Union Budget 2023-2024: Post Budget Reactions from Tech Experts
The Union Budget 2023-2024 of the PM Narendra Modi-led administration was presented on 1st Feb 2023 by our Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The minister stated in her speech that the government’s “goal for the Amrit Kaal involves a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a thriving financial sector.” Here are the views from experts from top technology companies:
Rajesh Sinha, Founder and Chairman, Fulcrum Digital.
“The Budget 2023 presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman was very progressive and rightly backed by the tech-driven Amritkaal Vision. The government’s vision to “Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India,” as well as its emphasis on strengthening AI infrastructure through the establishment of three excellence centers, will provide a significant boost to the Indian technology sector. We welcome the resolution of integrating 100 labs in engineering institutions for developing apps using 5G services, which will open a new doors of opportunities, business models, and employment potentialities. Being a digital engineering company that is constantly thriving on technological innovations to support the data governance practices of businesses, we look forward to the national data governance policy that will be brought out to unleash innovation and research.”
RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India & Learnet Skills
“The government’s enhanced focus on increasing education access in rural India in this year’s Union Budget is a welcome move and will have a positive impact on the country’s literacy rate. It is also reassuring to see that teachers’ training has been given prominence; we look forward to witnessing its effective implementation in the year. This will help improve the quality of teaching and lead to better opportunities provided to students. What is also motivating is the announcement of the National Digital Library, which will encourage youth from diverse contexts to learn in a comprehensive manner. The National Education Policy, with its focus on empowering the youth with futuristic skills, will work towards the holistic development of youth for a better tomorrow. We welcome the announcements and significant increase in allocations for the school education and skill development sectors, which are aligned with Schoolnet’s goal of providing equal access to world-class education to all learners, especially those in the middle and bottom of the economic pyramid.”
Puneet Gupta, vice president & managing director, NetApp India/SAARC
“The announcements made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have given us a lot to be excited about. The mission of Amrit Kaal has put us in a strong position to truly call this a digital budget, given its large focus on technology and digital. From the government’s announcement of setting up of 100 5G labs and the development of 3 Centers of Excellence for AI, all of these will go a long way in unleashing the digital potential of the country. In a world that is driven by data and AI, we see numerous and infinite opportunities ahead of us. It will be a privilege for us at NetApp to play our role in building a truly digital nation which is the future of tomorrow.”
Javed Tapia, Founder & Managing Director, Clover Infotech
“The measures introduced in the Union Budget 2023 in terms of ease of doing business such as reducing compliance requirements and legal provisions will play a key role in attracting global investments into India. By relaxing contract execution policies, facilitating availability of credit, and extending tax benefits to start-ups and MSMEs, the FM has taken progressive steps to build a favourable support ecosystem for start-ups and MSMEs. The training and skilling initiatives under the ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’, will create a highly skilled workforce that can significantly accelerate our economic growth.”
Dhaval Thanki, Vice President, APAC & MEA, LogiNext
“The Union Budget has focused on driving innovation and encouraging ease of doing business for startups, and that is very encouraging. The proposal to introduce the National Data Governance Policy for access to anonymized data will be a boon to the startup sector, and it will facilitate a lot of value creation for customers as well as businesses. Furthermore, proactive measures in areas of tax benefits and offsetting losses are welcome moves. At LogiNext, as we continue to build in India for the world, we look forward to growing the digitial prowess of the nation, through path-breaking innovations in logistics technologies, ably supported by the Government of India.”
Suresh Pansari, Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director, Rashi Peripherals Limited.
“The Union Budget 2023, presented by Mrs. Nirmala Sitaraman today highlights India’s ambitious growth vision. This is a progressive budget that emphasises inclusive growth, sustainable development, harnessing the power of new-age technologies, business reforms, green growth and empowerment of MSMEs, farmers, youth and women. Despite of global recession and the Russia – Ukraine war, India demonstrated an impressive 7% GDP growth in fiscal 2023. The fiscal deficit for FY23 is estimated at 6.4% of GDP while the fiscal deficit target for FY24 is pegged at 5.9%. This reduction will pave the way for the country’s robust economic growth.
In her 5th consecutive budget, the Finance Minister highlighted the role of new-age technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G and Robotics in technological advancement. Announcements of setting up Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services, roll out of phase 3 of the eCourt’s project, and National Digital Library for children and adolescents etc. will trigger demand for IT and datacentre solutions. The Finance Minister also announced relief on Customs Duty on the import of certain parts & inputs like a camera lens and continued the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year. It will help boost local manufacturing of mobile phones and drive mobile penetration in rural India.
The Finance Minister also announced a slew of measures for ease of doing business such as the reduction of more than 39,000 compliances and decriminalisation of more than 3,000 legal provisions. Also, PAN will be used as a common identifier for all Digital Systems of specified government agencies. The Union government will set up a DigiLocker digital document storage capability to enable the storage of documents digitally and ease the process of digital application of credit for MSMEs. This will encourage the thriving startup ecosystem and also attract global players to invest in India. The development of 50 new airports and helipads will aid seamless connectivity.”
