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Professor Sunil Mani Centre for Development Studies Trivandrum August 19 2009 Financing of industrial innovations in India, How effective are tax incentives.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Sunil Mani Centre for Development Studies Trivandrum August 19 2009 Financing of industrial innovations in India, How effective are tax incentives."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Sunil Mani Centre for Development Studies Trivandrum August Financing of industrial innovations in India, How effective are tax incentives for R&D?

2 Outline 2 Motivation India’s innovative performance Survey of financing of Innovation Effectiveness of tax incentives Policy Conclusions

3 Motivation 3 1. Research done across the world has shown that finance is an important barrier to innovations being carried out especially at the level of firms; 2. An average firm in India has financed its long term capital investments through self generation. Even when it has depended on external sources, it is on debt finance; 3. For the first time in its history, GOI has fixed a target for investments in R&D- at 2 per cent of GDP (by the end of the tenth five year plan, namely ) and this is to be largely contributed by the private sector industry; 4. Revenue foregone on corporate income tax as a result of various tax concessions now work out around 10 per cent of total corporate tax collection (average for and )

4 India’s innovative performance 4 Two conventional indicators: Trends in R&D investments Trends in patenting

5 5 Trends in India’s overall investments in R&D, through (Current and Constant values are in Rs Crores; Constant values are in prices); Source of data: Department of Science and Technology (2006 and 2008)

6 6 Sector-wide performance of R&D in India (percentage shares) Source: Department of Science and Technology (2006 and 2008) 6

7 7 Nominal R&D expenditure by private sector enterprises (Rs in Millions)

8 8 Industry-wide distribution of Industrial R&D (Cumulative shares in per cent through )

9 9 Trends in patents granted to Indian inventors in the USPTO in comparison with those granted to BRICS (Number of patent granted)

10 Distribution of US patents according to ownership, 1991 and

11 11 Summing up on innovative activity Overall research intensity of the country as judged by rates of growth of GERD and GERD to GDP ratio has actually gone down since 1991; But the share of industrial sector within the overall GERD has actually increased by a factor of 2 since 1991 and the industrial sector now performs close to a third of overall GERD; Within the industrial sector over two thirds of the industry is performed by private enterprises and most of these are concentrated in the pharmaceutical industry; Analysis of various types of patent data and notably the USPTO data shows that much of it is actually done by MNCs operating from India, although the domestic private sector and enterprises and government research institutes (read CSIR) has also increased their share of innovative activity during the period since 1991; Once again, the patent data too shows that there is a specialisation in pharmaceutical technologies although MNCs operating from India tend to specialise in IT related activities; This prompts us to conclude that India’s national system of innovation is largely dominated by the sectoral system of innovation of her pharmaceutical and IT industries. The former is largely in the hands of domestic enterprises while the latter is in the hands of MNCs; The not so conventional indicators too lend, although some what, further support to the above line of reasoning. 11

12 Financing of innovation in India (c2008) 12

13 Major instruments of financing of innovation 13 Loans, grants and equity support from TDB; Grants from the TePP scheme NMITLi grants Venture Capital Tax Incentives for R&D

14 14 Technology Development Board R&D Cess of 5 per cent of all payments for technology (1986)- Technology Policy Statement of The proceeds of the cess levied and collected, is first credited to the Consolidated Fund of India, and then disbursed to the Technology Development Board from time to time on as per the prescribed procedure The TDB was created by an Act of the Parliament in 1995 and commenced operation from 1996 ; TDB basically seeks to support financially the commercialization of indigenous technology (whether obtained/developed from a publicly funded R&D or not) including aspects such as improvements, modifications replacement of imported inputs, conformance to domestic/global regulatory standards, etc. and even for adapting and commercializing imported technology that entail crucial modifications to suit domestic markets and/or further development of a ‘proof of concept or design ’ ; TDB provides financial support through: (i) a loan of upto 50% of the project costs at simple interest (of 6% earlier and now lowered to 5%) with repayment in five years after project completion (and a royalty payment during the period of loan, which has now been dropped); (ii) participation in equity of companies upto 25% of paid up capital; and (iii) Grants-in-aid. 14

