State Budget Leaves IT Industry In The Cold

The Maharashtra State Budget 2007-08 presented by Jayant Patil, state finance minister has left the information technology (IT) industry seething. Most association members have expressed huge disappointment over the state government's silence over the matter of abolishing octroi.

Channel partners have decided to take up cudgels against the issue and have decided to petition the government against the main problem affecting the growth in trade. They have also decided to rope in big corporate houses in order to get their voice heard.

``Information Technology has been given the go-by,'' said Sushil Jiwarajka, chairman, FICCI-WRC, who expressed disappointment at the state government's silence in the matter of abolishing octroi.

He, however, appreciated the state government's decision to exempt retrospectively transactions in commodity markets from stamp duty if both the broker and investor reside outside the state, in line with the government's decision to exempt transactions in the case of capital markets last year.

In this year's budget, the state government has made a mere mention of IT  - For connecting all 35 districts to Mantralaya and all Talukas to the District Head Quarters, an outlay of Rs 19.20 crore has been provided under the Maharashtra State Wide Area Network Project.

Maharashtra-wide trade bodies have expressed their disgruntlement with the budget. A Trade Association of IT (TAIT) spokesperson said: ``We were clearly looking for a solution to the vexed issue of octroi. An announcement that the government was looking at it would have been enough, but that has not happened.''

There were so many of these troubling issues on the agenda for the IT sector, said the representative, and the fact that the government has continued to remain silent clearly shows that the industry continues to be given a step-motherly treatment.

"We expected some announcements about withdrawal of octroi as compared to the withdrawal in smaller cities, but the minister has decided to keep mum on this,'' said Shanker Iyer, of Mahasiddhi Computers.

It may be recalled that earlier chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had promised to resolve the octroi dispute. The fact that the state budget made no mention of it at all has displeased the trade.


Added on March 26, 2007 Comment

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