Budget 2022-23: Reactions from industry leaders

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Market reaction on Budget 2022-23: As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday made an announcement outlining the economic growth for India over the next 25 years. 

Here’s what the industry sector experts are saying about the Union Budget 2022:

Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital:

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The Union Budget 2022 has lived up to expectations on many fronts. The FM has delivered a budget that addresses holistic measures to take the economy towards the $5 trillion target. Overall finances seem to be in good shape, with fiscal deficit for FY22 at 6.9%, and GST collections at a record Rs.1.4 lakh crore in January. Capex budget has been increased by a steep 35.4%, which is the need of the hour. 

The highlight for the year has been the unfaltering focus on complementing macro-economic growth through micro measures, such as all-inclusive welfare, domestic production, tech-aided development, and public infrastructure, while pushing the envelope on the energy and climate agenda – a tall order. 

The fintech industry will welcome announcements such as 100% CBS coverage for the post office, liberal regulation for the GIFT IFSC centre, and heightened emphasis on fintech education. All of these acknowledge the government’s efforts to transform India into a global fintech hub. The FM has also announced FY23 as the timeline for the much-awaited RBI CBDC – the digital Rupee. Crypto enthusiasts will appreciate the clarified stance on cryptocurrency, although gains will be taxed at 30% with 1% TDS.

Madan Padaki, Co-Founder, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship:

It is heartening to see a slew of measures in the budget that help MSMEs grow directly and indirectly. The 7-engined PM Gati Shakti initiative is a significant investment in physical infrastructure, and with the emphasis on rural infra, it will accelerate an environment for entrepreneurship to thrive and boost job creation. 

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The announcement on blended financing for agri and rural enterprises will provide an impetus to take the power of entrepreneurship into rural India. 

The extension of ECLGS and attention to Delayed Payments which have been keenly awaited will provide immediate to mid-term relief for the sector.  Other steps that will add up to build India’s entrepreneurial story include promoting critical thinking (a key entrepreneurship trait) amongst students, a series of initiatives on accelerating our digital economy and the emphasis on sunrise sectors like clean energy.

Snehal Choksey, CEO, Shobha Shringar:

“With a futuristic vision, the financial budget has focused on digitisation and investments with its various plans and policies, which is a great move. With the reduction of customs on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones to 5%, there is a positive change coming up for the industry. With this move, there is an incredible opportunity to organise the gems and jewellery sector. The reduction in customs will ensure that the tax evasion and other malpractices significantly reduce, which will largely strength the domestic market. 

This will also enhance the employment opportunities and increase the tax collection. Moreover, we are looking forward to the regulatory framework in the coming year, which will enhance the exports of gems and jewellery significantly and improve the forex earnings of the nation. We are hopeful as these measures will increase the demand and enhance the affordability of jewellery for the coming year. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these policies bring to the overall growth and development of the jewellery industry in the year 2022-23.”

Dipika Jaikishan, Co-Founder & COO of Basis:

“This budget looks like a consolidation budget. This is not a budget for a year, it has looked at a longer-term perspective keeping in mind the digital economy, a digital health ecosystem, e-passport. This is a digital march forward. The budget started with the identification of the need for mental health services and recognising these and creating services. This is a forward-looking budget with conviction and an implementation path. Technology has been recognised as the key to India’s future, paving the way for a tech-enabled and digital economy.

Start-ups continue to be recognised and their role is only been validated further. Clean-tech, Electric vehicles, and tax incentives for start-ups are here to stay. This is a budget for technology, technocrats. India has leapfrogged with a massive Capex of Rs 7,000 Crores as well. A budget for emerging India”

Mohammad Azhar, Lead Government & Public Sector Initiatives, Villgro:

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“The tax incentives and effective redressal of issues like payment of Tax even after the country lockdown are one of the more debatable concerns for 2-3 years old startups. The startups differ from traditional businesses and they are focused on innovation, technology, and exponential scaling/sustainability. Therefore, their tax issues are also slightly different from other businesses. Proposal of tax holidays from 3 years to 4 years is a welcoming step from going good to great in bringing sustainability in the startup ecosystem.

