Fast Tracking Smart India
PRAKASH KUMAR CEO, GST Network
The GST System Project is a unique and complex IT initiative. It is unique as it seeks, for the first time, to establish a uniform interface for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and states. Integrating 36 disparate systems, which were at different levels of maturity would have been too complex. Besides GST being a destination-based tax, interstate trade of goods and services (IGST) would need a robust settlement mechanism amongst the states and the Centre This is possible only when there is a strong IT infrastructure and service backbone which enables capture, processing and exchange of informa- tion amongst the stakeholders (including taxpayers, states and central government, accounting offices, banks and RBI).
In view of the sensitivity of the information available, the government has strategic control over the agency. Keeping these requirements in view, Government of India and state governments created goods and services tax network (GSTN), a special purpose vehicle as non-government, not-for-profit company where Centre holds 24.5% shares and all states collectively hold 24.5%. The remaining shares are held by five private financial institutions. This structure brings flexibility of private sector with strategic control of the government.
The number of returns filed each month has not crossed 70 lakh though the number of tax payers
registered with the GSTN has crossed one crore (64 lakh earlier indirect taxpayers who migrated to GST and 38 lakh new registrants). Out of over one crore registered taxpayers, around 18 lakh are under composition scheme, who have to file quarterly returns. 63 lakh returns were filed in July, 67 lakh in August and 69 lakh in September. From there ownwards, the number of returns filed has started coming down - 65 lakh in October, 64 lakh in November and 63 lakh in December.
PVG MENON Former President, IESA
Do not just manufacture products. Create a value proposition. The ESDM sector is changing and IoT will reshape manufacturing - be it a chip, machinery or any such product. The industry needs to accept this change positively and walk hand-inhand. There is no product left untouched by India - be it embedding the chips or creating a complete design. India has a major role to play in manufacturing. It’s time to shift from ‘Make in India’ to ‘Design in India’.
The fab is a highly strategic game changer for India. The country will leapfrog by several years in the development of indigenous electronic products and help in developing the local semiconductor industry. The presence of a local fab in India would boost the country’s capability to build IP assets. We believe that in terms of its impact and implications, the fab must be treated on par with India’s investments in her space and nuclear programs.
ABHAY SAVARGAONKAR Group CTO, Airtel
We have successfully conducted India’s first 5G network trial under a test set up at our stateof-the-art Network Experience Centre in Manesar (Gurgaon). The setup demonstrates high spectral efficiency and potential for diversified services such as IoT and AR/VR, which can be delivered by 5G technology to serve a digitally connected world.
This is small but a very significant step in our journey towards 5G. The promise of 5G is endless, it will be a game changer and, it will change the way we live, work and engage. We are moving quickly to begin collaboration towards 5G interoperability and development testing (IODT) based on the 3GPP R15 standards. We look forward to work closely with our partners for developing a robust 5G ecosystem in India.
One essential route that needs to be followed by Indian businesses to fast track Smart Cities is through collaboration between themselves. Savargaonkar cited an instance of how 6 different companies from different business streams and facets collaborated with each other for the South Korea Winter Olympics to emphasize his point. India needs to start on this journey right now. In addition what will be required as an essential pillar for Smart Cities is the availability of sub-GHz spectrum for penetration and connectivity levels to improve.
GAURAV AGRAWAL Head – Cloud & Managed Services, Sify Technologies
(L to R) Abhay Savargaonkar, Group CTO, Airtel; PVG Menon, former President, IESA; Prakash Kumar, CEO, GST Network and Gaurav Agrawal, Head – Cloud & Managed Services, Sify Technologies