Support package for digital economy businesses; A good plan in a bad time

On the 10th of November, the plan to support the country’s digital economy businesses was finally unveiled; A plan that was repeatedly promised by the government after disruptions in the Internet and the filtering of some international platforms. In this plan, whose executive guarantee is the responsibility of the ministries of communications, economy, security and information, four different types of services in the fields of payment, advertising, postal services, provision of resources and tax support are provided to domestic businesses and platforms in order to grow. and help their development.

Although this support package is named as support for digital economy businesses and with the aim of compensating the losses of businesses in the era of internet restrictions, its approval process has been accelerated, it has been being designed and written for a few months now, according to the Minister of Communications, is to transform the country’s digital economy:

Zain internet businesses will see huge changes in government support, and with this plan, we will take a big step for the prosperity of the country’s digital economy.

Despite the fact that the digital economy business support plan seeks to create a huge transformation and it is claimed that its implementation can benefit the affected businesses, but a review of the 14 articles in it and various programs that are intended to help the digital economy show It shows that the desired transformation in this space is not possible in the short term and the completion of this plan requires the passage of time.

The potion after the death of businesses

In an interview with Zomit, Atta Khaleqi, head of Nasr Electronic Commerce Commission of Tehran, while considering this support plan as positive, pointed out the same point and believes that if this plan had been published a few years ago, it could have had a very positive impact on the country’s digital economy. He stated in this regard:

The support plan of the Ministry of Communications is a good plan, but I wish it had been prepared and published in 2016. Now is a bad time to release this plan. If such a plan was presented a few years ago, businesses and domestic platforms would also use it, and our platform ecosystem would be many times what it is today.

Although it is unlikely that activists and experts in the field of digital economy will have an objection to the issue of supporting domestic businesses and platforms, but the presentation of this plan at a time when some international platforms are out of reach has also made the approaches towards this plan negative.

Khaleghi believes that this good plan was released at the wrong time because in the current situation, the concern of domestic platforms and businesses is to survive in the ecosystem and survive, which they should be able to achieve in the short term, but this plan does not have such a capacity:

In the current situation, internet businesses are not in a good situation and in this situation, there is no good view of this plan. This plan is not a plan that can solve current problems, but a general plan that can help the ecosystem in the long run. This long-term plan cannot fix their problems when businesses are already in danger of being destroyed.

Although the generality of this plan has features such as granting the possibility of development to all platforms and supporting them, it has a non-exclusive approach to domestic businesses, but due to the publication at the time of restrictions and disruptions in the Internet, this impression has been created in the minds of users and even experts. He said that this plan is a continuation of plans like Sayant and it is intended to continue the blocking of international platforms. But this point of view does not seem very correct because none of its clauses shows a plan to limit foreign examples and only the development of domestic platforms and their support is considered.

There are other benefits in this plan that Khaleighi points out: “Tax benefits, advertising benefits, and the support of government services are some of the positive features of this plan that could have been helpful if it had been considered earlier.”

Of course, he continues to add that all these advantages in the past could be far more useful and effective than today. Mentioning an example, he pointed out the possibility of advertising platforms on radio and television in the current situation and said: “Currently, when advertising on radio and television is considered a negative thing according to some users, this type of advertising support will not help businesses and platforms.”

Despite the advantages of this plan and its potential to help businesses, the head of Nasr Electronic Commerce Commission of Tehran believes that the unveiled plan of the government is just a general text, and until its executive regulations are prepared, it is not possible to give a detailed opinion about how it will be implemented and how effective it will be. In this context, he said: “Under this plan, a regulation should be developed to specify the details of the plan; For example, find out what specifications these platforms must have in order to be covered by this plan and be able to use this support package.

The solution is to restore the Internet to the previous routine

Although some supporters of this plan believe that this support package can be a salve for the wounds inflicted on businesses in the last one or two months, but Khaleghi believes that “this plan has nothing to do with the damage caused to businesses in recent days, and it can show its effect in the long run.” to give “The current state of domestic businesses is that they are dying and this plan will not help them at all.” So, this support package doesn’t seem like an answer to today’s issues, but it could pave the way for more space for platforms and businesses to operate in the years to come.

Not only this plan, but in Khaliki’s opinion, no plan can improve the situation in the current situation. This member of Tehran’s Nasr Organization considered the only effective solution to restore the Internet to its previous routine and added:

In the current situation, no plan or package can help businesses except to restore the Internet to its former state. Our most important problem right now is that we don’t have the right infrastructure and in recent days our infrastructure has been severely damaged.

He went on to explain an example of these damages as follows: “In our business, we have software that works on the internal network but on the VPN. Does not work. Or, for example, we have faced the challenge that our site is presented on Iranian servers in some It is seen by some ISPs and not by others. It has become the daily work of teams and businesses to find solutions to the changes that friends make on the network.”

Adequate infrastructure is still our main challenge

He called the infrastructure challenge the main problem of businesses in the era of internet restrictions and disruptions and said: In this situation, we do not have an infrastructure that we can trust, and every day new rules are applied to the network due to the fight with VPNs and new protocols. which affects internal services.

In a situation where access has become a serious concern for businesses, the issue of business development and platform is considered a minor concern. Khalighi said in this context: “These days, we are struggling with these basic and infrastructure issues, and we cannot pursue development at all, because our time is only being spent on the issue that our service is seen properly and reaches the user.”

Businesses in the field of advertising also have challenges that they are dealing with these days, and the advertising support of this plan cannot compensate for it in the short term. A member of Tehran computer trade union explained the problem of advertising and said:

Another issue for businesses is that we don’t have an advertising platform at all where there is an accumulation of users. In the international social media, there was this gathering and the possibility of advertising and business activities. The only solution we had for advertising was mobile push notifications, which we cannot use now due to the disruption of Google services. Only internal sites left that we can advertise on that also have no user pool.

After explaining the state of the Internet and enumerating the problems in the country’s Internet, Khaleghi criticized the comments made by some officials that speak of the normal routine of the Internet: “The spokesperson of the government says that nothing has happened to the Internet and only two platforms that have committed They have not given, they have been filtered. I think they are either not well informed about the events or they are not telling the truth; Because we, who are in the technical part of this field, see that this is not the case.”

Examining all aspects of the government’s support package for businesses in the field of digital economy shows that despite all the capacities and facilities that various ministries provide in cooperation with each other to help develop platforms, it can lead to a huge transformation in the country’s digital economy when a business and a platform exist. to expand and improve. This is despite the fact that, in the current situation, businesses have many problems that, if they have not led to their death, at least have killed many of them. Breathing life back into these bodies requires immediate action and help that will be effective in the short term, not plans that take months and years to come to fruition.

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