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Union Budget 2020 - pre-budget reaction

Shekhar Sanyal, Country Head and Director, IET India

Education and Skills

  • The Indian work scenario is changing at a rapid pace and the workforce to drive this change is currently not industry-ready. It is important that the government puts aside significant resources to research, understand and implement the necessary steps to create the work employer and skills ecosystem that will allow India and its workforce to continue to be globally competitive and valuable. With the upcoming budget, the government should keep a fund just focused on creating an education system that will provide skills for the future as well as get ready to reskill the current workforce to make them future-ready
  • The government regulatory framework around skilling and future of skilling and work require continuous research and input which the budget should allow for. It should also aid the growing pool of micro-entrepreneurs and the Gig economy, by setting up frameworks and an institutionalised body to monitor it
  • The budget should also cater to the needs of students by providing exposure to new technologies and create facilities that expose them to these technologies
  • It should also have provisions for academia to spend on new technologies and expand facilities to help students with exposure to the real-time application of new-age technologies

Shekhar Sanyal, Country Head and Director, IET India

Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, Chair- IET IoT Panel; President, Aeris Communications

IoT

We saw the 2019 budget give prominence to AI and IoT under the reskilling initiative, investing Rs 436 crore towards the PRIME programme.

This year there is a pressing need for the government to take a closer look at developing emerging and frontier technologies. This can be achieved only if the government incentivises domestic innovation and encourages the liberalisation of norms.

We are looking at the 2020 budget to drive the development of emerging technologies such as AI / ML and IoT domestically, which is the most effective way for India to move towards dynamic development and global relevance.

Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, Chair- IET IoT Panel; President, Aeris Communications

Policy

  • Both components and finished goods for Electric vehicles and charging infrastructure should be moved to zero GST regime, in order to promote local manufacturing and avoiding duty inversion
  • Fiscal incentives should be provided to all modes of electric transportation such as metros, electric trains, electric vehicles, electric kick scooters etc in order to reduce pollution and help increase the electric transportation ecosystem
  • Ensure that local discoms do not charge a premium for electricity provided to charging stations
  • Provide Zero stamp duty regime for land used for setting up charging infrastructure

Dr Jaijit Bhattacharya, Chair – Policy Panel, IET FoMT Focus; CEO & Founder, Zerone Microsystems

Mobility

India being a developing country has to think differently about the electrification of mobility.

This would need some out of box ideas as well - while incentivising new electric vehicles is fine, steps should be taken to encourage retrofitting of existing vehicles with our homegrown technology experts. I am sure this country has many firms who could build a good electric power train for most of Commercial Vehicles.

So some form of incentives/encouragement to adapt retrofitted vehicles will go a long way in saving some money for the nation. 

Devendranath AM, VC – Urban Mobility Panel, IET FoMT Focus; COO, ‎Feedback Business Consulting

Urban Mobility

  • Shared Mobility Focus: Fleet operators operating Only Electric Fleets should be incentivized with lower rates of capital to ramp up the investment, Should be charged no GST for the first year as they are adding new modes of transport and compete with the unorganized sector which anyways doesn’t pay GST
  • Personal Mobility: Easier Finance at attractive rates ( lower than ICE) for enabling change in buying behaviour as E vehicles are still higher in cost Vs ICE
  • Batteries: Batteries should be able to get FAME II subsidy even when they are sold without a vehicle
  • Battery As A Service: Need to be encouraged and be able to provide at no GST as this is a big an enabler for adoption
  • Charging Services: Should be exempt from GST as they compete with Fossil Fuel which is out of GST ambit
  • Companies Cars Lease: Many companies have car lease for employees, it should be incentivized by way of lower income tax for companies for the amount they spend on these, lower or No GST for the leasing companies providing these cars. Subsidy to install chargers in office parking lots of these companies

Atul Arya, Chair - Urban Mobility Panel, IET FoMT Focus