The government’s decision to bring survey and mapping under the services tax net has caused apprehension among companies engaged in GIS and mapping, considered to be sunrise sectors with a huge potential to tap the global market. Since the global market for these services is estimated at more than $2bn and India is emerging as a hub for GIS-based services, imposition of the tax is considered to be untimely.
Mapping data of many countries are processed here and the buoyant growth of the industry may be affected, said MP Naryanan of the Centre for Science, Development & Media Studies. Geospatial technologies have emerged as strategic tools for growth, and taxing the service is not a healthy trend. The industry is handicapped due to restrictions on use of government data. It has been demanding a liberal policy on the use of spatial data. India spends Rs 2,000 crore every year on developing maps, but these are not available to the industry, municipalities and individual users due to policy restrictions.