IT sector seeks government help against protectionism abroad

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) The Indian information technology (IT) sector has sought government support to help deal with challenges posed by anti-globalisation tendecies and rising protectionism abroad.

It has also sought help to promote research and development and innovation to enable the industry to keep up with technological changes.

“The Indian IT industry is passing through a phase of challenges from rising protectionism and anti-globalisation forces. It is important for the government to strongly support the industry to help keep those markets open,” industry organisation Nasscom’s President R. Chandrashekhar told BTVi channel.

“Incentives for R&D available to other industries should also by applicable to the IT sector, which currently they are not,” he said in an interview following a pre-Budget meeting here of stakeholders with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The IT sector overall, including electronic systems and business process management, in India is one of the largest in the world and is expected to reach $400 billion level in 2020.

Chandrashekhar said the IT stakeholders impressed on the Finance Minister for measures to further ease doing of business in the country.

“Things like Safe Harbour Margins, which are very high today, therefore render the provisions not useful,” he said.

“Also, Place of Effective Management guidelines not having been released, even though the law is applicable from April 1, 2016. These are some of the concerns which industry has,” he said.

“The GST (Goods and Services Tax) is another area of concern. Though we welcome this law for the country, it has several provisions that are extremely negative and dangerous for the IT sector. We anticipate major difficulties on valuation of services and on intra-company supply of services being taxed,” he added.

Chandrasekhar also said that stakeholders asked Jaitley for the government to announce a roadmap for implementing the phased reduction in the existing corporate tax by 5 per cent.