Brilliant Budget – India Inc Chorus for FM

FM opens channel for media, post-Budget

Brilliant Budget – India Inc Chorus for FM

Murmurs on personal tax front

Nirmala gets full marks for right focus on infra, health, education, digital, sustainability

Tulsi Tanti, Founder and Chairman, Suzlon Group -This was a very crucial budget post pandemic and it will go a long way in stimulating the economy. I congratulate the government for coming out with such a growth-oriented budget in challenging times with focus capex expenditure. This is a landmark budget for prioritizing renewable energy in line with our commitments at COP26. There is good support to domestic manufacturing aligned strongly to building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.I especially applaud the green bonds announcement as this will bring about the much-needed investment in Green Energy projects. Battery swapping and support for distributed renewable energy projects are also critical announcements which can change the course of our energy roadmap. Overall, this is a budget that we should all welcome with enthusiasm. There are some areas where we could do better. Firstly, we really need to understand that renewable energy can catalyze the revival of the economy but the main constraint is that there is no GST on power sales to complete the pass-through mechanism. The government really needs to look at this.

Secondly, to accelerate the transition to a carbon neutral economy and to reduce the exorbitant costs of oil imports, we must have incentives in place for generation of green fuels. This is a critical missing aspect so far."

The Budget lays roadmap for Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is a remarkable growth-oriented budget with focus on capex expenditure. The union budget 2022-23 is truly transformative one as it is firing on all cylinders within its ambit to mark yet another attempt by the government to resuscitate a pandemic-ravaged economy.

The enhanced capital outlay of Rs 35.4 per cent to Rs 7.50 Lakh crore in 2022-23 augurs well for the economy as even inflation is under check at this point.

The bold measures in the union budget encompassed almost all critical sectors of the economy, including green energy, which is expected to galvanize the recovery process which has been set into motion by this government.

It is gladdening to notice that government has maintained continuity in its policies of enhancing ease of doing business, taxation and increase private investments.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said -The budget truly echoes India’s vision towards inclusive development and building a truly ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by providing a blueprint for the economy over ‘Amrit Kal’ from India at 75 to India at 100. FM’s key announcements on blockchain and setting up e-passports with futuristic technologies are a step in the right direction to help India emerge as a global technology leader. The focus on innovation and R&D (Research and Development) with an emphasis on strengthening talent capacity through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) universities and skilling courses in IIT’s will enable India to become a global hub for skilled talent. Overall, Budget 2022 promises to provide the much-needed impetus to sustain India’s economic and digital growth.

Chitra Ravi - Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Chrysalis: The pandemic has completely altered the way of learning and has increased the pace of digital adoption in the education sector. With improved digital infrastructure and the new initiatives introduced by the government such as the 'One class, one TV ‘, strengthening online education, quality education can now be possible.

As Educators we should realize Technology has opened up lots of possibilities to improve the quality of education. Tech can be used for professional development of Teachers and also to get assessment insights from children. We can safely say that Technology has the potential to solve some of the traditional challenges and pandemic related challenges as well.

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

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

Naveen Chandramohan, Founder, ITUS Capital -The FM has laid out a forward thinking, growth-oriented budget with its focus areas clearly laid out - the capex spend on infrastructure and manufacturing has laid a strong base for the growth cycle to continue. Moreover, streamlining logistics and prioritising road spends has made the priority of the government clear. Overall, this bodes very well for growth.

Amit Shah, Founder & CEO at A3 Tech :The finance minister has announced spending of ₹200 billion for road and 400 new trains in addition to a slew of initiatives in infrastructure,  manufacturing and logistics. We know that capex in infrastructure is key govt policy in fueling economic growth. China has proved that in the past and US is in the process of approving big infrastructure spending. I believe infrastructure initiatives announced in the budget is going to be major reason that, we will not only emerge out of pandemic but grow GDP by 8% or more.

Rupesh Jain - Founder and CEO Candere by Kalyan Jewellers: The decrease of Customs Duty from 7.5% to 5% might help remove the blockages and tie-ups in the legalized channels of diamond imports. The decrease in customs duties will help Indian e-commerce brands expand to overseas markets and cater to the vast and growing demand. Furthermore, the positive uptake to this is the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure which will allow e-commerce businesses to improve access and reach out to the interior sectors of the Indian market. This development decision gives us a broader audience base and prospective markets. Not just that, it will create a ripple effect, as with the recent changes to accessibility, more people will become used to digitization with the use of online shopping and online payments. As one of the objectives of Budget 2022 is to increase digital penetration and adaption in India."

