Union Budget 2022-2023: Industry Reactions

Union Budget 2022-2023:  Industry Reactions
News Representation Image Source: Google Images

On February 1, 2022, Union Finance Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022-23. Here is a collection of reactions from various industry stalwarts. 

Poshak Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO, Florence Capital: We welcome the vision outlined in the Union Budget 2022 regarding digital payments and how it can be a key tool towards enabling financial inclusion. The Budget has acknowledged that taking forward the digital banking and fintech innovations is the way to go - it is proposed to set up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts of the country by scheduled commercial banks. We hope to be able to support this mission and vision of financial inclusion by providing secured, transparent and accessible credit to women. Financial inclusion will play a key role in ensuring that the goal of 9.2% economic growth is achieved.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Co-Founder & CEO, Startup Reseau: Wearing a startup enabler lens, what is noteworthy is the mention of technologies ranging across AI, IOT, Blockchain and Digital across core sectors of the economy. India @ 75 is setting up a massive road map for India @ 100 to be a technology powerhouse in infrastructure, financial services, agriculture and national defense. Setting up a roadmap for adoption of CBDC and making digital and fintech as the priority of the Gov't stands out in the Budget 2022 announcement. Allocation of INR 1,500 Crores for development initiatives in the North East is another big one, that should see the startup ecosystem grow in the region.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Group: Providing a broad-spectrum booster shot to the economy, Union Budget 2022-23 is progressive – especially with its emphasis on building the infrastructure of the country. The FM clearly emphasised the top priorities of the government - PM Gati Shakti for sustainable growth, inclusive development, productivity enhancement, and financing of investments.

Notably, the government also expanded the Capex target by 35.4% - from INR 5.54 lakh crore to INR 7.50 lakh crore - which may help boost overall spending towards economic growth. The budget also emphasises on the need for proper urban planning, provides some relief to states while keeping the fiscal deficit well under control.

In another major positive, the government’s aim to create 6 million new jobs over the next 5 years will enable growth of residential real estate across the country.

Some of the other major highlights of the Budget which will directly or indirectly IMPACT the real estate sector are:

  • The government’s unwavering focus on infrastructure and sustainability will drive real estate growth over the next one year. For instance, the National Highway network will be expanded by 25,000 kms in 2022-23. PM Gati Shakti will encompass the seven engines for multi-modal connectivity for the states with speedier implementation of development projects through technology to facilitate faster movement of people and goods through INR 20,000 crore financed by the govt to speed up this project. Further, the 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals to be developed over next 3 years will provide much impetus to the logistics sector.
  • Allocation of INR 48,000 Cr for PMAY Urban and Rural will push forward its ‘Housing for All’ initiative. Under PMAY, the government plans for 8 Mn houses in FY’23.
  • As anticipated, the FM also tried to rejuvenate the MSMEs sector which has a multiplier impact on the growth of the overall economy. The ECLGS scheme has been extended till March 2023 for the MSMEs. Besides providing an impetus to the industrial development, this move is likely to have a rub-off effect on the real estate sector as well given that the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on this sector (MSMEs) slowed down the demand for affordable housing in 2021. We saw the home loan eligibility for many affordable housing buyers impacted by the pandemic due to loss of jobs and many MSMEs being shut down - resulting in significantly lower sales in this category.

If we consider numbers in terms of the new supply as well, back in the pre-Covid year of 2019, affordable housing share stood the highest - 40% of the total 2,36,560 units launched across the top 7 cities then. While in 2021, we saw the affordable new supply share come down to 26% for nearly the same number of units launched in the top 7 cities (approx. 2,36,700 units). Well, not to say that demand for affordable homes had diminished because it still has the maximum demand in India. It’s just that buyers went into a wait and watch mode. Affordable housing demand will gain momentum once the economic impact of the pandemic begins to subside for this target audience. 

  • To facilitate digital inclusion and aid fund transfer, 100% of 1.5 lakh post offices will come under the complete banking system. This will enable smooth and transparent real estate transactions in the rural areas and also encourage loan disbursal to the semi urban population.
  • Increased focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities for urban development. A high-level panel to be set up for urban planning.
  • Data Centres given infrastructure status will give an impetus to this segment of the real estate sector.

Mona Lisa Bal, Chairperson, KiiT International School: The Union Budget 2022 announced today was a hit and miss for the education sector. While it has finally addressed and recognized the learning loss the pandemic has created, the need to develop the digital infrastructure of the country was not adequately focused in the budget. The economically disadvantaged students especially in rural areas have lost essential years of education and introduction of supplementary teachers was highly necessary. Supplementary education can help bridge the gap to a large extent. Increase of 'One Class One TV Channel' from 12 to 200 TV Channels to provide supplementary education in regional languages for class 1-12 is a welcome move but it will not be enough. It is important that we adapt our education system, pedagogies, and assessments according to the changing times. Upskilling is the need of the hour. Thus, the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be key to adapting to the shifting dynamics of our present. Setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable in developing critical thinking amongst students. Access to high quality e-content can help enhance the quality of education received by students. Making this accessible in regional languages additionally is a positive step towards a wholesome education. Development of a digital university to provide access to students for world-class quality education with ISTE Standards will be beneficial in the long run by making education available for a wider audience through the power of the internet. However, the much-needed increase in budget allotment for the education sector was missed. Further constructive measures towards digitization and resuming physical classes are needed.

Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV): We welcome the measures announced by the honorable Finance Minister, today. The budget for 2022–23 gives a huge impetus to the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Introducing the battery swapping policy and recognizing battery or energy as a service will help to develop EV infrastructure and increase the use of EVs in public transportation. It would motivate businesses engaged in delivery and ride aggregation businesses to incorporate EVs into their fleet. It will create new avenues for companies to venture into the business of battery swapping. Additionally, creating special clean zones will further accelerate the adoption of  EVs and spread awareness amongst the citizens. The move will benefit the whole segment, i.e E2W, E3W, E-cars, and buses.

The budget also provides attention to the need for skilled resources in the industry. Introducing new skill programs in ITI will bridge the skill gap that currently exists in the industry. The industry would be happy to work with the government to devise customized courses to meet the demands of the EV industry.

Overall, the budget aims at strengthening the whole ecosystem of the EV industry, which will spur the demand for green vehicles.

Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures: This budget shows that technology enablement for transparency and roll-out at scale remains at the heart of the government. Every aspect of the budget speech has this aspect in mind. At the macro level, this tech enablement as an integral part of governance will be a boost for all new age tech companies and would further enhance the environment of new age digital and tech companies. Drones have now become an Integral part of the implementation of schemes be it in agritech, in defence and other areas. Creation of Nabard Agritech Fund for “Kisan Drones" shows the government recognition of a new view on how to upgrade the farming. Recognition of digital assets and bringing them under the tax structure is an excellent initiative as this would bring these in the mainstream. The tax on crypto/ NFTs will now make it legalised and users won’t be able to circumvent tax and other financial regularities. In addition to this, Defence, Artificial Intelligence (AI), geospatial systems, drones, space economy, genomics & pharmaceuticals and clean mobility have immense potential to achieve sustainable development and offer employment to millions. The government will enable development in these sectors through the startup community. This is a long term directional growth budget and can be called the 'digital future growth budget'.

Prashanto Das, Founder, Hyperstate Technologies: Hyperstate Technologies is building global SaaS platforms, powered by no-code. This is the Big Tech Push budget - A recognition of breakthrough tech and all that it contributes to the growing digital consumption economy. Nocode tech platforms like Kappa that democratise tech for a larger mass can help the larger population  become more tech savvy in a shorter time, creating new employment opportunities.Further, we see many opportunities esp with humanisation of assets that can help small businesses grow exponentially in building duniya ki apni dukan without a significant expense in infrastructure.

For a country hungry to grow quickly, the FM’s words resonate with our outlook.

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.

Vivek Saxena, CEO & Co- Founder, Thinkly: While some of the bitcoin and other crypto asset investors might be disappointed with the 30% tax, the silver lining is that the government has taken a nuanced view around it and recognised digital assets as part of the evolving future - making it illegal and driving it underground would’ve done this asset class more harm. 

Neha Indoria, Co-founder & CEO, Boingg!: The domestic furniture market has grown at a CAGR of 10-11% in the last 5 years. Yet, 80% of this market remains unorganised. With the focus on increasing consumption and capital expenditure that this budget has brought in, furniture manufacturers who are focused on 'Make in India' can expect to increase their organised market base, bring economies of scale and in turn make themselves cost competitive for the international export market as well.

Vaidyanathan V, CFO, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai: The Budget 22 has provided a much-required push to the economy by increasing the allocation to Capital Expenditure by about 35%. The budget has given thrust to the Gati Shakti – for sustainable growth. The budget has also given a push to the digital economy, introduction of Digital currency starting 200 TV channels to fill the gap in learning of the children due to the pandemic are some of the welcome points. Repealing 1486 Acts, which were redundant, introduction of e-passport, thrust for EV (electric vehicle) by introduction of charging stations and battery swapping are all welcome moves. Modification to the filing of tax returns for rectification/ including left out income at a nominal fee is a welcome move to avoid litigation.

Dr. Manoranjan Sharma, Chief Economist - Infomerics Ratings: This is a Budget with an accent on growth and distributive equity. Financial inclusion is given a renewed thrust by the proposals on agriculture and food processing, Ken Betwa Link Project, universalization of quality education, and an all-inclusive welfare focus. There is clear stress on the ambitious PM Gati Shakti programme driven by the seven engines of  Roads, Railways, Airports, Ports, Mass Transport, Waterways, and Logistics Infrastructure to transform the process and pattern of economic development in India in these VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) times. The accent on increasing investment, creating externalities towards improving the economic environment, enhancing productivity for sustained high growth with greater private sector participation, quality of expenditure, and catalyzing India’s digital economy is well-conceived. Measures regarding digital rupee, 5G, crypto tax, taxpayers getting 2 years to update I-T returns are also welcome. Contextually significant Budget, entirely in conformity with the needs of an India on the move.

Paavan Nanda, Co-founder, WinZO: We welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement during Budget 2022 to set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) task force with the objective of building domestic capacity to serve our markets and global demand. Gaming is a soon-to-be trillion-dollar industry, and it is heartening to see that the Government of India has acknowledged the exponential potential that this sector holds. As a giant step towards contributing to the same, WinZO launched the country’s first-ever national-level scholarship program called B.O.S.S (Battle of Super Scholars) and unveiled a $26M Game Developer's fund with an aim to provide a platform to the best minds to disrupt this emerging global gaming industry. WinZO, as a leading game tech company, will be willing to work with public stakeholders to attract the best talent to this growing industry.

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 govt. 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. 

