Budget 2023 Reactions: ftcash CEO says ‘Budget laid much-needed importance on MSME sector’

Also Read: Union Budget 2023 Live Updates

Also See: Income Tax Slabs Live Updates

Here are some Pre and Post Budget reactions from Business leaders:

Karan Rathore, Vice Chairman, Services Export Promotion Council set up by Ministry of Commerce and Industry: “Travel and tourism is one of the most crucial sectors that contributes to the GDP of our country. The budget will recognize 50 tourist destinations through challenge mode to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism. That will ensure the true potential of tourism for both overseas and domestic tourists can be tapped. All relevant aspects such as high standards for food streets, physical connectivity, virtual connectivity, tourist guides, and tourist security, would be made available on an app to enhance the tourist experience. Every destination will be developed as a complete package. This will not only support the tourism industry but also offer huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth in particular.”

Rajeev Taneja, Founder and CEO of Global Care: “In terms of accelerating the growth of healthcare, the announcement of setting up 157 new nursing colleges in co-locations with the existing 157 medical colleges already established since 2014 will truly help garner better facilities for medical value tourism. This investment in creating a skilled medical support staff will ensure that overseas patients also get the best care possible. Besides this, facilities in select ICMR labs which will be made available for research by public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams will encourage collaborative research and innovation to help bring in state-of-the-art medical facilities to the country. Dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be supported in existing institutes to will ensure the availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and research which will propel Medical value tourism to new heights ensuring facilities that are at par with international standards.”

Sanjeev Chandak, Co-founder & CEO of ftcash: “The Budget laid much-needed importance on MSME sector which is still recovering from the pandemic-induced challenges. The infusion of INR 9,000 crore corpus for revamped credit guarantee scheme significantly addresses the credit gap and is aimed at enhancing credit access thereby paving the way to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. This apart, this year’s budget also laid focus on another important aspect i.e., the introduction of National Data Governance Policy which will ease the KYC process and reduce privacy breaches. It will also enhance the use, access and quality of data and improve the Government’s data collection and management while enabling inclusive development. This is still at a very nascent stage and will require consistent efforts to truly create a digital economy.”

Dinanath Dubhashi, MD & CEO, L&T Finance Holdings Ltd: “It’s a well-balanced Budget that has finely pushed the capex spending without compromising the fiscal discipline. The measures oriented towards improving the purchasing power of households and enhancing the prosperity of agriculture and allied sectors augur well for the business models of retail-focused NBFCs. A good control over market borrowings has avoided any negative news for the bond markets. In the absence of any significant global shock, today’s Budget has every potential to bring out a broad-based revival in the Indian economy”.

Ramnath Krishnan, Managing Director & Group CEO, ICRA: “The Union Budget has provided a much larger-than-expected boost to growth-inducing capital spending, while at the same time managing a fair degree of fiscal consolidation. The Budget proposals are likely to enhance business, rural and tax payer sentiment and consolidate India’s growth prospects in a gloomy global setting. With the Government’s borrowings similar to market expectations, the bond yields are likely to stabilise, which would also support the private sector capex plans.”

Kunal Kundu, India Economist, Societe Generale, Bengaluru: “Whether the lower tax outgo will spur consumption or inspire savings is a moot point. But either way, it will be positive for the economy. Adherence to fiscal prudence while emphasizing continued focus on capex is what we expected and has been delivered.

Karan Desai – Founder at Interface Ventures: “The Finance Minister announced fiscal deficit at 6.4% of GDP, with a target of breaching 6% in FY 23-24 to close at 5.9%. She reiterated her commitment to achieve an ambitious fiscal deficit of 4.5% for FY 2025-26. The Budget supports the continued digitisation of the financial sector through steps including setting up of a National Financial Registry to enhance data availability for robust credit assessment and rolling out of a National Data Governance Policy to encourage R&D by using the Aadhar and Digi Locker platforms to simplify individual address reconciliation and verification across all regulators. MSMEs will benefit from steps including continued reduction of unnecessary compliances to promote ease of doing business and additional infusion of 9,000 crores in the Credit Guarantee scheme from April 1, 2023, with reduction in cost of guarantee by 1%. Start-ups have been given extension on tax benefits from date of incorporation and carry forward losses by a year. At a macro level, capital investment outlay is enhanced by 33% to 10 lakh crores, which is 3.3% of the GDP, with a big push on infra, employment and green growth. To conclude, a balanced budget keeping General Elections 2024 clearly in sight!”