Rishubh Satiya, Co-Founder, Plix , (a fast-growing clean plant-based nutrition brand for daily wellness and strength)- Being a startup we are pleased to see that the budget has once again prioritised our needs. The decision to extend tax incentives to March 2023 is a welcomed move. The pandemic has been difficult for a lot of businesses. Many startups had to pivot overnight and this extension is a great way to support the fraternity. Plix being a plant-based wellness brand, welcomes the attention being given to the sustainability movement. The budget also focuses on the need to prioritise mental health. However, we were hoping to see some decisions to support overall health and well-being. We also hope that in the future the ministry prioritises the need for sustainable and clean living.

Dr Veena Aggarwal, Trustee Dr KK's Heart Care Foundation - We had great expectations from the budget with respect to an increase in healthcare expenditure particularly because of the Covid pandemic, which has exposed the inadequacies in the public health infrastructure as well as the disparities in the healthcare system. But again, health appears not to be a priority directly, though the government announced launch of a national tele mental health programme comprising of a network of 23 tele mental health centres of excellence with NIMHANS as the nodal centre in an acknowledgement of the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the people. The government also announced roll out of an open platform for National Digital Health Ecosystem consisting of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities. Two lakh anganwadis will be upgraded with better facilities; 80 lakh affordable houses by 2023. Personal IT slabs remain the same. Though now taxpayers can file an updated return within 2 years from the end of the relevant assessment year.

Dr. Shyam Bhat, Chairperson, LiveLoveLaugh, (founded by Deepika Padukone) - The pandemic and its aftermath have aggravated mental health issues, and this situation requires renewed focus. Therefore, it is encouraging to see plans in this year’s annual budget to bolster mental health care infrastructure in the country. The setting of new mental health institutions and a national tele mental health program provide a robust platform for more research, better treatment and follow-up, and an overall improvement in health outcomes. We look forward to the implementation of the policies announced in this year’s budget”.

Tanaya Sharma, Cofounder, Speaking Herbs -We welcome the budget that has been allocated by Our finance minister. We are happy with the outcome of the budget as we cater to the MSME Industry. The Union Budget 2022-23 emphasises the MSME sector, a critical sector that makes up for about 45% of the country’s total manufacturing output, 40 percent of exports, and almost 30 per cent of the national GDP.  The declaration of the Emergency Credit Line for the MSME sector has been extended until March 2023. The guarantee cover has been increased by Rs. 50,000 crores, bringing the total plan cover to Rs. 5,00,000 crores.

Vimal Sharma, Founder-Director and CEO, SMOOR- We are grateful to the Finance Minister for extending the ECLG scheme to the MSME sector. This will help us access the capital needed for growth and deploy efficiently.

Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Capital Ltd - We welcome the growth-centric Budget aimed at securing India’s long-term economic interest. The union budget 2022-23 announced by the finance minister has shown a progressive and development-oriented focus for infrastructure and MSME. Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by another year to March 2023 and coverage increment of 50,000 crores will give the necessary impetus and act as a key enabler to empower the MSME businesses at the grassroots. The announced measure will have a domino effect on the sector as well as provide a cushion to create an engine of economic growth. The interlinkage of various portals for MSMEs will bring the masses who require the necessary thrust and foster an environment where India becomes integral to global demand. We believe the government will accelerate the task to implement the measures efficiently and rapidly for desired outcomes.

Additionally, the allocation of Rs 48, 000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana will fuel the vision of Housing for All and de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment. The announced measure will have a force multiplier for ancillary sectors to generate more opportunities.

Manoj Chawla, CBO, Tribyte Technologies -Digital ecosystem for skilling & livelihood (DESL) portal is a acknowledgment that Online education can support the traditional learning pedagogies. The Allocation towards Education has been increased to 1.42 Lakh crore. This is a significant change from previous years. The fine print may reveal investment in resource development, something which was much needed.

Anurag Jain, Founder KredX and Executive Committee Member, Digital Lenders Association of India - The Indian Government’s focus on financial inclusion and taking digital finance at the grassroot level continues in the budget 2022. While we have seen a fair bit of formal financial services in tier-2 and even tier-3 cities, there is still a large part of Bharat that relies on old, informal systems for their financial services. Including 1.5 lakh post offices, known for their wide geographical reach, under the core banking system is a great step to make financial services more accessible to underbanked customers. Similarly, introducing digital units at 75 locations through Schedule Banks is a progressive step towards familiarising customers with digital transactions and increasing the usage of digital financial services. In the long-term we see these as important changes that will enable a far-wider reach for all digital financial services, including digital lending. 