Pallavi Singh, Vice President, Super Plastronics PVT LTD (SPPL):

The FM announced no change to the current tax structure or tax relief has been provided in any form for the existing manufacturing industry and no reduction has been announced on GST rates, which is a disappointment.

We hope that the FM’s announcement of carrying on the legacy of SEZ’s and replacing it with a new legislation is a welcome move and as mentioned, existing manufacturing units will be allowed to participate in the same to promote export of goods.

The current budget has focused on building the infrastructure in India which is a welcome approach to make India at par with global infrastructure which will also help us in the long run.

Ishani Behari, Chief Marketing Officer, Brigentech Consulting:

The budget is forward-looking and growth-oriented. Digitalization is one of the major themes of this budget with announcements around the digital economy, digital health eco-system, e-passport, amongst others. The government has recognized technology as a major enabler for India’s economic growth and building one of the most advanced digital economies in the world. 

We also welcome this budget’s emphasis on strengthening talent capacity through skilling courses and the formation of a digital university to enable India to become a global hub for skilled talent.

The government has also opened its doors to digital currency and thereby will boost the blockchain and crypto ecosystem in the country. This is a great step for further developing the talent pool for emerging technologies.

Abhishek Goel, CEO & Co-founder, CACTUS:

It is good to see a focus on technology to bring about transformation of the economy over the next 25 years. Be it the focus on clean energy, bringing technologies to farmers, energy transition and climate action, or the use of clean technology in public transport – we are looking at a tremendous role of STM in economic development over the next 25 years. Both the industry and academia have to gear up for this change.”

Prasad Sreeram, CEO & Co-Founder, COGOS:

The Union budget is very positive for the economy and a good impetus for the logistics industry with Gati Shakti and further digitization including interoperable interfaces supporting all-mode transport. The creation of multimodal parks and focus on improving the infrastructure holistically will increase the efficiency of logistics. A unified interface across all-mode transport will reduce the paperwork and boost the just-in-time inventory movement. 

Establishing the DESH-Stack eportal for skill, reskill and upskill with trusted skill credentials will drive the country into the future with confidence and benefit the industry with a skilled future ready workforce. The funding scenario for startups will improve with regulatory improvements on venture capital. Much needed government intervention to create interoperability standards for battery swapping and further focus will increase the EV adoption multifold. Furthermore, the announcement of one station, one product will boost the local supply chains.”

Aman Tekriwal, Co-founder, Supertails:

There has been a great focus on growth and sustainability in this year’s budget, which is going to drive India’s overall development. 

Notably, the tax exemption for startups extended to March-2023 and the reduction in surcharge on capital gain tax from 37% to 15% is positive and welcome news for startups.

Steps such as the highway network to grow by 25,000 km with an ambitious goal of 280 GW solar capacity by 2030 are going to be big drivers of growth. Further,  allocating INR 1500 crore for development in northeast India is a huge step in fast tracking inclusive economic development for the nation.”

Sanjay Dangi, Director – Authum Investment and Infrastructure Ltd:

This is a der aaye dust eye budget. Let’s go from the negatives to the positives. My pipe dream of tax rationalism stays a dream. Some tax relief would have immediately pumped billions into an economy that’s not seen growth. But perhaps in these turbulent times, it was best to leave the tax structure alone. With the higher spends announced, we can do with more capital inflows to close the deficit.

I am in two minds over the digital tax. On one hand, it shows a welcome tax-don’t-criminalize attitude. We need to broaden the basket of choices for people to invest their savings in. Nevertheless, 30% for any tax only incentivizes evasion.

Higher capex expenditures on health, education and capacity building are more than welcome. Our healthcare and education systems were ripped apart by the pandemic last year, and unemployment has skyrocketed. This budget’s emphasis on expanding the pie gets an enthusiastic welcome from me.”