Nishanth Chandran, Founder & CEO, TENDERCUTS: The major initiative to introduce chemical-free natural farming is sure to create a better outlook on the quality of food and essentials related to farming and poultry. Provision of funds through NABARD for agriculture and rural enterprises, especially for the farm produce value chain, would be helpful in strengthening the poultry, meat, and seafood sectors. Secondly, as drivers of growth for the economy, the announcement of tax incentives for start-ups to be incorporated until March 31, 2023, will have a good impact on nurturing the start-up ecosystem. It is wonderful to note that the 2022 budget’s focus on road infrastructure will be a game changer and help in maintaining smooth supply chain management. Moreover, the introduction of data exchange will ensure better logistics and the efficient movement of goods.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO, Kinetic Green: Budget 2022 is a futuristic budget with focus on deployment of advanced technology like EV, green mobility and digitization.

The Budget 2022 announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister today is positive for the Electric Vehicle sector, which re-inforced Indian Government’s commitment to accelerating EV and green mobility eco-system in India.

FM has announced that to foster creation of electric vehicle ecosystem, battery swapping policy will be devised. In order to scale up battery stations, battery swapping policy will be brought out with inter-operability standards.                                                                                                                                  

There is an announcement on shift to use of public transport in urban areas by clean tech, and with special e-mobility zones. Green Energy & Clean Mobility systems have immense potential to assist sustainable development & modernise the country. This will further enhance connectivity and digitization of the auto sector and is expected to help automotive in a greater way.

The Minister also emphasized that private sector will be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative models for battery and energy as a service which will increase efficiency in EV ecosystem. I am confident that this move will encourage manufacturers to enhance investments in this sector.

Further announcements such as ramp up of capital expenditure and spending on infrastructure will boost economic growth.

It is a futuristic budget with focus on greening of economy and digital technology. We welcome this budget and appreciate Government’s steps to promote electric vehicles and tackle pollution in our cities.

Rajeev Agarwal, CEO & Founder, Innoviti Payment Solutions: The Union Budget 2022 echoes that this year will be an exciting one for the Indian FinTech industry with the government continuing to play a supporting role. 

With India @ 100 in mind, this budget gives the much-needed thrust on financial inclusion by expanding the access of digital banking, digital payments, and FinTech into the remote areas of the country. Initiatives such as bringing all post office banks under the core banking umbrella while setting up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts of the country are a welcome move that will take India forward.

Digital Rupee will further decrease friction in the movement of money, reducing the cost of money and in the long-term contribute to fuelling economic growth

The budget gives a boost to the overall fintech ecosystem, especially to the start-ups in FinTech sector who are working towards making digital payments safer and more frictionless than before.

Amit Saraogi, Managing Director, Anmol Feeds, Chairman for Livestock Taskforce, CII for Eastern Regional Council, Director Member of MCC Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of Council on Animal Husbandry, Fisheries & Rural: The livestock and animal husbandry sector contributes 4.11% to GDP and 25.6% to total agriculture GDP, yet there was inadequate attention presented to the sector in the Union Budget of 2022. Duty reduction on certain inputs required for shrimp aquaculture to promote its exports is a welcome move as it will further boost entrepreneurial mindset and help in job creation. Lowering production cost of shrimp hatchery and feed will promote growth in the sector. The fisheries and aquaculture sector has tremendous potential to generate livelihood and income. However, marine and dairy products were left untouched by the budget. Like announcements made for wheat and paddy farmers, MSP was needed to be fixed for the poultry sector as well. This would have benefited the poultry farmers to a large extent. The industry also expected a viable solution towards controlling the ever spiraling of the raw material prices as it has been plaguing the already overburdened industry. The budget for Blue Revolution has not been outlaid.  The blended capital fund to startups for agriculture & rural enterprise will be valuable for the sector. Making optimum utilization of technology and IT in the farming sector is required for modernization of the industry and keeping up with the post digital world. While development of infrastructure, roads and railways will also benefit the agriculture sector in terms of efficient logistical and supply chain management, the industry expected a lot more from the Budget to support farmers who are the backbone of our country.

Vinkesh Gulati, President FADA: Union Budget 2022 seeks to lay the foundation for the next 25 years, from India@75 to India@100. With PM's 'Gati Shakti National Master Plan', a Rs 100-lakh crore project for building comprehensive infrastructure in India, it will be a significant step towards path to development. The Budget has attempted to focus on each of the sectors and has also tried to stimulate the economy after the pandemic slowdown. FADA welcomes and supports the Government's efforts & initiatives towards Electric Mobility. There is a clear emphasis on creative, sustainable & innovative business models. Battery Swapping & Energy as a Service (EAAS) will surely help accelerate the transition towards Clean Mobility. The development of special mobility zones for electric vehicles and promoting clean technology for public transport validate government commitment to E-mobility, which would boost confidence in the EV industry in terms of manufacturing, sales, and create a sense of assurance among customers.

The government's plans for developing 25,000 kilometers of new highways will result in a push for infrastructure spending, which will result in an increase in Commercial Vehicle sales, as well as an addition of 2,000 kilometers of road under a new scheme known as 'Kavach' will be an additional benefit to the revival of this segment. With the extension of the ECLG scheme, it is a remarkable move by the government to support the MSME sector coming out of the slowdown caused by pandemics.

The rural India has generally been the key driver for entry level passenger vehicle segment & 2wheeler space. With government plans on 2.3 lakh crore direct payment as MSP to farmers, it will work as a booster for 2Wheeler, Tractor & entry level PV sector sales. However, an additional duty of rupees 2/ litre on unblended fuel from October 2022, could play a spoilsport for the already stressed 2W industry.

Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.: The General Insurance Industry has played a stellar role in the country's upliftment and its constituents over the years, particularly during the Covid Pandemic or during a dozen-odd Cyclones/floods that have been hitting our country almost on an annual basis. The industry has provided financial stability to millions of people and establishments, settling claims over Rs. 1.50 Lac Crores each year and growing. The status of the GI Industry is no less than the infrastructure industry as it leads to building many stabilizing foundations in sectors like Healthcare, Automotive, SME, Agriculture apart from risk transfers for Corporate and Individuals. As the Indian economy emerges stronger in years to come, the role of the GI Industry in taking care of unforeseen risks is almost imperative to ensure that disruptions are handled in an organized manner. The abysmal penetration of Insurance vis-à-vis global levels is a clear risk in this journey.

The Budget for the year 2022-23 has laid clear emphasis on the capital outlay, with the capital expenditure proposed to be enhanced to Rs.7.5 lakh crores at 2.9% of the GDP; over 35% increase than the last year. This is likely to result in the generation of capital assets across the country, with a focus on the infrastructure space. Such assets need to be insured, and the General Insurance industry in India is fully geared up to meet the country's rising needs. Further, such creation of assets has cascading effects on employment, income and consumption. It improves an individual's lifestyle and helps develop both the knowledge and the need to protect the assets and health of the family members through Insurance. This leads to a virtuous cycle for a secular growth of the General Insurance industry. There is also a move to use Surety Bonds, which the Insurance companies may issue under the framework of IRDA, as a substitute for Bank Guarantee in Government procurements and Gold imports. The move recognizes the ability of the Insurance industry to provide alternative products to the Banking sector, thus paving the way to reduce the cost and diversity risk.

Prashant Agarwal, President, Narayan Seva Sansthan: In the 2022-23 budget, the central government is focusing on the mental health by offering a national tele mental health program which will be launched for the deserving. Also, skilling programs will be restarted for the youth. Digital Desh e-portal will be launched for skilling, upskilling and reskilling of our youth. The new initiative towards tax exemption to the parents of Divyang is a good step for the welfare of Divyang in India. In addition, taxpayers deserve appreciation who have contributed diligently towards better taxation and fulfillment of their responsibilities in GST. We welcome this budget for India amid covid-19. Hopefully, corporates will take more initiatives in supporting the CSR, spending will increase by offering any major financial support for rural, urban and semi-urban India.

Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director – Renault India: We welcome the Union Budget 2022, which spells seamless growth for the Auto & Auto Ancillary industry in India. The government’s focus on ‘Aatmanirbharta’ will continue to provide impetus to build domestic capacities and push the agenda of ‘Vocal for Local’. The government’s focus on Battery Swapping policy to be brought with inter-operability standards and push for clean tech and electric vehicles will create the right ambient environment for EV introduction and overall harmonisation of the electric mobility aspiration of the nation. This move will prove to a giant leap for the nation in advocating introduction of cleaner propulsion technologies and will improve air quality and reduce consumption of conventional fossil fuels.

The government has laid emphasis for the development of the infrastructure within the country that will further help build capacities for the resurgence of the automotive sector in India and envisages Rs 20K Crore investment outlay in infrastructure projects, under the auspices of PM’s Gati Shakti that focuses on 7 engines of growth, including building the road transport network in the country. The National Highways network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23. Better roads will have a certain positive impact on the automotive sector. Finally, the government’s decision of strengthening the rural economy through a MSP payment of Rs 2.73 lakh crore along with other benefits with an objective of aiding the farming sector, will help increase the disposable income, improving the sentiment in rural areas and further improving the demand & aspirations of rural and semi-urban markets of India for personal mobility.

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.

Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money: It is extremely heartening to see the digital economy and fintech technology-enabled development being a key focus area for Budget 2022-23. The government’s proposal of setting up 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts of the country and providing online fund transfer between post office accounts and bank accounts will help in adding further tailwinds to expand necessary banking services to the last mile and enable us to take a step further towards our goal of financial inclusion through rural empowerment. The government’s continuous focus on the digital payments ecosystem has paved the way for digital adoption amongst the unbanked and underbanked population of the country especially post the outbreak of the pandemic. We are hoping to see a much higher traction this year that will address the current challenges faced by the citizens and create a #AtmaNirbharBharat.

Additionally, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement on the allotment of funds through NABARD to finance start-ups for agriculture & rural enterprises along with the plans to launch delivery of hi-tech services for farmers including the use of Kisan Drones is a great move towards the development of the agri sector as well as for supporting nanopreneurs.

We are hopeful that the government’s strong support and initiatives including the introduction of digital rupee by RBI will help in accelerating the growth for the fintech sector and will create multiple avenues for the underserved parts of the country.

Vikas Bajaj, President, AIFI (Association of Indian Forging Industry): This Union budget focuses on investing more on infrastructure and renewable energy, which will indirectly support employment generation. Apart from that, the government has focused on strengthening the logistics sector, digital education, health infrastructure etc. which is a welcome move. Apart from encouraging EV by creating a battery swapping strategy to overcome EV charging infrastructure, I believe there isn't much in the budget to support the auto sector as was expected. Also, not much changed in the Direct Tax rates for Corporates as well as individuals except incentives for start-ups by extension of timeline for start of production u/s 115BAB. Some industries, such as jewellery, have benefited from reduced customs duties on precious stones and other commodities. Finally, to assist the MSME sector, the ECLGC scheme has been extended for MSE’s till 31st March 2023.

Farrokh Cooper, Chairman & Managing Director, Cooper Corporation Pvt. Ltd.: The Union budget 2022-23 announced today by honorable finance minister has shown a progressive and futuristic approach for all sectors in India, which will help boost the Indian economy and recover from the pandemic. The government has taken some prudent initiatives for MSMEs in this budget, and I believe that their approach to fast-tracking the economy by providing opportunities to start-ups and businesses and creating six million new jobs will not only boost the economy but will support our future generation with an advantage above all. The government's support for manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, MSMEs, and infrastructure as well as the expansion of 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals over the next three years, are encouraging steps toward a brighter and more successful India in the coming years.

Anurag Garg, Managing Director & Country Head, Vitesco Technologies, India: In today’s budget, there are so many important announcements that will be helpful for Indian automotive segment paving their way into EV segment and manufacturing sector at large. Continuing with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ stride from last year, there is continuous strong push towards building self-reliance in manufacturing and localization in this budget too. This year the government has shown major attention on the overall digitalization of various services and pushing clear air & sustainability as one of the most important highlights. We appreciate the heightened emphasis in respect to EV segment, the introduction of the new policy for battery swapping will encourage the use of electric vehicles. We also look forward seeing further action to step up initiatives to boost EV infrastructure and EV ecosystem to achieve its broader decarbonization goals and support clear air resolutions.  With additional increased focus on expanding EV infrastructure across the country, with more EV charging stations to help vehicle owners to shift to electric cars without lesser worry of connectivity, these decisions were much needed at this period to boost usage of EV.

Avinash Kumar, Founder, Credenc: We welcome the Union Budget announced by the Finance Minister that is positively focused on e-learning to address the rising concern on education in the country. The development of a digital university & expansion of  the present PM eVidya Scheme from 12 channels to 200 channels will facilitate supplementary learning for all classes from 1 to 12 in regional languages. This will help students to access world class quality education, especially in remote rural areas. Moreover, An innovative and path-breaking initiatives of digital university and One Class One TV Channel was a much needed scheme to help overcome the loss of learning due to the pandemic. This much required shift to the digital learning will accelerate the growth of ed-tech companies and will fuel growth within the sector. 

Dr. GSK Velu, Chairman & Managing Director, Trivitron Healthcare and Neuberg Diagnostics: As expected, Budget 22-23 was a balanced effort to improve overall economic growth. Today, the healthcare sector in India is at a much stronger position than ever before. Measures introduced in Budget 2022-23 will further strengthen the healthcare sector while focusing on prevailing challenges.

The rollout of a National Digital Health Ecosystem will ensure that all segments of the society are able to access affordable and adequate healthcare in a seamless and efficient manner. Such an ecosystem can potentially make universal healthcare a reality for India.

Further, the fact that mental health counselling and care services found a place in the budget is a testament to how far we have come as a country. Inarguably, the Covid pandemic has adversely affected the mental health of the population at large. Thus, the launch of a National Tele Mental Health program can play a catalytic role in both normalising conversations around mental health as well as ensuring that people are able to seek support for mental health related challenges.

Though there was not much for the medical devices industry directly in the Budget, the industry will benefit from the Government's increased focus on healthcare. The National healthcare mission outlay has been kept at ~37,000 crores like previous year and this is a bit disappointing, considering the fact our healthcare infrastructure needs big boost in the coming years. The demand from all healthcare experts was to increase healthcare outlay in the current budget.

A Ganesan, Group Vice Chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics: Reduction of sur-charge  to 12% on Long Term capital Gains is welcome step. Unintentional errors in Income Tax can be corrected by filing updated return within 2 years from the end of Assessment year – This is a positive change.

Department to wait before filing an appeal in higher court in respect of disputes of similar nature with regard to interpretation of law , in case cases of similar nature are pending in Supreme court / other courts – This is also a very good step.

Significant increase in Capital expenditure allocation by almost 35% will probably spur economic growth and create jobs.

Extension of emergency credit guarantee scheme till 31/03/2023 is a step in the right direction.

National Digital Health Ecosystem, National Tele Mental Health Programme – Very god initiatives if implemented well.

Dr. Alok Roy, Member, FICCI, Health Services Committee and Chairman Medica Group of Hospitals: India Inc. and especially the Healthcare industry which has been battling COVID-19 pandemic since last 2 years was expecting more investment on public health and healthcare infrastructure from this year’s union budget. The budget has just focused on mental health and digitization of healthcare sector. The very fact that Government has focused on digital healthcare shows that finally healthcare sector is being considered as the prerequisite to ensure economic well-being of the country. Budget 22-23 seems very disappointing for the healthcare sector. India's growth is estimated to be at 9.27 percent and healthcare will play a major role in the boost.

Strengthening of health infrastructure, speedy vaccination programme implementation has strengthened the Indian healthcare system. The decision to start an open platform for the national digital health ecosystem is a welcome move. The emphasis to roll out digital registries of health providers, health facilities, unique identity consent framework with and universal access to health facilities will add more values to Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. We the healthcare providers heartily welcome the Government’s focus on mental health issues as this has set an alarm across age groups post the COVID pandemic. The announcement of launching the national tele mental health program which will include a network of 23 telemedicine mental health centers of excellence is a much appreciative move that the government has decided.

It was expected the government to look at increasing the healthcare expenditure above 2.5 per cent of the GDP but there was not adequate attention paid to it. Although there had been a rise of 137% allocation in healthcare sector last year much was fulfilled in reality by the government. Overall, the proposals made in the Budget 22-23, should have made quality healthcare accessible and affordable. The government should have focused more on primary healthcare investment and  made the  Healthcare system as National Priority’ status, as was done for the IT sector.

Gautam Malhotra, Managing Director, FuelBuddy: The Union budget 2022 is a bold and growth-oriented budget with a huge capex of Rs 7.50 lakh crore provided for infrastructure. This marks a jump of 35.4 per cent in capex to fund various infrastructure projects in FY 2022-23. This is a positive move for door-to-door fuel-delivery company like FuelBuddy which will witness higher overall demand for fuel especially diesel, as the big infrastructure push will accelerate sales of heavy earth moving equipment, commercial vehicles and fleets. We stay committed to create a robust supply chain delivery mechanism for our customers.

Rajiv Bansal, Director-Operations, GIIS: FM Nirmala Sitharaman talked about the impact of the pandemic on the education sector and highlighted the need to strengthen the education system by improving e-content quality, emphasising on teaching training, adopting innovative mediums of instruction etc. to positively impact learning outcomes. The Union Budget 2022 highlighted the importance of adopting a progressive and inclusive approach by educational institutions across primary, secondary, and higher education. Announcements like eVidhya scheme and ‘One Class One TV Channel’ expands the learning horizon of the students and brings inclusivity as the regional languages are promoted equally. Adoption of technology and digitisation will help a student evolve into becoming a truly global citizen and will encourage lifetime of learning. Focus on reskilling and upskilling at a higher education level and launch of the Digital DESH e-portal will enhance vocational learning and job readiness, making students independent and result oriented. As a key member of the Indian education system, GIIS congratulates the Govt. for presenting a progressive and inclusive budget for the education sector. We are confident that digitisation and technology will help in building a more effective and rewarding education system in the years to come.

Vinaya Varma, MD, mjunction Services Limited: Providing a broad-spectrum booster shot to the economy, Budget 2022-23 is progressive – especially with its emphasis on building the country’s infrastructure. It clearly emphasised the top priorities of the government - PM Gati Shakti for sustainable growth, inclusive development, productivity enhancement, and financing of investments.

Following India's Net Zero commitment articulated at the COP26 summit, this year's Union Budget speech rightly focuses on the key themes of energy transition and climate action. The announcement of the setting up of four pilot projects for coal gasification and conversion of coal into chemicals highlights the country's stance that there should be mindful utilisation of resources.

Energy transition requires major investments and the planned issuance of sovereign green bonds will help raise the required funds at competitive rates to support the massive green infrastructure initiative needed to progressively bring down our carbon footprint.

The Budget has made a strong push for infrastructure-led growth with capital outlay for infrastructure projects raised by 35% in FY2023. Investments centered around the Gati Shakti Master Plan in core sectors have the potential for spurring demand for metals. Cumulative allocation to flagship schemes like PMAY and Jal Jeevan Mission has been increased, which is a positive for long steel and pipe manufacturers.

Focus on self-reliance, especially in Defence and Solar Module manufacturing, remain positives for domestic steel demand. On the raw material side, the extension of customs duty waiver on ferrous scrap in FY2023 is a welcome development for secondary steel manufacturers. However, withdrawal of ADD/CVD protection on certain stainless steel, coated steel flat products, bars of alloy steel and high speed steel may impact the domestic industry.

Prof. Hema Swamy, Assistant Professor, Finance at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai: While energy efficient trains like Vande Bharat or ‘eco friendly’ housing schemes are welcome, it is important to educate, support and improve sustainable lifestyles in as many spheres as possible. This could be through eco friendly educational initiatives through television like growing your own food or water conservation measures aimed at school children, allocation for urban kitchen gardens in PM housing schemes and government hospitals and other such micro level interventions can facilitate the conscious adoption of a sustainable lifestyle.

Vikas Singhania, CEO, TradeSmart: 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.

Construction and Logistics: Road construction 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.

Public transport & Energy: The EV sector received a boost with cities being encouraged to introduce zero-fossil fuel policies and urban residents encouraged to increase ridership on public transport and use of electric mobility. The private sector has been encouraged to build business models for battery-as-a-service. To encourage use of EVs, battery swapping and charging infrastructure will be scaled up and interoperability standards formulated. The steps will go a long way in promoting EV sales in the country.

Tax: Investors were relieved that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has not announced any increase in taxes especially on long-term capital gains tax on equity investments in her Budget speech. The FM has capped the LTCG on equity at 15 percent, which should be beneficial for shareholders of unlisted companies. No new taxes have been imposed on corporate India too. Capping LTCG on unlisted companies is good for HNIs and for venture capitalists.

Crypto/Digital assets: Legalising cryptocurrencies the finance minister has imposed a 30% tax on cryptocurrencies and NFTs brings it at par with those charged on speculative income. Thought on higher side, traders can now trade in these assets without fear of government intervention. The Budget has removed the legal uncertainty on Crypto Currency trading.  People can trade in Crypto but they will have to pay tax.  It is to be checked in fine prints, that if corporates trade in crypto then, the corporate tax is applicable or 30% or whichever is higher.

Priyadarshi Mishra, CEO-Founder, Design & Construct: The inception of dedicated institutes for urban planning in real estate sector will help to maximize the urban development as well as minimize the complexities in urban planning. The budget is a great initiative to make housing affordable for a large section of the country.

With announcement of Union Budget 2022 by honourable Finance Minister, the budget has focussed more on the Made in India initiative to minimize the dependency. To encourage the start-up ecosystem government has relaxed the tax and introduced flexible policies to help start-ups in the country.

With an expected growth of 9.27%, the budget has given enough flexibility for startups which will help to create new job prospects. The use of drones for startups will push the start ups for excellence. The promotion of fintech and technology-based development will help the economy gain a pace as well as create a better job prospect for individuals.

Infra spends in PPP mode seem to be the thrust of the Union Budget 2022. Start-ups in agriculture sector encouraged with commitment to provide support for FPOs, technology including IT based support. ECLGS extended up to March 2023 to aid MSME sector financing needs. The support for agriculture startups in the union budget will make FPO's stronger as well as strengthen the IT support.

Prabhdeep Singh, Founder & CEO, StanPlus: The upcoming launch of an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is exciting news for us. It will include digital registries of health providers and facilities, a unique health identity, and universal access to health facilities, all of which will aid us in saving lives by allowing us access to contextual health information in quick time, enabling faster and better medical response in emergencies.

Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu: I believe the 2022 budget is focused around smart digital expenditures in not just education, but across sectors! A very forward-looking budget in my opinion that will enable startups take lead in India's next phase of development. Introduction of the e-passport facility will decrease friction in the immigration process, and I look forward to Indians getting access to such world-class tech. Lastly, steps like capping off long-term capital gains at 15% clearly position this as a document which heard and implemented feedback from all quarters, and that’s amazing!

Pranav Bajaj, Co-founder, Medulance: Budget 2022 has surely come as a booster dose for the healthcare sector. The new initiatives announced by the finance minister will help India recover from the damages to the healthcare infrastructure caused by the pandemic and strengthen it further. These initiatives, especially the open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will also help strengthen the healthcare sector of the nation at the core. The past few years have revolutionized the way mental health is being viewed; I am sure that the National Tele Mental Health program will receive a very warm welcome. The Tax breaks for setting up hospitals in tier 2 and tier 3 cities is highly appreciated, this break will encourage the boom in quality healthcare providers in these cities, along with the proposal for the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan will help connect the tier 2 and tier 3 cities and will ensure that the healthcare services are accessible to all regions equally.

The increase in the GDP proportion for healthcare was much needed and is rightly implemented. All these announcements made today have come as a ray of hope for the healthcare sector. I am sure that the country is moving towards a stronger, more accessible and quality healthcare infrastructure.

Archit Gupta, Founder & CEO, Clear: Government has brought in 30% tax on cryptos income, where no deduction for any expenses except cost of acquisition shall be allowed. Gift of virtual assets shall also be taxed for the recipient. This clears the air on taxes for cryptos, however, there are several types of incomes people earn from cryptos and hopefully more clarity will be available in the Budget documents.

If the time for revising ITR has passed or it has already been assessed, a taxpayer could no longer amend and pay additional taxes. (Earlier time period was end of AY). If the taxpayer wants to pay additional taxes and amend an already filed return, it can be done now, within 2 years from the end of the relevant assessment year. The intention is to allow taxpayers an opportunity to pay any unpaid taxes without severe consequences in case they have made a mistake at the time of filing and return is already processed.

Vimal Sharma, Founder, Director & CEO, SMOOR: We are grateful to the honourable Finance Minister for extending the ECLG scheme to the MSME sector. This will help us access the capital needed for growth and deploy efficiently.

Nischal Shetty, CEO, WazirX: India is finally on the path to legitimising the crypto sector in India. It's phenomenal news that India launching a blockchain powered Digital Rupee is phenomenal news. This move will pave the way for crypto adoption and put India in the front seat of innovation.

It's also interesting to note how our government is beginning to recognise crypto as an emerging asset class given how our FM was referring to it as a virtual digital asset. The biggest development today, however, was a clarity on crypto taxation. This will add the much-needed recognition to the crypto ecosystem of India. We also hope this development removes any ambiguity for banks, and they can provide financial services to the crypto industry.

Overall, it's good news for us, and we will need to go through the detailed version of the budget to understand the finer details.

The tax clarity is a welcome move. Overall, it’s a huge relief to see that our government is adopting the progressive stance of going ahead in the direction of innovation. By bringing in taxation, the government legitimizes the industry to a large extent. Most people, especially corporates, who have been sitting on the sidelines because of uncertainties will now be able to participate in crypto. Overall, it’s a positive move for the industry.

Sushant Kumar, CEO & MD, AMO Electric Bikes: The country's financial budget session for 2022-23 began today with a lot of excitement, as it was overheard that this paperless budget will include numerous bold plans and policies to improve GDP and government expenditure. FM Nirmala Sitharaman is set to give a significant budget that will outline the plan for 100 years of Indian independence, or "India at 100," which would include everything from digital money to 5G services, revising income tax returns to increasing electric vehicles in the country.

In the EV sector, the FM has rightly specified the necessary elements in the budget that the country's EV producers have been requesting for a long time. She is committed to promoting greener and cleaner transportation solutions in India by enacting a number of initiatives, many of which include attempts to expand charging infrastructure around the country. This will help with two things in particular: first, it will alleviate range anxiety, and second, it will increase EV acceptance among the general public. The FM also mentioned a crucial regulatory shift with the battery swapping service as a solution to range anxiety and rapid EV adoption.

The FM advocates for the development of interoperability standards, which would assist Indian manufacturers to establish joint ventures with major technological partners from other countries, hence boosting long-term EV business in India.

Sasidhar Nandigam, CEO, CredR: The Indian auto industry recorded its worst performance of the last decade this year. Even then, we did not see the finance minister make any big direct announcements for the automotive sector involved with personal mobility. So, overall, we are a little disappointed on that front.

The focus has been on strengthening the rural economy. Theoretically, the implementation of these announcements should help disposable income in rural areas, thereby improving the vehicle buying sentiment. As a result, two-wheeler and tractor companies could see improvement in demand. In addition, the announcements of a battery swapping policy and push for clean tech and electric vehicles will help the EV segment in India. Also, the push on cleaner propulsion technologies will improve air quality and reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head & COO, nurture.farm: As a part of the agri-tech industry, I firmly believe that the budget should not only focus on economic but also enable sustainable development to secure future generations. Putting climate action as one of the focus areas of the budget is a mega move from the government. The AgTech sector plays an important role in educating farmers on sustainable modes of agriculture, scaling the operations, and reducing the carbon footprint that are an outcome of the agricultural practices. The announcement towards launch of sovereign green bonds for projects signals India’s strong commitment towards a low carbon economy. It will help to bring down the cost of capital for green projects by attracting new investors and mobilising private capital towards sustainable development. This will further boost our efforts to make agriculture sustainable by helping farmers earn more through adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

Another key point is the adoption of technology-enabled models of agriculture. The need of the hour is to make the sector more efficient, sustainable, profitable, and the farmers more resilient. Revision of agriculture syllabus to include modern agricultural methods; use of Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitisation of land records and spraying of insect pesticides; boosting financial inclusion of farmers through digital modes of payments - all these steps taken by the government will go a long way in agriculture sector achieving its maximum potential while encouraging Indian AgTech startups to strengthen the agri ecosystem from the grassroots level.

Yash Gupta, Equity Research Analyst, Angel One Ltd.: Pharma and healthcare sector have a lot of expectations for the union budget 2022-23 by Nirmala Sitaraman. The Pharma and healthcare sector has played an important role during the time of covid 19. It is expected that several incentives can be given to the pharma sector regarding the setting up of new facilities, API (active pharmaceutical ingredient), and finished pharmaceutical product manufacturing in India. Along with this, it is expected that some positive news for the Healthcare sector as well like increase in depreciation rate on setting up of new hospitals and giving credit for setting up of greenfield projects.

Cdr Syed Qais Hayat (R), President Strategy & Operations, ARTPARK (AI & Robotics Technology Park): 68% of defense procurement budget in 2022-23 is to be earmarked for domestic equipment. This is up from 58% in last fiscal. This will provide further impetus to greater participation of domestic industry in Defense Capital acquisitions. This is in line with the government's approach to not import capital assets in all cases where the domestic industry can create products and solutions. Therefore, import of Capital assets for Defense will be resorted mainly in those cases which necessitate urgent procurements (generally self-defense) and in-house development of matching technology is unlikely in near to mid-term. This means the Ministry of Defense, its Departments and Services will have a larger than ever onus to carry out a thorough environment scan of in-house capabilities in defense production to identify, support and induct technologies, equipment, and platforms to be able to justify any capital imports.

Siddharth Agrawal, Director, Godawari E-mobility Pvt. Limited: Battery Swapping Policy announcement is a positive step to promote electrification in the country. It will aid in developing the EV ecosystem for OEMs and other component makers alike and further growth in the segment. We shall await the fine print of the policy and hope it accelerates EV adoption and addresses consumer concerns.

Pulkit Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO, Khabri: We highly support our government’s decision of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme that will create 60 lakh new jobs in the next 5 years. The idea of Digital university will help India set a top-notch world-class education. We believe that knowledge and awareness will support India becoming Atmanirbhar and through the expansion of the One class, one TV channel' program of PM eVIDYA this cause will be highly achievable.

Regional languages will be empowered through this program, which enables all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12. These digital initiatives will provide for a more conducive environment for the adoption of tech-based learning, and which will directly route to empowering youth from real Bharat.

Chetan Kumar, Co-Founder, Ekank Technologies: Firstly, would like to appreciate our government extending the tax initiatives for startups up to March 2023. Through tax initiatives and new reforms in the direct tax, the startup ecosystem will enhance effectively within no time. The idea of launching a digital university will help understand people the culture of India through world-class education.

The Introduction of Digital currency by the central bank will definitely lead away to cheaper currency management. The highlight of the budget for us is the expansion of the One class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA which will help promote the regional languages in the country as through the program, all states will provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12.

The government has also focussed on establishing a positive mental health environment and with Ekank Technologies, we completely support this initiative through our feature of “light read”, which gives the users a chance to enjoy stress-free reading.

Vikas Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, World of Play: We support the government’s focus on technology, it will help many tech-based companies like WORLD OF PLAY to come up with exciting product experience for the Indian consumers. We welcome the focus of government on the wearables and acoustic component ecosystem and domestic manufacturing and believe on a long term, this focus will make India as a formidable design and manufacturing powerhouse.

Additionally, the boost in ease of doing business and special impetus on creating 60 lakh new jobs will give a desired push to the goal of becoming Atma Nirbhar Bharat. As a brand, we promote and follow Make in India and we believe long-term policies like this will give us the desired support for the local design and manufacturing in India.

Vijay Kumar Mikkilineni, Head of Marketing, TCL India: We welcome the Finance Minister’s increased focus on the consumer electronics industry and formation technology, which will definitely benefit all worldwide companies, including ours. The 2022 Union Budget allocated 1.97 lakh crore ($26 billion) for PLI projects, notably electronic components, which are among the 13 vital sectors that would undoubtedly help our economy expand.

Furthermore, reduced customs taxes will encourage electronics manufacture, which will benefit the electronics industry.

Rimo Bose, PR & Branding Manager, TCL India: Extending the support to the government for increasing focus on the consumer electronics sector and formation technology, which will undoubtedly benefit all global brands like us. The recent Allocation of Rs 197 million (US $ 26 billion) to PLI projects in the United Budget (202122), especially electronic components, is one of the 13 key sectors that will definitely help our economy grow.

In addition, tariff reductions will drive the production of electronic devices, which will be the greatest benefit of the electronic device sector.

Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder & CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL): It is very encouraging to see that the Union Budget has taken into consideration some of the long-pending suggestions for the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sector, while noting the strong potential this industry holds for employment-generation as well as taking ‘Made in India’ game titles global.

We welcome the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s announcement to set up an AVGC Promotion Task Force to provide a much-needed boost to the sector. This announcement highlights the need to build capacity to serve both domestic and global markets and is a strong indicator of the impetus that the government is willing to provide for its growth. It is also heartening to see the government’s commitment to work with the industry, allowing for a balanced approach that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders and strengthens the ecosystem holistically. A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will allow the industry to compete on the world stage and fulfil the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for the Indian digital gaming sector to be a global powerhouse. Moreover, it will also help develop a workforce of young and employable AVGC professionals to usher in the next tech revolution from within India.

The Budget rightly mentions that promoting the digital economy and sunrise sectors will be a priority in the next 25 years (75 to 100 years of India’s Independence)—the Amrit Kaal of India. With a renewed focus on the AVGC sector, blended financing for deep tech and IT, hardware and electronics manufacturing combined with deployment of 5G and affordable internet in underserved areas, it is clear that the government is committed to take the Indian startup ecosystem to the next level.

We are hopeful that with the positive support of the government, the coming years will see online gaming, VFX and esports startups leading the charge in the global economy. By developing deep tech intellectual property and exporting services, they can help cement India’s position as a world leader in the sector.

G. Srinivasan, CEO, Athulya, Chennai: The Union Budget 2022 is forward looking with emphasis on mental healthcare. They have taken into consideration the increasing cases of mental health problems and have made provisions to offer quality counselling and care for people across all age groups. It will be beneficial to most of our elderly population post the pandemic. Another progressive move by the government is the launch of DESH-Stack eportal for skilling and reskilling citizens. This will address the current need to enhance the skills of existing healthcare workers. The continuous development programs will be a game changer across all sectors, facilitating knowledge creation for people by grooming them to fit the industry requirements, eventually opening-up greater employment opportunities.

Irfan Razack, Chairman & Managing Director, Prestige Group: Union budget 2022 holds a visionary & ambitious sentiment. Its allocated a substantial thrust towards infrastructure development, urbanization, agriculture and digitization which will help in overall economic growth including employment generation. The prices of steel industry and import of raw materials remains unchanged which will provide the much required relief and impetus to the real estate and ancillary sectors. The forward looking outlook/perspective has recorded a positive reaction from the market and is likely to aid the upswing in property buying too. 

Dr. Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group: Right from the Finance Minister’s use of a Tablet to propose the budget explained that India is on the path of a digital revolution in the near future. As expected the government has well thought to reduce the digital learning gap between the urban and rural by introducing ‘1-Class-1-TV channel” covering multiple regional languages, which will not only counter the Learning losses but will bridge the learning gap. The PM’s e-Vidya will be further expanded from 12 to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning.

For the implementation of NEP 2020 great stress is implied on shifting the focus on Upskilling, therefore the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be the key to newer dynamics. To develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking amongst students setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable. To enable quality learning for each child quality e-content will be made through various means. Teachers will be trained to use better e-teaching outcomes and enhancement of learning experiences. Huge focus was laid on e-services in rural areas, it is proposed that all the villages will be laid with optical fibres by 2025, and villages will be at par with the urban areas.

Setting up of Digital University is a great step towards accessibility of quality world class education for all. As per the NEP 2020, Foreign Universities will be set up and Gujarat to set up the model Foreign University to make education accessible for all.

An increase in the  overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (Budget estimate) in 2021-22 in view of Samagra Shiksha is certainly a welcome move. It’s a great education budget; belling the cat at the right time though the implementation is to be thought upon. We are looking forward to a quick implementation of the proposals.

Lokesh Harjani, Founder & CEO, OnSpot Solutions: ECLGS scheme is a welcomed initiative and will help the MSME segment with their cash flows and help fuel growth for companies across segments. The interlinkage of government portals will help credit facilitation and enhance entrepreneurial growth for tenders and new business opportunities in a single reformed structure.  This level playing field should yield a chance to start-ups and young companies registered as MSME to offer their products and services.  Further integration of government portals will help ease the financial burdens with cleaner payment lines making payments more on time than in the past.  This itself, will once again, help very important cash flows and credit lines of MSME companies. The extension of the 15% tax scheme for start-ups for an additional year, is of course, welcome.  Additionally, the government has allowed public sector undertakings / government companies to accept surety bonds thereby making it easier for smaller companies to provide performance guarantees which may help in the bidding stipulations for tenders.  This step should make competition thrive across different sized companies listed under MSME, especially those in start-up mode. The digital Rupee initiative may open up opportunities for the IT sector in the future.

Overall, the reforms inculcated in the budget is positive for the MSME segment, and hopefully it shall provide them with growth opportunities, and the government in the next budget can look for reforms and allocations of programmes for the MSME segment.

Winny Patro, CEO & Co-founder, Recordent: Major boost for SMEs is the introduction of E-bill system for transparency and faster payments to Vendors to deal with late payments from Govt. departments. The extention of ECGLS scheme can be of some help to MSMEs. The Union Budget 2022-23  emphasized job creation through the growth of SME sector that directly contributes a large percentage to the Indian economy. One can say that the year's budget has some considerable relief to MSMEs, especially in supporting Atmanirbhar. Budget is also encouraging to Agricultural farmers to invest and produce more. Overall, small entrepreneurs, startups and innovation are given importance. The announcement for India's digital currency has been pending for sometime and finally announced today, but like a double edged sword with 30% tax on digital assets. This announcement is a boost for startups and for adoption of NFTs in India.

Rajiv. K Vij, Founder, Plug Mobility: There are some good announcements in the budget to promote EV's through promoting charging infra and standardizing the battery norms for swapping and interoperability. However, the budget has missed a major challenge in EV adoption-Availability of  Financing for fleets and a Credit Guarantee by Government are desperately required by fleet owners who have suffered hugely during the pandemic. The commercial car industry is ready to transition to EV but with avail6of easy finance at low cost, this will be delayed further.

Ankit Agrawal, CEO & Co-Founder, Insurance Dekho: We welcome the announcement made by the government under budget 2022-23, as it brings to fore inclusive policies and frameworks for the startup and insurance ecosystem. The Government has announced an extension in eligibility for startups incubated till March 31, 2020, for tax incentives. This will allow some relief to the businesses struggling with the ripple effects of the pandemic and its waves. This incentive will further provide a boost to the startup ecosystem and nurture a positive sentiment towards entrepreneurship within the industry. Reforms in insurance schemes tax for differently-abled people will further boost the insurance industry. We thank the government for announcing the measure.

Alok Dubey, Chief Financial Officer, Acer India: The Union Budget announced today showcased the government's initiative towards Digital Transformation. From announcing a Digital University, for online learning to high-quality e-content across languages will enable the youth to skill, upskill and reskill themselves. These programs under digital learning and the connectivity expansion will further strengthen the availability and accessibility of internet in rural areas.

With Govt infrastructure spending push, we are likely to see more employment and growth opportunities and enhanced private sector investment in manufacturing. We are confident that the exemption of duty on parts of select electronic items will further boost the domestic manufacturing of electronics goods under the PLI scheme. Overall, the Union Budget 2022-23 is a promising budget and a step forward towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, India, Pure Storage: The Union Budget 2022 expectedly turned out to be a growth-oriented budget. The government is focused on reviving the economy through various programs across industries and especially MSMEs, which were hardest hit by the pandemic. The rollout of the Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance program will help address the challenges faced by the sector, through injection of liquidity and ease of compliance norms. The Credit Guarantee Trust for MSME will not only enable them to revive their businesses with additional funds but also enhance employment opportunities and enable job creation.

There is also a strong push for digital transformation in the education sector by announcing Digital University and high-quality e-content across regional languages for the students to skill, upskill and reskill the youth. Addressing the structural challenges in the education landscape, the government has focused rightly on upskilling and digital learning. Another impactful announcement is the confirmation of the auction of 5G spectrums this year which will improve accessibility, speed, and availability of the internet across India and particularly in rural areas. This budget’s emphasis on Digital India will further attract investment and put India firmly on the global innovation map.

Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Ltd.: The Union Budget FY2022-23 is growth oriented and has put the much-needed impetus on digital education boosting the penetration of learning where online education is still not accessible. To effectively bridge the learning gap created due to the pandemic, efforts such as setting up of the digital university, providing high-quality e-content, expansion of ‘One class, one TV channel’ under the PM e-Vidya scheme, equipping teachers with digital tools, creating virtual labs, promoting critical thinking will not only improve learning outcomes but will also provide students access to world-class universal education with a personalized learning experience at their doorsteps. 

By developing syllabus in different languages, focusing on skilling, reskilling and upskilling youth, the Government has demonstrated its commitment towards breaking the glass ceiling and encouraging education in regional languages. Collaboration between public universities and institutions will create a network of the hub-spoke models with competitive mechanisms building a resilient mechanism for education delivery. 

The budget aptly addresses last-mile delivery reach with a strong focus on empowering teachers through digitization and the necessity to train students in sync with global standards. The 25-year vision will build an open, digital, connected and inclusive India.

Rajkiran Rai G, MD & CEO, Union Bank of India: The Budget 2022-23 is set in context of recovering economy with good macro stability. The Finance Minister takes forward growth impetus through enhanced outlays on public capex, incentives for digital, start-ups, supporting MSMEs, and targeted welfare spending in 2022-23. The cumulative Government support through ECLGS rising to Rs 5 trillion till March 2023 is welcome enabler for credit to vulnerable sectors of economy. Moreover, the absence of capital allocation for public sector banks reaffirms confidence in strength of banking sector in meeting the credit needs of economy. Overall, it is a growth oriented budget.

Aneel Gambhir, CFO, Blue Dart: We are pleased to note that the Union Budget, is progressive, focuses on growth and is in line with our expectations. The Government’s focus on consistently investing in infrastructure development across the country bodes well for the Indian economy and more specifically for the logistics industry. The focus on public investments, by expanding the National Highway network by 25,000kms, the Gati Shakti masterplan with seven engines, 100 new cargo terminals, will give an impetus to the growth of the industry and help bring efficiency in logistics operations. We must also recognize the push for utilizing and promoting a digital ecosystem, whether that be with the launch of Gati Shakti and the numerous opportunities it initiates or the adoption of eVehicles; it further streamlines systems and processes, propelling the idea of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. 

The prioritization of technology is a 2-pronged strategy that also seeks to drive cleaner operations. The announcement of the special policy for battery swapping, introducing a uniform standard for EV batteries, encouraging the private sector to engage in sustainable business models and setting up additional public charging stations, have the potential to revolutionize the eVehicle industry. Moreover, eVehicles can also play a key role in last-mile logistics, a feat that can assist the industry in reducing its carbon footprint. The Government has also highlighted initiatives that will be beneficial for all by reducing the surcharge on long term capital gains.

While the budget carries good news for the logistics sector, we are happy to note the Government’s efforts in propelling areas such as infrastructure, digitalization, sustainable practices and citizen well-being, all of which require a special focus going into the new financial year. The world is now acclimated to COVID-19 and we are keen to see the subsequent results of these initiatives on the nation, going forward.

Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai: The impetus given to the healthcare structure in the last 2 years has benefitted the sector. In today’s budget, the focus on infrastructural development is bound to spur growth and enable accessibility for more people. It is imperative that healthcare infrastructure grows alongside the overall infrastructural development of the country. There is still a need for focused skill development for various healthcare needs which the budget failed to address. The impetus given to manufacturing sector can facilitate setting up manufacturing units for healthcare devices and equipment in India, thus, reducing the end cost. While the pandemic has unfolded many aspects of healthcare, a lot of mental health problems across all age groups were also witnessed. We welcome the budget’s focus to implement a ‘National Tele Mental Health Programme’ to address the mental health problems and provide counselling & care services. This will create more awareness and also open more avenues in the overall health & wellbeing of an individual. Additionally, the budget aims to roll out a National Digital Health Ecosystem which comes in as a blessing for the public where digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework, and universal access to health facilities will be made available.

Dr. C.J. Vetrievel - Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Be Well Hospitals, Chennai: The finance minister highlighted the need to have accessible healthcare across rural parts of the country. With our aim to also provide infrastructure and health services in sub-urban and peri-urban regions, we believe that accessible healthcare is the need of the hour. We thank the finance minister and the Central Government for recognizing the efforts taken by the healthcare sector in tackling the pandemic as well as accelerating the nation-wide vaccination drive. We have been seeing the importance given to Mental Health since the beginning of the pandemic and now that has also taken a significant position in the Union Budget 2022 – 2023. The need to pay attention to one’s mental health has been well addressed in the budget where allocation of funds to set up a ‘National Tele Mental Health Programme’ is proposed. This move will create more awareness among the public and the need to prioritize mental health & overall wellbeing. The overall impetus towards primary healthcare and public healthcare is a welcomed initiative. This is a visionary budget with long term unprecedented infra spending. This provides impetus to all sectors due to the ripple effect. The allocation of funds for healthcare, being a core infra sector, could have however been better.

Vipul Singh, Founder & CEO, Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS): The Union Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister ensures supercharged growth for the drone industry in India in the years to come. The budget duly recognizes the key role drone technology is playing in solving some really tough to solve problems for sectors like land records, infrastructure, mining, disaster management, and agriculture. Furthermore, the announcement of Drone Rules 2021, the PLI scheme for the drone industry, and subsidies for drones to be used for agriculture applications have provided a fillip to the sector. In Budget 2022, the announcement of the 'Drone Shakti' program will continue to strengthen the sector further making it at least a $5B market in India available primarily for domestic companies. This will enable further innovation in the sector and fuel growth with further adoption of drone tech and 'drone-as-a-service'. The opportunities, emphasis, and support being provided to this emerging sector will help drone start-ups extend their portfolio across agriculture, digitization of land records, railways, mining, renewable energy, telecom, etc., and will lead to a paradigm shift for a new Digital India.

Rahul Raj, Founder & CEO FloBiz: We wholeheartedly welcome the Union Budget 2022-23. It is gratifying to see a sustained push towards digitisation & promoting the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision. We believe the measures & initiatives announced for the upliftment of MSMEs will significantly help in boosting the economic activity impacted by the pandemic. The decision to revamp the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme & infuse additional credit of Rs 2 lakh crore will also assist in business continuity, exploring new opportunities in manufacturing, and creating more employment avenues. In addition, the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) extension up to March 2023 is a great push for the MSMEs, especially for enterprises that are not yet back to the pre-pandemic levels of business scale & are slowly moving towards their recovery. 

This Union Budget has also recognised startups as key drivers of growth and innovation in the country. The extension on the period of incorporation and providing tax incentives will provide impetus and inspire entrepreneurs to continue driving innovation to put the Indian economy strongly on a clear growth trajectory.

Satpal Singh, CEO, Numeric: The decision by the government to include Data centers and energy storage systems in the harmonised list of infrastructure sectors is a welcome move. This would also spur the UPS industry towards further growth.

Major allocations pertaining to the growth of renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, energy savings and efficiency in commercial buildings, grid-connected energy storage among others are indicative of the commitment to sustainability.

The new Vibrant Villages Programme is a welcome move which is expected to trigger development in the villages of the country infrastructure.

Vikram Gidwani, Country Head, BioCatch: Digital Rupee is a great concept which has direct application in financial Inclusion. We welcome this initiative by the government and look forward to RBI's guidelines and steps to implement the same. However, to make Digital money safe from cyberthreats, the country need strong and fool-proof defence system against cyber crimes. Technologies like behavioural biometrics, mule detection, etc can be used to build that infrastructure.

Ashok Rajpal, CEO & Founder, Ambrane India: We welcome the budget positively as it is aimed at furthering the Indian manufacturing industry. Additionally, the increase in PLI benefits to the sector is also beneficial to the companies directly, as well as indirectly. The 15 percent income tax for new manufacturing companies poses immense relaxations for the companies following the attrition of Make in India.

Lastly, the duty concessions being given to promote electronic manufacturing, wearable and hearable products is calibrated to provide a graded structure, and give growth to the manufacturing industry considering the sales would surge as a result of subsidized end product.

Sanjay Shah, Chief Operating Officer, Wadhwani Foundation, India/SEA: Though the economic growth suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India has still arisen to become one of the most powerful startup powerhouses in the world. The budget for the upcoming financial year promises India’s economic growth to be at 9.2%, with a special focus on inclusive development and financing of investments, among others. I conclusively believe that the startup ecosystem in India is aiming for a positive boom with the help of tax reforms and benefits. The extension in the redemption of taxes by one more year will be an important determining factor for startups reaching IPO valuations. Additionally, the Government’s decision to focus on 5G tech in India opens an array of entrepreneurial and employment-generation opportunities, along with helping every district in India to be exposed more to the world of independent businesses and startups.

Kshitish Nadgauda, Senior Vice President & Managing Director (Asia), Louis Berger International: The Budget has the necessary long-term vision with the horizon established as India@100 and has a clear focus on infrastructure development. With Gati Shakti, involving the seven engines from roads to mass transit, the current budget has the right emphasis on infrastructure to drive rapid and inclusive economic growth.  

For the infrastructure industry, the allocations for various infrastructure sectors and projects are welcome and will pave the way for increased efficiency in logistics and supply chains and enhance the competitiveness of the Indian economy. In addition, the budget is clearly in favor of increased private investment, and PPPs. For citizens, the Budget promises safe, convenient, and cost-effective multimodal transportation not only in Tier I but also in Tier II cities and towns. The ambitious 25,000 km expansion of national highways, and announcement of intended investment in light rail and metro lite in Tier II cities and towns and as feeder networks in Tier I cities will rightly increase the share of public transport in urban areas, thereby contributing to sustainable development. 

A key aspect of the Budget with its focus on investment in infrastructure, urban and housing development, and river-linking, and transportation projects is that it should drive employment and create thousands of much-needed jobs. Increased employment coupled with the greater efficiency in the movement of people and goods would likely bring down inflation. Overall, it is a positive, promising and job-driven budget that has all the elements to revive the economy and revitalise society.

Ruchir Arora, CEO & Co-founder, CollegeDekho: The government’s continued focus on building a quality higher education ecosystem is encouraging. The reforms allowing foreign universities in India to offer courses free of domestic regulations and the introduction of a Digital University will help bring industry best practices enabling the students with better job opportunities. Also, Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sectors are very popular with the younger generation and have great potential for employability. It's great to see the government realise this and focus on building domestic capacity to serve both our markets and the global demand. This will further push the popularity of emerging technologies and business models among the youth fueling our country’s vision of a Digital India.

Lalit Beriwala, Director, Shyam Steel Industries Ltd . and Sr. Vice President, Merchants Chamber of Commerce & Industry: I welcome the Union Budget, 2022, which is balanced as well as target oriented. It envisages 9.2% growth covering every sector of country’s economy. The focus on promotion of digital economy, health, infrastructure, aviation, energy transition, climate action with an inclusive approach will spur country’s economic growth and improve the quality of life of the people. Besides stabilizing economy, it will accelerate steady growth. I am confident that the following budget provisions will go a long way for transition of India at 100.

  • Capital expenditure raised by 35.40 per cent from ₹ 5.54 lakh crore to ₹ 7.50 lakh crore is a landmark initiative for economic growth. Capping of Surcharge on long-term capital gains at 15% is also a welcome measure.
  • Interest free loan of Rs. 1 lakh crore for the States will help the States for robust economic growth benefiting the people.
  • The Union Budget that proposes to expand National Highways by 25,000 KM in 2022-23 is a welcome decision for Infrastructure development.
  • The PM Gatishakti National Master Plan costing Rs. 20,000 crore and encompassing 7 engines of development will also be a game changer to the transformation of Indian economy.
  • Emphasis on infrastructure development including five River Link Projects will ensure hassle-free movement of raw materials of the industries as well as distribution of finished goods across the country at a reduced cost.
  • Credit guarantee for two lakh micro and small industries aiming to create more employment opportunities is also a welcome measure.
  • 68% capital procurement budget earmarked for domestic procurement will be a significant milestone to the achievement of the goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India.
  • Earmarking of Rs.60,000 crore to cover 3.8 crore households in 2022-23 under Har Ghar , Nal se Jal programme and  Rs. 48,000 crore for completion of 80 lakh houses in 2022-23 under PM Awas Yojana will also help the construction industries ( Steel, Cement, Chemicals etc.) to grow.
  • The proposal to extend “Steel Scrap Duty” for another year will benefit Western India who mostly uses scraps; revoking of anti-dumping on stainless steel will also benefit steel industry.
  • PM Development (PM-DevINE) initiative for North- East for infrastructural and social development projects with an initial allocation of Rs. 1500 crore will boost economic growth, trade and business and help mainstream NE areas.
  • Setting up of four Multimodal logistic Parks in different places, 100 Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals in three years will help to accelerate economic growth and boost industrial development.

Prof (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy, Founding Vice-Chancellor, RV University, Bengaluru: We welcome the Union Budget presented by the H’ble Finance Minister. The focus on education sector will augur well for the country and put it firmly on the growth path over the next 25 years. The Digital DESH, Digital University initiative, One-Class-One channel through PM eVidya initiative for supplementary education in regional languages for rural development will ensure learning continuity during these troubled times. The 5G auction next year and fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in rural areas will ensure inclusive growth.

Overall, this is a growth-oriented budget with progressive initiatives. We are confident it will help revive our economy and lead to sustainable growth in the years to come.

Bhavin Patel, Co-founder & CEO, LenDenClub: Union Budget 2022-23 started on a positive note with a vision for India@100. The measures announced have huge potential to pave a robust growth path for the next 25 years which can make India truly progressive, technologically advanced, and financially strong. Laying substantial focus on MSMEs who account for more than 30% of India's GDP is extremely encouraging which will go a long way in driving economic growth and employment. The 6,000-crore programme to rate MSMEs to be rolled out over the next five years and the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 are huge strides towards enhancing capital access to MSMEs’ and making them more resilient and competitive.

Although few tax slabs were anticipated, especially if returns from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending investments may have been exempted under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act or a different provision could be carved out to minimize tax rates, it would have encouraged investors to invest more.

Extending the time of incorporation of the eligible start-up for tax incentives by one more year is hugely encouraging for aspiring entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem.

Overall it is a growth-oriented budget offering a slew of measures to drive consumption, investment, and economic revival in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Mandar Agashe, Vice-Chairman & MD, Sarvatra Technologies Ltd.: It is a digital budget. It has been an overall balanced budget with many positive announcements relating to digitization. We appreciate the government for taking a step forward with its 'Digital India' initiative by proposing 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks. The measure will ensure the acceleration of digital payments across the country. Further, introducing an online e-bill system will reduce payment delays and be wholly paperless and end-to-end encrypted. Given the rapid rise of digital banking, digital payments, and FinTech innovation, it was critical to develop digital infrastructure to support digital banking, which has enormous potential. Another excellent initiative of bringing in a blockchain-based digital rupee will lead to instantaneous financial transactions instead of the current digital payment system. We foresee that the digital rupee will be a game-changer and might outperform other digital currencies which are currently available.

Joginder Rana, Vice Chairman & MD - CASHe: The honourable finance minister must  be congratulated  for striking a right balance of growth and stability. The budget is growth-oriented, virtually touches all sectors, and lays down a path for a future-ready digital India. The monetary support for the digital payment ecosystem is a welcome move and also appreciable is the introduction of the blockchain-aided 'Digital Rupee'. Its instantaneous feature may disrupt the entire financial transactions like transfers, payments, credit etc. It certainly sends a strong message that India is at the forefront of technology adoption. Finally, the extension of the ECLGS scheme will be of immense help for MSMEs as it will give the much-needed impetus for new businesses to come to the fore.

As we commemorate 75 years of Independence, we welcome the remarkable initiative to establish 75 digital banking units in 75 districts across the nation. It will aid in extending high-tech benefits, including penetration of digital credit to all parts of the country. The issuance of digital currency by RBI using block chain technology  a step that  would further stimulate the architecture of the digital economy, which is an objective of India@100.

Furthermore, extending the tax holiday for another year till March 2023 will help businesses endure the economic slowdown inflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This will also mean more significant activity in the investment landscape, enabling robust early-stage venture funding possible for start-ups.

Ketan Mehta - Founder & CEO, HOP Electric Mobility: Overall, this is a good budget for electric vehicles and charging/swapping infrastructure in India. The measures under PM Gati Shakti will boost and give the necessary push to job opportunities in every sector. Policy measures announced on battery swapping will help in the wide-scale adoption of ‘batteries as a service’. Will be happy to see the reduction in ownership costs of electric vehicles with this announcement. Since the cost of running electric vehicles is a practical alternate mode of mobility, the government's intent to improve the charging ecosystem will help ease migration to EVs, which are more economical than the usage of ICE- vehicles. We see this creating opportunities for several new start-ups. We strongly believe and support the clean and green energy mission.

Sameer Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, RevFin: A policy on battery swapping will help in wide scale adoption of batteries as a service. This will reduce upfront ownership costs of electric vehicles and link that cost to vehicle running. Since the cost of running electric vehicles is cheaper, the overall running cost with battery service will work out to be more economical than usage of ICE based vehicles. This is a very welcome announcement in the union budget. This will also create opportunities for several new startups. Zero emission zones in cities will help bring prominence to electric vehicles as well as provide incentive to purchase electric vehicles to be able to use those zones. 

Arun Sunny, Founder & CEO - Trouve Motor: Budget considers and touches all areas of growth and well-being of its citizens. Good initiative to promote Battery swapping policy, and inter operable policy to be formulated will bring down the cost of Electric Vehicles down drastically and also will make the adoption of EVs faster. Electric Vehicles in Urban, Battery and Energy as a service will bring in more investment and faster infrastructure building. Also, budget allocation of Rs 7.5 lakh crore as capital expenditure is a welcome step for the commercial vehicle market; especially the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment, along with being a big boost for the Infrastructure and Manufacturing sector.

Ketan Doshi, Managing Director, PayPoint India: While digital banking and fintech innovations have grown rapidly in the recent past, the Government is continuously encouraging this segment to ensure that the benefits of digital banking remotest corner of the country.

Presenting the budget for the financial year 2022-23, the finance minister mentioned that the Government’s aim for this year would be to expand the scope of digital banking further and take it to every citizen and make it more inclusive. Taking forward this agenda, 75 digital banking units are expected to be launched in 75 districts to incentivize digital payments adoption and bolster the payments infrastructure further. The thrust on the digital ecosystem and the technology adoption in rural areas would immensely benefit from the move.

Further enabling financial inclusion is the move to connect 150,000 post offices in India to the core banking system, allowing people, especially in rural areas, to access their accounts online and transfer money within post office accounts and other banks.

Additionally, the launch of Digital Rupee is a move that comes at a suitable time. It would create a seamless and cost-effective payment system and eliminate the spread and use of unregulated digital currencies. We expect the virtual currency to positively stimulate the economy and help promote further innovations in the digital and blockchain technology ecosystem.

Bhavin Patel, Co-founder & CEO, LenDenClub: Union Budget 2022-23 started on a positive note with a vision for India@100. The measures announced have huge potential to pave a robust growth path for the next 25 years which can make India truly progressive, technologically advanced, and financially strong. Laying substantial focus on MSMEs who account for more than 30% of India's GDP is extremely encouraging which will go a long way in driving economic growth and employment. The 6,000-crore programme to rate MSMEs to be rolled out over the next five years and the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 are huge strides towards enhancing capital access to MSMEs’ and making them more resilient and competitive.

Although few tax slabs were anticipated, especially if returns from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending investments may have been exempted under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act or a different provision could be carved out to minimize tax rates, it would have encouraged investors to invest more.

Extending the time of incorporation of the eligible start-up for tax incentives by one more year is hugely encouraging for aspiring entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem.

Overall it is a growth-oriented budget offering a slew of measures to drive consumption, investment, and economic revival in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Mandar Agashe, Founder & Vice-Chairman, Sarvatra Technologies Ltd.: It is a digital budget. It has been an overall balanced budget with many positive announcements relating to digitization. We appreciate the government for taking a step forward with its 'Digital India' initiative by proposing 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks. The measure will ensure the acceleration of digital payments across the country. Further, introducing an online e-bill system will reduce payment delays and be wholly paperless and end-to-end encrypted. Given the rapid rise of digital banking, digital payments, and FinTech innovation, it was critical to develop a digital infrastructure to support digital banking, which has enormous potential. Another excellent initiative of bringing in a blockchain-based digital rupee will lead to instantaneous financial transactions instead of the current digital payment system. We foresee that the digital rupee will be a game-changer and might outperform other digital currencies which are currently available.

Sudarshan Lodha, Founder & CEO, Strata: Considering the importance laid on digitization of technologies and sectors, I would like to congratulate FM for promoting of use of deep tech and online interface across sectors to drive digitisation and ensure greater transparency. As real estate is the second largest contributor in employment generation and contributes over 10% of the total GDP, it is extremely encouraging to see budget laying policies for boosting infrastructure and introducing taxation benefits for real estate investments.

With real-estate encompassing a huge chunk of LTCG, capping long term capital gains surcharges to 15 percent would encourage real estate investors to lock in their investments for a longer period, helping them maximize their gains. This will go a long way toward accelerating pandemic-slowed real estate investments. Additionally, introducing state partnerships in SEZ development hubs and scraping of SEZ Act would encourage businesses to stay longer, driving growth and stability. Also, extending tax concessions for the startup community would help them revive their operations from the aftershocks of the pandemic.

The budget has laid out a host of measures offering huge push to the infrastructure segment, which will play a catalytic role in driving consumption, urbanization, creating employment opportunities and thereby reviving growth in the aftermath of the pandemic. All in all, it is an extremely futuristic budget with an adequate focus on economic revival and growth.

Anurag Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, OneScore & OneCard: Considering we have not yet emerged out of the shadows of the pandemic; I believe the Finance Minister has done an excellent job in striking a fine balance in being fiscally prudent and growth supportive. The budget has laid out a host of top-notch measures offering a huge push for infrastructure besides incentivising manufacturing and addressing key growth driving cohorts such as MSMEs, youth and even the startup community.

The budget has laid considerable focus on public investment and capital expenditure; however, on the other side it is quite conservative in its tax growth estimates. The budget however, contains several significant reform measures and fiscal initiatives that will boost social and economic development.

Promoting digitization across sectors and levels is indeed a welcoming move which would not only speed up the processes but also bring much-needed transparency and uniformity to the system. Introducing digital currency is a dynamic decision taken by the government and would really help the economy in coming at par with developed economies. It would also streamline the current financial infrastructure, making it cheaper and faster to conduct monetary transactions. Further to promoting digital currency, the move of introducing 75 digital banking units in 75 districts will significantly strengthen the financial infrastructure across the country. All in all, with an outlay from India at 75 to India at 100, I believe this Budget is futuristic and focuses well on economic revival while ushering the next era of growth for India.

Atul Nishar, Founder and Chairman- Azent Overseas Education: Start-ups have emerged as “drivers of growth for our economy”. This is a huge recognition for the entire Startup sector and is also a testimony that the government is bullish about the growing influence and importance of Start-up ecosystem in India. Over the past few years, the country has seen a manifold increase in successful start-ups. To encourage this influential trend, the government extended the tax incentives for three consecutive years out of ten years for eligible start-ups. This should help in accelerating the start-up wave further. 