Kulin Shah, COO & Co-Founder-Onsurity - FM's budget speech addressed the much-needed impetus for promoting digital economy and fintech with the GOI committed to strengthening the abilities of the poor. The opportunity for correcting tax errors for up to 2 years and support to startups are also welcome decisions. We also welcome the move to have a national telehealth programme in light of the mental health crisis induced by the pandemic. It will be interesting to see what the Government has planned for the National Digital Health Ecosystem, we look forward to its alignment to the Universal Health Coverage and aim to support the initiative with our technology and services.

Osborne Dsouza, Director & CEO ,Edufiq, EdTech -The Union Budget 2022 for Education is a continuum for potential GDP growth over the next 25 years and it’s a sign of relief that reflects good governance. Digital DESH, Digital University initiative, One-Class-One channel through PM eVidya for supplementary education in regional languages for rural development and finally with fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in villages are indeed progressive initiatives.  PPP (Public Private Partnerships) with Hub-N-Spoke models for EdTech companies will certainly harmonize better learning outcomes especially on world-class student skill development.  Setting up of 5 COE (Center of Excellence) is a catalyst to excellence in education on the world stage.

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

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

Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Clear -Government has brought in 30% tax on cryptos income, where no deduction for any expenses except cost of acquisition shall be allowed. Gift of virtual assets shall also be taxed for the recipient. This clears the air on taxes for cryptos, however, there are several types of incomes people earn from cryptos and hopefully more clarity will be available in the Budget documents.

If the time for revising ITR has passed or it has already been assessed, a taxpayer could no longer amend and pay addl taxes. (Earlier time period was end of AY). If the taxpayer wants to pay addl taxes and amend an already filed return, it can be done now, within 2 years from the end of the relevant assessment year. The intention is to allow taxpayers an opportunity to pay any unpaid taxes without severe consequences, in case they have made a mistake at the time of filing and return is already processed.

Prabhdeep Singh, Founder and CEO, StanPlus - The upcoming launch of an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is exciting news for us. It will include digital registries of health providers and facilities, a unique health identity, and universal access to health facilities, all of which will aid us in saving lives by allowing us access to contextual health information in quick time, enabling faster and better medical response in emergencies.

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

Nilesh Patel, CEO and Founder of Leadsquared- This Budget proposal enables India to make digital progress across sectors and contributes to creating a digital, tech-enabled ecosystem. With the launch of the Digital DESL Stack portal the government will empower the Indian youth to attain more relevant jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and help them to upskill through online training. I believe start-ups will contribute greatly to the Government’s mission of driving job creation across the skill spectrum. Also, the introduction of Digital currency through use of blockchain technology in 2023, will make money management easier than ever.

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

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.

Karan Shaha, Co-Founder and CEO, Vahak, (India's largest online transport marketplace) -It is very encouraging seeing the Finance Minister focus on the Gati Shakti masterplan. Infrastructure is one of the key components in the Indian logistics industry. By increasing infrastructural investments, the logistics and transport sector will see drastic growth, allowing for everything from intercity to intracity goods transport to become seamless. The mention of focus on productivity enhancement and investment suggests that there will be a greater allocation for technology integration in this sector, and that has been one of the main demands from the stakeholders of this industry. Another key area that has been mentioned is energy transition and climate action. This along with the plethora of upcoming development opportunities indicate a greater focus ahead on electric mobility in the logistics sector. Overall, the emphasis of the budget seems to be on the right areas. As expected by us prior to the budget reveal, the focus on infrastructure development, energy transition, EVs and technology-based logistics operations has been there in the Union Budget 2022, and that is quite encouraging for us. This emphasis on inclusive development will not only augur well for the logistics sector, but for the overall growth of the Indian startup economy''.

Ankit Ahuja, Founder, Red Comet Films -It is great to see some focus on animation and video ecosystem as an important aspect of digital education and learning in the current budget. This will give the right impetus to India's video production industry that services every business sector of the country. Digital education is the need of the hour and this budget will help take modern education into the rural hinterland and provide top quality education to students in tier 4, tier 5 cities as well as villages that have been already touched by the digital revolution.

Nilesh Aggarwal, CEO, IJCP Group, founder Medtalks and eMedinexus- The focus on e-learning and exploring digital mediums for continued education is a welcome step for all sections of the society. The finance minister announced opening platforms for the National Digital Health ecosystem that will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities. This will be important towards building a more independent health ecosystem and provide equitable access to health facilities and better accountability of the health service providers. We are ready to support the Government on digital upskilling with our large bank of upskilling and CME courses The national tele mental health is an important step, especially in view of the mental issues caused by the pandemic. We at MEDtalks have several mental health courses for healthcare professionals and other digital support tools to empower public about their mental health. We had however hoped for a much bigger focus on healthcare given the Covid pandemic so that we can attract more investment in the sector.

