Budget vision of 'Digital India' pragmatic: Nasscom

Bangalore/New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Focus on the ICT sector, with a pan-India digital initiative, funding for start-ups and leveraging technology for good governments in the union budget for 2014-15 were pragmatic and directional, IT industry body Nasscom said Thursday.

"A slew of measures for the ICT sector along with initiatives on skilling, smart cities and ease of business reflect the thrust on role of technology in the budget," National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) president R. Chandrashekhar said in a statement from New Delhi.

Asserting that the proposal to set up a Rs.10,000 crore fund for start-ups and entrepreneurs would act as a booster for the start-up landscape, Chandreshekhar said the budgetary allocation would drive innovation and solutions for the global as well as domestic markets.

"Similarly, the 'Digital India' programme will promote digital inclusion with broadband connectivity up to village level, facilitating improved access to services through IT-enabled platforms," the former IT secretary said on the occasion.

Lauding the new government for addressing key concerns of the $130 billion IT industry, he said the e-Biz initiative, e-Kranti, e-Visa, virtual classroom and financial inclusion mission would help to enhance technology usage in the domestic market.

"The industry will partner with the government on these initiatives to leverage technology for public good. We hope the government will address key challenges in the procurement process so that the industry can contribute optimally to the national agenda," Chandrashekhar said.

"Thrust on skill development, infrastructure, innovation and social development will enhance the country's long-term competitiveness. A stable tax regime and a conducive regulatory system for start-ups and companies to establish, operate and close businesses will help improve the business environment in the country," he said.

Thanking the government for clarity on transfer pricing issues, the industry association said the Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) rollback and usage of multi-year data for benchmarking would help to improve the business environment in the country.

"While the proposal to withdraw retrospective tax and setting-up of a high-level tax committee address some of our concerns, we look forward to guidelines on royalty definition and place of provision of service rules," Chandrashekhar added.