Nirmala gets 8/10 for The right key words

Budget documents at Parliament under tight security

Nirmala gets 8/10 for The right key words

Booster for startups, solar mission, digital Bharat

Startups to bigwigs salute FM Nirmala Sitharaman for her ‘brilliant budget’

Dishi Somani - Founder of Dishis Designer Jewellery - The jewellery industry was on a halt in the pandemic situation, and we finally have a little hope for the situation to improve now. In the budget announcement today, the Finance Minister shared a little relief in our sector. The customs duty on cut and polished diamonds, gems will be reduced to 5% in the upcoming fiscal year and we think it is a beneficial move for us. Also, to digitalize the country and make the framework simpler, the union budget will also lay emphasis on the export of jewellery through e-commerce. A “simplified regulatory framework” is set up by the government and will come into action by June this year.

Abhishek Pathak, Founder & CEO, Greenwear -The budget for the year 2022-23 has provided a promising start for a greener and cleaner future of our economy. Sovereign Green bonds for mobilising resources for green infrastructure will definitely add value in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy. It would have been an icing on the cake if the budget allocation in the clean energy sector would somehow be directly linked with livelihood generation at the local level. Announcement of Vibrant Village Programme and inclusion of decentralised renewable energy resources for villages located on the northern border is also a welcoming step.  There is not much for the traditional textile industry. However, the budget incentivises textile exports by exempting various embellishments which might help bonafide exporters indirectly working with traditional crafts.

Ajay Kumar Mall, Managing Director, Mallcom India Ltd- The Budget presented today is highly growth oriented as a lot of impetus has been given to infrastructure development. Also, the fact that the SEZ ACT is going to be modified is a welcome move because a lot of SEZ Units needs to be revamped to increase competitiveness for local as well as the export market.

Apart from this, there has been a great news in the garment and the footwear industry where a lot of imports of trims and embellishments has been allowed duty free which is a great step to boost the trade.

Capital goods imports, project imports at a reduced duty of 7.5% is also a welcome move that will lead to a lot of capital investments in the infra sector and help in boosting of trade.

Avinash Godkhindi, MD and CEO, Zaggle -The honourable FM has presented a balanced budget with a strong push for digitalization, financial technology and digital payments specifically. As one of the very few profitable SaaS Fintech players, we believe the biggest news is the issuance of the digital currency by RBI which will open a wide range of options and opportunities. Additionally, the endorsement that digital payments are user friendly and economical is a big boost to the morale of FinTechs and all digital payments ecosystem players, the continued support is most welcome. The aim to take digital banking to every citizen is extremely heartening, positive and a bold statement. The plan to create 75 digital banking units in 75 districts is great. Possibly the best way to execute this would be for scheduled banks to partner with FinTechs to roll out these effectively. The Union Budget 2022 has various encouraging initiatives that will propel aspiring entrepreneurs and boost Fintech and startups. To further ease business environment for startups, the government has announced the existing tax benefits for startups to be extended by one more year up to 31st March 2023. Overall the FM has presented a growth oriented budget focusing on capital expenditure that will go a long way in providing the much needed support for India’s long term growth story and help create employment opportunities for the wider section of the society.

Ravi Annavarapu, President, FMC India - We welcome this budget as it focuses on growth and inclusive development of farmers and rural communities by emphasizing on technological advancement, infrastructure and access to services for better productivity and cost-efficiency. The increased access to digital and high-tech services, use of kisan drones for crop assessment and increasing input use efficiency under the drone-shakti program, reduction of logistics costs via PM Gatti Shakti program will increase overall production and cost efficiency for farmers across the country. Further, provision for capital allocation towards aid for agri and rural start-ups, FPOs and Custom Machinery Hiring Centers for farmers will enhance access of small holder farmers to affordable mechanization. Enhanced focus on the production of oilseeds and promoting adoption of suitable varieties of fruits and vegetables will support farmers. However, we do feel the country needs more cohesive and impactful initiatives for crop diversification. The government should also consider rationalization of GST rate on pesticides in-line with other agricultural inputs to reduce the cost burden on the farmers. Additionally, there are opportunities to harness solar power for agriculture, which can reduce its CO2 footprint significantly, in-line with the sustainability goals set by the honorable PM at COP26. Incentivizing innovation by allowing income tax waiver on 200% of the R&D and extension investment by private companies would be positive for advancement of agriculture.

Aakash Minda, Executive Director, Minda Corporation Limited said -I am broadly pleased with the Budget 2022 presented in Parliament today by our Hon’ble Finance Minister Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman. Dubbed the 'booster dose budget' in some quarters, some of the measures unveiled today, like Capex spent of around 7.5 lakh crore, PM Gati Sakti projects and focus on making India more Atmanirbhar will certainly offer a shot in the arm for the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, announcements such as the battery swapping policy and the push for clean tech and electric vehicles will further spur the growth of the EV industry while also acting as a catalyst for jobs among the youth.

Dishi Somani - Founder of Dishis Designer Jewellery - MSME sector contributes around 45% of India's overall manufacturing output. The 40 percent of exports and around 30 percent of the national GDP is by the MSME sector. We are pleased that the government has emphasized the importance of the MSME sector by allocating a fair budget of Rs 6,000 crores to the industry and its growth.

The budget also gives custom duty exemption on import of steel scrap being extended by a year to help the MSME sector.Also, the Emergency Credit Line extension will help us a lot by extending Rs. 50 thousand crores to the scheme.