Aditya Sanghi, Co-Founder, Hotelogix -The Indian hotel industry has taken a hit of over ₹1.30 lakh crore in revenue during the fiscal year 2020-21. The hospitality industry generates employment for close to 4.5 crore people in India and so we welcome the decision taken by the government to extend the ECGL service towards the Hospitality industry but this may not be enough. We are looking forward to seeing some GST relief in the budget for the sector. Being a hospitality startup we also welcome the tax incentives for Startups until March 31, 2023. Startups are the backbone of a thriving economy and we are glad that the government is focused towards prioritising this sector.”

Sandeep Sahni, Chairman, iThum World - With Gati Shakti Masterplan for expressways, 100 new cargo terminals for multi-nodal logistics, and the development of urban metro systems will give an immense enhancement to new warehousing and logistics facilities across the country which will certainly generate more job opportunities turning up demand for both in the residential and commercial sector.

In addition, the government also plans to launch ‘Ease of Doing Business 2.0 which should include more dynamic aspects and make India a more investment-friendly destination. A high-level panel to be set up for urban planning and modern building by-laws will be introduced which will be a booster for the overall sentiments for the real estate sector.

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

Poshak Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO, Florence Capital (an Ethical Lending platform designed exclusively only for women) -We welcome the vision outlined in the Union Budget 2022 regarding digital payments and how it can be a key tool towards enabling financial inclusion. The Budget has acknowledged that taking forward the digital banking and fintech innovations is the way to go - it is proposed to set up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts of the country by scheduled commercial banks. We hope to be able to support this mission and vision of financial inclusion by providing secured, transparent and accessible credit to women. Financial inclusion will play a key role in ensuring that the goal of 9.2% economic growth is achieved.

Aishwarya Rao, Director, The Vivekalaya Group of Institutions -The acknowledgement and agreement to direct more of our GDP towards education was a welcome progression at this year's budget. The wider the net of education spreads, it's fair to predict that the faster the country will progress.

Through the pandemic education has largely been through screens (phone, monitor, tv). Our greatest learning perhaps is that we can bring education to living rooms and homes. The expansion of the One Class One TV channel is a step towards making education accessible to all.

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

Aman Mittal, Vice President, LPU -This year’s budget recognizes the student loss due to school and college closures and the importance of supplementary teaching for building an resilient mechanism enabling quality education delivery. There is a greater focus on regional languages and vocational courses for students to unleash their creativity and explore multi-faceted avenues. The new age initiatives to develop high-quality e-content in all spoken languages for radio, television, and digital channels in order to reach students in rural areas, is truly commendable. The revolutionary concept of a digital university, which will provide students with access to world-class quality education will be developed on a hub-and-spoke network. Additionally, to promote modern-day agriculture, states will be urged to alter agricultural university curricula to fit the needs of natural, low-cost, and organic farming techniques. The government's actions for the education industry in FY23 are well-considered in light of the current situation.

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

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

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

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

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

Neeraj Gupta, Founder, and CEO, Genes2Me Pvt Ltd -We are glad that the Budget this year focuses on strengthening the digital healthcare infrastructure with the rollout of open platforms for the National Digital Health Ecosystem. Facilities like digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health will fasten the procedures and help in fighting the pandemic at a greater speed.

Shanti Lal Jain, MD & CEO of Indian Bank -It's a growth-oriented Budget on the backdrop of the pandemic. It is laudable that the focus is centred on clean energy, Infrastructure, Agriculture, MSME, Education, Digital Economy, Hospitality, transportation & logistics and increasing capital expenditure for overall development of the economy. The government's thrust has also been to relieve the supply-side bottlenecks.

The reforms namely the issuance of Digital Rupee, Green bonds, Extension of ECLGS up to Mar’23, increase the allocation in ECLGS and CGTMSE, announcement of 75 digital banking units and 1.5 lakh post offices to be connected to Core Banking for ease of financial transactions especially in the rural and semi-urban areas, are the hallmarks for a healthy financial sector that will accelerate the financing and augmenting credit flow to the economy.

Mostly unchanged direct tax regime has led to stability in the tax environment and gives us confidence that the economy is on the path of recovery. The implementation of the proposed steps and also the reforms will help in raising demand, create jobs and augment India’s economic growth’.

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

Yezdi Nagporewalla, CEO Designate, KPMG in India -This is a pro-growth budget. It has taken a holistic and integrated perspective to all key issues including green transition requirements. Effective implementation should now be the aim to aid growth. With a continued focus on infrastructure development, the current union budget also aims to boost the renewable energy sector, offer much-needed support to the MSME sector, and make new headways into digital currency regulations. This will aid the growth of the economy and drive it out of the headwinds faced during COVID-19.  Focus on and support for forward-looking technologies such as digital currency, 5G, EVs and use of drone technologies as laid out in the budget will help the country in its progress during the “Amrith Kaal”.

