India. Along with international gamers, in 2018, India had deliberate to begin 5G providers, with an intention to capitalise on higher community speeds and power that the know-how promised. From good cities, industrial automation, related gadgets, huge information and cloud computing, 5G can actually show to be a recreation-changer.

Digital infra, a recreation-changer

Despite the havoc created, the pandemic has provided an enormous impetus to digital penetration all through the nation, which has accelerated in the unlock part. Therefore, it is important that the Budget attracts out daring policy interventions to strengthen digital infrastructure which can ultimately assist in digitising the general economic system. In addition, contemplating the quantity of knowledge being created and saved throughout industries rising at unprecedented charges, particularly after the lockdown, enhancing the safety infrastructure to defend and handle information seamlessly ought to be one other focus space. Last yr, we witnessed a number of cyber-assaults and information breaches, which might show to be an important loss for any group or the economic system as an entire.

Digitisation additionally means contactless, in some ways. This yr, Digital India wants a broader focus with the pandemic leaving organisations with no selection however to go digital. In the post-COVID world, digital infrastructure will probably be a recreation-changer for corporations and nations and due to this fact it is necessary we take well timed measures to experience this wave appropriately.

Another merchandise on the finance minister’s listing ought to be job creation, the targets for that are a lot steeper due to COVID-19 induced stress on our economic system. Construction, infrastructure and healthcare are a number of the sectors which want incentivisation for creating extra jobs to carry down the graph of unemployment. The finance minister can draw a sustainable job-creating roadmap for the healthcare sector, which was in focus in 2020 and is anticipated to stay on prime of the listing this yr too. It may present tax incentives and different concessions for establishing healthcare coaching amenities or utilise present authorities-owned dispensaries and healthcare centres throughout the nation.

There is rather a lot for the federal government to give attention to Budget 2021. All we are able to do is stay assured that it’s going to take all of those points into consideration as they’ll play a job in getting the nation again on its $5 trillion economic system imaginative and prescient as soon as once more.

The author is Founder and CEO at Flock

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