Industry leaders, experts across different sectors welcome Budget 2022-23

 Industry leaders, experts across different sectors welcome Budget 2022-23

Team L&M

Most industries welcome the Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calling it futuristic and in favour of growth.

 

Amit Madhan, President & Group Head – Technology & eBusiness – Thomas Cook (India) Ltd
The recent future ready budget presented by the FM showcases a strong focus on technology and technologic advancement for the country. It highlights India’s immense potential and growth of the IT sector. This development will only help in our economy becoming stronger and self-sustained. This new phase of technology that will be guided by the active involvement of the states, digitization of manual processes & interventions, integration of central & state level systems through IT bridges, single-point access for all citizen-centric services, standardization and removal  of over-lapping compliance, crowdsourcing of suggestions, and ground-level assessment of the impact with active involvements of citizens and businesses will lead to an overall encouraging and efficient economic growth.
The financial support for digital payment ecosystem announced in the previous budget that will continue in 2022-23, will definitely further encourage the adoption of digital payments and will also lead to enhanced use of payment platforms that are economical and user friendly. The budget highlighted the rapid growth of digital banking, digital payments & fintech innovations. Our Government’s continuous support to these sectors ensures the said benefits reach far and wide along with being user friendly. The laying of optical fibers in villages (to be completed by 2025) showcases the power of technology, and having each person connected to the world, thereby leading to each ones’ self-development and growth.
We are a country with a large young population, and the announcement of high quality e-content in all spoken languages to be delivered by internet, mobile phones, TV & through radio and digital teachers along with a digital university that will be set up to provide access to students to world class quality universal education, with a personalized learning experience will help deliver quality education and make young India future ready.
As highlighted in the budget, green energy and clean mobility systems have immense potential to modernize the country, thereby making the Indian industry more inclusive that will in turn lead to generate employment for the youth. It will be an exciting space for the Indian IT industry and we are enthused with the announcement of digital Rupee to be issued by the RBI and the green bonds for enhancement of green infrastructure. The creation of the digital health ecosystem will help further strengthen India’s healthcare system.

 

Satish Kannan, co-founder & CEO, MediBuddy
Rising concerns relating to health have been worrisome amongst young individuals and adults alike in the country for quite a while. The pandemic has only further escalated and triggered these issues, further causing a rise in the same. We warmly welcome the decision taken by the Honourable Finance Minister in the budget to set up a National Tele-Mental Health Programme, to support the mental health grievances of citizens across the country. It is a much-needed initiative that holds the potential to provide assistance and guidance to those who are suffering.
We truly believe that one’s mental health is as important as their physical well-being, and if there is something that’s bothering and affecting them, we want them to know we are here for them. MediBuddy has been a pioneer in the industry at assisting individuals dealing with mental health issues. We have the teleconsultation infrastructure in place to tackle any health problems and are geared to extend our assistance in any way required to strengthen this initiative. We are confident this will aid in helping people who need support and timely care.

 

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.”

 

Dr Rakesh Gupta, Chairman, Sarvodaya Hospital, Faridabad
A bold budget that lays down a 25-year roadmap for India to become a truly digital economy. The announcement regarding establishment of the National Digital Health Ecosystem is significant. It will make the health sector much more efficient and bring it into the modern age. Mental health has emerged as a silent epidemic in the last few years. Setting up a national tele mental health program to provide counselling and support to patients fulfills an urgent, long-felt need of an overlooked health challenge. Upgrading two lakh anganwadis with better infrastructure will have a positive effect on child health. There is no significant increase in budgetary allocation to health for FY 22-23, which is a bit disappointing considering how the Indian healthcare system struggled to meet the challenge of the epidemic. However, all in all, it is a very well thought out budget that will have a positive impact on the digital and health infrastructure of the country.

