Allocations of Rs 7060 crore for smart cities, Rs. 500 crore for bridging the digital divide, a 100 crore for a technology development fund and several other e-governance initiatives have given the Indian IT industry some reason to cheer the Budget 2014.
It is the connectivity opportunity that the industry seems excited about. Be it the Rs 300 crore police modernization project or the rural connectivity schemes, they are bound to open up huge projects in the infrastructure development space, and that is good news for the IT industry.
According to Anil Menon, President, Smart+Connected Communities and Deputy Chief Globalization Officer, Cisco, “The budget focused on overall urban moderinzation and not just creation of new cities, which we feel is very positive for our industry.
“Things like new metro trains and digitization augur well for the IT industry. We however, need to look into the fine print and figure out how to best collaborate with the government to make these initiatives a reality.”
Not surprisingly, it is the opportunity in the smart cities space that is generating the maximum excitement amongst the IT industry.
Says Sunil MK, Head – AEC, Autodesk, India & SAARC, “We were expecting ‘Smart Cities’ to be a crucial part of the new government’s development and nation building plans. The announcement of 100 smart cities is a bold and encouraging step by the government and we are excited with the huge market potential that will be opening up for builders, engineers, architects and companies like ours, who work closely with the building and infrastructure industry in India.”
Urbanization and development of urban infrastructure through smart cities has also found significant mention and over INR 7000 crore is being allocated for the development of 100 smart cities across the country.
“This is a huge opportunity for the Indian IT industry to partner with the government in this initiative. Overall, the IT industry can rejoice at a budget that banks on technology intervention for development,” said Mehul Lanvers Shah, Managing Director, HMFI India (CeBIT India)
The other whiff of good news is the incubation of several technology and startup funds, which can be a relief to the always crunched for talent IT industry. And though they aren’t substantial, there have been some announcements pertaining to reviving local manufacturing and software industry, which seem to be in the right direction.
Ravi Swaminathan – Managing Director, AMD India & VP (Sales & Marketing) AMD South Asia said that the IT industry welcomes the announcements for the sector; the budget looks very pragmatic and realistic.
“The government has pledged to support the growth of domestic information technology capabilities in both hardware and software, focused on enabling the timely delivery of citizen services and creating new jobs opportunities, especially in rural areas.”
Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC Indiawas also satisfied with Jaitley’s budget. “We welcome government’s decisions of allocating Rs. 7,060 crore for development of 100 smart cities and modernisation of satellite towns in the country, and an additional allocation of Rs. 3000 crore towards modernisation of police departments. This will promote investments in use of modern technology, making our cities smarter and safer.
“The government’s intent on giving infrastructure a boost gives us an opportunity to work with various bodies and organization to develop a safe and secure social infrastructure for the people of the country.”
“The smart cities and digital India programme of the government will ultimately create an economic value for the country by aiming to increase employability and reducing immigration. Good to see empowerment of the rural areas for businesses to flourish for a speedy economic growth.
The measures to boost domestic manufacturing sectors, revive SEZs, support start-ups and set up new industrial clusters are all initiatives towards creating a progressive and advanced India,” said Edgar Dias, Regional Director, India at Brocade.