The government will also work on the additional fund of ₹2 lakh crore for Micro and Small Enterprises and expand job opportunities for the youth. Overall, this budget will help the MSME sector and the country's economic growth.

Rajiv Mistry, Founder & Managing Director, Ascent Group of Companies - "The Government has laid out an ambitious vision for Healthcare. The announcement of the National Digital Health Ecosystem which will be an open platform that will capture all the stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, backed by a unique health ID will help form a robust network to map and rollout healthcare facilities to all and improve accessibility.

Also, the National Tele Mental Health programme will bring into focus the relegated sector of mental health. It is encouraging to see that mental health will be dealt with at an institutional scale across India, by roping in both NIMHANS and IIIT-Bengaluru for the tech-support.

These key announcements on healthcare will now require a combined push from both Centre and States in terms of co-ordination and effective execution to significantly improve inclusiveness, reach and impact on a pan-India level.

Sachin Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO, Ninety One Cycles -The fiscal budget 2022-23 was extremely new-age as anticipated and promising for growing businesses especially within the ambit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Digital India mission. We welcome the Government’s revamped focus on urban infrastructure and development. We believe the introduction of town planning schemes and transit-oriented development will create a massive opportunity for e-mobility in India. The policy push towards building and improving efficiency of India’s EV ecosystem will play a crucial role in encouraging more and more consumers to adopt eco-friendly ways of commuting for both short and long-distance travel.

Initiatives like Drone Shakti for startups and an expert committee to help attract investments, PE/VC is an encouragement for many players with the mission to expand their businesses and export goods manufactured in India to the world. In the larger context, this strengthens India’s mark on the global map and continues to be the manufacturing hub which will also boost FDI. The budget is very holistic and definitely aimed for the next 25 years as assured by honorable FM in her opening statement.

As India becomes the third-largest startup ecosystem after US and China, we would like to congratulate the government for emphasis laid on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ during the past couple of years. With extension on tax incentives for startups and Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) until 2023, we are hopeful that businesses especially MSMEs will get the much-needed respite in registering strong recovery during the post-pandemic era.

Rohit Sahni, CEO & Co-Founder, WK Life- This is a welcome budget for private enterprises and startups as it addresses our needs. The proposal to reserve 25 percent of the R&D Budget for Startups and Private entities is an excellent move. To provide monitory relief to startups, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also announced an extension of one year for the incentives provided to them in view of the pandemic. However, nothing much has been announced for the retail sector which was expecting some major announcements. We expected that the union budget will provide financial support/incentives, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, to help accelerate the digital India vision. So we can say that it is highly disappointing that there is nothing for the most  affected sector that is retail sector.

Arjit Soni, Founder & CEO, MYBYK -The Union Budget takes cognisance of the need for a shift in urban planning in making Indian cities liveable and habitable for future generations. Measures such as encouraging public transport along with clean-tech and governance solutions, special mobility zones with zero fossil-fuel policy, and EV vehicles are welcome steps. However, the Budget misses the inclusion of electric cycles under the FAME subsidy. Ironically, electric bicycles cost more than electric scooters as they are not included under the FAME subsidy. Measures on this front would have been beneficial for India's burgeoning shared e-bike segment.

Abhinav Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, ALMOND Solutions- The Government has shown that they are going all-in on India’s start-up dreams, leveraging it as a big economic lever, with tax benefits. We are extremely happy and thankful that the redemption of taxes for 3 consecutive years which were offered for three years will be extended by 1 more year. The economic survey has shown that in 2021 14,000+ new startups have been recognised in India, and the trend shows that it’s up 20 times in five years. This was a clear indication for the government that the Indian start-up ecosystem needs the push to fly. Talking of flying, the Drone Shakti program signals the government's growing belief in the power of technology, and for a growing tech start-up like us, it also opens up a lot of opportunities. Our innovation teams will take this as a green signal to enter into the drone space and begin developing solutions.

Devangana Mishra, Founder & CEO, Brain Bristle -The focus on mental health wellness addressed in the Union Budget 2022 is a positive and healthy showcase of the receptiveness and awareness towards mental health in India today. The proposed framework of the National Tele Mental Health Program to create a holistic national and digitally led ecosystem of healthcare providers, mental healthcare counseling and care services and centers is a great step forward to address and access education and information and create awareness and positive attitude towards mental health which saw an exponential surge during the unprecedented pandemic times. Understanding disability, mental health, intellectual disability in the context of privilege and minority is important. I think we have arrived at a phase in India wherein we cannot look to ‘mental health’ as a form of charity. We need to look at addressing the conversation and actions around mental health as a medium to create empowerment and strength in our society. We need to deeply care about allocating not just budget in quantity but in the highest quality above all. Apart from allocating millions to expand mental health as a facility, we need to make it strategic, sharp and focused to make sure everyone works towards empowerment and inclusivity in our society.

Sachin Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO, Ninety One Cycles-The fiscal budget 2022-23 was extremely new-age as anticipated and promising for growing businesses especially within the ambit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Digital India mission. We welcome the Government’s revamped focus on urban infrastructure and development. We believe the introduction of town planning schemes and transit-oriented development will create a massive opportunity for e-mobility in India. The policy push towards building and improving efficiency of India’s EV ecosystem will play a crucial role in encouraging more and more consumers to adopt eco-friendly ways of commuting for both short and long-distance travel.

Initiatives like Drone Shakti for startups and an expert committee to help attract investments, PE/VC is an encouragement for many players with the mission to expand their businesses and export goods manufactured in India to the world. In the larger context, this strengthens India’s mark on the global map and continues to be the manufacturing hub which will also boost FDI. The budget is very holistic and definitely aimed for the next 25 years as assured by the FM in her opening statement.