It is a phenomenal development that defence specific R&D will now be opened up for industry, Startups and academia with 25% of defence R&D budget earmarked. Startups will also be promoted to facilitate ‘Drone Shakti’ through varied applications and for Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS). 

Further, the long-term capital gains on listed equity shares, units etc. are liable to maximum surcharge of 15%, while the other long term capital gains are subjected to a graded surcharge which goes up to 37%. It was proposed to cap the surcharge on long term capital gains arising on transfer of any type of assets at 15%. This step will give a boost to the Startup community strengthening re-affirmation to Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

Venture Capital and Private Equity have invested more than Rs.5.5 lakh crore last year facilitating one of the largest start-up and growth ecosystem. The announcement of an expert committee to examine and propose appropriate measures to scale up these investments signifies that the government is traveling an extra mile to fuel the Startup ecosystem.

Milind Gowardhan, MD & CEO, LEAF Fintech: The announcement to complete 80 lakh homes under the PM Awas Yojana and allocation of Rs 48,000 crore under PMAY urban and rural will boost the affordable housing segment. The participation of financial institutions to work closely with the government will expand access to capital.

Also, announcements such as the introduction of the digital rupee by RBI will strengthen the economy. The set-up of 75 digital banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks will increase digital inclusion. A focus on digital banking coupled with measures for ease of doing business should help give the much-needed thrust to already growing start-ups in the Fintech sector.

Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Capital Ltd.: We welcome the growth-centric Budget aimed at securing India’s long-term economic interest. The union budget 2022-23 announced by the honorable finance minister has shown a progressive and development-oriented focus for infrastructure and MSME. Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by another year to March 2023 and coverage increment of 50,000 crores will give the necessary impetus and act as a key enabler to empower the MSME businesses at the grassroots. The announced measure will have a domino effect on the sector as well as provide a cushion to create an engine of economic growth. The interlinkage of various portals for MSMEs will bring the masses who require the necessary thrust and foster an environment where India becomes integral to global demand. We believe the government will accelerate the task to implement the measures efficiently and rapidly for desired outcomes.

Additionally, the allocation of Rs 48, 000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana will fuel the vision of Housing for All and de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment. The announced measure will have a force multiplier for ancillary sectors to generate more opportunities.

Kartik Shahani, Country Manager, Tenable India: The 2022 Union Budget looks promising and paves the path to economic recovery. As India aims to achieve competitive success in the global economy through budget allocations in critical infrastructure, healthcare, technology and innovation, securing the digital infrastructure that binds society in modern times needs to become the primordial priority for organizations, across the private and public sectors. This means that organizations in India must take a good hard look at their cyber hygiene practices and have the ability to continuously monitor and verify every attempt to request access to corporate data at all levels, whether that's a device, app, user or network attempting to make that connection.

The expected 5G spectrum auction this year, coupled with the Indian government’s goal to digitize processes for citizens through e-passports and e-registration services, presents manifold cybersecurity challenges. Increased adoption of IoT, in critical sectors and industries only pose greater challenges and threats that could have a direct and huge impact on society. Furthermore, the proposed launch of the Digital Rupee using blockchain technology opens fresh avenues for cyberattackers seeking payment from victims with only a modest risk of detection. If there is one thing we learned from 2021, it’s that cybercriminals are relentless and lucrative in testing the resilience of India’s digital systems. It’s more important now than ever that technological advancement and innovation must be guided by security in mind to protect India’s interests but more importantly establish deterrence against threat actors.

Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk: We welcome this technology-focused budget, which will help boost India’s growth. The Union budget 2022-23, with its support for businesses, will have a constructive impact, considering the unprecedented times we live in. The continuation of tax breaks for the startup sector and push for 5G in manufacturing is promising for the continued growth of these sectors on a global scale. The focus on digital transactions coupled with measures for ease of doing business will give Indian fintech startups the much-needed thrust. The concessions for intelligent devices is also an important step towards increasing IoT adoption across sectors. All in, we are encouraged by the focus on enabling transformational technologies that will allow Indian businesses to harness the opportunities for growth.

Aayur Kaul, Market Head, Skillshare India: The focus on online learning in the Union budget 2022-23 will propel growth in India’s edtech industry. The pandemic changed the atmosphere of learning in India, with most classes being conducted online. The focus on online-learning is a step towards democratizing learning in India. Skill-based online learning took the center stage in this year’s budget, highlighting the importance of vocational and creative classes that online learning enables. The announcement to launch a Digital University and dedicated online videos, quality online content will see a higher demand, creating a positive environment for online learning companies to grow in India. Skillshare being an online learning community for creatively-inclined people, we welcome the focus on edtech in the budget.

Subodh Parulekar, CEO and Co-Founder, Afour Technologies: In an effort to propel growth, the budget for 2022–23 provides tax sops for startups and supports digital transformation across industries. The tax exemption for the startup sector has shown the government's commitment to building a dynamic and robust startup ecosystem. The announcement of the digital currency is a historic move in India's financial history and promises to open up new vistas of growth and innovation in the sector. The impetus on design-led manufacturing for 5G is another important sector that could nudge India's economy toward sustained growth. The budget is timely and futuristic. We believe that these measures will make India a fast-growing, digitally empowered, and forward-looking economy.

Naman Shah, Founder & CEO, NowPurchase: Given the unusual times we live in, the Union budget for 2022–23 has been quite positive for Indian enterprises. The government's decision to push skill development through the DESH Stack e-portal is commendable. The proposal to extend a 6,000-crore RAMP programme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) over the next five years is encouraging for increasing competitiveness of this sector. We expect that the government's efforts to interconnect MSMEs' portals such as Udyam, e-Shram, NCS, and Aseem in order to broaden the scope will aid the formidable growth of the MSME sector. Along with this, the gradual phase out of some custom duties should definitely bolster manufacturing. The government's support for India's startup and MSME sectors has continued this year, and the industry is poised to be back on a growth trajectory after an unprecedented last financial year.

The PLI Schemes, which now cover fourteen sectors, are expected to contribute to increased production of Rupees Thirty Lakh Crores, with the potential to create sixty lakh new jobs over the next five years. Because of the government's strong push for PLI Schemes, India may incentivise international investors to set up manufacturing units in India and support local manufacturers to expand their units and generate jobs, enhancing India's global competitiveness. As a technology-driven procurement platform, NowPurchase finds the budget to be extremely satisfactory.

Sripad Nandiraj, Founder, Hocomoco: The Union Budget 2022-2023 presented by FM Sitharaman for the affordable housing sector will undoubtedly encourage the sector's next stage of growth. The announcement that an urban planning panel would be established and that 80 lakh affordable houses will be built at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore under the PM Awas Yojna in 2022-23 is a positive move. This would help to enhance the affordable housing market and promote affordable housing in metropolitan areas for the economically weak and middle class. The challenge, however, according to the Economic Survey, is to significantly increase infrastructure spending. India spent $1.1 trillion on infrastructure during fiscal years 2008 and 2017. It will now need to spend $1.4 trillion to reach a GDP of $5 trillion by 2024-25, according to its recent report. Additionally, the Gati Shakti plan, which aims to bring 16 ministries together to work on infrastructure and connectivity projects, is also a beneficial move that will aid the affordable housing plan. From Hocomoco's standpoint as a construction aggregator company, the budget is extremely encouraging.

Manoj Namburu, Chairman and Managing Director, Alliance Group & Urbanrise: While not all our expectations were met, the government did make a few announcements in this Union Budget 2022 that point to a strong recovery in the real estate market. The government's commitment to achieving Housing for All is demonstrated by announcements such as committing 48,000 crores to construct 80 lakh dwellings for identified eligible beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, both rural and urban, by 2023.

The government's proactive measures, such as stating that they will operate closely with state governments to reduce the time required for all property and construction-related approvals, are commendable because they will promote affordable housing for the middle class and economically weaker sections in urban areas.

The Union Budget 2022 also initiated a series of programs and policies aimed at fostering urban expansion and enhancing residential infrastructure in metropolitan areas, as well as committing a sum of 20,000 crore to commence operations on expanding and constructing national highways. The improved infrastructure would undoubtedly raise demand in the residential segment, allowing developers to develop more projects.

Although raw material rates have risen significantly, several initiatives aimed at maintaining standard costs and lowering raw material GST rates would have been a huge comfort to developers.  Property registration and stamp duty rates across the nation range from 5% to 9% on average, adding to the overall price of housing and deterring several first-time buyers. We anticipated a few stamp duty decreases in this Union Budget. We also expected a tax rebate in the Union budget for 2022-23, which would encourage buyers to buy their dream homes, but this was not acknowledged. 

Nevertheless, with this Union Budget 2022, we are optimistic that the real estate sector will continue to grow at a rapid pace, contributing to the expansion of the Indian economy, which is predicted to rise at 9.2%.

S Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer, iValue InfoSolutions: It was a consistent and pragmatic budget with a lot of thrust around infrastructure spending to enhance growth. Despite multiple elections around the corner, great to see no populist announcement with focus on reducing fiscal deficit starting next fiscal. 5G rollout and extension of sops around “make-in-India” for new start-ups should augur well for the tech enabled industry. Central Government focus around Digitization will offer business opportunities for domestic focused ITeS players with the Government taking the lead role on capex investment recovery post pandemic. Overall exciting times ahead as India is poised to be the fastest growing economy for the next few years.
Rajendra Chitale, CFO, Crayon: India's General Budget 2022-23 introduced several measures ranging from taxation to investment to help boost the country's economic activities, digital governance, ease of doing business, creating jobs, and ensuring the country's transition to a digital economy. The budget promotes technology-enabled development, energy transition, public-private partnerships, skilling, and climate action, along with the use of emerging technologies.

The news on the 5G roll-out is commendable as it will be a key enabler for digital growth and development in the country. Also, glad to see that the government is focusing on expanding the digital horizon in the country. This shall encourage continuous skilling avenues, sustainability, and employability through online training programs, and simulated learning environments using e-labs. The budget also focuses on emerging technologies, such as drones, deep tech, fintech, health tech, and Ed-tech, highlighting India's commitment to exploring change and innovation.
Prashanth G J, CEO, TechnoBind: It is commendable that the government in the new budget is coming up with modern and progressive concepts like trust-based governance. This is in the best interests of both the society and enterprises. It will also help in building more coordination between the government and enterprises, and provide more empowerment to enterprises, and certainly help with the ease of doing business.
Also, the 5G roll out will open the gates for aggressive digitisation in the country which will help the Indian IT landscape to expand further in all tier markets. Better internet connectivity will ramp up digitisation making inroads for datafication and AI-based technologies. We can expect the IT expansion to go pan-India and new avenues of digitisation will see light in the coming year.