Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #15

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.

Vaishali Sharda, CEO, Mellow by Marudhar Herbals

Budget 2022 has come up with harvesting organic farming around the banks of Ganga which is a great initiative towards reducing chemicals in the produce and on the environment. Also, there is an immense push on digital infrastructure and logistics leading to diverse upliftment of business initiatives in the future.

Bijay Agarwal, Managing Director, Sattva Group

The Finance Minister’s digitally presented budget rightly represents the significant balance between growth and fiscal foresight for the Real Estate sector. The government’s move to create a high-level committee for urban planners and economists, for recommendations on urban capacity building, planning implementation, and governance, is an exceptional step to promote the growth of the sector.

We are delighted with the government’s decision to provide easy financing for data centres and energy storage systems. This step by the government will boost India’s stature as a leading data centre hub, on the global stage. This is a step in the right direction, to give further impetus to Digital India.

The allocation of 48,000 crores for PMAY, 80 lakh homes under PMAY, single-window environmental approvals, better co-ordination between the Centre and states for approval processes, and uniform registration of deeds, will provide the much-needed boost to the affordable housing segment. The announcement is in tandem with the industry’s aim to promote and boost the affordable housing segment to achieve the vision of Housing for All.

The thrust on capital expenditure which saw a hike from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year, to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23, will play a significant role in boosting the economy.

R.P. Gupta, Author, Jan-Andolan, Turn Around India 2020 

Budget has highlighted the strengths of the economy such as, recovery from the pandemic, export growth of 16.5%, Forex Reserves of USD 634 billion and the fiscal deficit at 6.8% of GDP within prudent limit etc. However, it has not discussed about the achievements and failures in the targets of previous Budget.  More so, the weakness of economy is neither spelt out nor fully addressed. 

Currently, the unemployment is at record high level and the income of poor and middle class is adversely affected.High inflation has enlarged their miseries. Cash transfers and free ration is not a long term solution. Budget could have provided the fiscal and monetary stimulus besides policy support to the Unorganized Sector, Farm Sector and MSME Sector which provides the largest employment. 

The growth of import is at record high level which has nullified the benefits of growth in exports. India must cut gold import through modified Gold monetization scheme. The import of primary energy (Oil, Gas and coal) must be reduced by boosting domestic production and energy saving. It is needless to say that; the trade deficit directly reduces GDP.

Higher allocation in the budget for capex and infra spending is indeed praiseworthy. However, alone government investment can’t support the growth target of 8-8.5%,as fixed in the budget. Therefore, India must undertake series of regulatory reforms for boosting private investment.

High inflation (wholesale) could be a game spoiler. Monetary policy can’t resolve this problem. This is due to increase in the cost of basic inputs, mainly the energy, minerals and logistics. For which, suitable policy intervention is needed.

Few policy announcements have been done and I am sure that; in coming days, India shall make more announcements in resolving these impediments.  So that, the growth target of 8.0-8.5% in F/Y-2022-23 is achieved and the job crisis is resolved.

Dr. Navneet Gupta, Founder & CEO at YPay

India’s fintech system was a silver lining in the difficult times of lockdown and the pandemic. The nation has been bullish with digital payments, and the current budget has further fueled the same by announcing 75 digital banking units in 75 districts.

Inclusion of 1.5 lakh post offices under banking system with digital infrastructure enablement will promote financial inclusion, and accelerate shifting micro economy in the mainstream banking system. Gradually, all the efforts will strengthen credit access, and payments in the MSME system will certainly reflect in the nation’s economic growth at large.

Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO of Cashaa

The industry was waiting for the government to recognise crypto technology and innovation. Today, it is the beginning of a revolution when the government has itself announced the launch of digital cryptocurrencies.

We, as an industry, have taken a step ahead towards adoption of digital currencies. Yes, currently taxation imposed is a little on the higher side, but the industry which was already growing rapidly in the absence of regulation, will now thrive with the government’s clear support.

Amritha Gaddam, Founder and CEO,  The Tribe Concepts

The budget has various encouraging initiatives that will help in the growth of the economy. The government has taken well-defined initiatives towards the health and wellness sector which is the need of the hour. The extension to the startup sector on eligibility for claiming the tax holiday and exemption for investment by another year is a great move as it will help the aspiring entrepreneur and youth to set up their business easily.

Additionally, the government’s efforts to collect taxes and implement an economic recovery plan are yielding positive results.  That being said, we continue to hope for a reduction in the complexity of indirect tax compliance requirements for e-commerce platforms. Also, we appreciate the initiative taken by the government for women-led development.

