Prashant Kumar, MD & CEO, YES BANK
“The Union Budget 2023 attempts an inclusive growth structure for the economy through various measures that are expected to reach the last mile. The effective capex of the Central government was enhanced to INR 13.7 Lakh crores, or 4.5% of the GDP was an acknowledgment that capital expenditures are crucial for the economy and could boost the growth. As the efficiency of capital expenditures is higher at the state level, the government once again earmarked INR 1.3 lakh crores as a 50-year loan to States, which would incentivize capital expenditure. ECLGS scheme continues with an additional INR 9000 crore added to the corpus which would boost the fund flow for the MSME sector.”
Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby
It is extremely heartening to see ‘inclusive development’ and ‘reaching the last mile’ being amongst the seven pillars for Budget 2023-24, as it will lay the foundation for faster financial inclusion and a more equitable society. The government’s commitment to economically empowering women in rural areas will go a long way in making India an inclusive nation. The National Rural Livelihood Mission has achieved remarkable success by mobilizing rural women into 81 lakh Self Help Groups, and we are committed to take this initiative ahead. Through our association with UPSRLM, we have onboarded 10,000 women as BC-Sakhis and upskilled them to offer financial and digital services to their communities and help bridge the urban-rural divide. We are hoping to accomplish this nation-building initiative through more women members of society.
Additionally, to make MSMEs more resilient and competitive, the ₹9000 crores infusion in the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) will help shield them from the rising interest rate burden. This measure will ensure the continued handholding of MSMEs, which account for more than 30% of India’s GDP and remains an important engine of economic growth, job creation, income generation and livelihood support.
The Government’s vision for the Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with elements like the Data Governance Policy and Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. With PAN as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies, inter-department data sharing between various government organizations will help in better overall administration and ease of doing business. Further, the use of DigiLocker and Aadhaar will help establish personal identities and smoothen current KYC hurdles. With our PAN Card services, we are happy to extend this service to citizens at a nearby store and provide them with a valid proof of identity, thus helping bring all at the last mile into the formal financial fold.
We are happy that over the past few years, we were able to focus on Aspirational Districts and deliver on one of the key aspects of financial inclusion. Going forward, we will continue deepening on the Aspirational Blocks Program to further the Government’s vision of making all financial services accessible to the underserved segments of the society. During Amrit Kaal, in line with our government’s aims to achieve the vision for India@100 with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, we at PayNearby, pledge to walk hand-in-hand in making India a digitally and financially inclusive nation with our moto of Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.
Mr. Kshitish Nadgauda, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Louis Berger WSP.
“We welcome the government’s move of hiking the capital expenditure for infrastructure development by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore. The Union Budget of 2023-24 presented by the Hon’ble FM is progressive, growth-oriented and inclusive with a major focus on infrastructure investment as one of the seven key priority areas for the coming fiscal year and has identified 100 top priority projects. The establishment of an infrastructure finance secretariat will further aid in attracting more private investment and streamlining public-private partnerships. Moreover, the setting up of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund will provide an impetus to infrastructure development in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities across the country. This will accelerate the efficient use of land resources, enable adequate resources for urban infrastructure including transit-oriented development, enhanced availability and affordability of urban land, and, most importantly, job creation. It is widely accepted that such investment in infrastructure development especially urban mass transit enables urban centres to flourish and attract quality investment, and result in a vastly improved quality of life for residents.
In addition, there are multiple other infrastructure outlays such as 50 new airports and heliports, coastal shipping, etc. which will enhance intermodal connectivity, which are significant steps in enhancing mass transit. These steps will help in achieving the expected goal of the $5 trillion GDP economy by 2024-25.”
Rajiv Sabharwal, MD & CEO, Tata Capital Ltd– Budget 2023 has included a series of measures for inclusive socio – economic development. The Indian government with its 7-priorities and a greater focus on Financial Sector and infrastructure & Investment have stepped in the right direction.
The Capex increase of 33% and a capital outlay of INR 2.40 lakh crore for railways is a bold move to create jobs and improve the infrastructure development in the country.
The overall quality of expenditure outlay provides a strong guard against global headwinds and will create impetus for private investments. This will also offer a vast scope for domestic consumption.
Strong agricultural credit outlay, support measures, ease of doing business, and digitization drive across various sectors will improve multiple clusters within the economy.