Rajeev Dimri, Partner and National Head of Tax, KPMG in India -The Budget proposal lay the foundation for strengthening of different sectors like transportation and logistics sectors (Gati shakti), banking and fintech (75 digital units to be set up), agriculture, EV sector (battery swapping policy), among others.

On the Direct tax front, to further ease compliances for taxpayers, the new IT return system to be introduced; this space to be watched out. The Government has only marginally increased the time limit to commence production by 31.03.2024 for units opting for the beneficial corporate tax rate of 15%. Some steps seem to have taken to reduce litigation, by restricting appeal rights of revenue authorities for consecutive years. Introduction of digital currency by RBI and taxation of digital assets at 30% is a point for discussion, however it would provide some relief for crypto currency holders that are currently being traded in India.

To give a boost to the start-up community, the Government has also capped the surcharge on long term capital gains at 15% now. As a push to promote exports, SEZ Act to be replaced with a new legislation and states shall become partners for development of infrastructure is a big overhaul and seems to be a positive step. In tandem, reforms are also proposed to be undertaken in the Customs administration of SEZs, with facilitation related changes to be made.

From an Indirect Tax perspective, the concessional rate on capital goods imports under Project Import Scheme is proposed to be withdrawn, to promote domestic industry - imports to be taxed at 7.5% now. With the object of improving indigenous manufacturing, various changes are proposed to be carried out in the Customs Duty rates, while the details would need to be analyzed, the same should ideally be in line the comprehensive rationalized rate structure.

Parizad Sirwalla, Partner and Head, Global Mobility Services, Tax, KPMG in India -The ongoing pandemic, coupled with the rising inflation, has adversely affected the household expenses of the common man for an elongated period now. However, with the higher capex and fiscal deficit target the Finance Minister has limited specific relief to individual taxpayers. To provide impetus to trust based governance as a concept, an updated tax return system has been introduced wherein a taxpayer can file a tax return upon payment of specified taxes within 2 years from the end of the relevant assessment year.  A specific tax regime is introduced for income from virtual digital assets to be taxed at the rate of 30% with no deduction for any expenditure except the cost of acquisition of such asset.

Interestingly, some relief to individuals with income above 2 crores in the form of capping of surcharge @ 15 per cent on long term capital gains (on specified assets) from existing graduated rates. It would be relevant to analyze the fine print of the finance bill for other announcements and tax sops if any on the personal tax front.

Neeraj Bansal, COO - India Global and National Leader - Supply Chain Realignment, KPMG in India - Budget 2022’s emphasis on logistics, specifically for the Gati Shakti Plan, reiterates how the logistics sector is integral to the economic and trading activities of India. In India, road transportation dominates the logistics sector, with a majority share of 60 per cent, followed by Railways, which has a 30 per cent contribution. Given this context, the Budget’s announcements under the National Gati Shakti plan are a welcome move for the sector. The Gati Shakti Masterplan for Expressways will expand roadways by 25,000 milometres, connecting remote areas of the country with manufacturing hubs. The 100 cargo terminals to be developed under this programme will ensure a more efficient logistics connectivity. The concept of “one station, one project” will help in popularizing local businesses and supply chains, with the Railways to develop projects specifically for the MSME sector. The announcement of contracts to be awarded for multimodal logistics parks also puts into focus the government’s efforts in ensuring logistics efficiency.

The Finance Minister’s announcement of the launching of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) 2.0—which will initiate the digitization of manual processes, further coordination with states, the removal of overlapping compliances, crowdsourcing of suggestions, etc.—is a step in the right direction to raise India’s current EoDB ranking of 63. This also is a positive messaging for potential investors, which will attract more investments and FDI in the manufacturing sector.

Climate action and sustainability was also a major focus of Budget 2022. The Budget announced an additional INR19,500 crore for PLI in solar PV module manufacturing. Electric vehicles are being specifically encouraged with mobility zones dedicated for this.

Budget 2022 has made some major announcements that can boost manufacturing and logistics in India. It needs to be seen now how soon these programmes can be implemented for a more efficient supply chain in India.”

Sanjay Doshi, Partner and Head, Financial Services Advisory, KPMG in India -A master stroke of connecting 1.5 lakhs post offices to the Core banking from a financial inclusion and banking access to non-banked population.   At present, post office deposits limited transfer of funds within post office ecosystem as the same was not connected to banking ecosystem.  More than 35 crores post office deposit accounts with deposit aggregating to more than 10 lakh crores to be connected to core banking system.   Being part of core banking will result in ease of managing funds including transferring funds from post office savings to bank accounts and vice versa.  A win-win situation 1) access for banks to post office accounts and deposit holders; 2) Ease of access to banking customers is an opportunity for post office savings schemes to tap the deposits lying with banks.  3) Interoperability will provide banking infrastructure access (for e.g. Bank ATMs) to Post office customers.”