Sumit Sharma, Co-Founder, GoBOLT:

The overall budget seemed very growth-oriented in terms of boosting logistics and supply chain industry in India with PM Gati Shakti Master Plan. The plan will help in cutting logistic costs, increase cargo handling capacity and reduce the turnaround time, further fastening and smoothening the supply chain of goods. Currently, logistics and supply chain expenses represent 12 to 13 percent of GDP, compared to an international average of 8%. With Gati Shakti, India will gain a foothold in the construction of an integrated, harmonized transportation and logistics grid with Gati Shakti.”

Himanshu Arya, Founder & CEO, Grapes:

“The Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 has set the stage with an invigorated focus on ramping up the process of the digital revolution. The government’s focus on the digital ecosystem is a progressive move to render an inclusive landscape for job openings and entrepreneurial opportunities. The extension of tax incentives for startups for one more year will give a slight relief to the industry. I hope that the cash flow improves in the market. The Union Budget has various encouraging initiatives and is directed towards a more viable and flexible business ecosystem that completely aligns with the ideologies of Make in India.”

Farman Beig, Co-founder & CEO of Wat-a-Burger:

“The government has been supportive towards the F & B sector and did announce some steps to help the sector bounce back by shifting the GST compliance onto online food delivery partners on behalf of the restaurants. However, some relief in terms of ITC (Input tax credit) would have further catalysed the recovery of the sector which otherwise is on the bleeding end. Currently, when the industry is struggling to manage the fixed cost with GST, it requires immediate boost, and cutting down ITC would have worked wonders.”

Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote:

“Indeed the food & beverage industry in India was bleeding, and it required a lifeline to recover. Though the government certainly announced a number of steps for its resurgence, the Budget announcement of extension ECGL service for the sector will play a significant role to empower the vertical once again and get it up and running. Additionally, a slight consideration on the investors front on funding the F&B startups could have further accelerated the recovery of the industry. We further expect fundamental policies to revive the vertical in the country.”

Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Co-founder & CEO of Qandle:

“It was imperative to control the rising hidden pandemic of mental and emotional health issues. Though a lot of companies took measures to ensure the mental wellbeing of their employees, it was visible in their productivity that how people are struggling within themselves. Also, employees usually hesitate in reaching out to their HRs or counsellors for help. The launch of Tele mental health service will be widely accessible and individuals will not hesitate in reaching out for counselling. This will boost the wellbeing and productivity of people, which will eventually lead to a healthy nation and economy. This announcement highlights how we are a forward moving nation.”

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO Salesforce India:

“Overall, this is a budget with a long-term vision supported by growth oriented policies driving job creation, digital inclusion, climate action and infrastructure development and therefore, is very timely for our country. As we continue to digitally transform, the focus on bolstering digital payments with a consumer-friendly lens, will continue to augment digital adoption across regional India. As a knowledge economy, I cannot emphasise enough on the importance of skilling to lead the digital disruption. Initiatives to drive skilling, reskilling and upskilling, digitally, will ensure we are ready for the digital future much ahead of the curve. Lastly, climate change is the most pressing global crisis that humanity is facing today impacting every individual, institution, government, community, and business. Investments in energy transition and climate action will take us on our path to sustainable development.”

Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal:

This is the Digital Revolution Budget. We welcome the government’s emphasis on creating new digital touchpoints to empower multiple aspects of our society and supercharge the startup ecosystem. New initiatives across currency, banking, education, skilling, health, passports, and logistics will enable a large part of the country to benefit from India’s growing digital revolution. The government’s focus on augmenting India’s road, rail, and telecom infrastructure will help further accelerate growth opportunities across Bharat.”

Vikas Singhania, CEO, TradeSmart:

Road construction was given a boost by increasing the target to 25,000 kms of National Highways construction. Comparing this to the current construction of around 13,000 kms the target is almost double than the current level.

Also, bringing all key transport ministries under the Gati Shakti plan is a positive step for the logistics sector.”

