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Incentivising manufacturing and addressing key growth driving cohorts such as MSMEs, youth and even the startup community: Union Budget 2022-23

Incentivising manufacturing and addressing key growth driving cohorts such as MSMEs, youth and even the startup community: Union Budget 2022-23 1

Anurag Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, OneScore & OneCard

Considering we have not yet emerged out of the shadows of the pandemic; I believe the Finance Minister has done an excellent job in striking a fine balance in being fiscally prudent and growth supportive. The budget has laid out a host of top-notch measures offering a huge push for infrastructure besides incentivising manufacturing and addressing key growth driving cohorts such as MSMEs, youth and even the startup community.

The budget has laid considerable focus on public investment and capital expenditure; however, on the other side it is quite conservative in its tax growth estimates. The budget however, contains several significant reform measures and fiscal initiatives that will boost social and economic development.

Promoting digitization across sectors and levels is indeed a welcoming move which would not only speed up the processes but also bring much-needed transparency and uniformity to the system. Introducing digital currency is a dynamic decision taken by the government and would really help the economy in coming at par with developed economies. It would also streamline the current financial infrastructure, making it cheaper and faster to conduct monetary transactions. Further to promoting digital currency, the move of introducing 75 digital banking units in 75 districts will significantly strengthen the financial infrastructure across the country. All in all, with an outlay from India at 75 to India at 100, I believe this Budget is futuristic and focuses well on economic revival while ushering the next era of growth for India.

Sudarshan Lodha, Founder & CEO, Strata

Considering the importance laid on digitization of technologies and sectors, I would like to congratulate FM for promoting of use of deep tech and online interface across sectors to drive digitisation and ensure greater transparency. As real estate is the second largest contributor in employment generation and contributes over 10% of the total GDP, it is extremely encouraging to see budget laying policies for boosting infrastructure and introducing taxation benefits for real estate investments.

With real-estate encompassing a huge chunk of LTCG, capping long term capital gains surcharges to 15 percent would encourage real estate investors to lock in their investments for a longer period, helping them maximize their gains. This will go a long way toward accelerating pandemic-slowed real estate investments. Additionally, introducing state partnerships in SEZ development hubs and scraping of SEZ Act would encourage businesses to stay longer, driving growth and stability. Also, extending tax concessions for the startup community would help them revive their operations from the aftershocks of the pandemic.

The budget has laid out a host of measures offering huge push to the infrastructure segment, which will play a catalytic role in driving consumption, urbanization, creating employment opportunities and thereby reviving growth in the aftermath of the pandemic. All in all, it is an extremely futuristic budget with an adequate focus on economic revival and growth.

Mandar Agashe, Founder & Vice-Chairman, Sarvatra Technologies ltd.

It is a digital budget. It has been an overall balanced budget with many positive announcements relating to digitization. We appreciate the government for taking a step forward with its ‘Digital India’ initiative by proposing 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks. The measure will ensure the acceleration of digital payments across the country. Further, introducing an online e-bill system will reduce payment delays and be wholly paperless and end-to-end encrypted. Given the rapid rise of digital banking, digital payments, and FinTech innovation, it was critical to develop a digital infrastructure to support digital banking, which has enormous potential. Another excellent initiative of bringing in a blockchain-based digital rupee will lead to instantaneous financial transactions instead of the current digital payment system. We foresee that the digital rupee will be a game-changer and might outperform other digital currencies which are currently available.

Bhavin Patel, Co-founder & CEO, LenDenClub

Union Budget 2022-23 started on a positive note with a vision for India@100. The measures announced have huge potential to pave a robust growth path for the next 25 years which can make India truly progressive, technologically advanced, and financially strong. Laying substantial focus on MSMEs who account for more than 30% of India’s GDP is extremely encouraging which will go a long way in driving economic growth and employment. The 6,000-crore programme to rate MSMEs to be rolled out over the next five years and the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 are huge strides towards enhancing capital access to MSMEs’ and making them more resilient and competitive.

Although few tax slabs were anticipated, especially if returns from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending investments may have been exempted under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act or a different provision could be carved out to minimize tax rates, it would have encouraged investors to invest more.

Extending the time of incorporation of the eligible start-up for tax incentives by one more year is hugely encouraging for aspiring entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem.

