Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #12

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 on February 01, 2022. Thought Habitat is more than happy to recognize all their thoughts on the budget. Along with our regular business leaders, we have the National Program Director for Ease of Doing Business who is sharing his comments on 2022 budget.

Naushad Contractor, Founder, Fable Fintech

Union Budget bats for setting long term growth focus by investing in digital rails – to connect, collaborate and transact. One of the largest capex plans coupled with MSME-focused initiatives would spur investments and facilitate job creation – leading to a cycle of cross border trade, earnings, investments and consumption.

At the same time, the government’s thrust of launching digital banking units as well as its ambitious plunge into the world of virtual currency will further lead to the need to think afresh in terms of banking infrastructure. At Fable, we believe the future belongs to India and these digital financial reforms will go a long way into developing a robust and inclusive economy.

Rajesh Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Kalvi

The focus on digital learning in the Union Budget 2022-23 is the need of the hour and we thank the Honourable Finance Minister for taking positive steps in this direction. The pandemic has increased the need for making digital learning accessible for all to provide world-class education to students.

The content delivery platforms via the internet, TV, and smartphones will greatly benefit students across the country. Digital learning also has the scope to enhance the academic performance of students if done right especially in the higher education space. There is a need to make education more industry relevant and students must be adept in the latest technology.

Preethi Vickram, Founder, Tapas

Initiatives such as setting up of the Digital University, expanding from 12 to 200 channels and giving impetus to content in regional languages are all very welcome and shows a progressive thinking for further disruptions that the pandemic may cause. While the overall spend has increased, it appears to be more towards higher education and school education is still left wanting more.

The NEP 2020 has clearly emphasised the importance of early years education. Budget 2022 has allocated funds towards development of 2 lakh Anganwadis to promote ‘Nari Shakti’ and hopefully this will be utilised to create better learning programs for the 0-6 years as well.Overall, the allocation towards the education sector seems to be driven by investment in technology that will hopefully translate into better reach and wider implementation of the NEP vision.

Vinay Thadani – Chief Financial Officer, Vishal Fabrics Ltd

The Budget highlighted India’s positive growth rate of 9.2%, which is the highest among other large economies. Capital expenditure was increased by 35.4% to 7.5 lakh crores as is a key driver to bringing sustainable economic revival and generating jobs for the youths. The budget provided additional allocation of Rs. 50000 crore under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) which benefited more than 130 lakh MSMEs from the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) plan.

Exemptions are being provided to encourage exports on items such as embellishment, trimming, fasteners, buttons, zipper, lining material, specified leather, furniture fittings, and packaging boxes that may be required by bona fide exporters of handicrafts, textiles and leather garments, leather footwear, and other goods. The production linked incentive (PLI) in 14 industries is expected to create 60 lakh jobs with the potential to produce 30 lakh crore in production over the next five years.

S Sunil Kumar, President, Henkel India

We, at Henkel India, feel that the current budget has been very positive and focused on inclusive growth keeping today and tomorrow in perspective. The budget aligns very well with Henkel’s key values of Sustainability & Digitalization, taking positive steps and providing strong support to help propagate the India growth journey and achieve a $ 5 Tn. economy. The strong investments on Infrastructure, initiatives on Asset Monetization and PLI Expansions have provided a much-needed boost to the economy.

The government has balanced this budget focusing on growth and social welfare programs. We are also happy on the measures taken towards digital economy incl. digital currency, 5G amongst others. The focus towards Ease of doing business, Circular Economy, Agriculture, Skilling initiatives in Education & Unified logistics Interface Platform will set the economy on a firmer growth footing. Overall, our view is  the budget is progressive and very well balanced.

Richard Theknath, Chairman & Managing Director, Jet Frieght

Jet Freight’s plan to focus on engaging more electric vehicles for its last-mile deliveries to reduce carbon emissions is in line with the budget’s blueprint for formulating a growth path and further emphasizing on go-green initiatives. The Battery swapping policy will encourage e-commerce players to opt for EVs as a preferred choice for meeting their delivery requirements in an eco-friendly way.