As India becomes the third-largest startup ecosystem after US and China, we would like to congratulate the government for emphasis laid on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ during the past couple of years. With extension on tax incentives for startups and Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) until 2023, we are hopeful that businesses especially MSMEs will get the much-needed respite in registering strong recovery during the post-pandemic era.

Varun Chopra, CEO, Eduvanz -The unprecedented times during the past year led to online gateways becoming a channel to take brands, institutions, universities, products and businesses to a wider audience faster than ever before. However, lack of resources left innumerous children at a loss. The introduction of digital universities and High quality e-learning content platforms in multiple languages now, is a good initiative by the government to make quality education accessible to all. Further, the introduction of Desh E-Portal is yet another great initiative to provide more skilling and upskilling opportunities to our youth, in turn helping them with better employment opportunities in the future.

India is a young country having produced 40 unicorns so far, with a youth which has entrepreneurial aptitude in this digital economy. With startups budding more than ever before, announcing an extension for tax exemption to them for yet another year will help us in encouraging them further, giving them more liquidity to grow.

Manish Chourasia, Managing Director, Tata Cleantech Capital Limited -The announcement of the Finance Minister to issue sovereign green bonds to mobilize resources required for green infrastructure will certainly help boost the financing of clean energy projects, thereby providing an impetus to the Indian energy sector. With Approved Module Manufacturer List becoming applicable from April 2022, the allocation of an additional INR 19,500 crore under PLI scheme for solar would help create much needed manufacturing ecosystem. The enhanced focus on electric mobility is showcasing the clear desire to mainstream this emerging industry. Overall, the budget is giving clear direction for India to meet its COP26 commitments by 2030.


Ganesh Ram - MD & Chief Executive Officer, MF Utilities -The Budget provided a boost for various sectors, specifically Infra, Agri, welfare, energy etc. There was a clear focus by the Government on driving digital economy growth with fintech, tech-enabled development, energy transition and climate action plan. It was good to see that the Government is serious about launching digital currency, usage of blockchain tech, bringing 1.5 lakh post offices into the core banking system to enable financial inclusion, Battery swapping policy to allow EV charging stations for automobiles and 5G/Telecom focus among others.

We hope the MF Industry latches on to the post office network as it can potentially help in MF Distribution given the network, presence, and customer base of the Postal department. It is still very early to say but I believe this might help the MF industry specifically in B30 locations. Some of the few big surprises were (1) decision to tax receivers of digital asset transfers at a high of 30% (2) 1 percent TDS on transfer of virtual assets above a threshold and gifts to be taxed (3) Gift of cryptocurrencies to be taxed at receiver's end and middle class taxpayers left in lurch again and (4) A direct benefit to boost the MF industry which was highly expected.Overall, it was a futuristic budget bringing cheer to various sectors but perception of the common man perhaps will differ.

Maharukh Rustomjee Managing Partner, Amaterasu Lifesciences LLP -This budget has some good initiatives that will boost the start-up environment in India especially in the agriculture and rural segment. Govt’s promised outlay to the MSME segment, allocating funds, and creating a digital ecosystem for skilling will help create talent that can benefit start-ups and is a big confidence booster. While a lot was expected to boost pharma R&D, there is little to encourage companies like ours who work in the contract research segment and on innovative R&D projects with heavy upfront investment. However, focused efforts, like the open platform for the national digital health ecosystem, digital registries, and improved access and digitalization of healthcare, are commendable and are likely to benefit Indian people and also provide research opportunities in India and attract large players to invest in the healthcare sector. Various initiatives in digitalizing India such as digital currency, further enabling of digital payments and ease of doing business are likely to support start-ups indirectly.

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.”

Rahul Shah, Business Development Manager, HEM Corporation -We are pleased by the government’s focus on the MSME sector in the union budget 2022-23. Under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, the guarantee cover is being expanded by Rs. 50,000 Cr. to a total cover of Rs. 5 lakh crores, the introduction of RAMP with an outlay of Rs. 6,000 crore over, etc, is highly appreciated and will serve as major boosters for the MSMEs, which suffered setbacks in recent years due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initiatives to increase exports, stress on PLI scheme, etc, will boost manufacturing in India, create jobs, and further promote the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

With the recent announcements, we hope to see an increase in productivity, international trade, and better financing options for MSMEs.

K Paul Thomas MD & CEO, ESAF Small Finance Bank -The union budget 2022 is a road map for the country, with a focus on all key sectors. The introduction of Edu tech, fintech and upskilling schemes along with a digital push will define the sustainable growth trajectory for the coming years. The budget also gives a much-needed thrust to the Infrastructure, MSME and agricultural sectors to make them more resilient and competitive when the adverse impact of the pandemic is yet to recede. The focus on infrastructure will surely remain as a foundation that takes India to the next level when we reach 100 years of independence. The focus on education is well exemplified in the plan for a  digital university. As campuses are allowed to open in Gift Cities and specific finance and fintech courses by global universities are encouraged, there is an immense possibility for growth in the sector. As Kerala is planning to have the country's second Gift city in Kochi this will be a great boost for the state's higher education sector.

The extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme and its cover, facilitation of additional credit for MSMEs and launching of the Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) programme would also help the sector to mitigate the adverse situations. The announcement of a new co-investment model capital fund for agriculture start-ups and rural enterprises would help them scale up and make use of new technology and IT support.

Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, Founder & CEO of Cognota Healthcare -The Union Budget 2022 has taken many steps in putting healthcare at the centre of India’s approach to power its future growth. The proposal of launching a National Tele Mental Health Programme is a move in the right direction to provide better access to quality mental health counselling and care services. Proposal to create an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is also a welcome move. However, with the non-reduction of the GST on medical devices and the lack of tax rationalisation of healthcare services, the government has missed an opportunity to make healthcare affordable for billions of citizens. The pandemic has put healthcare at a pivotal position and the government should provide the right policy environment in the form of tax concessions, investment-friendly regulations till the society develops collective skills to deal with the new normal.

Abhishek Negi, Co-Founder, Eggoz -Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has taken a host of measures in the Union Budget 22-23 to boost up the economy and the initiatives made towards the agriculture and allied sectors are expected to create a multiplier effect on Agri start-ups. Logistics plays an important role in the growth and survival of agro-businesses, especially the timely shipping of perishable food items. As FM announced that Indian Railways will develop new products for small farmers and MSMEs, many transportation issues of agro-businesses seem to get resolved soon. Also, initiatives like a fund with blended capital under the co-investment model through NABARD to finance start-ups in agriculture and rural enterprises for farms will help to add value to their products.  

Jeetender Sharma MD & Founder, Okinawa Autotech- The Union Budget 2022-23 provides great encouragement for the EV sector. The introduction of the battery swapping policy to improve the country's EV infrastructure is a positive and progressive step that could potentially address the range anxiety issue, which is one of the impediments to a mass-market transition from internal combustion engine-based vehicles to electric vehicles. This policy will be critical in enabling a well-established EV infrastructure across the country while instilling customer confidence in riding EVs on Indian roads. More importantly, this will boost EV adoption in the last-mile delivery space, where time constraints make instant battery swapping more viable than charging the existing battery.

With collective efforts from the government and private players, we are confident to realising the nation's vision of converting all vehicles in India to electric vehicles by 2030. In this regard, we strongly urge the government to roll out EV-charging infrastructure with interoperability standards at all public, private, and strategic locations as soon as possible in order to support both mobility needs and the nation's commitment to reducing emissions.

Rajesh Gupta, Founder & Director, Nupur Recyclers- We welcome the government's proposal to introduce a battery swapping policy and interoperability standards for the electric vehicle sector. Consumers will be able to seamlessly switch the battery on-the-go without worrying about running out of charge, which is especially useful when out for the day. Furthermore, this policy encourages companies like ours to continue developing efficient solutions to power India's EV Revolution, as well as opens up new growth opportunities through the Energy-as-a-Service model, which is expected to explode in popularity in the coming years.

Amarjit Sidhu, Executive Director, Detel - (electric two wheeler manufacturer) -The union budget for 2022 carries a positive message for the EV sector. More efforts than ever are being made by the government towards boosting the EV ecosystem. It's very encouraging to see this renewed dedication, and it also looks like there are some promising initiatives in store for 2022 with this budget. The Indian government's recent policy to allow the swapping of electric vehicle batteries is a step in the right direction. This new policy will help get more people to buy electric vehicles and will work to increase battery recycling, thus helping build infrastructure for electric vehicles. Turning the most expensive EV component—the battery—into an operational cost, will significantly reduce the prices of electric vehicles and promote their adoption.

Dr. Yogesh Bhatia, Managing Director & CEO, LML Electric -The Union Budget 2022's four key pillars of inclusive development, productivity improvement, energy transition, and climate action will undoubtedly boost the country's economic growth. Clean and sustainable mobility is critical for reducing fossil fuel dependence and combating climate change. We applaud the government's efforts in this area and look forward to seeing concrete steps taken to address the barriers to EV adoption. India's electric power is increasing! Special mobility zones with a zero-fossil-fuel policy will aid in the transition to cleaner technologies and the development of a more sustainable economy. I look forward to seeing the positive impact electric vehicles will have on India and the planet.

G. Srinivasan, CEO, Athulya, Chennai -“The Union Budget 2022 is forward looking with emphasis on mental healthcare. They have taken into consideration the increasing cases of mental health problems and have made provisions to offer quality counselling and care for people across all age groups. It will be beneficial to most of our elderly population post the pandemic. Another progressive move by the government is the launch of DESH-Stack eportal for skilling and reskilling citizens. This will address the current need to enhance the skills of existing healthcare workers. The continuous development programs will be a game changer across all sectors, facilitating knowledge creation for people by grooming them to fit the industry requirements, eventually opening-up greater employment opportunities.

Sumit Mukhija, CEO, (STT GDC India) - The 2022 Union Budget reflects the Government's commitment to digitalisation as an integral instrument of growth and inclusion in the country as well as to help India further cement our leadership position on the global technology services map. More specifically, The attribution of  “infrastructure status” to the Data Centres is indeed a welcome move. This announcement will enable concerted efforts on multiple fronts, including 5G rollout, infrastructure development and policy reforms and will help in creation of a wider and stronger digital ecosystem in India.

Vinit Dungarwal, Director at AMs Project Consultants Pvt. Ltd.-India is currently at the cusp of becoming the global data centre hub. We welcome the move to grant infrastructure status to data centres and believe that it is a step in the right direction. This move will facilitate the sector to avail long term and cheap credit and grow faster as we leapfrog to become a digital-first country.

It was expected that there will be a significant announcement pertaining to the affordable housing segment and the budget does not disappoint in that regard. The Hon’ble FM announced Rs 48,000 crore towards the Affordable Housing Scheme (PMAY). It was also announced that the NH Motorway network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23 and for that, the government will be mobilising Rs. 20,000 crore to complement public resources. The enhanced spending on public infrastructure projects along with enhancing the road network is laudable as it will give impetus to the employment generation and facilitate faster economic revival.