Overall it is a growth-oriented budget offering a slew of measures to drive consumption, investment, and economic revival in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby

The Ministry of Finance has presented a well-rounded, futuristic and optimistic Union Budget 2022 to propel the digital economy and boost the MSME sector. Given that ‘inclusive development’ and ‘financing of investments’ were two of the seven pillars of the Budget, it laid the foundation for faster financial inclusion and expansion of the credit ecosystem. In a bid to make MSMEs more resilient and competitive, the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 is a critical step. This measure will ensure the continued handholding of MSMEs, which accounts for more than 30% of India’s GDP and remains an important engine of economic growth, job creation, income generation and livelihood support. In addition, the proposal to skill both entrepreneurs and students with the help of technology will empower and enhance the productivity of the country altogether.

For India to become a digital economy, all villages should have the same access to digital resources as urban areas. To augment this, the setting up of 75 digital banking units in 75 districts of the country is a commitment to taking high-end tech to the bottom of the pyramid. This step will ensure that the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country in a consumer-friendly manner. The objective of citizen empowerment with digital growth and supporting fintech will directionally encourage delivering of digitization to India in its 100th year well ahead of time.

We are happy that over the past few years we were able to focus on Aspirational Districts and deliver on one aspect of financial inclusion and the score of 95% is encouraging. Going forward, we will focus to align with the Vibrant Villages Program and will continue focusing on the financial inclusion of farmers and senior citizens at the last mile. However, we wish the GST waiver for Banking Correspondents for financial inclusion services could have been taken into consideration. During Amrit Kaal, while our government aims to achieve the vision for India@100, we pledge to make India a digitally and financially inclusive nation. Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.

Sanjay Bhatia, CEO and Co-founder of Freightwalla

Supply chain logistics being one of the focal points in the budget hints towards the government’s plan to boost the shipping and logistics industry. As anticipated, it encompassed multiple anchor points to initiate the Gati Shakti master plan, which would bring about a shift in India’s logistics landscape. The program is a step in the right direction to strengthen our country’s supply-chain ecosystem by integrating multiple logistics nodes and ensuring seamless multimodal connectivity and efficiency. Additionally, 100 cargo terminals will ease the burden on the existing ones. Besides, the development of multimodal logistics parks will reduce logistics costs thus improving distribution, storage and freight aggregation. 

The government steps up digitization of the shipping and logistics sector processes and promotion of the use and exchange of data, which will give the industry an edge over traditional practices. The exchange of data will be enabled using a Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), designed for App Programming Interfaces (APIs). It will provide with an efficient and error-free flow of goods through various modes, reducing the cost and time of logistics, assisting inventory management, and eliminating long and tedious documentation. Moreover, this will provide real-time updates to all stakeholders, imperative in a high-risk sector such as shipping and logistics. Expanding the national highway network by 25000 km will engage more exporters and strengthen the connectivity for on-ground transportation of export and import shipments.

However, more details about the national logistics policy would have been a boost to the MSMEs and others players in the logistics space since the stakeholders pinned their hopes on it for job creation in the economy.

Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money

It is extremely heartening to see the digital economy and fintech technology-enabled development being a key focus area for Budget 2022-23. The government’s proposal of setting up 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts of the country and providing online fund transfer between post office accounts and bank accounts will help in adding further tailwinds to expand necessary banking services to the last mile and enable us to take a step further towards our goal of financial inclusion through rural empowerment. The government’s continuous focus on the digital payments ecosystem has paved the way for digital adoption amongst the unbanked and underbanked population of the country especially post the outbreak of the pandemic. We are hoping to see a much higher traction this year that will address the current challenges faced by the citizens and create a #AtmaNirbharBharat.

Additionally, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement on the allotment of funds through NABARD to finance start-ups for agriculture & rural enterprises along with the plans to launch delivery of hi-tech services for farmers including the use of Kisan Drones is a great move towards the development of the agri sector as well as for supporting nanopreneurs.

Joginder Rana, Vice Chairman & MD – CASHe

The budget is growth-oriented and virtually touches all sectors and lays down path for a future-ready digital India. The monetary support for the digital payment ecosystem is a welcome move and also appreciable is the introduction of the blockchain aided ‘Digital Rupee’. It certainly sends a strong message that India is at the forefront of technology adoption. Finally, the extension of ECLGS scheme will be of immense help for the MSMEs as it will give the much needed impetus for new businesses to come to the fore.

Sonali Khan- Managing Trustee- Sesame Workshop India-

“I think it’s a great step to extend “One class One tv”  to 200 channels. It will reduce the inequity in access to education for children without the internet and digital infrastructure while also making the content available to them in their local language. A National tele mental health program to support the mental wellbeing of families and revamp of 2 lakh Aanganwadi centers also holds strong relevance considering the impact the closure of schools and the pandemic has had on the lives of people. It will be good to link this back to the operationalization of NEP 2020’s compulsory education for children starting 3 years of age as part of the budget, who have been severely impacted by the pandemic in the most crucial way.”