A short and sweet budget by the finance minister with no tweaks on taxes but a lot of measures to promote overall economic activity. The budgetary capex has been increased by 19% while at the same time providing impetus to EVs, solar power and renewable energy, agriculture, blending of fuels, startups, the introduction of digital currency, giving legitimacy to cryptocurrencies and green bonds all point towards the government sticking to the growth path.”

Pankit Desai, Co-founder CEO, Sequretek:

Agriculture, healthcare, and digital banking have all received significant boosts in the Budget 2022-23. India has seen a surge in startups, particularly in the IT/knowledge-based sectors, over the last six years. The one-year extension of tax incentives for startups, as well as the launch of the e-stack portal, which encourages a digital ecosystem for skilling and finding relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, will encourage a stronger entrepreneurial culture in India and position India as the global hub for technological innovation. 

The FM stated that startups will be encouraged to facilitate drones by developing various applications and providing drones as a service. The allocation of 25% of India’s defence R&D budget to private industry, startups, and academia is a positive step. The FM also mentioned formalising cryptocurrency, 30% tax on income from transfer of virtual digital assets, and announcement of a blockchain-based and RBI-backed Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). With tech advancement, innovation and widespread adoption of digital payments, the government should also focus on raising awareness and education around the importance of cybersecurity, privacy and data security among businesses and consumers for sustainable growth.

Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO, Kinara Capital:

Union Budget 2022-23 has presented a comprehensive package of policy announcements aimed at supporting the recovery of MSME. Aside from the critical announcements about the extension of the ECLGS scheme and the revamp of the CGTMSE program, along with the infusion of additional funds, the government’s focus on RAMP is also commendable, as it will define the path to sustainable and responsible development for the sector. We also look forward to the interlinking of MSMEs formalization and compliance platforms, as this stands to facilitate operability, therefore improving entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector. The digital focus of the Budget, with support for the digital ecosystem and payment platforms, also bodes well for small businesses, as we foresee the future of the sector being tech-led.”

Amit Ratanpal, Founder & MD, BLinC Invest:

With Budget 2022, the government has clearly taken a stride in the right direction to support inclusion of technology in the education and financial services sectors. With initiatives like digital DESH e-portal, digital university, digital currency, and credit extension to MSMEs coupled with ease of doing business, increasing the penetration of EdTech and FinTech products to the masses will be the key area of focus for the coming years. However, a closer alignment with the budget allocation as per the New Education Policy would have added significantly to the current momentum in the EdTech sector.

Arjun Gupta, Founder, Courseplay:

“The 2022 Budget saw many missed expectations for SMEs and Start-ups. As one of the fastest growing contributors to GDP, the SaaS sector should be promoted more by the central government. Share allocation process for start-ups to be simplified. Low cost tech education in Tier 3 and smaller towns is a huge must, as supply of skilled tech workers is at an all time low compared to demand.

Getting government contracts for tech start-ups is still very complicated and should be made easier. Labour Law reforms for tech companies would be appreciated too. The government needs to stand behind Indian SaaS companies to make India the no. 1 SaaS exporter in the world. Hopefully we will see some of this in next year’s budget”.

Sarbojit Mallick, Founder and CBO, Instahyre:

“The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme across 14 sectors, including IT hardware manufacturing, has the potential to generate at least 60 lakh new job opportunities in covering key sectors like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, large-scale electronics manufacturing, food products, solar EV modules, automobiles/auto components, ACC battery, textile products, etc. More emphasis on technologies like deeptech, agritech, EV tech, defence & digital payments will help tech startups. The “Digital Rupee” is a book boost to the blockchain. The Indian startups will be at the forefront and global fintech firms will also be targeting Indian talent on this. More funds have been allocated to the power and manufacturing segments. We will also see that the hiring will be boosted with the increase in technology adoption in the above sectors. The Digital university on the hub and spoke model to provide skill-based education will smoothen the overall recruitment process.

