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Budget bouquets and brickbats from industry

February 2, 2022:  It’s a wrap! Our final selection of industry reactions to the Indian Union Budget 2022:
Dr Satya Gupta, President VLSI Society of India , Advisor, IESA: Budget is progressive with continued thrust on digital India. The e-passports with "Embedded Chip" and Design-Led manufacturing of 5G devices will provide the wind under the sails of recently announced ambitious Semiconductor policy. The digitalization of classrooms through satellite-based delivery through televisions needs to go the next step of “One Tablet per child”. This bold budget will make India self reliant in Electronics & Semiconductors Industry much sooner
Nikhil Arora, Vice President, and Managing Director, GoDaddy India:The 2022-23 budget overall finely balanced fiscal retreat with supporting economic recovery and skilling. The proposed reforms especially those focused towards MSMEs and start-ups, such as the expansion of the ECLGS scheme for another year, are a welcome move for both credit facilitation and boosting entrepreneurial opportunities in the country. We believe that the financial support of five lakh crores will help to encourage young entrepreneurs to come forth and explore new avenues. In addition, the decision to interlink portals like UDYAM, e-SHRAM, National Career Service (NCS), and ASEEM will help in formalizing the sector and be positioned to create additional job opportunities. The launch of Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling of the existing talent will also help to pave the way for building a dynamic workforce for future growth. As the country look​s forward to these encouraging initiatives and more to boost small businesses, GoDaddy will continue to support Indian small businesses and entrepreneurs helping their ventures successfully come and grow online.
Shriya Naheta Wadhwa, Founder of Zama Organics:We applaud Budget 2022 for bringing in a considerable focus on clean eating and sustainable farming with impactful steps announced in this direction. Incentives to farmers, MSMEs to adopt natural farming will encourage increasing numbers of stakeholders to look at entering organic farming space as a highly lucrative opportunity, giving a much-needed boost to the ecosystem in distress. The decision to involve education and training in organic farm practices is a step in the direction to set a strong foundation, with more talent right from entrepreneurs to farmers coming with advanced knowledge to further elevate the existing system. An applause-worthy step among the many positive decisions is Fund to be facilitated through NABARD to smoothen financing of startups in the ecosystem to beat agrarian distress is a great promise which will help reduce uncertainty for startups and attract sophisticated tech-based competencies. Additionally, focusing on warehousing and transportation to help the faster movement of supplies will aid in supplying fresh produce and uplift the larger goal of organic farming. A multi-fold approach was much anticipated and as players, in the ecosystem, the future looks promising.
Shivjeet Ghatge, CEO, StepSetGo: The focus on 5g connectivity as a part of the 'Digital India' initiative will pose as a game changer to players like us and enable us to contribute more significantly to the economy while leading India to a healthier way of living. Moreover, it will help us change the face of fitness in the country and will allow us to make fitness more inclusive and infrastructure-agnostic. It will provide us the opportunity to mitigate any tech related inadequacies caused due to data speed and help us augment our product offerings by aiding comprehensive R&D in smaller pockets of the country.
Manish Sharma, CEO, Panasonic India: Union Budget 2022 continues to pave the way for a sustainable economic growth in Amrit Kaal, backed by consistent structured approach. It underscores the Govt commitment towards Digital India and investment in Public Private Partnership through game changing initiatives like  Gati Shakti programme, investment in the sunrise sectors and MSMEs, introducing policies for clean energy, among others. Infact, the seven engines defined under Gati Shakti initiative is bound to have a multiplier effect as it will help aid in reduction of logistics costs, enable supply-chain efficiencies, create employment generation all this, while using technology.It was encouraging to see the focus on clean energy. In line with Panasonic’s business strategy, we are looking forward to details on the Battery Swapping Policy and participate in India’s Electric Vehicle (EV) story. Also, the commitment on building a circular economy is the need of the hour as the world looks at sustainable solutions in a phased manner.
Ashwin Mittal, CMD and CEO, Course5 Intelligence: 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. 
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO Salesforce India:Overall, this is a budget with a long-term vision supported by growth oriented policies driving job creation, digital inclusion, climate action and infrastructure development and therefore, is very timely for our country. As we continue to digitally transform, the focus on bolstering digital payments with a consumer-friendly lens, will continue to augment digital adoption across regional India. As a knowledge economy, I cannot emphasise enough on the importance of skilling to lead the digital disruption. Initiatives to drive skilling, reskilling and upskilling, digitally, will ensure we are ready for the digital future much ahead of the curve. Lastly, climate change is the most pressing global crisis that humanity is facing today impacting every individual, institution, government, community, and business. Investments in energy transition and climate action will take us on our path to sustainable development.
