Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #10

Here we have more business leaders who have shared their reactions on the Budget 2022 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Business leaders across India and across industries are keen on sharing their thoughts on the 2022 budget presented today. Thought Habitat is more than happy to recognize all their thoughts on the budget.

Vidya Sagar Gannamani, Chairman and Managing Director, The Adecco Group India

The Union Budget clearly seeks to prioritize the revival of the economy with emphasis on crucial enablers such as digitization in the financial and healthcare sectors, technology enabled education etc.

While the extension of productivity linked incentives in various sectors is a welcome move, the government must continue investing in skilling initiatives to increase employability and enable rapid redeployment. Finally, with the emphasis on creating jobs in the government and PSU sector, we believe there should also be more formalization of jobs across wider swathes of the private sector.

Anshul Rai, Founder, Earthwise Investors

The announcement to issue a sovereign green bond demonstrates the government’s commitment to sustainable development. Achieving UN SDGs requires access to capital and green bonds have emerged as a preferred mechanism for the same. Continued support and expansion of the PLI schemes is crucial for India’s quest for jobs-intensive economic growth and a major pillar of government’s sustainable development strategy.

The announcements on Parvatmala (cable car based transport systems), battery swapping policy and inclusion of energy storage systems in the definition of infrastructure are also very significant positives. The budget also expands the scope of “Circular Economy” – by laying greater emphasis on issues such as reverse logistics and integration of the informal sector.

Finally, the recognition of the key role of sustainable urban development by “reimagine our cities into centres of sustainable living, with opportunities for all” was very interesting.

Tejas Kusurkar, Co-founder and CEO, Offgrid Energy Labs

Budget 2022 has laid a strong emphasis on promoting digital and technological innovations across sectors. The three identified focus areas of technology led development, energy transition and climate action will create a conducive environment for deep tech innovators operating at the intersection of technology and energy to flourish in the country. 

An allocation of Rs 19,500 crores towards solar energy PLI schemes will spur large-scale demand for the next level of stationary-energy-storage capacities. This will unravel an entirely new ecosystem comprising of battery technology innovators, energy storage platforms, as well as manufacturers and service providers across the energy value chain. At Offgrid Energy, we are particularly excited at prospects unfolding for deep tech companies in the energy storage space.

Mohit Jain, CEO, Kimirica Hunter

E-commerce was expecting a relief in the GST taxes and although there are prospects for us to look forward to – it is going to be quite a journey. Considering the generic rise in GST in import/ export domain along with customs, there have been inflations and hiccups along the way.

In the words of the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman ji, who presented the budget for the year – “Goods and Services Tax (GST) was a remarkable reform in India’s GDP. GST revenues are buoyant despite the pandemic, gross GST collection for the month of January is over Rs. 1.4 lakh crore. The highest since the inception of GST.”

This further makes professionals and industry leaders give a second thought to their business nuances and carve a certain portion of their profit margins and meals apart for GST solely. Although this budget is resolving some of the concerns and presenting a ray of hope for the e-commerce sector as we look at incentives for startups, the giant fishes in the sea might have to strategise their path to growth once again.

The budget also offers traction to a certain segment of e-commerce inspiring the brands in business to grow. Facilitating this domain with the help of e-commerce, it is intending to provide some relief to the leaders steering the economy to new highs. The budget represents the structure for the upcoming months and has its bittersweet corners for the e-commerce industry to adjust and grow multi-fold from.

Tapan Mishra, Founder, Seniority & Evergreen Club

“The budget is a blend between a welfare and a reformist budget. It is a delight to see the announcement of National Tele Mental Health Programme. A step forward for tackling issues less talked about. This gives me hope, that soon enough, govt will also recognise the challenges specifically faced by the older adults.

Certain state governments have already supported and recognised the plight of the elders of the country. Further, with initiatives like Ease of Doing Business 2.0 with One nation One registration and PM Gati Shakti, we can see the commitment of the govt to work towards the issues faced by businesses and start ups specifically.”

Chetan Asher , Founder and CEO , Tonic Worldwide

The budget clearly will help the country march towards digital adoption and transformation in many sectors. With 5G rollout on the cards we will see an acceleration across the board. The digital rupee will put India right up on the map of advanced digital economies. Clarity on Digital assets and crypto will give it new impetus. All of these initiatives will help us emerge as leaders in adoption and growth of blockchain technology.

Sidharth Singh , Co-Founder, CupShup

With elections on the card, it was expected that there wouldn’t be any big announcement to rock the boat. Plus, with Fin Min coming up with policy announcements across the year, key reforms and decisions are now reserved for the more opportune moments.

However, the finance minister definitely had some key announcements to make with wide implications. While the launch of the digital rupee might give jitters to people who have invested in cryptocurrency, it is a further advancement in the direction of regulating an industry that has refused to self-regulate and posing as an investment opportunity with unbelievable RoIs. We will definitely see more sanity in the communication coming from this industry. While in the short term, it might hurt, the move will be beneficial for the industry in the long term.

Secondly, the extension of ECLGS till March 2023 is like a lifeline for Hospitality, a sector that has borne the brunt of the pandemic thrice in the last couple of years. Although much is needed to be done in this space to help smaller players bounce back, the announcement for National Ropeways Development Programme to be taken up in PPP mode to improve connectivity will definitely see the influx of tourists to neighboring locations and help the hospitality sector. We hope that with this and other help from the government in times to come, the hospitality sector reclaims its glory sooner than later.

Siddharth Devnani, Co-Founder & Director, SoCheers

Digital and digitization stood out as a strong overall trend in the Union Budget 2022. The budget put a great focus on long-term growth and given how intricately ‘digital’ was integrated into several measures, it can be seen as an integral part of that growth.