Vivek Gupta, Partner and Head, M&A and PE Tax, KPMG in India -The Budget recognizes that capital will unleash growth.  Significant increase in government capex coupled with a re-look at the regime for private capital (PE/ VC) signals the seriousness of the government on this count.  Lowering the surcharge on capital gains for all assets is interesting and will help both start-ups and possibly, real estate.  This is an “Invest in India” budget!

Rajosik Banerjee, Partner and Head, Financial Risk Management, KPMG in India -Digital Rupee using blockchain technology will lead to stable, efficient, regulated payments and settlements and lowered transaction cost. This initiative is expected to boost the digital economy and reduce leakages by lowering dependency on cash”

Vivek Agarwal, Partner and Co-lead, Economic Development Advisory and Sector Lead - Tourism, KPMG in India -A well-rounded budget with focus on long term growth agenda across four key tenets – Infrastructure development and Capex Enhancement, Focus on Productivity, Financial Inclusion and Digital deepening.

Spurring private investment through PPP and Innovative financing mechanism across sectors will go a long way in setting in next phase of growth cycle.

Enhancing ECLGS to 5 lakh crores with focus on hospitality is a welcome announcement for tourism and hospitality sector”

Amarjeet Singh, Partner and National Lead, Emerging Giants and Startups, KPMG in India -The new committee being appointed to look at regulatory and other challenges for PEs and VCs will increase the confidence of the community to look at India and its opportunities more favourably.

The reduction of surcharge on long term capital assets to 15% will help investors in startups to reduce their overall cost of exit.

Recognition of the virtual digital assets and prescribing a proper tax regime will lead to establishment of many more startups in this space.  The tax regime prescribed will give certainty and will firmly establish cryptos, NFTs etc becoming an investible class of asset.

The PLI scheme on 5G and commitment on auction of spectrum will have huge impact on the nature, quality and number of startups which will use this technology to upgrade customer/ supplier interactions. New business models will arise and India will take lead in them faster than the west.

Waman Parkhi, Partner, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India -The Union Budget looks at Information Technology as the primary enabler for growth, be it Agriculture , Health (like tele mental health centres) education (like network of television channels and internet to create and disseminate local language content) governance (like billing and tracking of procurement on portal) digital rupee (to be issued by RBI). The stress on reducing compliance, bringing standardisation (State and central government portals will talk to each other, standardisation would be brought in for electric batteries to ensure battery swapping to fuel electric mobility growth) and using Information technology underline the theme of bringing efficiency to operations in the economy. This would require lesser additional investment but returns in terms of growth would be much higher. Of course, the ideas enunciated should be implemented in right spirit at the ground level.

Narendra Ganpule, Partner, KPMG in India -While the budget has more of the same, some proposals certainly stand out for the long-lasting impact they can have.

Increasing capex by 35% to 7.5 lac crores is one of them. India is focused on reviving the economy that has suffered due to pandemic and other systemic lacunae. Enhancing gross domestic capital formation will certainly yield multi-year benefits.

While the world is increasingly adopting clean energy, India is almost fully dependent on fossil fuels. Creating nation-wide standards and policies is a great first step to catalyze local industries and bring economies of scale. Though much more was expected on the EV front.

Green bonds is another announcement that’s in sync with this theme. Augmenting finances for clean-tech is a great way to channelize the resources in the much-needed areas.

Announcement of digital rupee is a signal that Govt acknowledges the fact that digital currencies are here to stay and instead of letting commoners dabble in unregulated currencies, it makes sense to bring legitimacy through digital rupee.

Lastly, allowing educational institutions in the GIFT city is an interesting proposal. Will we see foreign universities setting up a campus in GIFT city? Lets’ see – only time will tell.

Nandita Tripathi, Partner and Tax Sector Head- ENR, KPMG in India - "Green Budget" with a strong push for EVs, clean energy and transition towards circular economy. Announcement of PLI scheme for domestic capacity building and green sovereign bonds, coupled with significant capital expenditure commitment puts the country on the right path for sustainable growth and development

Amarjeet Singh, Partner and National Lead, Emerging Giants and Startups, KPMG in India - Budgets reference to EV revolution and policy framework around battery swapping, charging infrastructure, use of battery as service etc will accelerate the pace of EV adoption and support the startup ecosystem in this space.

