Organizations' like ICA Edu Skills which are partnering with various state and Central government in offering skill-building programmes to the country's potential workforce in diverse sectors are looking forward to Budget 2018 with a lot of hope. We expect the Union Finance Minister to take measures which will facilitate giving market-relevant training to crores of youth in the country.
One of the first things the government needs to do in this regard is cap the GST rate for all type of skill training, irrespective of whether they government funded/CSR funded/ Self or Employer funded, at 5 per cent. Alternatively it should provide for a refund mechanism for GST.
Second, the National Skill Development Corporation's interest rate charged from skill partners should be reduced from the present six per cent to two per cent. The government needs to make adequate budgetary allocation so that in every taluka at least 10, 000 people can be given some sort of skill training.
The number of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and budgetary support for them should also be increased. We are also looking forward to some income tax concessions to companies providing skill-development services. There should be 150% weightage for depreciation or expenditure on skilling. One also expects the government to incentivize creation of digital infrastructure, technology and talent for Digital India. This is essential to take PM's dream of Digital India forward. Concessions/exemptions and increased allocation for telecom, IT and power sector manufacturing are looked forward to in the coming Budget.
(Narendra Shyamsukha is Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills)
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