Harsha Vardhan - CEO Carter Porter Private Limited -The 2022 budget resonates as a balanced budget towards recovery of the economy on the onset. The Union Budget, which we await to be continued, had good opportunities for the MSME Sector, supply chain, and logistics. The focus on supply chain and logistics showcases the great opportunity for great for multiple sectors. The focus on agriculture and infrastructure development will help further development in supply chain and logistics.  One critical aspect to note, and we await, is aspects related to aviation and logistics related to air travel. This will be crucial to the growth of Indian travel industry.

Shrey Aeren, Managing Director & Country Head at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India -The country is estimated to grow at a rate of 9.27 percent this year, thanks to new changes introduced in the annual Union Budget 2022-23. Nirmala Sitharaman, India's Finance Minister, delivered a growth-oriented budget that attempts to boost the economy despite rising inflationary pressures and the rise of Covid-19 infections. Starting in 2022-23, the Reserve Bank of India will issue a new digital rupee based on blockchain technology. In addition, digital currency will result in a more efficient and cost-effective currency management system. A new and promising type of investment mechanism, 'Green bonds' will be a strong way to fund 'green infrastructure. The government can fund climate resilience and environmentally targeted projects, help sustainable energy initiatives get more funding. Another major reform is the allocation of Rs 48,000 crore under PMAY urban and rural schemes that will give a significant raise to affordable housing. Around 80 lakh houses are expected to be completed by 2023 across the country. In conclusion, the budget seems to have all the right capital investments, leveraging the fiscal space towards rapid GDP growth.

Anish Bafna, CEO & MD, Healthium Medtech -The Healthium Group welcomes a progressive and growth-oriented budget for FY 22-2023, under the continued mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat. We are delighted with the government’s initiative for encouraging sunrise sectors like Medtech with the promotion of thematic funds for blended finance. Increased investments in infrastructure will help improve supply chain and aid customer access. Custom duty exemptions on medical devices and revision of tariff structures for manufacturing intermediates will strengthen India’s supply chains for a global hub in medical devices. The open platform for National Digital Health Ecosystem will benefit health providers and care givers with universal access to healthcare facilities. The budget rightly calls out the need for an increased focus on mental health. The launch of the National Tele-Mental Health Service with the support of NIMHANS and IIT Bangalore, will be widely appreciated by the essential services sector.

Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India -This year, the Union Budget has been one of recovery and stabilization from the impact of COVID-19. The Budget has taken some initiatives for MSMEs and India Inc for start-ups. The extension of ECLGS scheme is a welcome move for MSMEs. The tax concession period has been extended by one more year, which in my opinion is a very positive move. A tax rate of 15% has been decided for the newly incorporated manufacturing unit which will further boost manufacturing activities. Healthcare and infrastructure were the main highlights of Budget 2022 and immense investment has been allocated for the expansion of roadways and logistics networks. Introduction of ‘Digital Rupee’ using blockchain technology sends a strong message that India is at the forefront of technology implementation. A digital currency issuance by the RBI will result in a structured approach with controlled regulation and bring in transparency to transactions enabling accounting of all money. The push on digitization will make way for more inclusion in the ecosystem. The focus on 'Ease of doing business' is a great step, as it will further promote entrepreneurship in the economy. India is to grow at 9.27%, the highest among all large economies. With a focus on contributing to the environment, chemical-free natural farming focusing on soil, biodiversity and human well-being is a welcome move. The budget is growth-oriented with an impetus on capital expenditure to fuel economic growth and employment generation. SEZ Act to be replaced with the new legislation is a much-needed announcement. Introduction of the battery swapping policy and recognizing battery and energy as a service will help to develop charging infrastructure and increase the use of EVs in public transportation. This would motivate businesses to incorporate EVs into their fleet and create new avenues for companies to venture into the business of battery swapping. The formation of a strong charging infrastructure alongside the highways across the country would promote the use of EVs for interstate travel. An additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore to boost manufacturing of solar modules under the government’s flagship PLI scheme has the potential to create 60 lakh new jobs, while producing 30 lakh crore jobs during next five years. International travel has been severely impacted during the pandemic. We are pleased with the introduction of e-passports as it will provide a boost to the travel industry and add convenience. Extension of ECLGS scheme with an additional allocation for the hospitality sector is a positive move as it would help small and mid-size hotels overcome liquidity issues and pave way for growth.

Vishal Saurav, Founder and CEO of VFLYX India -After last year's drone rules relaxation, this year the budget gives huge boost to the drone technology. Large drones weighing 150 kgs can now be used across different sectors like Healthcare, Logistics etc. to create effective and efficient solution. The same will require more drone production which in turn help Government's make in India campaign. Start-ups has given license to produce and experiment with Drone Shakti so that it can be implemented as soon as possible. Drone based security surveillance which will be used in Railways will create more production opportunity. Also opening up the defense sector more to the Start-ups will create more opportunity for start-ups to experiment and create state of the art technology. Additionally, Kissan Drones will be huge boost to the agricultural sector which has so far remained untouched by this novel technology.  India being a country where most people still depend on agriculture for a living, this will give the sector a huge shot in the arm.

