Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a pre-budget consultation meeting with representative of IT (software/hardware) companies, for boosting the sector. Noting that the electronic market in India is one of the largest in the world and is expected to reach US $400 billion in 2020, Jaitley said that the software industry had emerged as one of the most dynamic and vibrant sectors in India, according to the press statement issued by the Press Information Bureau.
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The meeting was focused on how the government support was required for the IT sector in view of increasing trends of protectionism and anti-globalisation abroad. The members also discussed the rapid changing nature of technology in IT field and hence collectively called for an imperative to focus on ‘Research and Development’ in IT sector, said the press release.
Other issues that were the discussed in the meeting involved speed and penetration of broadband in India, increasing the number of Wifi-hotspots in the country and bringing down the prices of smart phone to make broadband more accessible to masses. The use of fiber cable network instead of over-ground towers was suggested in the meeting, said the press release.
“To further boost electronic manufacturing in country, suggestions were made to extend the duty differential scheme to all ITA goods, specifically for personal computers (Desktop, Laptop),” the press note said.
In a push for ‘Make in India’ initiative, a proposal for a comprehensive list of CPE goods for Duty Differential Scheme to was also discussed during the meeting. “To create an ecosystem for electronics and IT hardware manufacturing, proposal for a ‘Component Trading Hub’ was discussed,” in the meeting said the press release.
To answer concerns regarding the increased digital divide in the country, a plan to make internet more open, transparent and easily accessible to all was also discussed in the meeting.