Sandeep Aggarwal,  CEO,DROOM: In terms of the overall budget, I think the budget was very balanced for the masses. India talking about close to Rs 11 lakh crore going for capital expenditure and this is a very exceptional policy and hopefully will not only improve the infrastructure for the country but also create a significant amount of jobs. There were many announcements like putting a limit to the surcharge on a capital gain coming from the sale of stocks. There was a lot of mention of acknowledging the contribution of Startup companies. For automobile companies, the battery swapping policy for the electric vehicle once they are used for public transportation. This will indeed increase the adaption of an electric vehicle for the transportation industry. Finally, this is consistent with the prior announcement of vehicle scrappage and now on EV and focus on developing a 25,000 km of road infrastructure in the fiscal yr 2022-23 that will ultimately contribute to the higher adoption of automobiles in the country
Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India & SAARC: With the goal to complement macro-growth with micro-all-inclusive welfare and tech-enabled development, we are optimistic that these measures will further strengthen India’s power as a global digital hub. With technology serving as the pivot in this year’s budget, there will be a renewed focus on the criticality of a robust cybersecurity solution.The seven engines of the PM Gati Shakti masterplan encompassing the launch of 400 new-generation Vande Bharat trains and the national highway network will be key drivers in the demand for top notch surveillance solutions. We are upbeat on the slew of recommendations for urban infrastructure development as this will be an impetus for not only generating employment but also reinvigorate the development of smart cities. The rollout of 5G services will further the potential of technology and aid in promoting R&D and commercialization of tech and solutions.
Robin Das, Co-Founder & CEO of BrandIntelle Services: Indian Fin Min's shortest budget address ever is taxpayer friendly, entrepreneur friendly, investor friendly measures, Web 3.0 friendly, tourism friendly & organic-farming friendly.Long term capital gains capped at 15% will encourage startup founders & investors while we get set for the digital Indian
Rupee based on block chain technology & crypto currency & NFT to come under 30% tax bracket.Govt. raises Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to Rs 5 Lakh crore to help small travel operators.
Akshaya Bhargava, CEO,  Bridgeweave:  Today’s announcement on tax on crypto income is a great move forward by India for 3 reasons - firstly, this move recognises crypto as a legitimate asset class and crypto trading as a legitimate activity. Secondly, clarity on tax will bring more people into the crypto industry, so it will boost industry growth. Thirdly, a well-regulated crypto eco-system will create the right environment for innovation.
Sumana Iyengar – CEO & Co-Founder, Goavega Software: The initiatives to widen the scope of portals meant to support MSME's is a good move, and in combination with the 'One Nation, One Registration', it will help in ease of doing business. However, while the ECLGS will be extended till March 2023 and its guarantee cover will be expanded by Rs 50,000 cr to total cover of Rs 5 lakh crore, several MSME's and start-up's like us, who seek support in terms of tax benefits and access to low interest rates for business loans, have little to look forward to.
On the other hand, the announcement of the 5G spectrum auction in 2022 to roll out 5G services across India and defined timelines to laying of optical fibre in villages by 2025, is definitely a big boost to IT services sector as it will help accelerate innovation and make it more financially accessible to businesses.|
Kavitha Subramanian, Co-Founder, Upstox: The focus on start-ups and fintech in this year's Budget is a fantastic step that will help these sectors grow further.The introduction of 5G and the spread of optical fiber to villages would provide a boost to the Fintech industry. It encourages digital investment platforms like ours to expand their services, resulting in an increase in retail activity in Tier 2-Tier 3 cities and towns. The Central Bank Digital Money (CBDC) will help to enhance the digital economy by making currency management more efficient and less expensive. The capping of surcharge at 15% on Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax for all listed and unlisted corporations responds to a long-standing demand for new-age businesses.
Ritesh Khandelwal, Chief Finance Officer, NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Technologies: Digital Rupee using Block chain would also be interesting change in way transaction would take place going forward.As leaders in the cloud infrastructure space, we at NxtGen Datacenters and Cloud Technologies, are very pleased with the declaration of Datacenters as part of harmonized list of infrastructure. This listing gives us the benefit of working with bank centered facilities. Earlier data centers were under IT/ ITES (IT Enabled Services), but by having them listed as infrastructure providers, we now have access to low-rate loans which is a straight forward benefit to the industry.The only thing that lacked in this budget was the clarity on government stand and expenditure towards Smart Cities. The government has spent a lot of money and time on this project previously, therefore we were looking forward to get insights on it. Similarly, we were also expecting some clarity in the data localization policy.