Vipin Vindal, CEO, Quarks Technosoft
In Budget 2023, to realize the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions. This will provide large incremental values to several sectors like edtech, healthcare, agriculture, etc. It has great potential in various fields and creates an effective AI ecosystem. As a matter of fact, the more companies implement AI, the more job opportunities open up. The decision taken in Budget 2023 of setting up one hundred labs for developing applications using 5G services in engineering institutions is a very thoughtful one. The new generation of wireless is the new upgraded education and 5G Labs in universities will immensely contribute to the emerging and changing tech innovations. 5G peddling in many progressions such as EdTech, AR, VR XR, and Metaverse, can redefine classroom education, making it more interesting and meaningful by demonstrating complex theoretical concepts practically. This step will create new opportunities in research and experimentation that will drive economic growth and improve people’s lives.
Vinet Kuumar (CEO & Founder of Thoughtsol Infotech)
“I am very pleased with the budget of 2023 that focuses on increasing digitization. The setting up of 100 new labs for developing apps using 5G services, and the three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence is a great opportunity for the IT services industry to flourish. I believe these initiatives will help in creating new business models, and employment opportunities and will enable us to create innovative products and services. Also, I am sure that these initiatives
will have a positive impact on the GDP of our country and create a strong base for the IT industry in India. Overall, I am very optimistic about the future of the IT services industry and am looking forward to the new opportunities that will arise from these initiatives.”
Smridhi Goyal, Co- Founder & CEO, Sekyo
The union budget announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman is a great step towards making India digitally forward, a sustainable global superpower, and a healthy nation. The announcements are significant on the startups and digitization front as the promised tax exemptions will boost the consumer tech start-up segment. The extension of tax rebates will be extremely useful as it will encourage domestic capital to grow businesses and help build a vibrant ecosystem and drive economic growth. This step will also help in garnering more employment opportunities in the consumer tech startup industry.
Major Vineet Kumar, Founder and Global President, CyberPeace Foundation
The announcement of the government’s plan to set up Centers of Excellence for artificial intelligence is being seen as a positive step in the right direction. The establishment of these centers in educational institutions and the partnership with leading industry players is expected to drive interdisciplinary research and innovation in AI.
Overall, the establishment of Centers of Excellence for AI is a promising start, but there is still more work to be done to build a strong and vibrant AI ecosystem in India.
Investment in advanced technologies: Investing in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence can help India to improve its cybersecurity capabilities.
The Cyber Peace Foundation works to promote cyber peace through research, education, and policy initiatives. Some of the specific activities and programs it has undertaken include:
- Conducting research on issues related to cyberpeace, including cyber attacks, cybercrime, and online harassment
- Providing education and training programs to help individuals and organizations better understand and address cyber threats.
- Advocating for policy changes and initiatives that promote cyberpeace, including measures to improve internet security and protect against cyber attacks.
- Partnering with other organizations to advance the cause of cyber peace and to share expertise and resources.
Ashish Fernando, Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect
As an AI-enabled firm, we call it a blockbuster budget with an enhanced focus on Artificial Intelligence to create a successful AI ecosystem and nurture high-quality human resources. The 360-degree perspective of the 2023-24 budget is definitely going to yield big, especially with its focus on unleashing the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence. The vision of “Make AI in India” and “Make AI work for India” and the announcement of establishing 3 Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions is remarkable.
We are excited to hear about the launch of the National data governance policy that is endowed with the vision to unleash innovation by startups and academia by enabling access to anonymized data. Another impressive announcement is the launch of PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 to skill the Indian youth in new-age courses like robotics, coding, and drones to make them industry 4.0 ready.
The proposal to set up a national digital library for children and adolescents to compensate for the learning loss during the pandemic and re-envisioning teachers training through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development dipstick survey, and iCT implementation is all going to enhance the outcomes.
Sarvesh Agrawal, Founder and CEO, Internshala
The first Budget proposed under Amrit Kaal is revolutionary in many ways for the youth in providing a strong impetus to growth and job creation is a welcome step and is likely to accelerate the revival of the economy in a sustainable fashion.
Furthermore, the initiative of establishing 30 Skill India International Centres across different states and the digital ecosystem for skilling will be great tools for empowering well-deserving aspirants from every corner of the country. Launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform to enable demand-based formal skilling, linking employers including MSMEs with skilled professionals, and providing stipend support to 47 lakh youths are added benefits and great motivation factor for a dedicated workforce in India.
Looking at the current job market landscape courses the scheme will also cover new age courses for industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics IoT, 3D printing drones, and other soft skills to skill the youth for international opportunities. In conclusion, Budget 2023 presents a well-rounded approach toward economic growth, emphasizing the importance of inclusive development, youth empowerment, and sustainability. The budget sets the stage for a brighter future and serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to the well-being of the nation and its citizens.”
Karan Lalit, Regional Director India, Study Group
Commenting on the Indian government’s record allocation of Rs1.13 trillion for the education ministry as announced today in the Union Budget, Mr. Karan Lalit, Regional Director, India, Study Group, says: “The record education budget is good news today that could drastically improve the future. It should deliver improvements to infrastructure and teaching facilities that will help more Indians to access the many benefits of education. Many of today’s biggest global challenges will be solved by international collaborations, so we support the news that three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be established in Indian institutions. These centres signal India’s commitment to pioneering STEM; the research they produce could be transformational and they will inspire millions to pursue STEM studies and academic which we fully support.”
