Budget disappoints infotech sector

Mumbai: The Budget has left the infotech sector more or less sour, as it has not met most of its expectations.

Terming the Budget as "disappointing", Tata Consultancy Services CEO & MD N Chandrasekaran said, "Our request to exempt income generated from special economic zones from minimum alternate tax (MAT) has not been granted."

However, he added, "It is a pragmatic budget with doses of good intentions for long-term growth, but lacks short term punch to get growth going. The focus on R&D is good, as the weighted deduction of 200 percent for R&D expenditure in an in-house facility has been extended beyond this March, for a further period of five years. For the IT industry, the advance pricing agreement (APA) will be useful to ease transfer pricing litigation."

Zensar Technologies president & CEO Ganesh Natarajan said, "There is nothing much in the Budget for IT and not enough focus on incentives for skill building or tier 3 cities. (But) The announced advance pricing agreement may help transfer pricing decisions and the USD 1 billion venture capital fund focused on MSMEs is good for entrepreneurship."

McAfee India and Saarc managing director Jagdish Mahapatra called the Budget "moderately encouraging." "We welcome the direct tax code and GST bills, as these proposals are aimed at bringing in uniformity in the taxation process," he said.