By Ankit Dudhwewala
Union Budget 2020 India | Technology for MSMEs: The countdown for the Union Budget 2020-21 has begun, and everyone has set their eyes on the Finance Minister at a time when the country is grappling with no ordinary economic turbulence. With the GDP growth rate going down deep, there should be some short-term remedies to stabilize the economy first, combined with a well-structured long-term plan to keep all the industries in faith. Looking at the meetings the Prime Minister has had with the industry experts in the past few weeks, we are confident that something fruitful will come out of it and would reflect in the budget.
Every sector has expectations from the upcoming budget. Alike any other industry, the SMEs and startups in the IT Industry have a plethora of expectations from the budget. The sector is keenly waiting for the present government to wand the magical stick to fulfil all their demands and wishes. Enumerated below are the expectations of SMEs and startups in the IT industry.
More room for cybersecurity
As far as the IT sector is concerned, cybersecurity is still a significant concern in the country with rising targeted attacks across verticals. About 70 per cent of Indian organizations are planning to increase their cybersecurity budgets according to the findings of EY's 'Global Information Security Survey (EY GISS) 2018-19. Out of which only 19 per cent have a sufficient budget to provide the levels of cybersecurity and resilience as required. Furthermore, the survey highlights that 69 per cent of organizations are still spending a minimal portion of their overall IT budget on cybersecurity with low levels of awareness about it.
The sector expects the government to allocate a specific budget to provide the levels of cybersecurity and resilience as required. There is also a need to spread the necessary awareness regarding the importance of cybersecurity in the IT sector.
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Though there has been a rapid growth of digital payments in India, it is still a significant priority of the government. As per the latest KPMG report, the digital payment is thriving well with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7 per cent in the number of non-cash transactions. The government, in its last year budget, has made it mandatory for all companies with a turnover greater than Rs 50 crore to have a digital payments option for their customers. The government should take further steps to reduce dependency on cash for business transactions.
Reduce GST rate
For startups, we expect the Finance Minister to reduce GST on technology goods from 18 per cent to 10 per cent which will help the sector to a large scale. The financial Budget 2020 is likely to be a turning point for SMEs and startups if the government announces the above-mentioned expectations. These changes would significantly push the SMEs and startups in the IT sector to grow their businesses and in turn, raise the country's economy. Overall, the budget 2020 should be and most likely to be a mixture of some sweet and some bitter announcements.
(By Ankit Dudhwewala is the Founder at CallHippo & SoftwareSuggest. Views expressed are the author's own.)