IT firms, start-ups share wish list

Data protection, taxation and big data technology were among the issues discussed at the meeting

  • Published 16.06.19, 12:07 AM
  • Updated 16.06.19, 12:07 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Anurag Thakur (left) with revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

Representatives of the infotech sector, start-ups and industry associations such as Nasscom, IAMAI and MAIT met minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur on Saturday.

Data protection, taxation and big data technology were among the issues discussed at the pre-budget meeting.

The use of “big data” in improving forecasts of economic, financial and weather phenomena, sops for the SME sector and public governance were also discussed, an official statement said.

The representatives gave suggestions on angel tax, differential tax structure for assembled and manufactured goods and industry-friendly review of spectrum auction norms.

The industry feels dependence on international software service needs to be brought down, existing tax benefits should continue for digital companies and corporate tax should be reduced.

Angel tax

“We urged the government to deal with the angel tax issue urgently. In February, the government had considered Section 56 (2) of the Income Tax but notices have been served under Section 68,”

said Subho Ray, president of the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

Roy said a CBDT paper has proposed that in the case of foreign digital companies, their user base should be assigned a high weightage among parameters such as assets and revenue for profit attribution.

Other issues that dominated the discussion were digital infrastructure and the role of the government, regulation of digital economy (especially in privacy), consumer protection and financial regulation and software as service, the statement said.

The meeting was also attended by officials from the finance ministry, electronics & IT ministry, the department of telecommunications, CBDT and others.

“The representatives of the digital economy and start-ups shared their views and suggestions regarding big data, data mining, building of digital infrastructure as the big challenge before the Indian economy, besides scaling-up research and development within India.

“The experts also suggested a variety of solutions to sector specific problems,” the statement said.

Development of start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country also featured in various suggestions, it added.

Nasscom has urged the government to continue with the tax incentives to units in special economic zones beyond March 2020.

The association — which represents an industry that earns over $130 billion in foreign exchange — has suggested that the new tax-friendly SEZ policy should retain tax benefits and provide a concessional rate of 9 per cent Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT).