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Industry reactions to Union Budget 2023

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a growth-focused budget for FY23, Here are some of the reactions from different sections.


Education

Dr Yajulu Medury, Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University

''The budget provides a much-needed impetus towards empowering the education sector and youth towards helping them realize their true potential. The setting up of 100 5 G-enabled labs to develop apps in engineering institutions and 3 centres of excellence in Artificial Intelligence is a major step towards 'Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India' and helps in shaping the new engineer of today. The 30-skill India international centres across states will further promote interdisciplinary research for developing cutting-edge applications to transform critical sectors and provide solutions for sustainable cities. In order to bridge the skill gap in India, the budget is in line with Mahindra University's focus on integrating critical thinking and problem-solving through a dynamic and diverse curriculum.''

Dr Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Director General, VIPS, Delhi, ( Ex VC, Symbiosis Skills and Professional University, Pune)

“The focus on empowering our youth with skills is the major highlight of this budget and this will be one of the clear distinctions that will define our future. The announcements on spurring innovation through setting up institutions for AI and 5G labs will be immensely helpful in building a foundation for a technology and knowledge-based economy”.




Real Estate

Anand Shukla, MD, Ocean Infraheights (Golden I)

'The announcement for INR 10,000 crore per year for urban infra development fund will provide a major boost to the real estate sector. This will be beneficial for the use of priority sector lending shortfall and will provide robust momentum to the real estate sector. The enhancement of 66% in the outlay for PM Awaas Yojana, will ensure the protection of housing rights at the grassroots level. Our initiatives in the areas of retail, IT/ITES offices, and residential construction are in line with the goal of promoting sustainable economic development while preserving the environment.

Pharma sector

Farhan Pettiwala, Head of Corporate Affairs, Hikal Limited

“Under the provisions of the Union Budget, a new programme for research in pharmaceuticals will be formulated that will not only promote R&D investments but also encourage to invest in research that would boost the pharma sector. The reduction of basic customs duty on acid-grade fluorescence from 5% to 2.5% is a big relief for the pharma industry as it will make the domestic fluorochemicals industry Atma-Nirbhar. Similarly, the exemption of denatured alcohol used in the chemical industry, will support the ethanol blending program and facilitate the energy transition. Meanwhile, 10000 Bioresource input centres will truly help India create a national-level Bio resource micro fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.”

Tech / Telecom

Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva

“With the ongoing 5G rollouts in India, the government's decision to establish 100 5G application Labs is a timely move to spur innovation in developing the 5G ecosystem and India relevant use cases. There is a great opportunity to combine 5G and AI to improve network speed, responsiveness, and efficiency. The special emphasis on establishing AI centres of excellence shall help produce specialized talent to enable India preserve its global advantage and leadership. These are extremely positive initiatives and shall bring technological advancements to the country as AI and 5G are the two most critical elements to enable futuristic innovations and developed related 5G ecosystem.”

Matthew Foxton, India Regional President & Executive Vice-President, Branding & Communications · IDEMIA

“I am pleased to see the focus in Union Budget to strengthen the Digital ecosystem, India's digital advancements in this decade have been remarkable, especially the integration of digital infrastructure and identity framework. Establishing a strong national identity system is crucial as it boosts security, drives economic growth, and strengthens social unity. The adoption of a unified KYC process, utilizing Digilocker and Aadhaar as the primary means of identity verification, is a positive step forward and will increase financial accessibility for marginalized communities”.

Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council

“The government's focus on the skill development of India's potential youth talent through initiatives like NEP, PMKVY 4.0 for skilling in niche new-age technologies like 5G, AI, 3D printing, drones, coding, mechatronics, robotics, and IoT draws further impetus to the ongoing efforts. Blue and grey-collar job demand in India grew by up to four-fold in 2022. Annual demand in telecommunications and 5G have increased by 33.7 per cent in September 2022. There was a demand for 1.3 million workers in FY22-23 which is growing each year and. New use-cases including cloud computing, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also seeing a sharp rise in hiring. We believe the initiatives will be beneficial to close country's growing demand supply gap of technical talent workforce. With the government's push to establish 30 Skill India international centres, 100 premier labs for developing applications to use 5G services, and centres of excellence for AI, India has the potential to deliver talent not only across domestic markets but also to the international market. The initiative like the Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) is also a progressive move by the government to uplift the tribal population and empower the students to take up new job opportunities.”

Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, India & Vice President APAC, at Barco

“Indian economy is heading towards a bright future, the 'Saptrishi' of the Budget 2023 prioritizes on inclusive development, reaching last mile, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power. Announcement around adding 50 tourist destinations as a whole package and focusing holistically on physical as well as virtual connectivity, tourist guides, high standards for food streets and tourists’ security through an app to enhance tourist experience, is a significant step that will unlock growth and job opportunities in the sector. The Budget is perfectly aligned with Barco’s aim to make India a popular tourist destination with visible impact, allowing people to enjoy compelling entertainment experiences. Further, Budget has focused on overall growth & sustainability as India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, moving toward net zero carbon emissions by 2070 & setting up the AI based solutions in health, education, and sustainable cities will give additional push towards the extensive use of technology”.

A. Gururaj, MD, Optiemus Electronics

“This year’s budget is a strong effort to consolidate the Indian economy in post-pandemic dynamics, raising the personal tax exemption limit will certainly boost consumption and the electronics industry will surely benefit from it. Continuing the import duty cuts on Camera Lens and batteries for mobile manufacturing is a welcome step and this will continue to fuel the remarkable growth India has witnessed in domestic manufacturing.”

Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra

“It is a very positive budget from a technology sector perspective, as it sets the right message about 5G labs, setting up AI centre of excellence and the focus around skilling, which is absolutely the key need for the country as we live through the Prime Minister’s vision on TechAde and technology being the core enabler. From a business perspective, steps around ease of doing business have been taken and I think that's commendable. I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister and the government for taking these steps”.

Start-ups

Tarun Sharma, Founder and CEO, Yodda Elder Care

“The budget is inspiring and encouraging for the start-up ecosystem. For the elders and seniors, setting up 157 new nursing colleges is a positive step in increasing the number of caregivers and is in line with the commitment to increasing public health expenditure to reach 2.5% of GDP by 2025. Also, the limit enhancement in the senior citizen savings scheme to Rs 30 lakhs is likely to encourage more savings from seniors.

While this budget is very positive for the masses, it misses the intent and lacks inclusiveness for the senior citizens. With the rise of the ageing population, there is an urgent need for professional at-home care services for elders. While businesses like caregiving or home visits from nurses have been freed of tax burdens, at-home elder care continues to be taxed at a rate of 18% GST - a factor limiting the affordability and reach of such services. We urgently need these services to be tax-exempt or taxed at a lower rate to ease the burden on the senior citizens.”

Neha Bagaria founder & CEO of JobsForHer

“We appreciate the emphasis on training the young population, and the decision to decrease the total tax obligation, which encourages domestic spending. However, we were hoping for a gender-inclusive budget that would offer more chances for women's career growth, tax incentives to hasten their skills development, lower the cost of higher education for women, and provide support for female entrepreneurs. Hope these are also included in future drafts”.

Energy / Sustainability

Dr. Prateek Kanakia, Chairman and Founder, TheGreenBillions

"This budget should be labelled as the first Green Budget as the businesses can now adopt a greener approach and cultivate sustainable solutions practices with the allocation of ₹35,000 for priority capital investment towards energy transition. Launching the national green hydrogen mission is a significant step in moving towards clean & green energy. Further, municipal solid waste can play an important role in achieving a hydrogen production capacity of 5 metric million tonnes by 2030. Given India’s G20 presidency, this budget is a watershed moment in India’s fight towards climate change.”

Economy

Ms PREETI MALHOTRA, Chairman, India - Foreign Investors India Forum

Extremely happy to note that the vision of ‘Saptarishi’ outlined in the budget today is a vision for Bharat@100 – a democratic and developed nation by 2047. India’s growth plans are ambitious, ‘unleashing potential’ requires intense capital investment that must be financed by exploring current avenues such as FDI which continues to be a key catalyst for growth. Foreign Investors, especially OCIs, who are more committed to the motherland require certain liberalisation in terms of taxation of global income on extended stays in the country. Several reports and case studies have shown a strong positive correlation between FDI and economic growth and a lot of our Asian neighbours have successfully used FDI to achieve exponential growth. For India too, this must be the next immediate step to direct the nation towards “Amrit Kaal.”

Nilanjan Banik, Economist, Mahindra University

“It is a fantastic budget. It has elements of unleashing purchasing power both from the perspective of consumers and businesses. For the common man, there has been an increase in tax rebates. For businesses and the economy as a whole, there has been an increase in the allocation of capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is hiked to Rs 10 trillion and this money when used for building roads, ports, and airports will lead to a further round of income and employment generation. Additionally, an all-time high allocation towards the railway sector will complement this connectivity pan-India and will make India a better place to do business. And all of this spending towards capital expenditure is undertaken by taking into consideration that the fiscal deficit is kept under control. Money is being spent judiciously and towards the infrastructure sector, keeping in mind the long-term (amrit kaal) growth”.

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