Mandeep Manocha, Co-founder & CEO, Cashify: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.
Rahul Tikoo, MD, India Sub Continent, Huntsman International (India): Overall, the blueprint to India@100 gives a fillip to an upward growth aspiration of this nation. A capital expenditure allocation of a massive Rs 7.5 lakh crore towards digitization of the economy is a clear message to the world that New India’ inclusive and differentiated growth will lead to creation of opportunities for millions of youths, women and farmers. It also seeks a smooth transition in the country’s energy needs and commitments on climate change.The introduction of digital rupee by using block chain technology, focus on 5G, drone technology, clean energy are all enablers to build a sustainable, digital, and inclusive India. A major push to free televised education through digital university under One Class-One Channel scheme is a welcome move to facilitate education for millions of students across rural India. 
Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, pTron: The Union Budget has ushered in positive measures for the electronics sector which will give a boost to the sector, especially in the context of Make in India. The #AatmanirbharBharatkabudget with a huge boost to "Make in India" shall generate 6 million jobs and further create competent and skilled manpower that shall compete globally in terms of the quality of goods manufactured.The electronics manufacturing industry is expected to see 30 percent growth in the coming fiscal and to be worth nearly ₹7 lakh crore. It is heartening to see that the Government of India has acknowledged the exponential potential of this sector.  There has been an increase in prices of electronics, smartphones especially, owing to the ongoing chip shortage and other COVID-19 induced factors. With duty concessions and domestic manufacturing boost, prices of electronics are expected to decrease which will further boost the demand in the coming days.
Anand Maheshwari, Managing Director, Allen Digital: Glad to see an overarching focus on encouraging paperless and digital advancements in the Union Budget 2022. Right from using a tablet to read out the budget to regarding Startups as the growth driver for economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a wide spectrum of progressive announcements across sectors.As most of the schools and other educational institutions have chosen for online classes due to the third wave of the pandemic, the digital divide further increases. By introducing ‘One Class One TV Channel’ program by PM eVIDYA, and with fibre optic connectivity for last mile digital reach in villages, the Govt. is trying to shorten the digital divide. It’s a great move as this will also enable all states to provide supplementary education, even in regional languages for classes 1 to 12. By developing digital universities that provide world-class quality education with ISTE Standards, the govt. is also encouraging EdTech start-ups to flourish. FM has also proposed to extend the period of incorporation of eligible startups by one more year (i.e. March 31, 2023) for providing tax incentives. This is going to be a boost for young startups and companies whose plans might have been delayed by the pandemic.
Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL:There was definitely much that was expected from this budget for FY 2022-23. Some of my personal favourite points include moving tax incentives from the last date to 2023, supporting drone manufacturing and services, reducing surcharge on LTCG for any assets to 15 percent. With respect to the manufacturing sector, a special 15 percent tax rate for new companies has extended to 2024. For the electronics sector, our government has proposed reduction in component duty, introducing e-passport, improving logistics through Gati Shakti and incentives for design led manufacturing of 5G devices. 
Neel Mehta, Co-Founder & Director, Asteria Aerospace (Jio Platform Company): As announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Union Budget, the focus on using drones to drive sustainable development through Drone Shakti and Kisan Drones initiatives is a welcome move by the Indian government. This will kickstart the fourth industrial revolution by leveraging drone technology for digitization in agriculture, infrastructure and rural development and generate new-age employment opportunities for the youth of the country.” He further adds, “Asteria Aerospace is proud to support the government's mission by manufacturing best-in-class indigenous drones and providing end-to-end drone solutions for national security, infrastructure inspections, agriculture, and land surveys.
Mahesh Palashikar, President, GE, South Asia: I am happy to see this year’s Union Budget laying down a blue print for sustainable development in the future. We applaud the Govt. for its consistent commitment and sharp focus on the important priorities of improving climate change and accelerating energy transition. The suggested framework around Gati Shakti (infrastructure development) and inclusive development will lay a good foundation for long-term infrastructure with an eye on short term economic and job growth. We also welcome the actions on national Digital Health mission.
Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra:The Union Budget 22-23 reiterates the government’s focus on new-age technologies, infrastructure, and comprehensive development, which will help India maintain sustainable growth momentum. The proposed initiatives around 5G, deep tech, digital rupee, and skilling will prove to be a game-changer, thereby furthering the digital India dream. Incentives boosting the start-up ecosystem will be the bedrock of innovation and growth drivers for the Indian economy. Additionally, the roll-out of Kisan drones for crop assessments and digitization of land records will make the sector future-ready and globally competitive.