Nirav Choksi, Co-founder & CEO, CredAble:

“The government has done a commendable job in rolling out a well-balanced Budget that is designed to propel the Indian economy on a high growth trajectory. We appreciate the government’s focus on digital adoption in this budget. The news about the digital currency rollout comes as a pleasant surprise. We’re happy to know that the RBI will be issuing the ‘Digital Rupee’ in Fiscal 2022-23 using Blockchain technology. This is a momentous step in leveraging technology to fuel the economy’s growth. By aiming to create 40 Lakhs new jobs, Budget 2022-23 checks all boxes for generating employment opportunities as well. The ECLGS scheme has also been extended till March 2023. Moreover, the decision to extend the tax incentives for startups for one more year along with the move to set up an expert committee to suggest measures to help attract investment — brings in much-needed relief to this budding sector. On the broader economic development front, Budget 2022-23 has managed to address many facets of growth and we are hopeful that this will provide tremendous stimulus to the economy in the coming months.”

Ram Kewalramani, Co-founder & Managing Director, CredAble:

“The Union Budget tabled by the Honourable Finance Minister is applaudable at various levels and is overall a growth-oriented and focused budget.

Among the many significant announcements made today, the decision to hike up the outlay for capital expenditure by 35.4% to Rs 7.50 lakh crore is a promising move that will set the nation on a greater growth path. We are pleased to see the efforts outlined in providing tax relief to the startup community, this will further aid in the globalisation of this sector. The move to set up 75 digital banking units across districts in India will further spur digital payments space and reiterate the strong intent for digitisation in the country.

The Indian economy has had a remarkable recovery from the pandemic, the decision to introduce productivity-linked incentive schemes in 14 sectors will further help in boosting the economic growth. The prioritized roll-out of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 by private firms will play a significant role in shaping the future of India’s digital economy.

To sum it up, public investments and increased capital spending will be a definite impetus for economic growth.”

Tanmay Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, Shiprocket:

We appreciate the Government’s empathy towards the start-ups by extending the period by a year for start-ups to avail tax incentives around the tough times of Covid. The announcement of ‘One station, one product’ under the PM Gati Shakti plan will help the supply chain of local products. The budget has focused on the development of infra projects which will boost the logistics system in India and will help us to become enablers of an effective logistic system. The Government has emphasized on digitization of payments and it’s a good news for small businesses and entrepreneurs who wants to start their business.

Ashish Agarwal, Director & CEO, SEROS Logistics:

The Government commitment towards Capex hike of 35.4% and a focus on smart expenditure has ensured the acceleration of what the economy has received will continue. As announced in the interim budget 2022, India has emerged as the fastest highway developer in the entire world. The Gati Shakti master plan for expansion of highways/expressways by 25,000 kms in FY23 will go a long way for the logistic sector which will not only boost transport but will also strengthen connectivity between Urban and Rural sectors. Introduction of 100 Cargo Terminals under PM Gati Shakti will boost supply chain for local products and enable efficient logistics for small farmers & enterprises. Focus on green logistics by supporting the EV Market and addressing energy transition and climate action & financing of investments in this space is a brilliant step

Rohit Garg, CEO and Co-founder, SmartCoin:

This year’s Union Budget focussed more on digitization, startups, and good tidings for the VC/PE industry. The initiatives announced by the Government today will not only drive young, aspiring entrepreneurs but will also uplift small businesses in the country.

The launch of Digital Rupee using blockchain technology only shows that India is on the right track towards technology adoption and this is surely a positive move. This much-awaited push on digitization will pave the way for financial inclusion and it is just the beginning.

Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Helmets:

The budget 2022, is a visionary budget, which will prove to be a budget to change the scale of India’s economy. This budget will make India self-reliant and lay the foundation for a new India of the 100th year of independence.

The move towards self-reliance through protection for domestic manufacturers (change in custom and import duties) aligns with the long-term goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

It is also a forward-looking budget which is both inclusive and progressive. Thrust on digitalization of education and focus on upgrading syllabus across colleges will equip upcoming human talent with the right tools.

