IT community in Maharashtra has welcomed newly elected BJP government. The channel has high expectations from chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and it is optimistic for “Acche Din” for IT under his leadership. Channel wants the new government to come up with a solution on burning issues such as Local Body Tax (LBT), Octroi and E Commerce.
Chetan Shah, MD of Mumbai based Xpress Computers said that the new government in the state should abolish Octroi from Mumbai giving ease to thousands of IT and computer dealers.
He said that the government should encourage local manufacturing and ensure that anti competitive business environment will not hurt traditional channel partners. He said that if the government frames pro business policies, the IT industry in Maharashtra has huge prospects in next five years.
Champakraj Gurjar, MD of Maxtone Electronics demanded the government to scrap LBT and Octroi in Mumbai immediately.
“We welcome the new government. I hope the new political leadership will take forward PM Modi’s “Make in India” campaign. The government should abolish all hurdles in taxations and introduce single window licensing”, Mr. Gurjar said.
Mr. Gurjar, who is also a president of FITAM said that the government should established IT hubs across the state to empower IT industry.
Aniruddha Menavlikar, MD of Pune based Monarch Technologies said that considering the plight of IT retailers, the new government should waived off LBT in Pune.
Mr. Menavlikar who is also a president of Computer and Media Dealersʼ Association (CMDA-Pune) said, “The new government should remove the complexities in taxation and bring clarity on various taxes which have over burdened dealers.”
“Devendra Fadnavis had recently visited Pune where CMDA submitted a memorandum on LBT. He had assured us that if voted to power BJP would scrap LBT.”
It is to be noted that during assembly elections BJP had pledged to abolish the contentious LBT once they came to power in the state. Political analysts say that this move earned the BJP considerable support from the trading community.
Traders argue that with Value Added Tax (VAT) in place across the country, LBT will be like double-taxation. They say that prices of goods are affected by VAT as well as by state or municipality-level taxes. Also, complying with various rules on self-declaration, record maintenance, account books, etc. is an added cost under the LBT regime. At present, the LBT has been implemented in 25 top municipal corporations, except Mumbai.
Dushyant Mehta, MD and CEO of MediaMan Infotech said that Maharashtra government should simplify and fully computerize tax procedure like Gujarat and Delhi. He said that the government should attract more energies for ICT products.
“Maharashtra government websites are not updated regularly. There is no clarity on procedures to be followed to get various approvals. We as a businessmen waste our time in following up with the local authorities. This is one of the reasons for enterprises and businessmen shifting to other states like Gujarat. If the government wants to grow IT, it should create a business friendly environment”, Mr. Mehta said.
Jagannath Patnaik, CEO of Pune based NNR IT solutions said apart from bringing clarity in taxation, the new government should encourage indigenous software development and manufacturing within the state itself.
“New government should encourage the local enterprises to develop software indigenously for the consumer segment. That will not only provide employment to our youth but also a step forward in PM Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative. The government should provide financial assistance and training to IT professionals to come up with their own innovations”, Mr. Patnaik said.
On disparities in taxation, Mr. Patnaik pointed out that selling products within Maharashtra is costlier that selling goods outside the state. The dealers compel to cut down margins to pay taxes. The government should resolve this issue immediately.
Prashant Ugemuge, Vidarbha Computer & Media Dealer’s Welfare Association said, “Nagpur is very happy that Devendra Fadnavis has crowned as a chief minister of state. He is IT savvy, dynamic and open for ideas. During his tenure as a mayor of Nagpur he reduced Octroi from 4 per cent to 2.5 per cent. We are optimistic that he will take pro IT steps that will benefit the industry.”
Dhiraj Chhajed, spokesperson of Computer Association of Nashik (CAN) said that in order to make Nashik an IT hub the government should develop infrastructure in the city and encourage IT enabled services companies to establish their businesses in Nashik.
“Being forth fasted developing city in Maharashtra, IT industry has huge prospects in Nashik. The government has incorporated Nashik and Sinnar in 100 smart cities. State political leadership should frame pro development policies for the city”, he said.
The IT industry has reacted positively on BJP storming into powers after decades long political isolation. Channel is hopeful of that government policies will help the industry to overcome from stagnancy and slow down. However, it would be interesting to see how the new government will uplift the IT in the state.