Raghunath Subramanian, Founder and Global CEO, actyv.ai
“ The Union Budget 2023, released today by the Indian Government, exudes optimism about the short-term as well as long-term prospects of the Indian economy. Under the larger umbrella of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the government has focused on making Indian companies more competitive in the global market, attracting investments from outside India, promoting startups and an ecosystem driven by innovation. India is poised to shine!
MSMEs, one of the largest sectors in India and an integral part of the country’s growth journey is on a swift recovery path post the pandemic and easy access to working capital would be critical for smooth recovery. Under the larger umbrella of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Indian government’s move to set up a separate entity of DigiLocker MSME will have a significant impact on the sector. As a platform with embedded offerings that drives business growth for enterprises and their partners, we see this as a step in the right direction.
In the banking sector, the budget brings a welcome change by simplifying the KYC process by adopting a ‘risk-based’ instead of ‘one size fits all’ approach. The financial sector regulators will also be encouraged to have a KYC system fully amenable to meet the needs of digital India!
Government removes tax exemption in traditional insurance policies with premium over Rs 5 lacs. The proposal intends to limit income tax exemption from proceeds of insurance policies with very high value. This will increase the focus on term plans and pure risk covers which is good.”
Sindhu Gangadharan SVP & MD, SAP Labs India and Head, SAP User Enablement
“The Union Budget 2023-24 is a testament to India’s unwavering focus on building a technology-driven economy that is both sustainable and inclusive. Drawing a parallel to its undertakings to shaping the Techade, it underlines the imperative of job creation and youth upliftment through the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4 that aims to upskill lakhs of youth in new-age courses such as 3D printing and drone technologies. In line with this, the establishment of 30 Skill India International Centres across states will be critical to developing and nurturing the digital talent pool in the country. Additionally, the launch of the National Data Governance Policy and three Centres of Excellence for AI are initiatives that will help further reinstate India’s position as the global innovation hub. In fact, the launch of 5G labs will create new avenues of opportunities through the network’s rapid and efficient expansion. On the sustainability front, the strong push towards green growth which entails provisions to accelerate the adoption of green fuel, energy, and mobility will not only help India achieve its net zero target but also help create new green job opportunities.”
Piyush N. Singh, Lead – Africa, India and Middle East, Accenture
“Broadly, the Union Budget 2023 provides the right fiscal stimulus for a consumption economy and will strengthen India’s position as a bright spot in a tepid global economy. Specifically, the income tax rationalization gives the right signals to the services sector and will boost consumption.
The budget lays out the ground to create islands to attract international investments required for energy transition. The government’s ongoing focus on green mobility and energy transition including green hydrogen will help bring down energy dependence on fossil fuels while providing long-term economic gains for India. Setting up new centres of excellence for AI and 5G labs for developing applications will help democratize AI and push for wider adoption of 5G services. It will be important for the private sector ecosystem to work closely with government to realize the digital future of India.”
Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS
“Budget 2023 highlights India’s growth trajectory and ambitions for the Amrit Kaal. It echoes the country’s focus on building a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy through a clear prioritization of infrastructure development, digital upskilling, job creation and sustainable efforts towards achieving green growth. The establishment of three Centers of Excellence for AI and National Data Governance policies will strengthen India’s position as a global innovation hub. The launch of 5G labs will act as a catalyst to drive faster and better expansion of this network, creating more avenues for innovation.
This budget emphasizes how skilling will play a critical role in enabling digital-led opportunities, and the setting up of 30 Skill India International Centers across states is a step in that direction. The PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will further bolster this effort by skilling lakhs of youth in new-age courses such as AI, IoT, robotics, drones and 3D printing. It also recognizes the need to boost India’s socio-economic development, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, with the introduction of a National Digital Library. Finally, the strong emphasis on green energy including green jobs, green skills development and green auto infrastructure is a testament to the government’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future.”
Vishal Gupta, Founder and CEO of Seclore
“The union budget is one of the most forward-looking union budgets of my lifetime. When you hear AI, Drones, agri acceleration fund, digital locker and e courts in the same speech, it reflects truly inclusive growth and development. The focus on skill development and promotion of the Skill India program will go a long way to creating long term development of the “Amrit Peedhi”. The National Data Governance Policy and the “data embassies” announced today was overdue and will pave the way for India to be seen as a secure and private haven. India has gone from the 10th to the 5th largest economy in the last decade and this budget overall sets the country up for a similar trajectory in the coming years.”
Yeshasvini Ramaswamy – Serial Entrepreneur & CEO, Great Place to Work® India
“The Union Budget 2023–24 has successfully addressed the majority high impact segments, like introduction of lower taxes initiatives, specific purpose investments, women empowerment promise schemes, the upskilling and reskilling of millions of our youth, and the wide usage of new-age technologies like AI, robotics, mechatronics, drones, and others. The “Saptrishi,” or seven key priorities, are intended to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable economic growth. Finance Minister’s announcement to bring a new Tax regime will bring massive relief to taxpayers. The new regime comes with a tax exemption up to Rs 7 lakh. Along with that, the Capital investment outlay was increased by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which will be 3.3 percent of the GDP.
Youth Skilling calls for the necessary funding to support the upskilling of millions of youths through the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 over the next three years. The scheme will emphasize industry partnership and alignment courses with industry needs, in addition to providing on-the-job training. This scheme has also paved the way for all new-age courses for Industry 4.0.