Tanusree Gupta, CEO & Founder, BRANCON Communication -This year's budget provided some relief to the start-up sector with the announcement of one year increment in tax incentives. This will provide a breather to the start-ups as they will have more cash in hand for the business operations. The one nation-one registration is also a great initiative to strengthen ease of doing business in India. Opening up the Defence sector to the start-ups & domestic markets will be an added booster as this will open larger avenues and scope of business, R&D, and technological expansion.

Mandeep Manocha, Co-founder & CEO, Cashify said - The Budget 2022, is a step in the right direction to connect India to the truly Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Government contributions towards R&D in sunrise opportunities such as AI, semiconductors and its ecosystem as well as the calibration of custom duty rates and concessions towards the domestic manufacturing of high growth electronic items as well as on parts of phone chargers, transformers, wearables will provide the necessary boost required for the upgradation of the sector.

Continuing from the previous year’s success, the startup ecosystem has indeed emerged as growth drivers for the country. The rationalization of surcharge being capped at 15% for individual companies and AOPs on long term capital gains along with the period of incorporation being extended till March 2023 for startup tax benefits will support the amplification of the startup ecosystem in India. Additionally, the establishment of an expert committee towards the scaling up of last year’s INR 5.5 lakh crore investments via Venture Capital and Private Equity for the startup ecosystem will prove to be an invaluable asset for the companies entering the space.

With continued focus on the caliber of affordable 5G network as part of the PLI Scheme in rural as well as urban areas alongside the allocation of 5% annual collection under USOs is sure to link together the growth in the telecom and consumer electronic sectors.

Ushik Gala, Chairman & Managing Director, Suumaya Industries Ltd. -The Budget FY2022-23 is quite a dynamic, forward-looking and growth-oriented budget paving the way for driving the all the growth engines of the Indian Economy. The underlying of the budget is quite futuristics taking into account the significance of adoption and development of new age technology, which has become an integral part of global economy and our life.

The Finance Minister has done a commendable job by addressing all the fundamental and essential drivers of the economy and paving the way for accelerating the growth momentum in the same – Infrastructure, Agriculture, Micro – SME – MSMEs, Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare, Technology, Telecom, Green energy, etc. Right measures initiated in empowering the core industries with the new-age technology, which is going to be the key differentiator going forward.

PM Gatishakti and Inclusive Development addressing all the key sectors of the economy – Road, Railways, Airports, Mass Transport, Waterways and Logistic Infrastructure is a step forward in the right direction. Empowering farmers & vast Micro, Small & MSME population is an important initiative as this segment is likely to be a driving force to drive Indian Economy from USD 3 trillion to USD 5 trillion.

Government has made all efforts to encourage start-ups and R&D initiatives, which would aid to fuel economic growth. Promoting digital economy & fintech, technology enabled development, productivity enhancement & investment, sunrise opportunities, energy transition and climate action has remained at the forefront. Commitment to create a conducive environment to gear up for future enabled is quite overwhelming. Launch of ‘Digital Rupee’ is another path-breaking initiative as it would give confidence to the World that India is future ready on all aspects.

One major highlight of the Budget is that the Government has taken due cognizance of the need to fund the growth aspirations. Accordingly, it has realized the significance of stepping on public capital expenditure to attract private capital expenditure. Substantial increase in capital allocation would significantly augur well for the growth momentum and reviving the capex cycle. Government has also tried to maintain fiscal prudence by trying to maintain fiscal deficit target at 6.4%.

Taking a look into the future, we at Suumaya have tried to evolve our business model over the last two years in the areas of Agriculture, Supply Chain, Technology and Financial Inclusion. We are all geared up to usher into the new era in sync with emerging Bharat.”

Rating – 8/10

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman FICCI Arise and Chairman Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions- The Union Budget 2022 takes forward the vision of universalizing quality education as enshrined in the National Education Policy 2020. The decision to expand the PM e-VIDYA scheme to 200 TV channels and to also develop high quality e-content in all spoken languages will benefit the students of grades I to XII who suffered learning loss due to the closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. The formation of Digital University, as announced in the budget, will be a laudable initiative. The Digital University will help to make world-class education accessible in different Indian languages to all students even in far-flung areas. The simultaneous proposal to train teachers to build their competency and empower them to develop quality e-content will ensure better learning outcomes. I welcome the move to set up 750 e-labs in science and mathematics and 75 skilling e-labs that will nurture scientific temperament and critical thinking skills important for the 21st century learners. Going beyond the e-learning initiatives, the government has rightly decided to designate 5 academic institutions as ‘centres of excellence’ to deliver courses in urban planning and design. The move will take forward the vision of India-specific urban development. The budget 2022 is aimed at providing a major push to e-learning, reduce learning gaps and make education inclusive.

Dr. Debashis Sanyal, Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon -The pandemic has offered both challenges and opportunities to the education sector. Continued closures of schools and colleges have adversarial impact on the learning outcomes. Many institutions suffered due to low enrolment of students. On the positive side, the shift to the digital medium has hastened the growth of ed-tech companies. If NEP 2020 envisages a growth of nearly 100 per cent, from around 26 to 50 per cent, in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education, India needs to invest substantially in the education sector. India have around 40,000 “brick-and-mortar" institution imparting undergraduate education. To double GER, a very layman equation would suggest establishing 40000 more undergraduate institutions! This will be next to impossible. The only way forward is to have quality digital courses. Thus, Budget 2022 commitment to develop and launch   Digital University to provide access to world class quality education is a very welcome and much need positive step. It can help to achieve the target set forth in NEP as this mode of imparting education has more reach. Need to see how education entrepreneur operating in the private sector can get advantage from this announcement to enable them to contribute positively to this much needed digital education sector.