15 15 How effective have been the TDB ? Over the period to , it is estimated that the government has collected R&D cess of the order of Rs.950 crore of which the disbursements to TDB have only been around 50% of the collection; As of March 2005, TDB had supported around 141 projects with an estimated project cost of Rs.2045 crore (of which TDB sanctioned assistance is of around only Rs.665 crore; TDB has predominantly used the loan instrument for support; it has participated in equity of only one company and given three grants-in-aid; The grant of Rs.53.8 crore by TDB to National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) for development and type certification of a 14 -seater aircraft is the largest project support ever made by TDB – normally no private sector venture capital fund would have financed the NAL developmen; AND. TDB’s reluctant use of equity as a mechanism for support is a clear indication that it has been risk averse in funding start-ups and new ventures. Finally the amount of R&D Cess due has not been properly estimated- All-India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP) 15

16 16 TDB evaluation (continued ) The Health and Medical sector accounts for 25% of TDB funding followed by Engineering (15%) and Road Transport (14%); Some successful projects supported by TDB: Development and production of Hepatitis B vaccine (as a result of which the domestic price has dropped to one tenth), Recombinant Streptokinase (second in the world), corDECT, the Wireless in Local Loop access technology, Bharat II variant of Indian car Indica, the first Indian electric vehicle REVA and so on; So far there has been only one review of its first five year of its operation- by ASCI; ASCI survey showed that around 50% of the agreements were successful i.e., products released in the markets and repayments to TDB commenced, another about 12% were foreclosed but payments were committed/received, 8% were failures and the rest about 20% were those where success was doubtful. Of the successful projects, in over 70% of the cases, the technology originated outside of publicly funded R&D system 16

17 17 Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP) The programme was launched in 1998 to help realize the vast latent innovative potential of individual invetors; The basic objective of TePP isfor individual innovators to emerge as technopreneurs – technology oriented entrepreneurs; TePP support is provided for in all areas except software development for which there are other avenues of support; It helps the inventor to identify and network with an appropriate R&D/academic institution for guidance, technical consultancy, development of models/prototypes, etc., assists in for filing and securing of intellectual property rights and last but not the least,linking with appropriate source of finances for commercialization of the product; and TePP by itself provides financial support of upto Rs.1 million as a grant-in-aid to prove the idea and a similar amount for the second phase for commerialisation. Since its inception seven years ago, the programme has received over 5500 applications of which around 1200 have been assessed and of these, 207 projects supported. 17

18 18 TePP evaluation (continued) Summary of Phase-I Projects [Status as on 30 March. 2007] Summary of Phase-I Projects [Status as on 30 March. 2007] Total Number of Phase-I Projects Supported under TePP :207 Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) :125 Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) :82 Summary of Phase-II Projects [Status as on 30 March. 2007] Summary of Phase-II Projects [Status as on 30 March. 2007] Total Number of Phase-II Projects Supported under TePP :2 Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) :2 Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) : 0 A few of the illustrative success stories are: Motorized auto distractor; 3 wheel 10 HP tractor, Micro windmill, Vertical cylindrical solar water heater, Solid biomass fired furnance, Sketching device for visually handicapped, etc. 18

19 19 New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) The scheme was announced at the dawn of the Millennium in February 2000 by the then Finance Minister in his Budget 2000; The objective was to catalyse innovation-centered scientific and technological developments as a vehicle for select Indian industry to attain a global leadership position. The CSIR was assigned to manage the scheme. The Scheme departed from the past practice and policy and adopted a strategy of identifying, selecting and supporting technological and industry winners.; The Government funds the entire project (in most cases) as a grant-in-aid for publicly funded R&D/academic partners and as a soft loan (3% simple interest payable in 10 installments) to the industry partner and also underwrites the risk of failure. Intellectual property rights aspects are equitably managed – generally IPRs belongs to the group (s) developing it, which are licensed on a first right of refusal basis to the industrial partner on mutually agreed terms with NMITLI managers as the umpire. 19

20 NMITLI outcomes 20 During period, it has funded 42 projects with an outlay of about Rs.300 crore, involving 222 publicly funded R&D/academia groups and 65 industrial firms as partners; Predominantly the projects have been in the broad area of biotechnology (40%) and in drugs and pharmaceuticals and chemicals (15% each) – areas in which CSIR has recognized core competencies; NMITLI projects, which are wholly funded by the government, enjoy an average of about Rs.7 crore/project funding – highest of all government technology development programmes. From the projects funded three products have been developed, viz., - Biosuite, a versatile portable software for bioinformatics, - A PC based high end 3D visualization platform for computational biology and - Sofcomp, a simple and cost effective office-computing platform under Rs ($ 220 or so)

