MAIT Welcomes Focus on Inclusive Growth
MAIT, the apex body representing India’s IT hardware, training and R&D services sectors, has welcomed the thrust given in the Union Budget toward sustaining the national economic growth and making it inclusive. Further, it expressed satisfaction for the thrust given to infrastructure development, up-liftment of the rural economy, and launch of several schemes toward promotion of education, especially among the socially and economically backward.
Vinnie Mehta, executive director of MAIT said, "We welcome the government’s decision to maintain the current excise and Customs duty levels on IT products and components. The hardware industry supports long-term stability in policies and duty structures as frequent changes adversely impact the investment and business plans of the industry. Further, the focus given to education especially for the ‘mission in education through ICT’, increased allocation for upgradation of Polytechnics, IITs, NITs is indeed very welcome. This is as suitably skilled human resource is critical to sustain the competitiveness of the IT industry in country."
While welcoming the roadmap for GST, Mehta said, "This calls for unification of the rate on excise duty and the service tax. The service tax continues to be at 10 percent while the rate of excise duty is 8 percent. Going ahead, the industry expects better involvement and engagement with the Government as the finer details of the GST are worked out.
Further, the union budget has also addressed the issue of taxation on packaged software. The licence/right to use part of the value of the packaged software would now be subjected to service tax only and not excise duty/CVD, this is as per the industry’s recommendation. However, the issue of state governments’ levying VAT on ’software’ already treated as ’service’ remains unresolved.
Elaborating on the outcome, he added, "It is heartening that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has recognised the strong potential of the electronics hardware industry. In this regard, the announcement of reduction in customs duty on LCD panels and exemption of CVD on parts and components of mobile phones for manufacturing these products locally is truly welcome. However, to sustain hardware manufacturing in the country in the long run, it is critical that SAD be abolished on finished goods and components or made at par with the CST."
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