With this budget, the government is eyeing a wave of new opportunities in AI and robotics. Additionally, the 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services in engineering institutions will be established. Start-ups have been given access to relief measures by carrying forward and offsetting losses. Currently though this relaxation is only applicable to losses incurred within the first seven years of the start of incorporation. The National Rural Livelihoods Mission under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana will help rural women advance to the next level of economic empowerment. They will be able to expand their operations to serve the vast consumer markets via these supporting policies, as has happened with many start-ups that went on to become “Unicorns.” The Agriculture Accelerator Fund will undoubtedly support young entrepreneurs’ agri-startups in rural areas. This was most awaited.”
Haresh Awatramani, Founder & CEO, of Beehive HR Solution
“In a significant relief to the common man, the Modi government made five major announcements in the personal income tax space in the Union Budget. The tax breaks are clearly aimed at the hardworking middle class. According to current income tax slabs, a salaried employee earning up to Rs 5 lakh does not have to pay income tax under either the old or new tax regimes. The new tax regime has reduced this rebate limit to Rs 7 lakh. A new personal tax regime with six income tax slabs beginning at Rs 2.5 lakh was implemented in 2020. It is now proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets to five and raise the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh. Income between 12 and 15 L is taxed at 20% under the new regime. The standard deduction benefit is proposed to be extended to the new tax regime. Under the new tax regime, the highest surcharge rate on income above Rs 5 crore will be reduced from 37% to 25%. The final significant change in personal income tax is the increase in the leave encashment exemption limit for non-government salaried employees from Rs 3L to Rs 25L upon retirement.
This will put more money in the hands of individuals for investments. The additional liquidity will also help to improve the economic scenario by increasing overall spending power. The youth have been given a considerable impetus to make strategic investments, and insurance will also significantly boost. The money saved by tax breaks is expected to be invested in health and life insurance. Overall, this budget has been very encouraging for Real Bharat.”
Rahul Goyal, Co-Founder of Realatte Ventures LLP
“The Union Budget announced today is well structured and focused on inclusive growth, with a special focus on alleviating the burdens of the underprivileged. With a focus on infrastructure development, including transportation, the budget offers a huge potential for urban and rural housing development. The Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, which allocated 48,000 crores in the previous budget, has increased the allocation by a whopping 66%, to Rs 79,000 crore next fiscal year, giving a huge impetus to the residential projects for first-time home buyers, opening up market growth potential. Further, with more than 55% of the expected financial deficit for projects under the plan being covered, it will aid in the timely completion of upcoming projects as well, in both urban and rural housing. This means the budget is positive for the growth of the Indian real estate sector that was experiencing a slowdown post-pandemic. For us, as a leading real estate marketing company, this means bigger investments in strategic marketing and customer engagement opportunities, across both urban affordable living and mid-size real estate development projects. Overall, the budget is focused on the development and inclusive growth, that also enhances the quality of living, and sets the pace for becoming a global economy.”
Preety Sharma, Head of Human Resources of Logicloop
“The union budget 2023-24 is a development-focused budget that has taken into account the huge potential of the youth of India and focused on skill development and vocational training of the youth. Recognising the need for new-age skills for industry 4.0, the government’s push for the standardisation of vocational skills through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a commendable skill development initiative that will be instrumental in further enhancing the Indian talent pool. With a thrust on emerging technology, the government’s announcement to set up 100 labs in engineering institutions for developing applications using 5G services in collaboration with various authorities, banks, regulators and other businesses, is also a visionary step to ensure upskilling of youth and drive tech-enabled innovations. Further, through strategic industry collaborations, continuous learning and job-focused courses, the budget has captured the essence of youth-powered growth which will fuel the economy and help India become a global economy.”
Pankaj Agarwal, Founder & CEO of Taghive.
“The union budget is constructively focused on building a knowledge-driven economy, with the aim of strengthening the backward and underprivileged sectors of society, which is commendable. In alignment with the NEP, the government’s focus on building a digital library and pushing for device-agnostic digital learning methodology, while also facilitating upskilling of teachers, are all powerful steps in the direction of tech-enabled learning processes. Further, with an aim to add more teachers and support personnel for the Eklavya model residential schools for tribal students, with access to world-class quality education, would also give children access to high-quality literature, boosting their learning experience and propelling our country forward. Apart from the focus on empowering education, the revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs through the infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus, will further enable education tech start-ups and MSMEs, working towards building innovative solutions in the sector. Overall, the budget is a constructive step forward to making India a knowledge-driven global economy.”
YOGITA TULSIANI, Director and Co-founder, iXceed Solutions.
“The year 2022 was a roller-coaster ride for the startup ecosystem as well as the HR industry. Layoffs, hiring, gig workers, and other changes had to be made throughout the ecosystem, but after watching the Union Budget 2023-24, it gives the ecosystem a spark and encouragement. India has today grown to be the third largest startup ecosystem globally, and that has helped generate employment as well. Every sector generates jobs for the youth, whether it is in Agri-tech, tourism and travel, health, or many more. With the realisation of the advancement of technology come several schemes and missions, like the establishment of 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions, leading industry players to partner to conduct research and develop applications, the National Digital Library, and many more. Overall, the budget is the correct example of a balanced budget for fiscal responsibility and a push for the startup ecosystem after COVID-19.”
Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia
We congratulate the Honourable Finance Minister on the first budget of ‘AmritKaal’, which is forward-looking and focused on enhancing India’s digital infrastructure that will help us deliver the vision of Digital India.
It is a progressive budget that underscores technology-driven growth. The investment in core infrastructure will require significant thrust on digital infrastructure including digitization and automation. The budget has outlined measures to provide impetus for technology-driven accelerated change and technology will also work as a key deflationary measure. The comprehensive set of steps outlined in the budget will help propel India towards its goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy and lead in the Techade.
The budget has also done well to provide for innovation in the areas of AI, Materials, 5G through CoEs and for developing and enhancing the digital talent pool in the country. This will help fully realize our demographic dividend, specifically towards preparing youth for international opportunities and taking the skilling to last mile through setting up of 30 Skill India International Centres across states. At IBM, we appreciate the Government’s endeavours in strengthening the emerging technology ecosystem and we are confident that the Government’s proposal to set up 100 labs across engineering institutions to develop applications for 5G services will go a long way in developing cutting edge ICT services in India, for India and for the world. IBM remains keen to forge partnerships to drive this change.
India is all set for leading the change and usher in green growth which is aptly visible in the green credits to green energy to green mobility to green farming, which has found its place in the budget this year.
Mahesh Kulkarni, Co-Founder and MD, AFour Technologies, an ACL Digital Company
“The 2023 budget recognizes the transformative power of technology and the importance of investing in the IT and software sector. The allocation of resources toward developing innovative solutions and implementing new technologies will drive growth and competitiveness in the industry. Investments in research and development for cutting-edge software will help companies stay ahead of the curve.
Furthermore, the budget also strongly emphasized cybersecurity, recognizing it as a critical issue in today’s digital landscape. Developing secure systems and networks will help protect sensitive information and stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. The 2023 budget presents a unique opportunity for the IT and software sector to thrive, positioning it for long-term success.
KR Sekar, Partner, Deloitte India:
Startups have been clamouring for easy compliance and benefit of extended period of carry forward of losses. The Finance Minister in her Budget speech has assured ease of compliance. Startups have been facing a significant challenge on higher compliances as it enhances their compliance cost. The ease of compliance through Unified Compliance Management system will help startups fill up the data and comply under various laws. Further the budget has extended the benefit of carry forward of losses from 7 years to 10 years. This would also help startups to protect the lapsing of losses at the end of 7th year as they have additional three years to protect the lapse of losses. It is pertinent to note that it takes time for startups to become profitable and hence extending the carry forward period from 7 to 10 years will help them.
Also, startup companies raising capital from overseas investors at a premium will have tax implications due to the proposed amendment to section 56 (2) (vii) (b). Under the proposed amendment the value at which the capital was raised will have to be justified by an appropriate valuation as per the prescribed rules. Under the existing provisions of law, companies receiving money more than Par Value from Resident Investors will have to pay tax unless the value is justified by an Independent valuation through book value or DCF. The said provision was not applicable if the investment is from Non-Residents. This has been plugged now and Companies raising money from Foreign Investor or Non-Resident Investors will have to justify the value and if not, then the difference between Par value and amount received is taxable.
Sanjay Kumar, Partner, Deloitte India:
The budget has tried to address the issues facing the key MSME sector by providing relief on one hand in government run projects while also enhancing the crucial credit guarantee scheme that will affect not only availability of credit but also possibly reduce costs.
Jatin Kanabar, Partner, Deloitte India:
The Budget has provided for incentivizing Startups and MSME sector. Proposals for increased credit guarantee, extension of date of incorporation for tax holiday, relaxation of carry forward of losses, enhanced limit for presumptive tax regime and deduction linked to payments for encouraging timely recovery by MSMEs are all welcome provisions.
Suchintan Chatterjee, Partner, Deloitte India
The Hon. Finance Minister’s announcement to support the Indian MSMEs by expansion of the ECLGS by an additional INR 50,000 crore till March 2023 is a welcome move. This progressive step specifically helps the Travel , hospitality and allied sectors , given they were hardest hit by the pandemic. While the infusion of INR 9,000 crore into CGTMSE is intended to bring down credit cost by about 1%, the planned revamp of the scheme will help extend the corpus beyond traditional term loans. Put together, these can drive significant credit transmission for the Micro and Small end of the spectrum where the credit gap is most significant.
Earlier there have been several digital initiatives targeting MSMEs in the recent past, however the interlinking of various digital portals like UDYAM, e-Shram, NCS and ASEEM sets the right tone and will drive awareness and adoption especially for new-to-digital units. When seen in conjunction, interventions like these will go a long way to address the MSME credit gap that is estimated to be upwards of INR 28 trillion.
Peeyoosh Pandey, Chief Executive Officer, Hoonartek
“We congratulate Hon’ble Finance Minister on emphasizing technology-led growth for the third successive year. This transformation will lead to greater use of technology solutions, elevating India’s economic efficiency. The Data Governance policy draft is a welcome step; unlocking data for India’s growth will be crucial. With our expertise in the data domain, we are optimistic about staying ahead of market trends and customer needs in this segment. We have been an integral part of the lending ecosystem; simplifying the KYC process will further fuel the coverage. Our approach of accelerating telecom as one of our core sectors aligns with the government’s call to enhance 5G services further. Our credibility in data integration at scale provides us with a natural head-start in advancing our proposition for this fast-growing ecosystem.”