 

Ashwin Mittal, CMD and CEO, Course5 Intelligence Ltd
Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman’s futuristic growth friendly Union Budget rightly envisioned the roadmap for India entering Amrit Kaal, the 25 year long leadup to India@100. Analytics is the key to successful implementation of the multi-modal PM GatiShakti master plan with its seven-engine focus for economic transformation and inclusive development for India@100. FM highlighted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a sunrise opportunity while advocating promoting digital economy & fintech, technology enabled development; and we, at Course5 Intelligence, reiterate the importance of AI-led analytics and insights. The role of analytics is more pronounced post global pandemic accelerating digital adoption by companies globally as they seek to digitize their core business model to remain economically viable. We, at Course5 Intelligence have been working with Fortune 500 global giants and it is good to see that the Indian Government is now aligned to this progressive global thinking. As FM included Data Centres in the harmonized list of infrastructure, we re-emphasize the significance of Data and Analytics, which is expected to account for 13.9% of the estimated total digital spend (US$2.39 trillion) by 2024. The boost to startups will facilitate innovation required for Digital India. As the Government invites private participation in strengthening public infrastructure and seamless coordination between diverse pillars, we advocate the growing significance of AI-led analytics in Urban Planning. Clearly, the government is focusing on deep tech at an opportune time. Till now the focus has been on the application layer which provided solutions to problems and business opportunities. A focus on deep tech will only highlight the significant role data analytics and AI can play in providing that strategic depth to the digitalization of India. With our rich experience in AI-driven data analytics and insights, we at Course 5 Intelligence look forward to support the tasks ahead.

 

Farman Beig, Co-founder & CEO of Wat-a-Burger
The government has been supportive towards the F & B sector and did announce some steps to help the sector bounce back by shifting the GST compliance onto online food delivery partners on behalf of the restaurants. However, some relief in terms of ITC (Input tax credit) would have further catalysed the recovery of the sector which otherwise is on the bleeding end. Currently, when the industry is struggling to manage the fixed cost with GST, it requires immediate boost, and cutting down ITC would have worked wonders.

 

Rakesh Kaul, CEO, Clix Capital
The all-time high GST collections in January 2022 at INR141,000 crore is good news and indicates a steady bounce back in economic activity despite the Omicron wave. The estimated GDP growth of 9.2% in FY2021-22 and the expected reduction in the fiscal deficit from 6.9% in FY2022 to 6.4% of the GDP in FY2023 also augurs well for the economy, presuming these projections hold true. The other bright spots include the decision of extending the period of incorporation by a year for startups to avail of tax incentives till 31 March 2023, establishing 75 new digital banking units in 75 districts via scheduled commercial banks to help ensure a pan-India reach and allocating INR48,000 crore to boost urban housing, among others. These measures will benefit multiple verticals, including the BFSI segment.
The announcement of a digital rupee using blockchain is exciting per se, but one needs to wait and watch whether there will be any specific benefits for this asset class. But the 30% tax on any income from the transfer of digital assets can act as a dampener on efforts to create a virtual digital economy.
The capping of surcharge on long-term capital gains tax at 15% on transfer of any asset type is another commendable measure. Overall, the Budget should give a boost to the fintech segment.

 

Chander Shekhar Sibal, Senior Vice President, Medical Division, Fujifilm India
We’re pleased to hear about the Finance Minister’s promising move of the open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem. As we’re rapidly moving ahead in a digital economy, this will help not only in consolidation but also unite medical records for better visibility for healthcare providers. With the pandemic, digital registries of health professionals and facilities will complement the government’s goal of providing a unique health identity and universal access to health facilities through the Digital Health platform. We laud the National Tele Mental Health Program, which will contribute to the overarching goal of a healthier India. We support these positive developments and will NeverStop working together to make India a healthier place!

 

Akshay Chaturvedi Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu
I believe the 2022 budget is focused around smart digital expenditures in not just education, but across sectors! A very forward-looking budget in my opinion that will enable startups take lead in India’s next phase of development. Introduction of the e-passport facility will decrease friction in the immigration process and I look forward to Indians getting access to such world-class tech. Lastly, steps like capping off long-term capital gains at 15% clearly position this as a document which heard and implemented feedback from all quarters, and that’s amazing!

