Mr. Ramesh Doraiswami, Managing Director & CEO, National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC)–
“ The Union Budget 2023-24 proposes a continued focus on the key areas of improving farmgate infrastructure and promoting the use of technology to improve farm incomes. The creation of Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture is commendable as it will be an open source of information services for crop planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit, and insurance & market intelligence, which today are not available readily to farmers thereby limiting their income. The announcement of the Agriculture Accelerator Fund to promote rural entrepreneurship focussed on agriculture is another welcome step. It will be interesting to see the details of this fund since it could also stimulate rural employment. In the “International Year of the Millet”, the announcement to make IIMR Hyderabad a global centre of excellence of millets is a big step forward as well. Overall, the budget presents a positive outlook for the agriculture sector and is likely to have a positive impact on the growth of agri-tech companies.”
“We welcome the measures announced by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2023–24, which indirectly aims to boost the real estate sector’s growth while also providing relief to consumers. The proposed increase in the income tax exemption limit to Rs 7 lakh will help boost real estate investment. This tax break will encourage homebuyers to invest more while simultaneously increasing revenue. Meeting the long-standing demand of the real estate sector, the cap deduction for capital gains on residential housing investment is set at INR 10 crore, which will undoubtedly benefit the real estate industry. As one of the important measures to support the market, there has been a 66% increase in the allocation to 79,000 crores in the Affordable Housing Fund (PMAY). The budget also has an emphasis on developing smart cities. The budget has allocated the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), which will be managed by the National Housing Bank and will be used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The infrastructural development in these untapped markets will help the development of real estate here.” by Mr. Nirav Dalal, Executive Vice President- Business Development and Chief Investment Officer, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate.
Mr. Sudhir Pai, CEO Magicbricks. Request you consider it in the budget stories.
“The Union Budget 2023 is a bonanza for affordable housing, with the strategic decision to increase outlay for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by 66%! This decision provides the much-needed impetus towards the vision of “Housing for all”. Further, with a 33% increment in infrastructure outlay, the Government is facilitating economic growth through job creation and investments which have direct and indirect impact on the real-estate sector. It is also heartening to see that the government is maintaining its focus on furthering urbanization initiatives, especially with the outlay of INR 10,000 crores per annum for an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) for tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This would certainly give the required boost to the real-estate markets in these cities, which have emerged as real estate growth engines in the past few years. 2022 saw a year-on-year increase in residential demand in cities like Bhubaneswar (12%), Coimbatore (27%), Jaipur (5%), and Nagpur (66%), amongst others, and this initiative will further elevate the livability index and appeal of these cities. Overall, the Union Budget is definitely positive and growth oriented for the real-estate sector”, says Mr. Sudhir Pai, CEO Magicbricks.
Budget Reaction From Alok Dubey, Chief Financial Officer, Acer India
“The Union Budget unveiled today echoes the government’s objective of “Digital Development” for the country.
It places a high value on technology and innovation as a whole. Realizing the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India” is projected to strengthen the country’s standing in the technology industry globally and generate numerous possibilities for the youth. The mention of lowering the minimum TDS threshold and clarifying taxability linked to online gaming is an encouraging step towards gaming industry in India, and it is expected to open up more prospects in the following year. This year’s budget also has prioritised sustainability; this is a step toward a green future that allows businesses and SMEs to enter the market with green products and services; this is a commendable and promising move. Overall, the Union Budget 2023 is promising and represents a significant step toward digital transformation and a holistic sustainable growth.”
“The Union Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister is growth-oriented and inclusive. The impetus for the ‘Digital India’ vision is clear from budgetary allocations across sectors like infrastructure, skill development, sustainability, MSME, and entrepreneurship.
This budget provides numerous growth opportunities for the technology industry by bringing digital solutions and innovation in legacy sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, education, railways, healthcare, financial services, and regulatory bodies to turn India into a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy. Also commendable is a clear intent and investment in making India a net zero carbon emission country by 2070 through National Green Hydrogen Mission.
Overall, the budget 2023 promises to sustain and catalyze India’s economic and digital growth with a strong role played by technology.”
Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India
Requirement of Greater focus on R&D Centres for Innovation and Growth
While the government has done a commendable job in promoting ease of business in the country, the need of the hour is to offer MSME-centric financial products for convenient credit access to companies. The announcement of strategic reforms to reduce input costs and special incentives will also be a welcome move to create a conducive environment for India’s MSME sector. Furthermore, the industry anticipates significant measures to harness marketing and emerging technologies to bolster indigenous production.
Women entrepreneurs, too, are eyeing tailored incentives and tax rebates from Union Budget 2023 to encourage the participation of women in business. It is also imperative to promote skill development and technological knowledge in women to accomplish the $5 trillion economy objective of GoI.
The Union Budget 2023 should pave the way for promoting R&D centres in the country to foster innovation and research in emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain, and Machine Learning. To bridge the demand-supply gap of human resources, an extensive collaboration between the tech industry and academia is crucial and anticipated from the upcoming budget. Also, increased investment and focus on upskilling and talent development schemes will go a long way in making India a Digital hub of the globe.