Also spending on infrastructure, health services and social programmes in the Budget will help set the economy on a firmer footing. 

Nikhil Agarwal, Co-founder and Chief Corporate Development Officer, Powerhouse91:

“This year’s Union Budget is balanced with clear focus on growth, infrastructure investments, initiatives for new businesses and push for domestic manufacturing. Some highlights affecting the startup ecosystem and eCommerce sector are quite encouraging, especially the extension of the startup tax holiday scheme and the ‘One Nation, One Registration’ initiative. Further, the ‘Unified Logistics Interface Platform’ would provide for efficient movement of goods through different modes, reducing logistics cost and time, assisting just-in-time inventory management, and eliminating tedious documentation.”

Amit Das, Co-founder and CEO of Think360.ai:

Overall, this budget has been quite underwhelming for a mid-size technology company like us and fell short of our expectations.

There were occasional glimmers of positive change:

– the core banking system modernization of post offices, thereby creating transfer and interoperability between post office accounts and bank accounts;

-set up of 75 Digital Banking Units in 75 districts;

-NGDRS (National Generic Document Registration System) aiming to drive Unique Land Parcel Identification Number

These initiatives should tangibly impact financial inclusion and digital financial literacy at the grass-root level. The expansion of corpus for CGSTME and ECLGS should also provide a certain boost to MSME segments. We would have liked to see a lot more specificity in progressive AI adoption initiatives, startup benefit schemes (for fundraising, taxation, infrastructure, EODB, setting up of innovation zones that allow startups with vetted ideas access to free workspaces and infrastructure, etc.), and a progress report on how various government departments have adopted start-up innovations in their day to day initiatives.”

Venus Dhuria, Co-founder, AppyHigh:

The budget very clearly outlines the importance that digitisation, technology and the internet will play in the run up to India@100. The government has clearly labelled promoting digital economy, Fintech and tech led development as the key goals for the country. To promote seamless multimodal movement of goods and people the government has proposed a Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP) that will be designed for application programming interface (API). The DESH-stack e portal will provide API based layers to discover courses and opportunities for entrepreneurship and a digital university will be established as well.  The government has kept its focus on getting 5G off the ground with auction completion in 2022 to facilitate rollout by 2023 and allocation of funds to enable proliferation of broadband services to rural and remote areas. A very concerted effort towards skilling across domains, especially technology, Fintech, has been made and this will pay off in the long run as being a starting point for making people work ready.”

Amit Bhatia, Founder of Aspire Circle & Aspire Impact:

“India’s budget 2022 has not just shown a digital pathway ahead but also a long-term green future staying true to our COP 26th commitments to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. On the one hand, the provision for $31.6 bn in direct transfer to more than 16 mn farmers for procuring wheat & paddy, $8bn for tap water connections for 38 million households, and clean energy for 2 lakh Anganwadis will improve the lives and livelihoods of farmers and ordinary households. On the other hand, $2.6 bn performance linked incentives for solar module manufacturers, interoperability standards for battery swapping to promote EVs, Sovereign Green Bonds to mobilize resources, green pesticides, agro-Forestry & private forestry would give an impetus to our green economy vision. The overall effect of all this is that we are well on our way to achieving an Impact Economy. Moreover, with 8% GDP growth expected in FY23, we would cross $3 trillion in GDP and $2000 in per capita GDP. For all of us at Aspire Impact, this is a welcome budget and helps India truly become an Impact Nation.”

Rakesh Kaul, CEO, Clix Capital:

“The all-time high GST collections in January 2022 at INR141,000 crore is good news and indicates a steady bounce back in economic activity despite the Omicron wave. The estimated GDP growth of 9.2% in FY2021-22 and the expected reduction in the fiscal deficit from 6.9% in FY2022 to 6.4% of the GDP in FY2023 also augurs well for the economy, presuming these projections hold true.

The other bright spots include the decision of extending the period of incorporation by a year for startups to avail of tax incentives till 31 March 2023, establishing 75 new digital banking units in 75 districts via scheduled commercial banks to help ensure a pan-India reach and allocating INR48,000 crore to boost urban housing, among others. These measures will benefit multiple verticals, including the BFSI segment.