Amit Vasistha, Founder and CEO, GALF, a wellness-tech platform for corporates.
1) Agriculture Accelerator Fund and Agri-Startups :
When food security is a massive concern across the globe. Having an agriculture accelerator fund and giving a push to the agri-startups is a very strategic step that will have long term positive implications. Waking the world up to the power of Sri-Anna (Millets) gives a brand-new perspective to not just nationalist health and nutrition stamp but what and how the world will consume food
2) Health, Education and Skilling :
We all witnessed the healthcare disaster in the 2020-2021 pandemic. While the initial approach was vaccines and medicines, undoubtedly our pharma firms showed their prowess. The time is now to proactively build a nation rich in skilled resources that can support health and growth infrastructure. The push on nursing colleges, sickle cell anaemia elimination, pharma research, multi-disciplinary medical technology and national digital library is going to be skills, culture and mindset defining. Skilled resources for health-tech and Wellness-Tech startups will bring a great sense of positivity and impetus for a growth story.
3) Infrastructure Push and Investments :
For the country to be an international destination for companies and investments with added tourism boost. Continued focus on infrastructure push will not only create numerous job avenues but support the industries at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Long road to travel but this investment push will be hugely applauded with clear high to the market sentiments. This will massively support further building of the startup ecosystem beyond T1 cities.
4) National Data Governance Policy :
Data is the king and with every passing day we are all understanding its increased significance for startups research, product development, market fit customisation and growth. Having a consistent and level playing National Data Governance Policy is indeed a very wise step. How well it is executed will be a space to watch since such initiatives take a few years to streamline and evolve.
5) Focus on MSME cash-flow, Startups loss carry forward on change of shareholding and compliance. (appeals) simplification
Government’s due recognition of the role of MSME and startups in economic growth and nation building is much appreciated and the recommendations in the budget only shows the level of continued interest. Our view is that there will be a lot more to watch in this space as many underlying changes and initiatives will come forth by the middle of 2023 as the global economic scenario remains bleak.
6) More Disposable Wealth with Middle Class
Indirect and Direct Tax Relief. A bit anticipated given the 2024 forthcoming elections. This rate revisions have been generous and for sure will give impetus to consumption. This will have a direct impact on the D2C and B2B2C startups too as they will have a bigger share of customers’ wallets and improved spending desire
Priya Ranjan Panigrahy, CEO and Founder of CEPTES Software
AI and digitization are the engines of progress and prosperity, fueling a new era of growth and development in India. This has shown in the latest Union budget 2023 which is declared today by the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman. In her today’s speech she has emphasised on Digitization and embracing the power of AI technology.
She has declared -Three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence in top educational institutions and 100 labs in engineering institutions for developing applications using 5G services will be set up.
The Indian government has been actively promoting the adoption of technology and IT in various sectors of the economy as a means to drive economic growth, improve governance, and enhance the delivery of public services.
“India’s emergence as a leader in IT and technology is a clear signal that the country is ready to play a major role on the global stage.”
The digital transformation of India is an unstoppable force, creating a more efficient, innovative and connected nation for generations to come. AI and digitization have the power to transform the way we live, work and communicate, creating a smarter, more connected India.
The future belongs to those who embrace the power of AI and digitization to drive innovation and economic growth.
Archit Gupta, Managing Director, King Koil India.
In this budget, the government has taken a wonderful step by increasing the income tax slab and thus empowering the middle class by putting more money in their hand. This money will only be infused into the economy by creating demand in the market, mostly in the retail sector. In the last few years, the retail sector has grown manifold. The 360 approaches of this budget across all sectors will be pouring more money into people’s pockets which directly or indirectly will boost the economy. We at King Koil feel that this approach will have a long-lasting effect, especially on the materials used in our kind of business making the input cost of the raw materials more cost-effective.
Dr. Sudhir Srivastava, MD, Chairman, CEO at SS Innovations;
“The Hon’ble Union Finance Minister’s initiative to make available facilities in select ICMR labs for research by Public and Private Medical college facilities and private sector R&D teams and encourage collaborative research and innovation will go a long way in fostering research in the medical field at large and devices, in particular and in ensuring availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies. This will also give an impetus to high-end research and manufacturing which will put qualitative medical access within arm’s reach of the common man. The Government’s decision to invest in research and development in specific priority areas will make India a superpower in the medical devices space giving the country a distinctive cost advantage and significantly bringing down the cost of high-end treatment of complex ailments.”
Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal, CP Kukreja Architects
It is heartening that the Union Budget 2023-24 has prioritized green growth, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs in the green infrastructure sector. The center’s push to develop smart and sustainable tier-1 and tier-2 cities, with a special emphasis on their thoughtful urban planning, will go a long way in avoiding disasters and natural calamities. The outlay of Rs. 35,000 crores for green infrastructure growth and green energy transition will push India to achieve its commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. Additionally, the impetus on waste management measures, such as the segregation of dry and wet waste, will ensure a cleaner and healthier India. The addition and emphasis on setting up Centres for Excellence will also go a long way in advancing research efforts in multiple domains.
