Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #6

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.

Waqas Nakwa – Chief Executive Officer – Aqar Chain

The finance minister in the Budget of 2022 has acknowledged the increasing number of transactions in the digital asset and virtual currency sector. The resultant heavy tax of 30% on gains resulting from this trade has given a legality to the crypto traders that till now were under the fear of ban. Further 1% TDS on transactions will help the government to get a footprint of the investors in the unregulated digital asset and virtual currency sector. 

Another positive sign was when the Finance Minister further also indicated that by 2023, a Blockchain-based and RBI-backed Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be introduced. The clarity on tax of crypto assets was long due for Indian crypto investors, although the 30% tax seems to be high, however this is a beginning of regulations and investors have to take this as a positive move that there is no ban or restrictions in the trade.  

Bhavik Chinai, Group CEO, BVC Logistics

The government’s deep focus on tech driven change is admirable. Gati Shakti network along with other initiatives should bring in more efficiency in terms of Logistics in India. The battery-swapping policy with interoperability is a welcome introduction toward sustainability. such eV policies should see eV technology establish a firmer presence thus making the sector more sustainable. Infrastructure and Digitization initiatives should further reduce the lead time due to lags.

Expansion of SEZ’s advantages to existing infra through new legislation is promising for the G&J sector. Alongside, the Customs National Portal with a promise to facilitate customs clearance digitally will reduce the transaction costs in jewelry exports by over 20%. The potential impact of such initiatives could be increase in diamond imports which would greatly benefit the Indian Markets.

Budget 2022 has brought in quite a few positives for the logistics sector at large and even for the jewellery imports specifically.

Ashutosh Verma, Founder, Exalta India

The Indian government has given special consideration to the solar and renewable energy industry in the budget allocation this year to take clean India, green India one notch up. We are happy that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the allocation of Rs 19,500 crore to encourage the manufacturing of solar modules under the government’s flagship Production Linked Incentive scheme. This move will help increase solar capacity to 280 GW by 2030.

The focus of the government is on manufacturing high-efficiency modules and creating integrated manufacturing units PV modules. The announcement of including EV into public transports is also a good move, it would definitely benefit the manufacturers, consumers, and the environment. Especially with more focus on Make in India and ECLGS, things will become better for our sector. The government also plans to burn the 5-7% biomass waste in thermal power plants. This would result in carbon dioxide savings of 38 MMT yearly. All in all, we are headed towards a cleaner and greener India with a strategic plan.

Osborne Dsouza, Director & CEO ,Edufiq

The Union Budget 2022 for Education is a continuum for potential GDP growth over the next 25 years and it’s a sign of relief that reflects good governance. Digital DESH, Digital University initiative, One-Class-One channel through PM eVidya for supplementary education in regional languages for rural development and finally with fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in villages are indeed progressive initiatives. 

PPP (Public Private Partnerships) with Hub-N-Spoke models for EdTech companies will certainly harmonize better learning outcomes especially on world-class student skill development.  Setting up of 5 COE (Center of Excellence) is a catalyst to excellence in education on the world stage.

Tarun Gupta, Co-founder, LISSUN

As a result of the pandemic, a lot of entrepreneurs had stepped forward to address the challenge of rising mental health issues in India. The cases of depression and anxiety disorders witnessed an increase of about 25% globally, and by 35% in India alone. The National Mental Health Programme and Health and Wellness Centres alone could not have reached every individual in the crisis that they might face struggling in a moment.

The easy access was the primary point of concern for everyone trying to help towards the issue. The government has recognised this, and addressed the same by launching Tele mental health service. The budget inculcating the fact that focussing mental and emotional wellness is the need of the hour, itself talks about how progressive we are becoming in our approach as a nation.

Dr Preet Pal Thakur, Co-Founder GlamyoHealth

The primary challenge in delivering fine health services was the lack of awareness and access. A person sitting in tier 2 city might not even know about the presence of a probable medical facility to his current challenge. With the launch of the open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem this particular gap will be filled in a single go. As the Budget mentioned, the platform will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, which will serve the purpose of access and availability of information.

Harsh Parikh, Founder, Driefcase

Data centres being given infrastructure status is symbolic of its importance in our daily lives. The Modi Government has always been at the forefront of using technology to improve not only business but also the business of governance. India has shown the world how technology can help deliver basic services to every corner of the country, UPI and CoWin, being flag bearers. This move was much needed if we have to continue on that path.

