Dream budget for ICT – Former CEO, SLASSCOM | Daily News

Dream budget for ICT – Former CEO, SLASSCOM

“The budget proposals for 2021 appear to be a dream budget for the promotion of the IT/BPM industry.” said CEO Tresync and former CEO, SLASSCOM, Imran Furkan (Pictured).

The National Export Strategy of Sri Lanka aims to generate USD 5 billion of revenue creating 200,000 direct jobs and establish 1000 IT/BPM startups via the IT/BPM industry. “This budget clearly codified this message by incentivizing the IT/BPM industry as a thrust or core industry.”

Furkan said, “The IT/BPM industry requires little capital, can grow exponentially very fast and can help prevent brain drain while offering the capacity to grow internationally and boost the efficiency of every other industry as well.”

The budget noted ‘Earnings from both domestic and foreign sources by those engaged in businesses in Information Technology and enabling services and also their earnings when made while being resident or non-resident will also be exempted from income taxes.’

Furkan said, “Removing all taxes would influence more people to get into the industry while also helping attract Sri Lankan Diaspora to invest in Sri Lankan startups plus physically return to the country to work in this industry.”

“Many local startups such as Pickme are now ready to list hence the incentives such as to provide a 50% tax concession for the years 2021/2022 for such companies that are listed before 31 December 2021 and to maintain a low corporate tax rate for the subsequent three years will encourage more listings of IT/BPM companies and let the general public benefit from the growth of the IT/BPM industry.”

The intention to introduce laws relating to data security, cybersecurity and intellectual property rights, which I have been personally pushing for will protect IT/BPM stakeholders and help establish the country as a favoured investment destination.

Creating a ‘Technology-based society and digitally inclusive Sri Lanka” is the government’s vision. Under this the “Gamata Sanniwedanaya” (Communication for the Village) aims to grow the Telecom infrastructure to provide high-speed access across the country.

The proposed technoparks could be a boost to the electronics industry as well as businesses engaged in the Internet of Things (IoT).

It is proposed to provide loans of Rs.500,000 at an interest rate of 4 per cent as start-up capital to support the young men and women, who start their own businesses on the successful completion of vocational education.