PKD Nambiar B square Managing Director, B-Square Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Over the last 8 years, this govt has proved to be very pro-business and especially has done a large number of measures for the MSME sector. This year they are allocating 9000 cr., and also putting emphasize without collector security, more money lending to the sector is a welcome move by FM clearly articulating that the MSME sector is the backbone of our country and for our economy, which gives a huge possibility to MSME and also shows that the focus of the government for MSME sector which creates large no. of employment but “ye dill mange more” that is needless to say more expectations from this budget.
Over the last few years the economic policies of govt have been bravely supporting the startup ecosystem, in fact, the large number of unicorns that are created over the last few years clearly shows that the friendly policies for the startups to come up and grow. This budget also supports the direction of both in terms of incubation or those people how this is offering them financial assistance and also creating an environment for all of them to grow. I welcome this budget as a startup-friendly one and this budget will help the startups to grow.
Sudhindra Holla, Director, India & SAARC, Axis Communications
“The Union Budget for this year focuses on inclusive economic growth in order to strengthen India’s status as a global digital powerhouse. We are optimistic about the government’s saptarishi, or seven pillars, with a renewed emphasis on green growth. We are delighted with the Centre’s focus on tourism and investment in transportation infrastructure projects as this indicates an increase in demand for safety and surveillance solutions. We are aligned to further action India’s vision to transform our cities into ‘sustainable cities of tomorrow’. This will serve as a stepping stone in revitalising Smart Cities planning and urban development. The budget 2023 has a future-ready outlook and compliments the nation’s unmatched growth for digital economy, innovation, and inclusive development.”
Aalok Kumar, President and CEO, NEC Corporation India.
“With a clear focus on inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development and unlocking the nation’s potential, the Union Budget 2023-24 is comprehensive to fast-track growth. From strengthening India’s prowess in technology and AI and being future ready to truly unleashing the potential of 5G, the budget is holistic in its approach and will certainly pave the way for tech-enabled growth for the country in the coming years. Coupled with strategic focus on building infrastructure and connectivity in sectors including transportation and aviation will have a significant impact in making India a more agile economy, and in making the daily lives of citizens more convenient and efficient. We look forward to collaborating with the government to help shape India’s digital future.”
L C Singh, Director and Executive Vice Chairman of Nihilent
“The forward-looking budget announced by the FM provides an impetus to key growth areas. Increasing the capex outlay to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development will enhance private investments to a great extent. Skilling is a current imperative for our talented youth; hence the announcement to set up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is a step in the right direction to secure their future.
To unleash the potential of our economy and simplify ease of doing business, eliminating 39000 compliances and 3400 legal provisions is a step in the right direction, which will also boost entrepreneurship. The FM’s significant amendment in direct tax announcements will lead to consumption-based growth and reverse brain drain, building a robust talent pool in India. Setting up Centres of Excellence to boost AI in India is yet another futuristic move that will propel India to greater heights in the technology space and cement our role in what is popularly described as the ‘techade.”
Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk
“Amid shrinking budgets and an economic downturn, businesses are increasingly having to do more with less and the importance of Artificial Intelligence in a time like this cannot be overstated. The Union Budget’s focus on ‘Make AI work in India’ is a much needed move to develop more skilled talent in the AI field and set new standards for India’s growth. Our recent CX Trends Report revealed a gap between consumer expectations and business priorities – 84% of Indian consumers expect AI interactions to become more natural and human-like over time, but less than half of Indian businesses (45%) plan to invest in such technologies in the next 12 months when it comes to their customer experience. The government’s move will accelerate the development of India’s AI ecosystem, especially at a time when businesses – particularly MSMEs – face budget constraints when making strategic investments into technology. The Rs 9,000 crore corpus fund and tax concessions made for this sector in the budget will help boost tech adoption among small businesses, and accelerate progress towards a Digital India.”
Kartik Shahani, Country Manager, Tenable India
“From digitizing government services to creating centralized online databases for citizen and government services and more — the Union Budget 2023-24 has made strategic allocations in turning the wheels of innovation in India. With the 76% increase in UPI transactions in India since 2019, the government has given a major push towards simplifying KYC norms and its proposal to adopt a risk-based approach to KYC is a welcome move for businesses in the country.
It is at this precipice that organizations, both public and private, must focus on building cyber resilience by adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This is because cybercrime is the biggest concern for organizations in the country.
With such a massive impetus for digitally-driven growth in India, organizations must focus on gaining visibility into the entire attack surface. This includes identifying vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, internet-facing assets and attack pathways. The push for R&D leveraging 5G technologies for IoT, mechatronics, AI, Industry 4.0, and drones would also require these organizations to focus on embedding security at the start of the software development lifecycle. Adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity with exposure management that gives complete visibility into the attack surface will put organizations in the best position to reduce their cyber risk.”