Implementation of the Central Bank digital currency will definitively aid the growth of digital economy and finance in the country, opening doors for digital acceleration across sectors. The announcement about the new digital university and the renewed focus on digital learning, further presents an opportunity, especially to the fast-evolving Educational Technology sector. However, a definite plan on how this will pan out for all corners of India remains to be seen.

Moreover, digital will also be leveraged in the set-up and operation of tele-mental health centres, providing the necessary focus and access to mental health services to the Indian masses. This comes as one of the most welcome move as it’ll contribute infinitely to the nation’s long-term growth.

Amitabh Saran, Founder & CEO, Altigreen Propulsion Labs

The forward-looking, progressive Budget has further strengthened India’s commitments towards its sustainable development goals, switch to electric mobility and a green future. The announcements made by the Honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are an encouragement for all stakeholders in the EV segment such as buyers, manufacturers, and sellers, and this will accelerate EV adoption in the country.  Today, there is a huge demand for last-mile delivery in the country and the boost in e-commerce has fuelled the growth.

And here, the battery swapping policy, portability which will make vehicles more cost-effective and the development of special mobility zones for EVs will be game-changers. The announcements made in the budget will definitely provide a fillip to e-commerce delivery and 3Ws which are bound by time and space constraints. India has set a target of 30% EV sales penetration for private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles, 40% for buses, and 80% for two-wheelers and three-wheelers by 2030, and the Union Budget 2022 has definitely taken India a step ahead towards a future that is electric.

Mihir Jain, Sales and Marketing Director, Insight Cosmetics

MSME sector contributes around 45% of India’s overall manufacturing output. The 40 percent of exports and around 30 percent of the national GDP is by the MSME sector. We are pleased that the government has emphasized the importance of the MSME sector by allocating a fair budget of Rs 6,000 crores to the industry and its growth.

The budget also gives custom duty exemption on import of steel scrap being extended by a year to help the MSME sector. Also, the Emergency Credit Line extension will help us a lot by extending Rs. 50 thousand crores to the scheme.

The government will also work on the additional fund of ₹2 lakh crore for Micro and Small Enterprises and expand job opportunities for the youth. Overall, this budget will help the MSME sector and the country’s economic growth.

Hiren Shah , Founder, The Men’s Lab

The startup industry contributes a lot to the economic growth of the country. We are extremely delighted that the government acknowledged the role of this industry and gave reasonable exemptions to our sector. We are happy that the government has given 1-year tax relaxation for startups, this would help us recover in the post-pandemic era and offer better products and services to our customers. The budget allocation of 5.5 Lakh Crores also seems fair and would help us grow as an industry in the coming year. Also, the digitalization model will help us and the consumers more in easy transaction options.

Rajat Jain, Co-founder – Pataa

The Union Budget 2022-23 is all set to take India towards digitalization. With exciting announcements like a boost to the tech-driven drone industry, we believe that this is the perfect time to give the much-awaited push to technology and start-ups. The finance minister announced the opening of digital universities to impart technical education to everyone in order to realize this dream.

Make in India will provide 60L jobs to the youth of India, which will help us in contributing more towards the economy. The government aims at enabling technology and digitalization in rural areas of the country through which the overall tech advancement of the country will be enhanced. Another brilliant move by the government is the provision of tax incentives till 2023 which will provide some relaxation to the start-ups.

Shammi Agarwal, MD, Pansari Group

This year’s budget encourages organic farming and digitalization in the agriculture sector. Digitalization would help keep a better record of the production and selling of the crops. The Finance Minister has also allocated Rs 2.7 Lakh crores direct payment for MSP for wheat and paddy.

As India walks towards digitalization, all these policies like digital payments and logging will keep a better check on the production and consumption opportunities for the people of India. Increasing the capital expenditure to Rs 7.50 lakh crore will also help producers and consumers.

The implementation of ECLGS will also help the sector. We are happy that now we can serve our customers with organic products at ease. All in all, we think that the budget allocated in the agriculture sector is excellent which in turn benefits the FMCG sector.

Vikas Jain, MD, Anytime Fitness

Since we are heading towards digitalization, the digital ecosystem announced by the Financial Minister will prove to be a great boost for our remote coaching. With the tight schedule and the urge to keep up with the fitness routine, many gyms and fitness centers are coming up with mobile applications. The fitness industry aims at offering people with online programs and consultations any time and anywhere. Also, we think it is amazing how our government has come up with various policies and programs for health. With the tireless efforts of the government and our services towards health and fitness, the country will be healthier.

Gautam Mohanka, MD, Gautam Solar

The Indian renewable energy industry, notably the solar sector, must applaud the Indian government’s efforts to promote green energy during the last decade, especially during the pandemic. The appropriations in the most recent budget strongly emphasize renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, data centers, building efficiency, grid-connected energy storage, and green bond assistance, which is a terrific development.

Following India’s broader global commitment to fighting climate change, the 2022 budget emphasizes allowing energy transition through provisions to boost local manufacturing of solar power equipment and batteries. The basic customs duty (BCD) of 25% has been imposed on imported solar cells and 40% has been imposed on solar modules by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently which will be effective from 1st April, 2022. This will discourage Chinese imports of solar panels and solar cells to a great extent, giving further boost to the ‘Make in India’ mission of the Government of India.

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

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

Ramesh Doraiswami, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Bulk Handling Corporation

We welcome the proposals announced in the Union Budget presented by the Hon’ ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday.  The Budget priority on stimulating growth and employment through substantial infra-led capital investment of Rs.7.5 lakh crores is commendable.

Another notable feature of the Union Budget is its support to technology-led growth. Agricultural sector has been given further impetus through initiatives such as the Oilseeds mission, promotion of Kisan Drones for crop assessment/protection, direct MSP benefit credit to farmers, support to organic farming and the post-harvest value chain.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

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