Setting up of five Center of Excellence for Urban Planning courses to assist in Urban Sector Development with an endowment of Rs 250 crores is a good initiative. It can provide a much-needed boost towards designing of courses on ‘Circular Economy’; the way forward in urban development.

No number on education spending was mentioned by the Finance Minister in her budget speech. The figure is critical to understand government commitment to education and NEP.

Lokesh Harjani, Founder & CEO – OnSpot Solutions -ECLGS scheme is a welcomed initiative and will help the MSME segment with their cash flows and help fuel growth for companies across segments. The interlinkage of government portals will help credit facilitation and enhance entrepreneurial growth for tenders and new business opportunities in a single reformed structure.  This level playing field should yield a chance to start-ups and young companies registered as MSME to offer their products and services.  Further integration of government portals will help ease the financial burdens with cleaner payment lines making payments more on time than in the past.  This itself, will once again, help very important cash flows and credit lines of MSME companies. The extension of the 15% tax scheme for start-ups for an additional year, is of course, welcome.  Additionally, the government has allowed public sector undertakings / government companies to accept surety bonds thereby making it easier for smaller companies to provide performance guarantees which may help in the bidding stipulations for tenders.  This step should make competition thrive across different sized companies listed under MSME, especially those in start-up mode. The digital Rupee initiative may open up opportunities for the IT sector in the future.

Overall, the reforms inculcated in the budget is positive for the MSME segment, and hopefully it shall provide them with growth opportunities, and the government in the next budget can look for reforms and allocations of programmes for the MSME segment.

Arun Poojari, Co-founder, Cashinvoice - The Union Budget 2022 has acted as a booster shot for the MSME sector with an extension of ECLGS and an enhanced guarantee cover by Rs 50,000 crore. The proposed move will provide much needed credit for the recovery of small businesses and drive economic growth of the country. We further applaud the finance minister for introducing an end-to-end online e-Bill System for procurements by central ministries which will bring in enhanced transparency and help in reducing the delays in payments. The initiatives proposed are steps in the right direction to empower PM Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision.

Rohit Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, OYO INSEA - As the pandemic panic gives in to sober reflection, the economy is poised to take off during fiscal 2023. This budget by the honourable finance minister is just the shot it needed to dash forward. The past couple of pandemic-induced years have had their run. The next fiscal promises to be an uninterrupted galloping time for the Indian economy. This budget has clearly laid out the track. The finance minister has focused more on growth rather than drive consumption. The government’s plans to increase capex on infrastructure and other projects will clearly have a multiplier effect.  Transit oriented development of urban centres looks very promising for us at OYO. Hopefully, this will create a very conducive environment to grow the app-based hospitality company like ours exponentially.

Mitesh Thakker, CEO & Founder, MissCallPay -This 2022 Budget is a real booster budget, As it is focused on vulnerable sections to increase adoption of technology and digital payments in Bharat.

Firstly due to the announcement of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts.. a unique initiative and digitization of 1.5 Lakh post offices to provide core banking to the nook and corner of Bharat. Secondly, there is mention of a focus to promote the use of payment platforms that are "economical and user friendly."

It seems government has heard my prayers to bring some reforms for feature phone and voice based payments as there are 97.3 Crore mobile subscribers who still not on UPI, while top UPI apps like GooglePay, PhonePe, PayTM, AmazonPay, Govt's own BHIM as well as app of other 55 Banks have only been able to enroll 20 Crore users on UPI and most of these users are from the Lower Middle-Income segment non-tech savvy, from villages and elderly who struggle to make cost-free zero MDR money transfers, while we zip through addictive UPI based apps.. that ease of UPI has led to big increase in UPI Payments, but UPI user-base has kind of hit the glass ceiling at 20 Crore / 200 Million.

This renewed focus in Budget to the marginal sections, will get channelled in the right direction and rapidly increase the users on UPI and thus bolster the growth of our economy in the coming year, Real Aacche Din for Bharat seems to have arrived at the door.

Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director, Tressmart Marketing Pvt. Ltd. And Paul Penders Botanicals.-It is extremely heartening to welcome the 1- year extension of tax holiday to eligible startups. This will prove to be helpful for early age startups and budding entrepreneurs who want to start their own business and create more employment. We are delighted with the key announcements made in the Budget such as introduction of digital rupee and reduction of overlapping compliances which will improve the ease of doing business in India. Hopefully, this budget will prove to be growth-inducing.

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.

Mridu Mahendra Das, Co-founder and CEO, Automovill -The Budget just refuelled the ongoing initiative with the announcement of battery swapping policy, and charging stations setup plan. The battery swapping policy will enable adoption of battery as a service. This is also expected to reduce the running cost of the vehicle. With the increasing adoption of EV there is a need for simultaneous strengthening of the support infrastructure. Like new-age auto tech -service startups are upskilling and reskilling internally to support the maintenance end of it. As we have already launched India's first learning management system for bridging the gap between skilled,semi-skilled workforce across the country in line with government vision.

However, any sort of mismatch in manufacturing and post sales requirements like charging infrastructure absence would have taken away the steam of the ultimate aim of eMobility mission. Not just auto manufacturers, even auto service players will benefit from this budget.

Aman Tekriwal, Co-founder, Supertails -There has been a great focus on growth and sustainability in this year’s budget, which is going to drive India’s overall development.

Notably, the tax exemption for startups extended to March-2023 and the reduction in surcharge on capital gain tax from 37% to 15% is positive and welcome news for startups.