Dr. Mukesh Gandhi, Founder and CEO, Creative Synergies Group
“India’s present economic growth is estimated at 7%, which is an optimistic projection for businesses across industries, despite predicted economic headwinds. As India treads on the path to becoming a global economy, the Union Budget 2023 placed a strong impetus on skill learning, job creation, technology-driven schemes and sustainability. On the skill training front, the Budget announced plans to set up over thirty Skill India Centers structured around industry 4.0 technologies such as IoT, AI, and robotics, and set forth the plans of launching three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work for India” schemes. This has the potential to diminish concerns around the Indian IT sector’s 5 lakh talent gap in the coming years. Additionally, taking its green goals forward, the Finance Minister announced plans to replace state-owned old fuel vehicles. This, coupled with the push for India’s transition to reach 5 MMT of green hydrogen production by 2030 and outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for energy transition investment, the time is ripe for automotive OEMs to accelerate their EV production. Also, considering the extended infusion of Rs 9,000 Cr for MSMEs under Credit Guarantee scheme, small-scale businesses in the automotive industry have the opportunity to produce technologically advanced products and consider collaboration with next generation technology vendors.”
Upasana Taku, Co-Founder & COO of MobiKwik:
“The upcoming budget will undoubtedly be geared towards augmenting the growth of the Indian economy, but it also needs to address the challenges faced by the common man and the salaried class as we recover from a global pandemic and tackle the ongoing global economic slowdown. People are especially pinning their hopes on the upcoming budget to address the issue of unemployment, control inflation, and make essential goods and services more affordable. The salaried class is looking for some cheer on the personal tax front, hoping that the annual basic exemption limit gets enhanced to Rs 5 lakhs from the existing Rs 2.5 lakhs.”
Tarun Joshi, CEO & Founder, Join Ventures and IGP.com:
“At Join Ventures, we have always believed in the significance of traditional artisans and craftspeople in keeping our rich cultural heritage alive and provided them with a global platform to earn from their craft. We are thrilled to see the government’s recognition of India’s valued artisans and craftspeople through the PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman initiative, which will not only improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products but also integrate them with the MSME value chain. This is a proud moment for all of us who have been working towards preserving and promoting the timeless beauty of traditional Indian crafts.”
Saurabh Pandey, Co-founder and CEO of Eloelo
For Salaried Professionals:
“The measures announced in the budget to simplify the personal income tax structure and increase exemptions for the middle class will provide much-needed relief to salaried professionals. This will also allow startups to retain talented employees by providing competitive salaries and benefits.”
For Creator Economy:
“At Eloelo, we’re happy that the country’s creator economy will get a boost due to the favorable policies by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharama. This year’s Union Budget has provided a relief in customs duty for the use of smartphone parts like camera lenses and batteries, and that will help keep smartphone prices down. A long-term focus on manufacturing smartphones in India will help in increasing digitisation of the country. We’re also happy that the country’s start-up ecosystem is getting a boost by the favorable policies on startup shareholding.”
Vikas Garg, Co-Founder & CEO, Paytail:
“The government’s efforts to simplify the KYC process and adopt a risk-based approach will go a long way in streamlining the process for customers and fintech companies alike. We appreciate the focus on a digital-first approach and the use of technology to improve financial inclusion in India. The establishment of DigiLocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management is a game-changer for the fintech industry. This will simplify the process and save time for customers while also enhancing the security of their personal information.”
Padmanabhan Balasubramanian, Partner, Protium:
“The use of PAN as a common business identifier for digital systems of specified government agencies will bring ease and consistency to the compliance process for businesses. This is a step towards a more efficient and streamlined system from both a cost and consumer protection standpoint for fintech companies to operate in. The measures announced in the budget aimed at promoting efficiency through integrated systems via a one-stop solution for reconciliation and updating of identity and address of individuals using DigiLocker service are commendable. These measures will help companies in the finance sector to further boost their efforts to deliver innovative solutions to customers and drive financial inclusion in India.”
Vineet Singh, Founder & CEO, Castler:
“We are thrilled to see measures aimed at easing the compliance burden for businesses, PAN as a common business identifier, and promoting efficiency through integrated systems. The establishment of Digilocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management further demonstrates the government’s commitment to a digital-first approach. We look forward to leveraging these developments to enhance our services and support the growth of fintechs in India.”
Sousthav Chakrabarty, Co-Founder & CEO, Siply:
“The establishment of Digilocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management is a watershed moment for the fintech industry. This will enable us to streamline our processes and provide more secure and efficient services to our customers. The use of PAN as a common business identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies is a smart and efficient solution to simplify the compliance process for businesses. This will save time, reduce costs, and promote transparency, making it easier for Fintechs to thrive in India and is a major step forward in promoting financial inclusion in India. We are proud to be part of this transformation and are committed to working with the government to bring more digital financial services to the masses.”
Niranjan Vemulkar, Co-Founder & CEO of Yellow :
“The eCourts project is a step in the right direction towards a better and more efficient administration of justice in India. With an outlay of Rs 7,000 crores and the combined efforts of the government and the judiciary, we can hope to see a revamp of the Indian j in sync with this digital era. This project has the potential to bring about much-needed change, provide citizens with efficient and time-bound judicial services and reduce the burden on our judiciary, which currently has 72,062 pending cases in the Supreme Court, 59,45,709 in the High Courts and 4,19,79,353 in District — which is alarming.”
Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder, QuoDeck:
“We at QuoDeck believe that the increase of 33% in the capital expenditure in this year’s Union Budget will boost infrastructure development in the country, which ultimately leads to long-term job creation. Particularly in the light of what many say is an approaching global recession, this kind of cushion is extremely important to sustain employment in the country. It’s also a good thing that the government is continuing its focus on skilling and on-job training, particularly in new-age areas such as AI, robotics, drones and soft skills.”