The IT industry had various expectations from the Union Budget 2023 presented in the parliament by Nirmala Sitharaman, union minister of finance, Government of India. The minister said that India is has significantly improved its position, and the country was also a well-governed and innovative country with a conducive environment for business as reflected in several global indices. “In the 75th year of our Independence, the world has recognized Indian economy as a bright star,” she said.
The minister also stated that the focus of the budget would be on wide-ranging reforms and some policies implemented through Sabka Prayas. The Union Budget 2023 has the following 7 priorities:
1. Inclusive development
2. Reaching the last mile
3. Infrastructure and investment
4. Unleashing the potential
5. Green growth
6. Youth power
7. Finance sector
Announcements Made for IT Industry in Union Budget 2023
Some of these announcements may be of interest to the IT industry broadly:
- The capital investment outlay is being increased steeply for the third year in a row by 33% to 10 lakh crores, which would be 3.3% of GDP - this will be almost 3 times the outlay made in 2019-20.
- For realizing the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India, 3 centers of excellence for artificial intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions.
- For business establishments required to have Permanent Account Number, the PAN will be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies.
- A National Data Governance Policy will be bought out to unleash Innovation and research by startups and academia, enabling access to anonymous data.
- More than 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been de-criminalised to improve ease of doing business.
- Simplified Investor education and protection fund to be integrated with IT portals for ease of unclaimed shares and dividends.
- A Central Processing Centre to be set up, for faster response to companies through centralised handling of various forms.
- A revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs will come into effect from 1 April 2023, with a capital infusion of Rs 9000 crore, and a collateral-free lending of Rs 2 lakh crore will be made available under this scheme.
- To enable more fintech services, scope of documents available on DigiLocker for individuals will be expanded, and an entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by MSMEs, large businesses and charitable trusts for securely storing and sharing documents online.
- In cases of failure by MSMEs to execute contract during COVID period, 95% of forfeited amount relating to bid or performance security to be returned to them by government and government undertakings, will provide relief to MSMEs.