The launch of a Unified Logistics Interface Platform to ease data transmission between the stakeholders in the logistics sector will bring efficiency in the movement of commodities by reducing travel costs and time. Even the building of adequate EV charging stations will be a significant growth driver for change in the logistics sector and enable us to expand our operations beyond the city limits of Mumbai and Pune. The Gati Shakti Masterplan for expressways, 100 new cargo terminals for multi-nodal logistics, and the development of urban metro systems will give a big boost to new warehousing and logistics facilities across the country.

Rahul Gupta, CEO, Radar Capital 

The Budget has focused in a defined way on the startups economy. The big news is the tax incentive being extended till 2023.Portion of the 25% of defence R&D budget being spent on new startups is a positive step and so is the “Drone Shakti” program for startups.

The Government seems to embrace the new technology advancements by using Blockchain for a digital rupee and electric mobility. But with so many startups turning unicorns and raising over $42 Billion in funding which includes various IPO’s , much more needs to be done for the sector to harness its fullest potential.

P N Vasudevan – MD & CEO, Equitas Small Finance Bank

The Union budget 2022-23 has attempted to strike a balance between long-term imperatives and short-term growth priorities for healthcare, infrastructure, and rural development. Launch of digital rupee would be a breakthrough step towards building a more sustainable and inclusive financial sector.

The capping of tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) on any asset at 15 percent from 20 percent as before is a major sentiment booster for investors. Increase in capital expenditure was beyond our expectation and a pleasant surprise while fiscal deficit target is within acceptable levels, given the current imperatives. 

We believe this budget would spur overall economic growth, leading to healthy credit offtake for banks.  And with interest rate cycle looking to trend upwards, depositors should also expect to get better returns in the near term. Overall it was a Pro-growth oriented budget by the Finance Minister today.  

Anshul Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Derma Totale

From bolstering the expansion and enhancement of domestic capacities to supportive policies and facilitative actions towards promotion of R&D, the budget shed a positive light on the future of Indian pharma sector.

The national digital health ecosystem is a step ahead in fostering a much-needed organized healthcare system, which will further aid in swift and better diagnosis. This will also encourage the inclusion of a much larger population who are still living in areas having inadequate medical facilities.

Simran Lekhi, Founder, Kidstack

The Budget 2022 gives a further push to Entrepreneurs in India by extending the Tax Rebate for start-ups till March 2023. Unlike the 2021 Budget, which emphasized “vocal for local” Toys, this year lacked a dedicated policy for promoting domestic manufacturing.

Creating a domestic task force to serve the global demand in the Gaming, Animation and Visual Effects Sector is another boost for the Toys & Gaming Industry. Apart from digitizing education, we also need to look at prioritizing play in our classrooms, specially for younger children who have lost 2 formative years due to the pandemic.

Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder, QuoDeck Technologies

The move in this year’s Budget to link the Udyam, e-Shram, NCS and ASEEM portals and further widen their scope will help speed up the process of the formalisation of the Indian workforce, and enable skilling. The sharp focus on the MSME sector, which is a big employer of gig workforce and is a huge growth area for us will contribute even further to bringing benefits to India’s informal workforce.

The extension of the ECLGS (Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme) by one more year and the infusion of a proposed additional Rs.2 lakh crore for MSMEs under the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) will further expand employment opportunities. The announcement to revamp the National Skill Qualification Framework to align with industry needs, as well as the setting up of DESH-Stack e-portal for skilling will help bridge the demand-supply gap and companies like QuoDeck look forward to contributing to this.

Saurabh Pandey, CEO & Co-Founder, Eloelo

We’re elated that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made a special mention of the gaming sector in this year’s budget. The Honorable minister said that the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic (AVGC) sector offers immense potential to employ youth. India is home to 420 million gamers, and the companies such as Eloelo provide a safe and trusted method to monetise this passion and help put India on the global gaming stage.

The government’s decision to set up an AVGC promotion task force with all stakeholders to build domestic capacity for serving Indian markets as well as global demand will supercharge the growth of the ecosystem. Eloelo is an innovative platform that blends live streaming with social gaming that helps creators monetize their passion.