Elias George, Partner and Head, Government & Public Services (G&PS), KPMG in India -The Budget has attempted to address the key challenges confronting the Indian economy in the wake of the pandemic: ensuring a more inclusive model of economic development, creating fresh employment, ramping up supply-side driven economic growth by focusing on infrastructure creation, enhancing access to digital education and upskilling, as well as boosting production and productivity through PLI schemes for manufacturing industry. There is a welcome emphasis on improving India’s transportation and logistics infrastructure stock and related processes – what has been termed the ‘seven engines’ that drive the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan. Also noteworthy are the incentives and support announced for revivifying the MSME sector, as well as the focus on climate change containment measures, such as energy transition, and for improving the electric vehicle ecosystem in India.

Manish Dabkara, CMD & CEO, EKI Energy Services Ltd - The Union Budget 2022 is truly historical given its strong focus on climate for the first time ever and large allocations for various sectors that enable climate friendly sustainable development. We wholeheartedly welcome the Union Budget 2022 and it is truly a delight for us that Energy Transition & Climate Action have been recognized as two important pillars in the budget this year establishing India's commitment to sustainable development by mitigating global warming. The budget’s strategic blueprint for climate action will truly enable a low carbon development in India supporting the Panchamrita commitment laid down by PM at COP26.

Having said this, though the Govt. is striving in the right direction with climate friendly growth plan, there is still a long way to go for a climate proof Budget. Climate actions will need strategically designed guidelines & policies along with a well-defined roadmap that can help us achieve the net-zero target. There should also be greater clarity and focus on the taxation of carbon finance and offsets along with incentivisation of the sector which can drive focused modus operandi for the achievement of net zero target by 2070,

1.     Budgetary allocation in Anganwadi development with clean energy facilities is an important step towards enabling a clean equitable development in rural India.  This is an impressive step by the Govt. towards its commitment for net-zero by 2070 as clean energy will reduce pollution levels even as villages become self-sustainable with its use of clean energy.

2.     The allocation of Rs. 1400 crore for development of solar and Hydro projects in Ken Betwa river linking projects will further enable sustainable development. This along with the target to increase solar power capacity to 280gigawatt by 2030 from the existing capacity of 141gigawatt is a truly welcome step. Govt. and private will need to work together for a Public Private partnership (PPP) to achieve this target and Govt should provide more incentives by way of relaxation in taxation, availability of land and policy guideline on carbon offset to encourage companies to increase the production of solar power and achieve this target.

3.     Rs.19000 crores Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) for solar panel will need increased focus. There is an urgent need for supportive infrastructure as well as an economic ecosystem that will enable the manufacturer, buyer and the service provider to come together to achieve the solar power production target.

4.     Promotion of clean technology in public transport will enable sustainable growth as clean energy is used increasingly. This should however also encourage efficient waste management and an increased dependence on renewable power by the country. The project should also be financially feasible for which we should adopt carbon financing for green initiatives.

5.     Gati Sakti will encourage a strong pathway towards environmental friendly transportation development.

6.     Energy efficiency as the basis for railway development, especially in running of freights and passenger trains will also enable efficient and carbon friendly development. Special mobility zone with zero fossil in urban development shows the commitment of government towards GHG abatement.

7.     Chemical free natural farming within a 5km wide corridor of river Ganga is a step towards sustainable and climate resilient farming practices. Allocation of programmes supporting agri-waste management into to energy will directly address stubble burnings that will help reduce many million tonnes of carbon emissions.

8.     Green bonds will help focus on carbon intensity reduction projects. Sustainable and climate finance institutions will be set up to mobilize finance for clean development.

9.     Govt will also pay Rs 2.37 lakh crore towards procurement of wheat and paddy under MSP operations. This however need a proper market linkage and established demand for the produce that can motivate farmers to focus more on improving the practices in cultivation and make farmlands more sustainable.

Srikanth Iyer, CEO and Co- Founder, HomeLane -One of the key highlights of this Union Budget is the consideration to extend the redemption of existing tax incentives for startups, until March 31, 2023. This will benefit the overall startup ecosystem in the country post this pandemic wave.

Furthermore, the PLI scheme to achieve the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is promising and has enormous potential to create job opportunities with additional production of 30 lakh crore during the next keycap digit five years.

The PLI scheme is highly relevant especially for the real estate and organised home interiors sector, who are dependent on other countries as the overall costs are still much higher for manufacturing in India, given the continued global crisis in the supply-chain. I am confident that this will enable to further boost the organised home interiors sector in India and ensure increased dependency on the manufacturing requirements domestically.

Manish Rathi, CEO & Co-founder, IntrCity -We would like to congratulate the FM on delivering the Budget 22-23. We welcome the government's commitment to expanding the national highway network by 25,000 kilometres this fiscal year. The Finance Minister needs to be complimented for her vision to usher 9.2 percent economic growth. This is very much possible in view of the allocation of 20,000 crores to the National Highway System. This shows the government's intention to revive and transform the beleaguered travel and transport industry.

