We expect the budget for 2019-2020 to focus on dedicating significant funds to various industries like e-commerce, IT and telecom, and bringing reforms for better policy implementation. These sectors have witnessed a major policy overhaul in 2018 but there is still much to cover in terms of augmenting industry growth. Multiple changes in the ecosystem have also impacted growth and employment in the sector.
The General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and continual changes in the H-1B/H-1B1 visa policies in the United States have increased the cost burden on IT companies thereby affecting talent acquisition, skill development and retention. It is crucial that the budget introduces some economic benefits for IT companies to continue their growth momentum and further improve hiring prospects.
The e-commerce industry is another promising sector with job generation at 25 per cent year-on-year. However the industry is gripped by high attrition. This is primarily due to the minimum wage gap as well as lack of Provident Fund/Employees' State Insurance benefits which delivery executives (who constitute the majority of the workforce) face.
The budget hence should also focus on allocating funds to improve wage/pay dynamics, the quality of life and skill development of e-commerce employees. Additionally, the government must also work towards introducing skilling/up-skilling incentives for employees and employers, which will enable the industry to become more organised. As the sector is consistently venturing into new markets (Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities), with the efforts of the government, the scope of job generation and talent retention will improve in 2019.
Another sector which has witnessed remarkable endeavours by the government in 2018 is telecom. With the implementation of National Digital Communications Policy, the government plans to connect rural India with 5G technology. This requires tremendous efforts towards strengthening infrastructure and distribution network which will in turn contribute to creation of jobs. The budget must enable holistic infrastructural development to aid the industry's growth and fulfil the government's Digital India initiative.
(Mayur Saraswat is head of digital, IT and telecom verticals at TeamLease Services)
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