Budget 2023-24: Response by Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, Avtar Group
The Union Budget 2023 bySmt. Nirmala Sitaraman, Honorable Minister of Finance, Government of India presented as the Last Mile Inclusion budget has covered the cohorts such as indigenous tribes, youth, MSME’s, women and senior citizens with a potentially impactful list of benefits being offered to them. The sustainable city program is an applaudable move for it is one of the key inclusion measures required to increase women’s workforce participation. When there is a focus on capital expenditure spending on infrastructure, it is bound to have a ripple effect on women’s employment. As per Avtar’s recent report on Top Cities for Women in India report, more industrial investment in cities result in ecosystem infrastructure improving including day care facilities, commute facilities and medical amenities. This can act as a catalyst to enable women’s employment, thereby improving women’s workforce participation in the country. However, despite our President of India expressing concerns over the skewed gender ratio in economic activity, no specific schemes for the urban working women have been announced. As per the data available, between 2019-20 and 2020-21, rural women’s labour force participation rate (LFPR) increased from 33% to 36.5%, while urban women’s LFPR fell from 23.3% to 23.2%. There has not been a significant rise in this population, a talent segment that contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. If women’s workforce participation has to burgeon, then corporates have to be incentivized to hire and sustain this underrepresented talent pool. The only silver lining is the heavy focus on skilling – the Unified Skilling Platform and its link to MSMEs, a sector that has the potential to boost women’s workforce participation- Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder and President, Avtar.
Mahin Gupta, Founder of Liminal, a digital wallet infrastructure platform said:
The budget announcements by the honourable Finance Minister have infused new energy into the start-up ecosystem across the country. The tax holiday for start-ups has been extended to 10 years, which will provide much-needed liquidity to the start-ups in their growing phase; this is a master stroke by the government because as the economy opens up, we will see more start-ups coming up in the field of technology, digital payments, digital infrastructure and agri-tech which will create a strong foundation for the next decade of economic growth, innovation, and job creation.
This is an amazing time to be a start-up founder in India as the government is committed to fostering the growth of existing start-ups and simultaneously encouraging youngsters to join the start-up revolution, which will not only add to the economic growth of the country but will make India a global hub for innovation in fin-tech space.
We also appreciate the government’s move towards enhancing the ease of doing business. Compliances culminate in a major part in setting up businesses, especially in the fin-tech sector. We at Liminal lay a huge emphasis on creating a regulated and compliant ecosystem to ensure transparency, and the government’s announcement of reducing more than 39,000 compliances to provide is a welcoming move.
Increasing the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24, which is 3.3 per cent of the GDP, is highly encouraging as it is expected to boost digital infrastructure across the country for providing digital services to the remotest part of India. However, no changes in taxation were something expected w.r.t digital assets as the government is still testing the waters with the CBDC pilot project underway.
In addition, Public digital infrastructure for the Agri sector under an open-source standard will revolutionize the industry, propelling it to unprecedented levels of growth. By harnessing the power of 5G, Web 3.0, and Metaverse technologies, GDP growth can be accelerated by a significant percentage. This digital infrastructure, ranging from supply chain optimization to analytics, will bolster the agri value chain and make it even stronger and more productive.
Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin, India’s second longest-running crypto exchange:
The union budget 2023-24 is aimed at making India a start-up capital of the world. The agriculture accelerator fund announced by the honorable finance minister will encourage a lot of bright entrepreneurs to jump on the agriculture technology start-up bandwagon. We are delighted to see that the tax holiday for start-ups has been extended to 10 years as it will provide immediate comfort to the start-ups that are engrossed in innovation and need liquidity for product development.
The relaxation of the tax exemption limit to 7 lacs will increase the surplus funds for the common man which will spark activity in various sectors like investments in digital assets, consumer goods, and tourism.
The focus on infrastructure development in the current budget will boost physical and digital infrastructure for catalysing India’s economic growth and make achieve the target of a $5 trillion digital economy. Overall, this budget accommodates the aspirations of ambitious India which is poised to make its mark at a global level.
Tarusha Mittal COO and Co-founder, Dapps and UniFarm, said:
We are excited to see a special focus on start-ups in the Union Budget 2023-24. The creation of an agriculture accelerator fund is a bold move towards driving innovation and creating more jobs for the youth of our country. The start-up space will get a big boost from the extension of the tax holiday as it is expected to increase the cash flow which is critical for the growth of any start-up.
The fintech sector is expected to become a $200 billion behemoth by 2030 and the current budget has extended the Digi locker services to start-ups to foster innovation in fintech services. India’s robust digital infrastructure will enable larger penetration of web3-related products and services.
The simplification of KYC procedures by making PAN a common identifier for all digital systems will support the vision of digital India. The PAN-based KYC will enable fintech businesses to make customer onboarding highly convenient and at the same, simplify the KYC reporting to the relevant government authorities.