The announcement of a digital rupee using blockchain is exciting per se, but one needs to wait and watch whether there will be any specific benefits for this asset class. But the 30% tax on any income from the transfer of digital assets can act as a dampener on efforts to create a virtual digital economy.

The capping of surcharge on long-term capital gains tax at 15% on transfer of any asset type is another commendable measure. Overall, the Budget should give a boost to the fintech segment.”

Nishant Agarwal, Founder, Proctur:

The Union Budget for 2022 appears to be optimistic for overall growth and rehabilitation of the economy, which has been harmed by the pandemic that has affected the entire world for the last two years. We have all witnessed the pandemic’s devastation of the education sector, and as a result of the forced closure of schools, our children, particularly those in rural areas or from other weaker sections, have lost nearly two years of formal education. Realising the importance of education, the new budget comprises the PM eVIDYA’s ‘one class-one TV channel’ programme, which is a great initiative and will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels, in consideration of the necessity to impart supplementary teaching and develop a robust system for education delivery. As a result, all states will provide extra education in regional languages to students in grades 1 to 12.

Around 750 virtual laboratories in science and mathematics, as well as 75 skilling e-labs for the simulated learning environment, will be built in vocational courses to improve critical thinking skills and provide room for creativity, according to the new budget, which is a great initiative that will help our budding talents to enhance their skills.

We live in a digital world, and digitalisation has become the new normal. The new budget emphasises the development of high-quality E-content in all spoken languages for transmission via the internet, mobile phones, television, and radio via Digital Teachers or platforms. Another great point that the new budget includes is empowering and equipping teachers with digital teaching tools and supporting higher learning outcomes. It will be a competitive process for producing high-quality E-content by teachers.

Gautam Mohanka, MD, Gautam Solar:

“The Indian renewable energy industry, notably the solar sector, must applaud the Indian government’s efforts to promote green energy during the last decade, especially during the pandemic. The appropriations in the most recent budget strongly emphasize renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, data centers, building efficiency, grid-connected energy storage, and green bond assistance, which is a terrific development. Following India’s broader global commitment to fighting climate change, the 2022 budget emphasizes allowing energy transition through provisions to boost local manufacturing of solar power equipment and batteries. The basic customs duty (BCD) of 25% has been imposed on imported solar cells and 40% has been imposed on solar modules by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently which will be effective from 1st April, 2022. This will discourage Chinese imports of solar panels and solar cells to a great extent, giving further boost to the ‘Make in India’ mission of the Government of India.

It’s a wonderful move as the risks of climate change are the strongest negative externalities that affect India and other countries. As the Hon’ble Prime Minister said at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last November, “what is needed today is mindful and deliberate utilization, instead of mindless and destructive consumption.” The low carbon development strategy as enunciated in the ‘panchamrit’ that he announced is an important reflection of our government’s strong commitment towards sustainable development.

In addition, To facilitate domestic manufacturing for the ambitious goal of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030, an additional allocation of ` 19,500 crore for Production Linked Incentive for manufacture of high efficiency modules, with priority to fully integrated manufacturing units from polysilicon to solar PV modules, will be made. This initiative is expected to produce 60 lakh new employment and an extra 30 lakh crore jobs over the following five years, which is recommendable.”

