The budget must announce measures to upgrade digital infrastructure across the country. This will encourage more merchants and consumers to transact on non-cash, online platforms.
Digital India is a laudable initiative. We need to improve digital literacy and connect cities, towns and villages with high-speed Internet networks so that every citizen has access to a mobile broadband connection.
The budget must reduce corporate tax for startups and companies promoting digital payments from the current 35%.
There should be a reduction in income tax for individuals and companies promoting secure digital payments. The budget should announce sops for fin-tech companies providing data protection.
Implementation of goods and services tax from 1 April may be deferred to help businesses and the overall economy recover from demonetisation. Clear, uniform taxation for all goods and services is important. India should be a tax-compliant society. At present, not even 3% of people pay any income tax.
Access to online services should be a fundamental right. This will move a large portion of cash transactions to the formal economy.
Transactions worth $1 trillion are done in the country annually. Of these, barely 10% are on digital platforms. Mobile wallet providers clearly have a larger role to play.
India is poised for high growth. By 2030, India could become the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and China. To help accelerate growth, the budget must announce steps to tone up physical infrastructure. We need good roads and good connectivity with rural areas where 65% of Indians live. India needs world-class seaports and airports, too.
We also need to see visible action on government initiatives like Make in India, Skill India, Start-Up India and Stand Up India.
Bipin Preet Singh is founder and CEO at mobile wallet firm MobiKwik.