Telecom budget: Uninor, Micromax and BlackBerry welcome digital initiative

Morten Karlsen Sorby, CEO of Uninor, Sanjay Kapoor, chairman of Micromax and Sunil Lalvani, managing director of BlackBerry India today welcomed the Budget 2014 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitely today.

Morten Karlsen Sorby, CEO of Uninor

We believe that India is ready for internet for all and we welcome the Government’s focus in this direction through the Digital India initiative. While we expect this effort to require more investments than the Rs. 500 crores earmarked at this initial stage, this is certainly a good beginning towards internet for all. Internet in villages will not work unless it is affordable internet for all and this is where the telecom industry must partner the Government through innovative technology and business models.

Sanjay Kapoor, chairman, Micromax  

Budget is not a one day event; it is a journey to reach Government’s vision for its term. Given the current situation, budget creation was an arduous task by any standards! The Finance Minister has made pragmatic choices around available resources and has articulated a road map towards reducing the fiscal deficit and fueling economic growth.

While all of us hope he achieves the ambitious target of containing the fiscal deficit, executing it seems very challenging. His focus on giving fillip to the infrastructure seems exhaustive and he has rightfully protected the common man’s interest in his first budget. While we welcome his stand on retrospective tax policy and intent to finalise GST this year, the current Government has the potential and mandate to take a stronger stance on subsidy and policy.

Uninor Internet strategy

Sunil Lalvani, managing director, BlackBerry India 

The budget is prudent and cautious even while it aims to address key sectoral concerns and brings in vital initiatives to spur growth especially in critical sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, education, skill development and infrastructure as well as assuring a stable tax and regulatory regime that is expected to incentivize investments.

The budget also has significant focus in rolling out measures for rural development. From a consumer sentiment standpoint, the budget brings some relief around IT exemptions and is expected to accelerate savings that may fuel economic growth and consumer spending. Further impetus to innovation, entrepreneurship and focused development of industrial corridors will drive domestic employment generation and economic upliftment. Fostering growth and reducing fiscal deficit have been the cornerstone for this year’s budget.

With technology as a key component for delivery of government services, mobile will be a key enabler. M2M technologies will be vital to realize the government’s vision of 100 smart cities, as well enhancing the delivery of healthcare and education services. We believe these are positive signs that will transform the standard of healthcare, education and urban living, as IoT becomes a reality.

Further, domestic manufacturing will receive likely boost as the government enhances focus on this sector. Overall a progressive budget that aims to instill investor confidence and propel economic growth.

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