21 Share of Venture Capital in Total Private Equity Industry in India, 2006 and

22 Tax incentives for R&D: Pros and Cons (OECD, 1996) 22

23 There are essentially two types of R&D tax incentives 23

24 Effectiveness of R&D tax incentives 24

25 The Indian Case: Input and output based tax incentives for R&D in India (c2008) 25

26 Tax foregone due to R&D tax incentives in India (Rs in Millions) 26

27 Effective corporate income tax rate for those industries covered under the R&D tax incentive scheme,

28 R&D expenditure of firms receiving R&D tax incentives, (Rs in Millions) 28

29 Elasticity of R&D Expenditure wrt tax foregone 29 The first step involved in this exercise is to estimate the tax foregone due to the operation of this specific R&D tax incentive scheme. This is done in two stages. I In the first stage or instance, we estimate the total tax foregone (denoted as tf1) due to the operation of all tax incentives. This is based on the difference between the statutory corporate income tax rate and its effective rate In the second stage we estimate the tax foregone (denoted as tf2) due to just R&D tax incentives alone. This estimation was done under an assumption. It was found that the revenue foregone due to R&D tax incentives worked out, on an average, 1.94 per cent of revenue foregone due to all kinds of tax incentives. In other words:

30 The Equations 30 tf2 = tf1* (1) For estimating the elasticity, we fitted the following functional form: ln R&D it = a+b 1 lnSales it + b 2 tf2 it + b 3 lnExport +u it (2)

31 Descriptive Statistics (Values are in Rs Crores, Intensities are in percentages, Figures in parentheses indicate standard deviations) 31

32 Regression results 32

33 Interpretation of the results 33 The elasticity of R&D expenditure with respect to tax foregone as a result of the operation of the R&D tax incentive is less than unity for all the four industries, although it is significant only in the case of the chemicals industry. In two of the industries, namely in automotive and electronic industries the elasticity is even negative, although not significant. From this the reasonable interpretation that is possible is that tax incentive does not have any influence on R&D, excepting possibly in the chemicals industry where it has some influence although even in this case the change in R&D as a result of tax incentive is less than the amount of tax foregone. This lack of significant relationship between R&D and tax foregone can be rationalized by the fact that the tax subsidy covers only a very small percentage share (on an average 6 per cent) of R&D undertaken by the enterprises in the four broad industry groups. So our conclusion is that for tax incentive to be effective in raising R&D expenditures it must form a significant portion of R&D investments by an enterprise. It is not thus a determinant of R&D investments by enterprises. In fact this result corroborates the results of innovation surveys done in the context of such diverse countries such as Brazil and South Africa where innovating firm did not find government funds for innovation as an important instrument for financing their respective innovation efforts. In the Indian case even though 150 per cent of weighted deduction of R&D expenditure is allowed, the taxable income the firm has is not much. For firms to benefit from this specific incentive, their profit before tax has to be large.

34 Interpretation of the results (continued) 34 Sales (a proxy for size) is found to be a more important determinant. This is in line with the Schumpeterian hypothesis that large sized firms are able to devote more investments on R&D; Surprisingly exports turned out to have positive and significant influence on R&D only in the case of the pharmaceutical industry. The other two industries are much more inward looking where the domestic market is more important than the export on; and In the case of the pharmaceutical industry much of the R&D is in the development of generic versions of known drugs which are then exported. So exports act as an important fillip.

35 Policy Conclusions 35 Our study has shown that there have been improvements in the innovative output of Indian industry during the recent period since economic liberalisation. However this has been restricted to a few industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. India has three different types of financial incentives for R&D: research grants and loans, venture capital and tax incentives. Our analysis showed that the pharmaceutical industry has been a target of most of these financial incentives. There is thus a fine targeting of innovation financing in India. We endeavoured to estimate the coefficient of elasticity of R&D with respect to tax foregone as result of this incentive scheme. The resulting exercise showed that R&D expenditure of the concerned industries was inelastic. We also found that the incentives did not form a significant portion of R&D. It is therefore not prudent to make any comments on the effectiveness of R&D tax incentives. But we see that the size of the firm does appear to be an important determinant of R&D, at least, in the case of some of the industries. Allowing firms to become larger and through that process of growth enabling them to become larger investors in R&D may be a better policy than providing them directly with subsidies

36 Policy Conclusions (continued) 36 Our hypothesis was that this was largely due to the quirks of methodology and the dataset used for such a computation. So until we have firm data on tax foregone due to the operation of this specific R&D scheme we are not in a position to draw very firm conclusions about its effectiveness. The only safe conclusion that this study allow us to draw is the fact that the government has targeted the right sort of industries for awarding this incentive scheme.


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