The National Mental Health Program will go a long way in spreading awareness and promote acceptance that mental health issues are for real and not something that can be ignored. In so many cases, denial is the first response. The focus of the Modi Government in addressing issues related to non-communicable diseases through the National Health Mission is truly commendable, be it hypertension and now mental health.

Bala Sarda, Founder & CEO, VAHDAM India

A growth-oriented budget with boosting manufacturing and building infrastructure. A 35.4% increase in capital expenditure is a step in the right direction. Execution will be key. I look forward to the government launching the next phase of ease of doing business. The use of Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides and nutrients will give a boost to natural farming. Additionally, the Rs 6,000 crores program to be rolled out for MSMEs over the next 5 years is a very positive move. The move to extend the 15% concessional tax rate for new manufacturing companies to start production till March 31st, 2024 is positive. This is truly the decade of startups and entrepreneurship in the country and an expert committee being set up to suggest measures to help attract investment will go a long way. I hope the government reduces long-term capital gain tax on private equity soon. 

Shailesh Guntu, CEO – Milann Fertility & Birthing Hospitals

While the overall budget seemed growth oriented, it is devoid of necessary benefits to the healthcare sector. Although the announcement on the launch of a national tele mental health programme has come as a relief in view of the mental health issue which emerged as a result of the pandemic, there are many other major health concerns which need to be addressed like stress and lifestyle issues which are also regarded as direct result of the pandemic. Considering the same, fertility treatments like IVF will become a mainstream need for future generations and they have to be brought under health insurance parameters.

Shivam Dutta, Co-Founder and CEO, AlmaBetter

The Union Budget 2022-23 initiated a significant step towards reorientation of skilling programs. The announcement of the launch of DESH Eportal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling for the youth of India is indeed a great initiative taken by the government. The budget 2022 presented by Nirmala Sitaram, Finance Minister of India, today has concentrated on development of Digital Universities and has promised to open 60 Lakh new jobs under the Make in India mission of PM Modi. We see an optimistic future for the sector as a way forward.

Dr. Chenraj Roychand, Founder Chairman, JAIN Group

The pandemic has cost students almost two full years of formal education. It has also thrown up a high demand for supplementary teaching and building a resilient mechanism for the education sector. We are pleased with the Union Budget 2022-23’s decision to increase the number of TV channels from 12 to 200, as part of the One Class one TV Channel, program of PM’s eVIDYA. This was constituted under NEP (National Education Policy) that had endorsed a 6% of GDP to be directed towards education. We feel this is a good initiative by the Central Government to help students who cannot afford expensive phones and tablets. This initiative will also enable all states to provide excellent supplementary education in regional languages for Classes 1 to 12. We welcome the decision of the government to set up 750 Virtual labs in Science and Mathematics, as these two subjects are the core of any educational degree. We are delighted to see the emphasis on setting up a Taskforce to promote Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic promotion, as these are a few booming career opportunities of the present and future.

Vipul Tyagi, CEO, and Co-founder of EdTech Startup Orphicy

The budget has made a genuine effort to overcome the  loss of learning owing to the pandemic. The announcement of National Digital University could be a game changer provided we have a decent execution. Staying true to the NEW Education Policy effort has been made to augment supplementary learning in regional languages with the help of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ program  whereby the idea is to expand from existing 12 to about 200 channels. The role of start-ups in being the growth drivers has been recognised and the extension in tax benefits is a welcome move. The overall start-up infrastructure is looking promising as well as inspiring.

Zahara Kanchwalla, Co-founder & CEO, Rite KnowledgeLabs

The national tele-mental health program announced by the FM in this year’s budget is a commendable move. Alongside economical needs, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of physical and mental well-being. It will help people prioritize mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it. Another key knowledge-based initiative launched by FM today is the creation of a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood creation. It will help channel India’s demographic dividend for economic growth and prosperity. With the aim to skill, reskill and upskill citizens through online training, the open source tech platform will help people find relevant jobs and opportunities.

Rudra Chatterjee, Managing Director, Luxmi Group

This was India’s largest budget with a projected expenditure of $500 B (Rs 38 LC) which will push domestic demand across sectors. It was a growth-oriented budget with a $100 B (Rs 7.5 LC) capital expenditure outlay. The emphasis on organic farming and Kisan drones will have an impact on modern and sustainable agriculture. The emphasis on logistics was welcome as India’s transport cost is uncompetitive, and the budget emphasized export-oriented manufacturing. It was a mature budget with many provisions a continuation from last year.