Tara Singh Vachani – Managing Trustee – Max India Foundation 2.0-

“Extremely pleased to hear about the increased budget allocation in the education sector from Rs. 88,002 crores to Rs. 1.04 lakh crores. It’s a much-awaited and welcome move.

Initiatives like the ‘One class, one TV channel’ program of PM eVIDYA to expand from currently 12 to 200 TV channels will be a path-breaking step in bridging the digital divide and the learning loss that the pandemic has caused. On the other hand, providing supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12 will be fruitful in ensuring inclusive learning for the children of the country”

On that note, please find appended our reaction quote on Budget 2022 by Mr. Vikas Bhasin, MD, SAYA Homes for your consideration.  

“The Union Budget 2022-23 is progressive, providing a broad-spectrum boost to the economy, particularly with its emphasis on improving the country’s infrastructure. The government has increased the Capex target by 35.4 percent, from INR 5.54 lakh crore to INR 7.50 lakh crore, potentially boosting overall spending for economic growth. The budget also emphasises the importance of appropriate urban planning, while simultaneously providing some assistance to states and keeping the budgetary deficit in check. Another significant plus is that the government’s goal of creating 6 million new jobs over the next five years will allow residential real estate to expand across the country. In a post-covid era, it’s a good budget since it hasn’t altered the tax system, leaving individual discretionary incomes unaffected and the government has continued on its stated path to job creation. However, a few pressing issues in the real estate sector remain unaddressed such as granting the sector industrial status and tax breaks on home loans to enhance buyer confidence.”

Union Budget reaction from Rahul Raj, Founder & CEO FloBiz

“We wholeheartedly welcome the Union Budget 2022-23. It is gratifying to see a sustained push towards digitisation & promoting the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision. We believe the measures & initiatives announced for the upliftment of MSMEs will significantly help in boosting the economic activity impacted by the pandemic. The decision to revamp the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme & infuse additional credit of Rs 2 lakh crore will also assist in business continuity, exploring new opportunities in manufacturing, and creating more employment avenues. In addition, the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) extension up to March 2023 is a great push for the MSMEs, especially for enterprises that are not yet back to the pre-pandemic levels of business scale & are slowly moving towards their recovery. 

This Union Budget has also recognised startups as key drivers of growth and innovation in the country. The extension on the period of incorporation and providing tax incentives will provide impetus and inspire entrepreneurs to continue driving innovation to put the Indian economy strongly on a clear growth trajectory.”

Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group

Right from the Finance Minister’s use of a Tablet to propose the budget explained that India is on the path of a digital revolution in the near future. As expected the government has well thought to reduce the digital learning gap between the urban and rural by introducing ‘1-Class-1-TV channel” covering multiple regional languages, which will not only counter the Learning losses but will bridge the learning gap. The PM’s e-Vidya will be further expanded from 12 to 200 channels to facilitate supplementary learning.

For the implementation of NEP 2020 great stress is implied on shifting the focus on Upskilling, therefore the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be the key to newer dynamics. To develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking amongst students setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable. To enable quality learning for each child quality e-content will be made through various means. Teachers will be trained to use better e-teaching outcomes and enhancement of learning experiences. Huge focus was laid on e-services in rural areas, it is proposed that all the villages will be laid with optical fibres by 2025, and villages will be at par with the urban areas.

Setting up of Digital University is a great step towards accessibility of quality world class education for all. As per the NEP 2020, Foreign Universities will be set up and Gujarat to set up the model Foreign University to make education accessible for all.

An increase in the  overall financial allocation for the education sector for 2022-23 to Rs 1.04 lakh crore from Rs 93,224 crore (Budget estimate) in 2021-22 in view of Samagra Shiksha is certainly a welcome move. It’s a great education budget; belling the cat at the right time though the implementation is to be thought upon. We are looking forward to a quick implementation of the proposals.

Vaidyanathan V, CFO At Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

The Budget 22 has provided a much-required push to the economy by increasing the allocation to Capital Expenditure by about 35%. The budget has given thrust to the Gati Shakti – for sustainable growth. The budget has also given a push to the digital economy, introduction of Digital currency starting 200 TV channels to fill the gap in learning of the children due to the pandemic are some of the welcome points. Repealing 1486 Acts, which were redundant, introduction of e-passport, thrust for EV (electric vehicle) by introduction of charging stations and battery swapping are all welcome moves. Modification to the filing of tax returns for rectification/ including left out income at a nominal fee is a welcome move to avoid litigation.