Sanjeev Singh CEO & MD – CMS IT Services
The infra and capex push of the budget combined with a focus on creating a tech and knowledge-driven ecosystem will accelerate India’s journey to becoming a $ 5 trillion economy. This will also generate tremendous opportunities for the tech industry in multiple advanced domains like 5G, AI, digital, agri-tech & fintech.
Mr. V. Srinivasan, Chairman, eMudhra.-“The emphasis on digitizing India in the Union Budget is commendable. The vision for Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based India. The proposed National Data Governance Policy will help in boosting data led development and encourage technological growth. The push to create Centers of Excellence for AI will help create a digital ‘Aatmanirbhar’ India and promote AI based solutions across sectors. The introduction of Entity Digi Locker for business enterprises will facilitate online storing of documents which will accelerate the digital transformation of the country.”
Budget Positive for Lab Grown Diamonds and Encourages Jewellery Exports
Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) applauds the pro-reform and export growth-oriented budget by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. In the first Budget of Amritkaal, Hon. Finance Minister has listed 7 priorities as she outlined people-centric agenda of ease of living and doing business to take on global challenges as well as for stimulating exports.
GJEPC thanks the Government for accepting its recommendation to promote indigenous manufacturing in the emerging Lab-Grown Diamond (LGD) sector by providing Research Grants to IIT for 5 years. GJEPC welcomes the reduction of Customs Duty on LGD seeds to zero from 5%. It will ensure India’s end-to-end world leadership in rough to finished lab-grown diamond and jewellery manufacturing. In addition to that Govt. has also accepted to have clear segregation Customs (IT HS) codes for Silver and Platinum studded Lab grown jewellery for better differentiation and identification at consumer level.
Another positive pro-growth move is that the conversion of physical gold into digital gold will not attract capital gains tax.
The ₹13.7 Lakh Cr. investment for infrastructure by Govt is a big positive step for the country. This will unleash the potential of Indian Economy.
GJEPC welcomes the move to increase the duty on articles (jewellery) of precious metals such as gold/silver and platinum from 20% to 25% (+Nil AIDC +2 SWS). However we are clarifying on the import duty on findings which are raw material in character for manufacture of jewllery. Union Finance Minister has also rationalised the import duty on silver by proposing to increase the import duty on silver dore, bars and articles to align them with that on gold and platinum. However that will have a net effect of increase of around 5% duty at import level for silver resulting in increase of price for silver products domestically.
The industry had recommended Reduction in Import Duty on Gold/Silver and platinum which has not been considered in the Budget. Council will continue to pursue the same with the Government for the overall welfare of the industry.
The enhancement of Income Tax limit to Rs. 7 lakh will benefit workers in the gem & jewellery industry. Reduction in surcharge in the highest Income Tax slab will reduce maximum tax rate to 39% (from 42.74%) will benefit jewellers.
We hope PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman package of assistance for traditional artisans and craftspeople will be extended to the 5000 year old indigenous gem & jewellery industry.
We appreciate the emphasis on exports, which are a key growth magnet in growth of the economy. GJEPC welcomes the revamped Credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs and the Government’s assurance of returning 95 per cent of forfeited amount to the enterprises in event of contract failure during covid-19 by MSMEs.
Mr. Mahesh Krishnamoorthy, Managing Director at Core Integra on the Union Budget 2023-“As expected from the last full budget before Elections, the FM has announced aggressive growth plans through the budget. It is encouraging to see the projected growth target at 7% with the Indian economy poised to continue the growth momentum as seen over the last 10 years. The initiatives to promote the Agriculture, MSME, Tourism sectors along with focus on job creation is a welcome change. It is also nice to note the Government’s continued focus on ease of doing business, simplifying compliances and making the legal framework friendlier towards startups and entrepreneurs. Unified KYC process with control in the hands of the filer looks to be a first step towards data privacy and user controlled information governance, definitely a positive move. On the personal income tax side, it is indeed appreciated on the steps taken to increase minimum taxable slabs, reduce tax slabs and tax rates, simplify the tax structure with reduction in highest tax rates along with making the new tax regime as the default one. Its highly commendable to note that income tax refunds are processed within 24 hours to 16 days, which is probably for the first time in the history of our country. While the initiatives and benefits may cause a dent on the tax collection, I am sure that it would increase the tax base with increased transparency through digitalization. Last but not the least, the 7 point priority definition made the entire budget more structured and process oriented. Overall a well presented budget and look forward to continued growth of the Indian economy and a rising star in the global arena.”