Satish Kataria, Chief Growth Officer, Assets Positive

The Indian Government continues to look and positively support the emerging PE/VC domain.

Enabling more private participation would mean better asset management and greater monetary as well as regulatory fuel for upcoming entrepreneurs.

India is at the threshold of a large entrepreneurial boom – and the fact that we have seen 14 unicorns within just the month of January itself is a reflection of this. In light of this – open policies and encouragement by the government to support PE/VC funds would definitely bring more overall economic prosperity, jobs and send the right message to global investors.

Kyle Fernandes, CEO & Co-Founder of MemeChat

The Indian Start-up ecosystem is the third largest in the world and has notched up record investment of nearly $ 36 billion in privately held companies this year as demand for digitisation grew manifold amid the Covid-19 pandemic. One major factor contributing to this is the various hand-holding measures provided by the government. The 30% taxation on virtual digital assets along with the 1% TDS on transfer of virtual assets above a threshold is a strong endorsement by the Indian government. We are grateful for the regulatory clarity which supports our firm belief in the same being a legitimate business activity. The extension on the tax incentives for startups is a welcomed move.The government has yet again simplified regulations, which proves helpful for early stage start-ups. This support from the government will encourage an increasing number of students and young citizens to get aboard the start-up journey and in turn create more employment and create wealth.

Aman Mittal, Vice President, Lovely Professional University

This year’s  budget recognizes the student loss due to school and college closures and the importance of supplementary teaching for building an resilient mechanism enabling quality education delivery. There is a greater focus on regional languages and vocational courses for students to unleash their creativity and explore multi-faceted avenues.

The new age initiatives to develop high-quality e-content in all spoken languages for radio, television, and digital channels in order to reach students in rural areas, is truly commendable. The revolutionary concept of a digital university, which will provide students with access to world-class quality education will be developed on a hub-and-spoke network.

Additionally, to promote modern-day agriculture, states will be urged to alter agricultural university curricula to fit the needs of natural, low-cost, and organic farming techniques. The government’s actions for the education industry in FY23 are well-considered in light of the current situation.

Ms. Ameera Shah, Promoter & Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd

India’s growth is estimated to be at 9.27% as mentioned by the honorable Finance Minister of India and it is assuring to see the government’s focus towards women, youth, and rural development. Moreover, in the tough times of pandemic, a strong vaccination campaign, ‘sabka prayas’, has been fruitful to combat the present Omicron wave.  I am sure the healthcare system shall hold the fort of public health in the coming times as well.

Much-needed attention is given to ease of access to healthcare services through an open platform of National Digital Health Ecosystem. The aspects of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities should be helpful to align services to demands efficiently. Rightfully adding to this, educational institutions of Bengaluru consisting of the best talents and minds shall be the technical arm.

The initiative taken for Mental Health is welcomed by the healthcare industry. Irrespective of age, gender, and occupation the need for focus on mental health is necessary given the current situation. The National Tele Mental Health program is a positive step to support national mental health counselling and care services. 

Moreover, Ministry of Women and Child Development, through their Saksham Anganwadi keep Women and child development at forefront in terms of health, nutrition and required infrastructure. This shall increase the quality of life of our citizens comprehensively. Greater fund and resource allocation to enhancing the healthcare infrastructure both in urban areas as well as in tier 2-3 towns have been prioritized.

The budget also highlighted the importance of Genomics and AI aptly in future.  However, a larger push to overall infrastructure, manpower and investments in Public-Private Partnerships which can help in further strengthening the healthcare ecosystem in the country remains undiscussed.

Vimal Alawadhi, MD, Best Agrolife Ltd

We welcome the growth-oriented Budget where the Government focused on the overall development of the economy. The Government’s intent to improve the agriculture sector was visible in the Budget announcements.

Though we expected various measures for the Indian Agrochemical industry, there was no announcement regarding the industry’s growth. Similarly, the farm sector was also eagerly waiting for the reforms to reduce the cost of farm inputs and modern technologies required for increasing the farmer’s income and pushing up the agriculture sector’s growth beyond 3.9%. In line with the Government’s focus on modern-day agriculture, we will continue educating the farmers about the judicious use of safe agrochemicals.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

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