Raj Srinivasaraghavan, CTO, SecureKloud Technologies Ltd:

With booster doses to frontline sectors like infrastructure and agriculture, and first and second doses to most other sectors, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has adopted a universal vaccination policy to revive the economy. It is heartening to see that the IT and ITES sectors got their due dosage to accelerate the digital transformation.  The proposed blockchain-driven new digital currency will obviously make the currency management system more transparent, immutable, cheaper and efficient.  With stress on BharatNet, smart technologies, 5G spectrum proposals, the budget seems progressive and futuristic from a technological perspective. Though expected, the tax on virtual digital asset trade may put down some, but at the same time, it is a step forward in formalising and bringing in a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby:

The Ministry of Finance has presented a well-rounded, futuristic and optimistic Union Budget 2022 to propel the digital economy and boost the MSME sector. Given that ‘inclusive development’ and ‘financing of investments’ were two of the seven pillars of the Budget, it laid the foundation for faster financial inclusion and expansion of the credit ecosystem. In a bid to make MSMEs more resilient and competitive, the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 is a critical step. This measure will ensure the continued handholding of MSMEs, which accounts for more than 30% of India’s GDP and remains an important engine of economic growth, job creation, income generation and livelihood support. In addition, the proposal to skill both entrepreneurs and students with the help of technology will empower and enhance the productivity of the country altogether.

For India to become a digital economy, all villages should have the same access to digital resources as urban areas. To augment this, the setting up of 75 digital banking units in 75 districts of the country is a commitment to taking high-end tech to the bottom of the pyramid. This step will ensure that the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country in a consumer-friendly manner. The objective of citizen empowerment with digital growth and supporting fintech will directionally encourage delivering of digitization to India in its 100th year well ahead of time.

We are happy that over the past few years we were able to focus on Aspirational Districts and deliver on one aspect of financial inclusion and the score of 95% is encouraging. Going forward, we will focus to align with the Vibrant Villages Program and will continue focusing on the financial inclusion of farmers and senior citizens at the last mile. However, we wish the GST waiver for Banking Correspondents for financial inclusion services could have been taken into consideration. During Amrit Kaal, while our government aims to achieve the vision for India@100, we pledge to make India a digitally and financially inclusive nation. Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.”

Kavitha Subramanian, Co-Founder, Upstox:

The Hon’ble Finance Minister has presented a digital-first Budget that focuses on quick, holistic, and inclusive economic growth. The focus on start-ups and fintech in this year’s Budget is a fantastic step that will help these sectors grow further.

The introduction of 5G and the spread of optical fiber to villages would provide a boost to the Fintech industry. It encourages digital investment platforms like ours to expand their services, resulting in an increase in retail activity in Tier 2-Tier 3 cities and towns. The Central Bank Digital Money (CBDC) will help to enhance the digital economy by making currency management more efficient and less expensive. The capping of surcharge at 15% on Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax for all listed and unlisted corporations responds to a long-standing demand for new-age businesses.”

Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks):

“The government has insisted on the development of digital infrastructure. Especially, in the education sector, the government has realised the need for a nationwide eVidya programme and digital university. This also opens prospects for new age tech startups to collaborate and contribute in establishing a robust digital infrastructure along with the government. New businesses have been leveraging technologies like AI, machine learning and data analytics, and have presented successful implications which might come handy in enabling the national education projects.”

Sameer Nigam, CEO and CoFounder, Stratbeans

“Through the Union Budget 2022, the government has addressed the importance of youth skills in our country, just as we had predicted. By launching the DESH-Stack ePortal, the government is focusing on upskilling and reskilling individuals through online training, which is a critical need. By encouraging individuals to find suitable employment and providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities, this initiative will prove to be the right step in propelling the country to greater heights.

More initiatives like this are needed to promote ongoing skill development, sustainability, and increased employee productivity and performance. To prepare India’s workforce to contribute more to GDP per capita, we must maintain this momentum by digitizing processes and promoting skill development.”

Abhishek Malhotra, Managing Partner, TMT Law Practice:

With data centers having been moved to a harmonized list for infrastructure sectors, this only will incentivize players as the need for data localization and storage requirements increase, with the existing norms, and the pending data protection legislation.

With roll out of 5G services in 2022, post spectrum allocation, this might also be a boost to the telecom services in general. This will assist in proliferation of other online services, reliant upon fast internet connections.

The adoption of Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides and nutrients, will bring about a phenomenal change in assisting the need of the farmers, and may stall the constant migration that takes place when the farmers are rendered without.

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Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder & Editor of TechGraph.

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