Umesh Kumar Mehta, CIO, Samco Mutual Fund on new tax regime: “The budget’s inclination towards New Income Tax regime will reduce incentive to invest in financial products (including MFs’ ELSS, insurance premium etc). Or, for that matter, even the decade-old housing sector incentives for interest payments will be the least preferred option. This budget, therefore, has rewritten the rules for financilisation of savings in India, which will induce expenditures rather incentivise savings. However, the fiscal deficit under control, no big disinvestment targets, no bigger borrowings and thrust on govt capex will keep the bulls happy on the stock markets.”

Amit Jaju, Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group (India) on National Governance Policy: “The announcement of the formation of a National Data governance policy that could access anonymous data is a welcome step as non-personal data can be used for research and service improvement work within a protective framework. Moreover, it is crucial as non-personal data can include intellectual property that cannot be freely circulated. This step will further open up new avenues to leverage non-personal data in a secure manner for developmental purposes.”

Rahul Dhoot, Managing Director, Dhoot Transmission Pvt Ltd. on Auto industry: “The automobile industry, which contributes a sizable chunk to the country’s GDP, has been given a futuristic thrust. The government’s focus on green and clean mobility, allocation of funds for replacing government vehicles will go a long way in transforming the automobile industry. The lifting of duty on lithium-ion batteries and the decision to scrap old polluting vehicles bodes immense growth for automobile manufacturers and will give a fillip to the electric vehicles industry which in turn will invigorate the components industry.”

Sushil Pasricha, Partner at Bain & Company on pharma sector: “In line with previously announced PLI schemes for pharma and life sciences companies, the government continues to promote research & innovation in the pharmaceuticals sector, through centers of excellence. Facilities in select ICMR labs will be made available for research by public and private medical facilities. This will bolster the sector further and make them move higher up the value chain in pharmaceuticals related research, development, and manufacturing.” 

Lokesh Payik, Partner at Bain & Company on Smartphone manufacturing: “With India’s smartphone manufacturing sector witnessing an upward trajectory, smartphone manufacturers will rejoice the finance minister’s customs duty relief for certain inputs for the camera lens, and lithium batteries, to continue for another year in the budget 2023. This would further help incentivize global manufacturers looking to diversify supply chains and shift to India for manufacturing.”

Amit Relan, Founder and CEO, mFilterIt on AI: “AI will change the face of India and enable the country to establish a stronger foundation of a “Digital India”. It will increase efficiency, improve decision-making and accelerate economic growth bringing a significant change in sectors like healthcare, education, agriculture and finance through automation, data analysis and predictive modeling.  For a country to maximize the benefits of AI, it will be essential for the public and private sectors to work together to ensure that the use of AI will align with the country’s values and priorities and to address the ethical, legal and social implications of AI.”

Mr. Taranpreet Singh, Partner, TASS Advisors LLP on blended CNG: Gst exemption on blended CNG is a boon for the common man and an aid to promoting a clean and pollution-free environment. The reduction establishes Government’s keenness for alternative clean energy initiatives.

