‘Eyeing Digital India’

Announcing a project and implementing are two different things. The two ambitious projects of the NDA government ‘Make in India and Digital India’ will hardly make any difference if policies are not conducive on the ground. Rodney Noonoo, CFO, Xerox India shares his expectations with The DQ Week.

“Government of India has adopted a visionary approach to transform the country into a connected knowledge economy with focus on ’Digital India’. The measures and reforms taken in this budget will be crucial for successful implementation of the program and everyone will be watching this eagerly. The last budget did send out signals of progressive reformation of the economy but a lot will depend on the concrete steps the government will take to propel the economy.

With respect to policies, we feel the two key issues facing the corporate India on the whole are:

  • The need to propagate a conducive tax environment and clarity of taxation laws. A substantial push is needed to boost existing businesses and at the same time, encourage new investments. This push will not only bring back investor confidence but also be the foundation on which India’s digital economy will be built.
  • The other key aspect that requires action is a consensus on the contours of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research estimated that roll out of the tax would boost the GDP growth by anywhere between 0.9-1.7%. With cascading taxes gone, over a period of time the lower tax burden would translate into lower prices for goods, which is of course, dependent on what the GST rate would be. Hence, a clear roadmap for implementation of GST would enable investors to take calculated calls on their investment/expansion plans in India.

The government is also taking up the ‘Make in India’ initiative in a big way. While this is a great initiative, the budget needs to address the issues of skill-gap, improve ease of doing business, expedite reforms and accelerate digital deployment at a national level – reaching cities and villages.”