Akanksha Hazari, CEO and Founder, LoveLocal

We at LoveLocal believe that MSMEs are core to our economy. They are one of the biggest job creators in our country are critical to India’s long term economic success. We support all governments initiative towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat and hope for more in the future.

Pradeep Misra, CMD, Rudrabhishek Enterprises Limited

While keeping focus on growth, the Hon’ble FM has ensured that the budget is also inclusive in nature. It takes care of the specific sectors such as hospitality and education that have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. The special focus on PM Gati Shakti scheme will have a multiplier effect on the economy. The government’s target of expanding the road network by 25000 kms through an investment of INR 20000 crore in 2022-23 will strengthen the infrastructure at the grassroots levels.

The announcement of Parvatmala scheme should fuel the development of eco-friendly tourism in the hilly, remote and ecologically fragile areas. The investment of INR 60000 crore for tap water connections scheme will be the boon for millions of Indians, especially among the economically weaker section. Additionally, the 400 Vande-Bharat trains will boost the land-transport. The crucial thing will be rolling out of projects on quicker pace and ensuring that the public private partnership programs are designed in a way that supports the companies involved in infrastructure sector, specifically the MSMEs. 

It is good to see the continued emphasis on PMAY scheme as Rs. 48000 crores have been allocated with objective of completing 80 lakh houses for identified beneficiaries. The formation of high-level committee for urban capacity building and planning implementation is very welcome move. The increasing urbanization needs a very structured approach for cities’ sustainable growth over long time-frame. 

The fiscal deficit pegged at 6.4% of GDP needs to be kept on watch. The government’s plan of disinvestment could have been elaborated further for clarity of industry. Also the special push much needed by the Real Estate industry as a whole is not addressed in the budget. We can expect follow-up announcements for greater push to the sector. 

Harpreet Singh Hora, Group Director, Realistic Realtors

The government’s allotment of 48,000 crore to build around 80 lakh affordable homes is a positive initiative for real estate. The expansion of highways by 25,000 kms will catalyze the development of new realty clusters and allied industries. The boost to the infrastructure at the grassroots levels will fuel the demand for the sector in Tier 2 & 3 cities. Furthermore, the establishment of the high-level committee for Urban planning will greatly enhance the ease of doing business and result in raising the standards of living in Indian cities. The budget will sustain the momentum gained in past few months for real estate and gradually increase it during the FY 2022-23.

Rohit Gajbhiye, CEO, Financepeer

The budget balances out both the short-term and long-term requirements of the country. Focus on Funds mobilization, Financial Inclusion, Modernization of Education infrastructure and curriculum, Special impetus for Startups and Entrepreneurship are some of the biggest takeaways from this budget. Startups have been given special recognition which reflects the government’s intent of building a conducive environment for business and entrepreneurship. 

Financial inclusion initiates will benefit banks and NBFCs if appropriate infrastructure is provided. Digital Banking and Fintech emphasis, when combined with efforts to make conducting business easier, will further provide momentum to the already-growing Fintech space.

The initiation of 75 digital banks across the country will strengthen the foundation of the Fintech sector. The establishment of the digital university will push the Ed-tech sector to the next level and widen the reach of the education sector. The announcements in the budget are the reflection of the growing significance of the fin-tech and allied sectors in the Indian economy. 

Meeta Nagpal, Founder, Musical Dreams

The Budget 2022 envisions a futuristic approach of the government towards enhancing the education and entrepreneurship in the country. The push to digital education through the PM e-Vidya scheme will help in increasing the penetration of digital education to remote areas. Apart from this, the announcement of the digital university will augment the reach of higher education among those who are deprived of higher education due to lack of resources. In addition to enhancing education, the finance minister has laid a special emphasis on startups which shows the intent of the government towards giving impetus to the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Overall, the budget aims at strengthening the fundamental components of the country that will drive holistic growth.  