Post budget reaction quote from Prof. Hema Swamy, Assistant Professor, Finance at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

While energy efficient trains like Vande Bharat or ‘eco friendly’ housing schemes are welcome, it is important to educate, support and improve sustainable lifestyles in as many spheres as possible. This could be through eco friendly educational initiatives through television like growing your own food or water conservation measures aimed at school children, allocation for urban kitchen gardens in PM housing schemes and government hospitals and other such micro level interventions can facilitate the conscious adoption of a sustainable lifestyle.

Views to be accredited to Avinash Kumar, Founder, Credenc

We welcome the Union Budget announced by the Finance Minister that is positively focused on e-learning to address the rising concern on education in the country. The development of a digital university & expansion of  the present PM eVidya Scheme from 12 channels to 200 channels will facilitate supplementary learning for all classes from 1 to 12 in regional languages. This will help students to access world class quality education, especially in remote rural areas. Moreover, An innovative and path-breaking initiatives of digital university and One Class One TV Channel was a much needed scheme to help overcome the loss of learning due to the pandemic. This much required shift to the digital learning will accelerate the growth of ed-tech companies and will fuel growth within the sector.

POST BUDGET REACTION QUOTE – DR MONA LISA BAL, CHAIRPERSON, KiiT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

The Union Budget 2022 announced today was a hit and miss for the education sector. While it has finally addressed and recognized the learning loss the pandemic has created, the need to develop the digital infrastructure of the country was not adequately focused in the budget. The economically disadvantaged students especially in rural areas have lost essential years of education and introduction of supplementary teachers was highly necessary. Supplementary education can help bridge the gap to a large extent. Increase of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ from 12 to 200 TV Channels to provide supplementary education in regional languages for class 1-12 is a welcome move but it will not be enough. It is important that we adapt our education system, pedagogies, and assessments according to the changing times. Upskilling is the need of the hour. Thus, the launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling and reskilling will be key to adapting to the shifting dynamics of our present. Setting up of virtual labs and skilling e-labs will be valuable in developing critical thinking amongst students. Access to high quality e-content can help enhance the quality of education received by students. Making this accessible in regional languages additionally is a positive step towards a wholesome education. Development of a digital university to provide access to students for world-class quality education with ISTE Standards will be beneficial in the long run by making education available for a wider audience through the power of the internet. However, the much-needed increase in budget allotment for the education sector was missed. Further constructive measures towards digitization and resuming physical classes are needed.

Comment on the Union Budget FY2022-23 – Aneel Gambhir, CFO, Blue Dart

“We are pleased to note that the Union Budget, is progressive, focuses on growth and is in line with our expectations. The Government’s focus on consistently investing in infrastructure development across the country bodes well for the Indian economy and more specifically for the logistics industry. The focus on public investments, by expanding the National Highway network by 25,000kms, the Gati Shakti masterplan with seven engines, 100 new cargo terminals, will give an impetus to the growth of the industry and help bring efficiency in logistics operations. We must also recognize the push for utilizing and promoting a digital ecosystem, whether that be with the launch of Gati Shakti and the numerous opportunities it initiates or the adoption of eVehicles; it further streamlines systems and processes, propelling the idea of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. 

The prioritization of technology is a 2-pronged strategy that also seeks to drive cleaner operations. The announcement of the special policy for battery swapping, introducing a uniform standard for EV batteries, encouraging the private sector to engage in sustainable business models and setting up additional public charging stations, have the potential to revolutionize the eVehicle industry. Moreover, eVehicles can also play a key role in last-mile logistics, a feat that can assist the industry in reducing its carbon footprint. The Government has also highlighted initiatives that will be beneficial for all by reducing the surcharge on long term capital gains.

While the budget carries good news for the logistics sector, we are happy to note the Government’s efforts in propelling areas such as infrastructure, digitalization, sustainable practices and citizen well-being, all of which require a special focus going into the new financial year. The world is now acclimated to COVID-19 and we are keen to see the subsequent results of these initiatives on the nation, going forward.”

 Mr. Rajkiran Rai G, MD and CEO, Union Bank of India.

The Budget 2022-23 is set in context of recovering economy with good macro stability. The Finance Minister takes forward growth impetus through enhanced outlays on public capex, incentives for digital, start-ups, supporting MSMEs, and targeted welfare spending in 2022-23. The cumulative Government support through ECLGS rising to Rs 5 trillion till March 2023 is welcome enabler for credit to vulnerable sectors of economy. Moreover, the absence of capital allocation for public sector banks reaffirms confidence in strength of banking sector in meeting the credit needs of economy. Overall, it is a growth oriented Budget.

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