We endorse the GOI's aim to improve road connectivity by redesigning the roads in hilly areas under the Parvat Mala initiative, which will improve connectivity for commuters.

The government seems inclined to strengthen and support public transport infrastructure in urban areas and allocate funds through low-interest loans to small travel operators; this is a good sign. These would help us expand our SmartBus fleet's presence deep inside India's heart and provide comfortable, convenient, and safe mobility solutions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Sajal Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, Civils Daily -The government's plan of developing a digital university in line with ISTE standards shows its commitment towards improving digital infrastructure to support online education. The allocated budget for education must be used to provide high-speed broadband connectivity in rural areas, Tier 2 and 3 cities as well. Online education is the only way to counter the loss of learning due to the pandemic and by increasing the number of TV channels from 12 to 200 in its PM eVidya program, the government is bridging the digital divide by making online education accessible and affordable for all masses. The government must not, however, forget to support this with quality teacher training certification programs to help the staff make the transition from offline to the online route. Vacancies must be created for online trained tutors and mentors well. With digital payments gaining momentum in the edtech space, a part of the budget must be utilized to ensure cybersecurity to prevent cybercrimes. We hope Budget 2022 has the key elements to make online education accessible, acceptable, affordable and adaptable by both students and teachers.

Akhil Gupta, CEO. -Encouraging move from Indian Government that will further strengthen the positive outlook towards growth. This should inspire both large manufacturing setups and D2C startups alike to invest more into capacity building and generate more employment opportunities. views this as an opportunity to innovate further and connect more employers & employees, providing right set of recruitment services.

Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) -“We welcome the measures announced by the honorable Finance Minister, today. The budget for 2022–23 gives a huge impetus to the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Introducing the battery swapping policy and recognizing battery or energy as a service will help to develop EV infrastructure and increase the use of EVs in public transportation. It would motivate businesses engaged in delivery and ride aggregation businesses to incorporate EVs into their fleet. It will create new avenues for companies to venture into the business of battery swapping. Additionally, creating special clean zones will further accelerate the adoption of  EVs and spread awareness amongst the citizens. The move will benefit the whole segment, i.e E2W, E3W, E-cars, and buses.

The budget also provides attention to the need for skilled resources in the industry. Introducing new skill programs in ITI will bridge the skill gap that currently exists in the industry. The industry would be happy to work with the government to devise customized courses to meet the demands of the EV industry.

Overall, the budget aims at strengthening the whole ecosystem of the EV industry, which will spur the demand for green vehicles.

Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India - The emphasis on growth, digitization and being future ready outlines the government’s commitment to cohesive development and ‘Make in India’. Focus on Gati Shakti masterplan, youth, women, job creation, technology and infrastructure development among others will drive India’s Amrit Kal, journey from 75 to 100 years as a democracy. India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, and the Budget has provided enough impetus to propel the same. In addition, we expect the digital ecosystem for skilling will boost human capital and empower industries significantly.

A Gururaj, MD, Optiemus Electronics Ltd -  The industry has been completely galvanized under the pioneering initiative of PLI scheme, with  FM today stating that it has potential to create 60 Lakh new jobs and additional production of 30 lakh crores. This is also a clarion call to the industry to work much harder in the years to come to make it a reality.  On a macro level, the scheme around design-led manufacturing as part of the PLI scheme would fasten the development of the ecosystem, and also changes in customs duty will drive greater domestic value addition in Electronics manufacturing in the country, which has grown rapidly in the last few years.

Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India, said, Union Budget 2022 has announced the PM Gati Shakti program as one of the priority areas of the government. Seven engines of the PM Gati Shakti initiative are roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infra. As the Indian economy moves towards strengthening these initiatives, geospatial technology will gain more prominence in the process. As shared by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, the Gati Shakti program would involve huge investments in construction of about 25,000 Kms of highways, multimodal transport, and modernization of land records. These are welcome steps, and GIS and other geospatial technologies will facilitate efficient implementation of these schemes. With the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), the government is aiming at universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. GIS based water distribution network planning, execution and operations will go a long way in bringing these plans to fruition more quickly and efficiently.

Vikram Kumar, Co-founder, MyTat( Skilling Startup) - Budget 2022 gave a major and much needed thrust to digital skilling with initiatives like Digital DESH. Emphasis on a digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood points to the much-needed market oriented digital skills development".

Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India & Hon. Treasurer, CREDAI NCR - The governments focus on increased urbanisation, planning and governance along with comprehensive sector development is a

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