Banwari Lal Sharma, CEO Consumer Business, CarTrade Tech Ltd on EV & Green Mobility sector: “The Union Budget 2023-2024 announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is progressive, prudent and growth-led, with an eye to provide impetus on the savings of the public. It is a ‘green budget’ for the automotive and mobility sectors. The sustainability measures taken through announcements on green hydrogen and other energy sectors will help in furthering the government’s target of carbon neutrality by 2070. The increased Capex outlay on energy transition is likely to spur investments and skill development in a green economy. The viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems is also likely to create critical infrastructure, while custom duty reduction on capital goods for Lithium batteries manufacturing will facilitate faster adoption of EVs. Increase in spending on infrastructure, setting up of 50 new airports and heliports, creation of 100 transport infrastructure projects are welcome moves, in addition to the central support for replacing old vehicles. All of these should drive consumption and overall demand of vehicles.”

Harsh Goenka, RPG Enterprise: M’bap’pe of a budget, not ‘Messi’ at all. A budget that puts India on the path to become the world champion- all set to score goals on infra development, consumption and inclusion. A big boost for domestic manufacturing, job creation and ease of doing business!

OPPI DG, Mr Vivek Sehgal on Health and pharma sector: “OPPI would like to congratulate the government on the 2023-24 Union Budget tabled by the Finance Minister. The budget has brought much optimism to the healthcare and pharma sector by putting the focus on research and innovation. With the announcement of a new program for research in the pharma industry being formulated, there is immense potential for the sector to remain competitive in providing quality healthcare to its people. Moreover, the impetus for public-private collaborations showcases the government’s emphasis on providing faster solutions to India’s health challenges. As OPPI, we are looking forward to putting in all our resources and aligning with the government to achieve the objective of healthcare for all.” 

Mr. Harsh Vardhan Patodia, President, CREDAI National: “Through the Union budget 23 – 24, the Government continues to focus on the empowerment of youth, women, OBCs & farmers. With a keen focus on the future of the country with a growth-oriented budget, we applaud the FM’s vision of enabling an inclusive and sustainable development growth chart for infrastructure. An increased capital outlay for a third year in a row to INR 10 Lakh crores amounting to 3.3% of the GDP, a hike of 66% to over 79,000 crores for PM Awas Yojana and the 9000 Cr Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs, will have a positive multiplier effect on economic growth and help realize the PM’s vision for ‘Housing for All’. Continuing its focus on urban planning reforms to develop sustainable cities for tomorrow, the allocation of INR 10,000 crores to the NHB for infrastructure development, the highest ever railway outlay at 2.4 lakh crore and increased regional connectivity through 50 more additional airports, helipads, water aero drones, advanced landing grounds will also boost affordable regional connectivity and will add impetus for infrastructure development, especially in tier-2 and 3 cities which will help the Indian economy to remain less impacted by a global slowdown.”

Aditya Parakh, Co-founder, of Propcatalyst: It is a great move by the government to increase the PM Awas Yojana outlay by 66 percent to 79000 crore. Increasing the budget allocation for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna is in line with the government’s long-term vision of achieving housing for all. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna promised pukka houses for everyone in the country by 2024 and the increased budget allocation will help more citizens achieve their dream of living in their own houses. This is a big announcement in the affordable housing segment and can be a game changer for the housing real estate sector. This will increasingly boost the market sentiments, both for the consumers as well as real estate developers and consultants.

Nikhil Kamath co-founder Zerodha and True Beacon: Reducing customs duty on certain categories was a good sign, signals opening up of sorts. Increasing the exception slab to 7 lakhs should help shore up consumer spends in turn helping many industries. Didn’t change anything around capital gains is a positive, markets were factoring in a small percentage chance of this detrimentallly affecting capital mkts. Overall Capex no is a positive and is better than expected. No reduction in stt is a negative, a reduction will go a long way in helping retail investors and traders who provide much needed liquidity be profitable. The issue still remains that 7 cr people file tax and 1 cr people pay tax, india has 140 cr people, this can’t be right, we need increased plugs to curtail tax evasion.