 

Rajiv Bansal, Director- Operations, Global Indian International School
FM Nirmala Sitharaman talked about the impact of the pandemic on the education sector and highlighted the need to strengthen the education system by improving e-content quality, emphasising on teaching training, adopting innovative mediums of instruction, etc. to positively impact learning outcomes. The Union Budget 2022 highlighted the importance of adopting a progressive and inclusive approach by educational institutions across primary, secondary, and higher education. Announcements like eVidhya scheme and ‘One Class One TV Channel’ expands the learning horizon of the students and brings inclusivity as the regional languages are promoted equally. Adoption of technology and digitisation will help a student evolve into becoming a truly global citizen and will encourage lifetime of learning. Focus on reskilling and upskilling at a higher education level and launch of the Digital DESH e-portal will enhance vocational learning and job readiness, making students independent and result oriented. As a key member of the Indian education system, GIIS congratulates the Govt. for presenting a progressive and inclusive budget for the education sector. We are confident that digitisation and technology will help in building a more effective and rewarding education system in the years to come.

 

Dr Alok Roy, Member, FICCI, Health Services Committee and Chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals
India Inc. and especially the Healthcare industry which has been battling COVID-19 pandemic since last 2 years was expecting more investment on public health and healthcare infrastructure from this year’s union budget. The budget has just focused on mental health and digitization of healthcare sector. The very fact that Government has focused on digital healthcare shows that finally healthcare sector is being considered as the prerequisite to ensure economic well-being of the country. Budget 22-23 seems very disappointing for the healthcare sector. India’s growth is estimated to be at 9.27 percent and healthcare will play a major role in the boost. Strengthening of health infrastructure, speedy vaccination programme implementation has strengthened the Indian healthcare system.
The decision to start an open platform for the national digital health ecosystem is a welcome move. The emphasis to roll out digital registries of health providers, health facilities, unique identity consent framework with and universal access to health facilities will add more values to Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. We the healthcare providers heartily welcome the Government’s focus on mental health issues as this has set an alarm across age groups post the COVID pandemic. The announcement of launching the national tele mental health program which will include a network of 23 telemedicine mental health centers of excellence is a much appreciative move that the government has decided.
It was expected the government to look at increasing the healthcare expenditure above 2.5 per cent of the GDP but there was not adequate attention paid to it. Although there had been a rise of 137% allocation in healthcare sector last year much was fulfilled in reality by the government. Overall, the proposals made in the Budget 22-23, should have made quality healthcare accessible and affordable. The government should have focused more on primary healthcare investment and made the Healthcare system as National Priority’ status, as was done for the IT sector.

 

Dr Harish Pillai, CEO, Metro Pacific Hospital
In view of the impending series of state elections, it is a remarkable Budget devoid of tempting populist announcements and setting the roadmap for India@100 focusing on the creation of both capital and social infrastructure and setting up a strong foundation for accelerated growth.

 

Ankit Bajaj, Business Head & Co-founder, StartUp Movers Private Limited
With huge budgeted capex, the growth of the Indian economy is inevitable as it marches on to its 5 trillion-dollar mark.  However, how the pandits play around with high inflation numbers will be a tough back and forth decision making for the central banks as numbers keep unfolding. No change in income tax slab implies that the government does not want all the new tax payers added in the last couple of years to leave the tax ambit.  However, the facility to revise/refile the updated ITR in an extended two years period is a welcome move where suo-moto changes can be done by assessee to avoid any unwanted admin troubles during assessments if any. Thirty per cent tax on virtual assets finally means crypto currencies in the long run will not be illegal. But the government still seems to be discouraging it with the highest tax rate imposed and still not allowing any losses to be set-off. Also, this seems to be in contrast to the government’s initiative of Digital rupee to be introduced by the central bank in FY23 backed by block chain technology.  It will be interesting to see how future regulations unfold from hereon as Crypto makes its first recognized step into the mainstream.

 

 

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