Arvind Gupta, Convener, IT Cell, BJP made a strong case for taxing social media platforms that do business in India, but do not pay service taxes. Gupta pointed out that his government is taking the first steps to ensure that the companies that make money from online advertising and user generated content from India, are made to pay taxes like everyone else. “They may not like it, but this has to be done,” he said, referring to how Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have changed the way people consume information. “People tweet before they run away from an earthquake,” he joked, adding on a serious note, “The smokescreens have to go. If you want to do business in India, you have to pay service taxes,” he said emphatically.
Gupta, who has been one of the key architects of BJP's digital campaign, says he does not buy the theory that technology creates unemployment. “Rather, it introduces efficiency, by doing away with inefficient people... Look at how the software industry has created employment and enhanced India's global image,” he said, citing the example of the Jan Dhan Yojana, Modi government's pet project. “This is a good example of how technology can help assimilate information and enable action in real time,” he said.
Gupta also advocated the use of personal and professional email IDs, especially for the government. “The professional or corporate ID should be handled by servers based in India, as the PM had said in his 15th August speech, 'Make in India, sell to the world. A robust India infrastructure is the need of the day ,” he said.
The other highlight of his address was the contentious issue of regulating social media content. “Social media platforms are not liable for the content put up by users. Unlike in mainstream media, where the content is screened, here there is no screening. Laws have to be stringent and speedy enough to catch up with the rapidly changing world,” he said, and added, “Technology is moving so fast that laws become outdated before they can be enforced.”
Talking about how social media can be an extension of mainstream media, Gupta said while it is important to embrace the technology, content such as child porn and online gambling should not be allowed.
Gupta was speaking at an ASSOCHAM event.
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At exchange4media’s CMO League - powered by Dainik Bhaskar, Gupta will address the brightest marketing executives of the industry on ‘Connecting with Today’s Generation: What the CMOs Can Learn from the BJP Election Campaign’. The talk will be held on September 5, 2014, in Gurgaon.
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Arvind Gupta to reveal BJP's digital campaign at CMO League - powered by Dainik Bhaskar