R P Yadav, Chairman & Managing Director, Genius Consultants Ltd

The Budget 2022 presented by the Honourable Finance Minister is well balanced, sustainable and growth oriented, which will aid in strengthening the economic recovery of the nation. The budget is comprehensive, understanding the needs of the industry, it has placed focus on generating employment, protecting employees and has put emphasis on digitization.

The minimal changes in tax brackets and the increase in capital expenditure are well thought-out decisions that will help improve the employment scenario. Apart from that, continual support for initiatives such as Ease of Doing Business and Make in India will strengthen local businesses and MSMEs and is a strong avenue for generating employment in both the organised and unorganised sectors.

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 FinMin 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 the 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.

Anshuman Panwar, Co-Founder, Creditas Solutions

Union Budget 2022-23 has laid focus on promoting fintech and technology-based developments which will play a major role in boosting the digital economy. The introduction of 75 digital banking systems in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks will empower the population digitally in a consumer-friendly manner, supporting inter-operability and financial inclusion. This will enable many consumers to experience digital banking for the first time at their convenience. When customers are empowered by digital experiences specific to their needs, the repayment process also becomes seamless and pain-free.

Amandeep Chhabra, Managing Director, Alive Wellness Clinics

The pandemic ascertained India needed a centralized healthcare system. Allocation of Rs. 37,800 crore towards “National Health Mission”, “National Tele-Mental Health Program” to assure quality counselling and breakthrough initiatives like an open platform for “National Digital Health Ecosystem” will assure digital registries of health care providers, facilities, unique health identity numbers for each individual and universal access to health facilities is a commendable move.

If executed well, this can lead to efficient sector management, resource management remembering the struggle during COVID, and sound insurance covers for economically weaker sections.

Aditi Gupta, Founder & Director, Namak India

Indian economy has shown positive signs of growth despite the Covid 19 pandemic adding the major chunk to the e commerce industry, encouraging the start-up India to Make in India. Incentivising the sector can help our remotest area to outreach commodities from rural to urban and urban to rural.

With the number of Masses using the Mobile Phones, e-commerce has had an edge with technology and digitisation to get the same number of shopping windows to reach the remotest areas and the remotest product to urban India and as well as keeping its prospects high to reach the International Markets in the near future adding to the expected growth of $350 billion mark by 2030 growing at 23 percent.

The focus still remains to incentivise the start-ups which directly boosts the startup in the E-commerce domain, the finance minister has kept intact the tax incentives till 2023 FY, to help accelerate the Digital Growth Story for India. Also, the introduction to Central Bank digital currency will give a big boost to the digital economy by using blockchain and other technology which introduced by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2022-23.

E-commerce can be revolutionary internationally providing us en-routes into international borders with direct B2C with an existing strong backbone of manufacturing infrastructure, capturing more revenue back home from International Economy.

Puneet Aggarwal, Founder & CEO Nirogam 

It is indeed a Booster Budget for the healthcare sector and overall economy of the country. Allocation of Rs 64,180 crore for the Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana is a commendable initiative for holistic healthcare development where equal attention is paid to preventive health, curative health, and well-being.

More evidence of the government’s seriousness for this sector in this budget is apparent in its plan of establishing 12 central institutions,  while strengthening the National Center for Disease Control and expanding the health information portal to all states and UTs connecting all health labs. 

Now, healthcare facilities will be accessible to all in urban as well as rural India because the decision of setting up 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres will be instrumental in overcoming healthcare disparities. Moreover, the establishment of a regional World Health Organisation office, nine bio-safety level 3 laboratories and four regional National Institutes of Virology will further reduce the disparity between urban and rural healthcare infrastructure. 

Rs.1200 crore are also allocated for comprehensive medical support to pregnant and lactating mothers, childcare services, and people suffering from non-communicable diseases. Free diagnosis and medical drugs are also promised for each section. If things are implemented on time, we will soon witness one of the world’s best healthcare sectors in India.

Rajkiran Rai G, MD and 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.

Ketan Chokshi, Jewellery Designer & MD, Narayan Jewellers

While the budget this year has very less for the Gems and Jewellery industry to recover from the losses, the new norms do boost the sale. The announcement of a simplified regulatory framework to facilitate the export of jewellery through e-commerce is a welcome move and will encourage the Indian designer jewellery brands to build International customer database and export jewellery without any hassle.

This will boost the sale of Jadau and Gold as International buyers will have easy access. Further the reduction in import duty to 5% gives a little relief to diamond trader as cut and polished diamonds add up an only 5% of total imports of diamonds. Apart from this nothing else has been addressed including the Gold monetization scheme, reduction in gold import Duty, increase in pan card limit amongst others.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

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