Ravi Saxena, MD and Co-Founder, Wonderchef 

The Union budget 2022 gives confidence to the business community as it focuses on building strategic strengths rather than taking short term and fiscally deviant populist measures. The FM has avoided giving in to the pressure of the upcoming assembly elections. 

Digital inclusiveness for citizens of all classes, increased capital expenditure on infrastructure, push for logistics betterment with continued development of railways and highways, boost to the EV industry with standardised norms for battery swapping, charging and leasing, and easing the compliance burdens are the measures that are essential for business growth in India.

One station – One product is an incredibly powerful idea that seems to be getting lost in the din of seeking short-term tax sops. An equally powerful and progressive thought is the formation of National digital health ecosystem which recognises mental health as an area of focus for the first time. 

MSME’s will benefit from the ratings programme that’s being rolled out. It will give them better and more fair access to loans and other financial support. Personally is felt most excited by the commitment to invest 25% defence R&D budget with start-ups and academic institutions. This has been a big gap forever in India and is bound to give further impetus to local defence sourcing.

Abhijeet Sinha, National Program Director of Ease of Doing Business

Along awaited step to setup international ‘Arbitration Centre’ in is highly welcomed from Ease of Doing Business point of view to reduce timeframe to resolve ‘Commercial Disputes’ on international pace and competence. This budget brings productivity in various sectors of economy with REFORMS to provide actual Ease like duty concessions for electronics, revoked anti-dumping duty on steel, reduced duty on chemicals etc.

It’s equally focused on Structural & Digital Infrastructure both to hold upcoming multi-trillion-dollar economy projections of India Policy on Battery Swapping is being seen was highly needed for standardization of batteries to upgrade ‘Charging’ with ‘Swapping’ facilities to for faster adoption and energy efficient mobility.  Robust expansion of Highways upto 25000 KMS by 2023 with new 100 cargo terminals in next3 years, Budget also envisioned an ultra-modern logistical framework with encouragement to Startups to promoted ‘Drone Shakti’ like ‘Gati Shakti’ for infra to address export.

Government clearly intent to harvest recent growth in export during pandemic years by strengthening logistic sector with clear directions to Rail, POST to work together on logistic and also bringing Post Offices on core banking systems by 2022 is masterstroke showing both intent and competence of union government to extend digital infra to include rural and semi urban in export economy.

Anurag Khosla, CEO, vHealth by Aetna India

I believe announcements around the National Digital Health Ecosystem in the Union Budget 2022 are a positive step towards digitization of health records and making data exchange & analysis easier both for providers as well as patients. If implemented well can certainly lead to efficiencies in diagnosis & treatment. Digital health ecosystem can further improve access to quality yet affordable healthcare for citizens.

Further, National Tele Mental Healthcare Program is rare mention in the budget and thus, recognizes importance of mental health in India. Mental wellbeing has been a taboo subject in our country, this digital platform can greatly help mainstreaming mental health alongside physical wellness and will make medical help available to patients at the right time.

While the aforementioned are positive developments, however, incentives & reforms encouraging investment in technology upgrades in healthcare and increase in overall healthcare public expenditure by the Government can immensely reduce the Out of Pocket healthcare expenses burden on citizens, which is currently one of the highest in the world. I hope the Government recognizes this and evaluates it for future consideration.

Vishal Gupta, Co-Founder, Brands2Life

This digital budget is truly a strategic one which not only envisions strengthening the fundamentals of the country but also steers the economic growth mechanism through a lens of sustainability.

The futuristic approach of the government can be attributed to the factors like emphasis on increasing Capital expenditure, Digital inclusiveness, Modernization of Infrastructure, Easing Compliances and Financial empowerment. This further fuels the confidence among the business fraternity to  build an ecosystem that is Robust, Global and Progressive. 

Thrust on expanding and restructuring the Education through digital penetration manifests the government intent of reaching the under-reached which is eventually going to strengthen the foundation of the country. Unparalleled acknowledgement of Startups and entrepreneurship augurs the unprecedented tailwinds that will facilitate the economy finding the greenshoots. 

Sourav Kumar, Co-founder & Director, Outlier Innovations Pvt. LTD

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.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like