Sakshi Gupta, Principal Economist, HDFC Bank, Mumbai: “The budget continues to focus on capex spending as the engine of growth while also paying heed to fiscal consolidation. The lower-than-expected borrowing number for FY24 is likely to bring in some relief for the bond market, although the absolute borrowings continues to remain high and is likely to put a floor for bond yields in FY24. Moreover, we remain cautious over the government’s ability to finance the fiscal deficit through the increased reliance on small savings despite the new schemes introduced as bank deposit rates rise. The consumption boost through income tax slab adjustment is a big positive and bodes well for overall growth and domestic demand in a time when global risks remain high.”

Mr Kalyan C Korimerla, MD & Co-Promoter, Etrio Automobiles spekas on Green Growth: “We applaud the budget for making Green Growth one of the top 7 priorities. The Pro-EV budget focuses on much-needed initiatives such as Customs Duty reduction from 21% to 13% on Lithium Batteries and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year. These are welcome initiatives as these will help boost the demand. The policy on the replacement of old polluting vehicles should accelerate the transition towards electric vehicles which is in line with the budget’s aim to spur eco-conscious lifestyles. Overall, we are happy with the budget as it is inclusive, and progressive and will encourage investments in the EV sector.”

Mr. Naveen Kulkarni, CEO, Quantumzyme reaction on pharma sector: “Several energizing initiatives in the budget will contribute to the expansion of the economy. The need for an extensive research and development policy has always been stressed by the pharmaceutical industry. We appreciate the government’s consideration in announcing the launch of a new pharmaceutical research program to boost R&D, which will reenergize the sector and create investment prospects”

Mr. Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks): This Budget is notable for its renewed emphasis on the development of digital infrastructure. The Indian government’s intention to establish three “Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence” in prestigious educational institutions to make “AI Work for India” is a dose of encouragement for entrepreneurs who have been working in the field, hoping to give a new face to sectors and services. These centers will undoubtedly serve as a bridge between educational institutions and leading industries, with the goal of researching and developing practical AI applications across different verticals including agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. Furthermore, the focus on building a strong AI ecosystem in India and training skilled AI professionals will assist new businesses in acquiring the right talent. This also puts a lot of responsibility on education institutes to strengthen the curriculum in the field.

Suman Chowdhury, Executive Director & Chief Analytical Officer, Acuité Ratings & Research on on personal finance budgetary announcement: “The rationalization of the personal income tax structure is expected to lead to two things (i) raise disposable incomes for the middle class and particularly younger taxpayers (ii) transition the taxpayers to the new tax regime with minimal exemptions and lower and simpler tax slabs. This is expected to give a moderate boost to domestic consumption.”

Ramesh Damani: Indian ace investor Ramesh Damani has said, “We expect 0.8% reduction in fiscal Deficit.” Investor Ramesh Damani has been known for his investments in both unlisted and listed companies. Damani is known for high-quality value picks.

India Ratings & Research Pvt. Economist Devendra Kumar Pant, says “Social welfare programs would get “appropriate” allocation as “the gap between have and have nots has widened. Inflation has eroded spending power and relief in tax “can provide the much-needed thrust to the consumption demand.”

Dr Jeewan Prakash Gupta, Chair of Environment and Climate Committee, PHDCCI: “To tackle the air pollution in North India, the Government should consider incentivizing the purchase and provision of Bio Decomposer Capsules and other equipment by the corporate sector since the small and marginal farmers may not be able to afford such innovative solutions.” 

Budget expectation: An angel investor Sharan Hedge said, “The world is facing lay-offs, high inflation. Budget’23 should bring some good news.”

He also stated his top 5 expectations from the budget: Increasing the Basic Exemption Limit (BEL) of 2.5L, Increase in 80C Limit, GST Rate Cuts on Essentials, 80D Deduction Limit Expansion, relaxation in LTCG Tax.

Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Group, on 2023 Budget expectations: “Logistics cost in India is 13%. If our multimodal transport matters become successful in the next 2-3 years, we can reduce logistics cost by 3-4% for every item in the country. There should be more focus on further investments in roads, railways, ports, airports and highways…The focus must be on the slum rehabilitation scheme to make India a slum-free country.”

Budget expectation from Technology Entrepreneur Amit Paranjape

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