Steps such as the highway network to grow by 25,000 km with an ambitious goal of 280 GW solar capacity by 2030 are going to be big drivers of growth. Further,  allocating INR 1500 crore for development in northeast India is a huge step in fast tracking inclusive economic development for the nation.

Obasi Francis, CEO and Co-Founder of DeSpace -India is a huge market and having a set definition of crypto assets as digital assets is a welcoming development in my opinion.

The clarity on income tax is a hugely positive step for the crypto industry. This also removes any fear people had about the impending ban.

The Indian government announcement on the launch of a Digital Rupee using blockchain issued by the RBI will familiarise Indians with the benefits and efficiency of virtual currency, building an appetite for crypto, blockchain, and the multitudes of innovations and employment opportunities that these technologies are capable of fostering.

Meanwhile, the 30 percent rate of tax and restriction to set-off losses is a very bold move in discouraging transactions in crypto.

Gaurav Hinduja, Co-founder & MD, Capital Float -This year’s Budget will provide an impetus for growth as the economy continues to regain its strength. The Government’s consistent acknowledgment of the contribution of startups to further the movement of financial inclusion which is now extending to the hinterlands of Bharat is very encouraging.

The Budget’s proposition to provide consumer-friendly digital banking services will cater to the underserved population and include them in the formal credit ecosystem. The initiatives taken by the government have demonstrated a seismic shift in digital transactions in India with a growth of 88 percent in the volume of digital transactions over the last three years.

Additionally, ESOPs continue to be a vital motivator in the prevalent startup environment. As a startup, we were hoping for adequate income tax reforms with regard to ESOPs. Amending the current scheme of taxation allowing employees to pay tax at the point of sale or increasing the amortization period on tax would not only reduce the burden on employees of arranging funds in a short period, but also support the growth of startups across the country. Firming up human resource retention in the startup ecosystem is a priority for our community and needs to be addressed by immediate economic reforms.”

Rajesh Khosla, President and CEO, AGI glaspac  -The Indian government this year has presented a growth-oriented budget with a special focus on boosting manufacturing sector to create massive employment opportunities and to maintain India’s status as world's fastest-growing economy. The concessional corporate tax for newly incorporated manufacturing companies is a positive move towards promoting the Make in India initiative as this will encourage new manufacturing industries as well as increase private investment in this industry. The PLI Scheme(Production Linked Incentive scheme) in 14 sectors with the aim of creating 6 million jobs can be predicted to improve the performance of the manufacturing industries in the country by 4X in the next four quarters. We congratulate FM, Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a budget that has laid a roadmap for the economic revival of India - despite the pandemic crisis.

MSR, CEO, T-Hub - This year’s Budget by Finance Minister is pragmatic, positive, and committed to the startup sector which needed a deliberate boost to further innovate and help in sustaining the economy. The extension for startups on both, the eligibility for claiming tax holiday and the capital gains exemption for investment by another year (March 2023) is a progressive continuity of last year’s budget policies powering economic growth. It is encouraging to see the government’s support for startups across different sectors like healthcare, gaming, drones, Electric mobility and the defence sector. The budget provides a major boost to the research and development segment and defence startups by announcing the launch of defence R&D for industry, startups and academia.

The sector-specific announcements like fund to be facilitated through NABARD to finance for agriculture and rural startups, and promotion of Drone as a service and giving new manufacturing companies with a concessional corporate tax rate of 15 percent will further strengthen the startup ecosystem. The focus on 'Ease of doing business is a great step, as it will further promote entrepreneurship in the economy. I also appreciate the government’s decision regarding The ECLGS credit scheme guarantee cover which will provide collateral-free loans to stressed-out SMEs and MSMEs.

In order to promote long term investments in equity of startup, the rate of surcharge has been capped at 15%, irrespective of the amount of long term capital gains. This is beneficial for the individual investors who are holding shares for more than 12 months and selling them thereafter, thus treating gains on the sale of such shares as long term capital gains. We are also eagerly waiting for FM to announce measures to scale Venture capital and private equity as it has facilitated India in becoming the fastest growing startup ecosystem with an investment of more than Rs 5.5 lakh crore last year. Overall the Budget 2022 reaffirms the Government’s push to make startups job creators and multipliers in one of the largest and most exciting economies in the world."

Himanshu Mody, Founder and CEO of Tekno Point, -Startups are increasingly positioned as key enablers of job creation, technical innovation, and economic growth in India. With over 61,000 startups in India currently, we anticipate more potential and innovative firms from young entrepreneurs around the country. Tax reforms for startups will assist aspiring entrepreneurs in managing the fundraising and financial aspects more efficiently in order to strategically attract investors and join the unicorn club. Similarly, the government's emphasis on Digital University and skilling is intriguing because it provides equal possibilities for students and working professionals of all levels and industries to brush up on their abilities and stay relevant in their field. These reforms also significantly contribute to the ease of doing business and the ease of living by introducing structural discipline into the core of corporate operations.

Ketan Chokshi, Jewellery Designer & MD, Narayan Jewellers -While the budget this year has very less for the Gems and Jewellery industry to recover from the losses, the new norms do boost the sale. The announcement of a simplified regulatory framework to facilitate the export of jewellery through e-commerce is a welcome move and will encourage the Indian designer jewellery brands to build International customer database and export jewellery without any hassle. This will boost the sale of Jadau and Gold as International buyers will have easy access. Further the reduction in import duty to 5% gives a little relief to diamond trader as cut and polished diamonds add up an only 5% of total imports of diamonds. Apart from this nothing else has been addressed including the Gold monetization scheme, reduction in gold import Duty, increase in pa

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