Throughout the last few years, rural India witnessed many extraordinary changes. PC penetration is one such welcome addition which actually improved the lives and the lifestyle of many rural inhabitants. In fact, a series of bills and acts were passed in order to promote information technology in the rural areas. These bills coupled with the comparatively low rates of computers aptly facilitated the boom of e-governance in these villages.
However, the India’s current computer penetration in rural areas is remarkably lesser than its fellow countries. In fact today, India has a much lower rank among the countries with lower PC penetration. Countries like Malaysia, Russia and China have much greater PC penetration in rural areas compared to India. So, why is India lagging behind? According to some popular estimates, many individuals in villages do not purchase computers, even when they can afford it. This is due to the moderately high rates of computers. However, IT hubs and PC companies are trying their best to lure the rural customers with some viable computer deals. Apart from that, the government too is trying to add new bills and subsidies for the improvement of PC penetration in the villages.
PC penetration in India is low – Why?
Well, India has lower PC concentration simply because of the high ownership costs and the lack of proper localization. In fact, the ownership cost of a desktop along with a broadband connection, is tad higher than what the villagers expect. Besides this, notebooks and other similar gadgets are absolutely beyond their reach due to the extremely steep rates these products are available in.
How can PC penetration improve in rural India?
- Hardware costs can be reduced up to 40-45% for better customer base in the rural areas. In fact, PC penetration can aptly improve if the IT hubs work for manufacturing hardware in comparatively lower rates.
- Government subsidies can also help PC penetration improve in the rural areas.
- The TCA or total owner ship cost along with the cost of a broadband connection can be reduced.
- Income tax benefits should be provided to the individuals who purchase a computer in the rural areas.
- Purchase of PC should be promoted among students and homes which have an income less than INR 5lakh annually.
- Innovative and affordable computer deals will also improve the PC penetration in rural India to a considerable extent.
- Various indirect taxes on purchasing IT hardware can be reduced. The reduction can be done from 12 to 6 percent which in turn will attract a considerable number of rural customers.
- Various units like micro processors should have a lower CVD rate which in turn will enhance the penetration of computer in rural India
These measures for improving the PC penetration are suggested by a report produced by KPMG. They have also suggested that the Government can revise the impacts of the ERV clause and add greater flexibility to it. They have further suggested that IT training and computer education should be made compulsory both for the schools in the government areas and also for the individuals seeking government jobs.
Many of the suggestions have been constantly recommended to the Government. Even with a few recommendations the entire figure of IT structure and computer penetration in rural India, can expedite in a single go.