The Union Budget 2018 is finally here and we start getting different views and post-budget reactions from different companies. So, here we are going to add all views those have been shared with us in this article. And also will update this list further with quotes and perspective as we get them from top company’s management.
Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. (Kodak HD LED TV India)
As I have been reiterating over the last couple of years, the Indian Government should focus on health and education. Finally, in this budget, the government has introduced the World’s biggest health scheme; providing up to 5 Lakhs of medical care, free, in hospitals. This will certainly go a long way in uplifting the standard of living in India, which is always beneficial for the economy. Apart from this, the Government has focused on infrastructure development, especially housing.
Coming to our industry, that of consumer electronics and manufacturing, the Government is very determined to ensure the success of the Make in India initiative. Therefore we welcome our Finance Minister’s decision to increase customs duty on CBU of television, which is a good sign for boosting the domestic industry. We hope the Finance Minister will also reduce GST on television to 18% subsequently.
Mr. Arvind Bali, Videocon Telecom, and Videocon WallCam
The budget has a clear push towards the socio-economic growth of the country with an aggressive focus on agriculture, education, rural economy, healthcare, and infrastructure. The allocations aimed towards rural India will increase consumption which boosts industries and help in nation building.
Focus on the digital solution and new age technologies is a big push in terms of creating the right environment for the next level of development in India. The increase in customs duty will further boost ‘Make in India’.
Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire.
The much-awaited announcement of Union Budget prompted a gust of anticipation & higher expectations. While Mr. Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister touts the Union Budget as primarily focused on the agricultural sector, it sure reeks of reforms beneficial for numerous other sectors as well.
The government has always encouraged the digital sector to flourish & the budget rightfully justifies their farsighted approach. This year the allocation to Digital India Scheme has been doubled to INR 3073Cr which is a worthwhile move for the industry as a whole. Not only that, with the onset of fast-paced technology & Artificial Intelligence shaping the new segment of digital World, NITI Aayog will establish a national programme for Artificial intelligence. This is a clap-worthy reform which will help organizations diversifying with AI to have a wider scope with vast awareness among everyone. For a higher internet penetration, 5 Lakh wi-fi hotspots will be set up in rural areas, which again is beneficial for the rural dwellers. The need to eliminate cryptocurrencies which are funding illegitimate transactions was also mentioned. The government has proposed to revamp the system of sanctioning loans to SMEs. As per the budget reforms now the information will be linked with GSTN & will be fetched from the same. This comes across as a welcome move as not only will it streamline the process but will enable people to get accustomed to the digital ingress. Corporate companies with a turnover of up to INR 250 cr. will also be highly benefitted from the budget as the corporate tax has been further reduced to 25%.
As per my opinion, the Union Budget has surely set a benchmark & the year looks promising with excellent reforms leading to growth & development of the economy.
Mr. Vivek Agarwal, Co-founder, M-tech Informatics Ltd
We welcome the Budget 2018 by the Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Union Budget 2018 is a growth-oriented budget with enormous push for health, agriculture, education and infrastructure, which we believe will usher in healthy economic growth in the years to come. Speaking specifically of mobile phone industry, we are glad that our demand of increasing customs duty on mobile phone CBU [completely built units] imports to 20 % from the existing 15 % has been met. This will prevent dumping of phones in the Indian market, boost domestic manufacturing and provide a level playing field to home grown brands. The announcement is in line with the objectives of the Make in India initiative.
Mr.Amit Gujral, Chief Marketing Officer, LG Electronics, India
The Budget undoubtedly is a ‘people’s budget’, favoring the rural populace, which is the backbone of the Indian economy. Government’s focus on transforming India into a Digital power with its roots in promoting innovation ecosystems, smart technology, robotics, IoT and artificial intelligence is commendable. It is good to see that there has been a significant push to boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Our heartiest congratulations to the Government for focusing on healthcare, infrastructural development and further investing in Swacchh Bharat Mission.
Mr. Manish Sharma, President and CEO Panasonic India & South-Asia; President, CEAMA.
ACE industry welcomes the Budget, particularly the push for local manufacturing of Mobile Phones and Consumer Electronics by increasing Customs Duty on imported products and components, a move that is consistent with the government’s Make-in-India initiative. The focus on improving rural electrification and well-being through the National Livelihood Mission will stimulate rural demand for electronics and appliances in the short to medium term meanwhile, a sustained development can be ensured through the focus on Smart Cities.
The MSME sector, which forms the backbone of the electronics industry will benefit from a reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 25% and the allocation of ~Rs 3,800 crore for the development of the sector will translate to strengthening the electronics eco-system at large. Further, doubling of allocation towards future technologies such as IoT, Robotics, etc. are encouraging as these rapidly growing technologies are likely to impact our industry as well.
Thiru Vengadam Regional Vice President India, Epicor Software Corporation
We welcome the government’s proposals in the Union Budget 2018-19 that incentivize MSMEs. The budget proposes bringing down the corporate tax for firms that reported turnover up to Rs 250 crore, thereby reducing the tax burden on MSMEs. Further, the government has allocated funds for 2018-19 for credit support to MSMEs.
For MSMEs technology is an enabler for business growth and technology adoption is seen as a top priority. However, MSMEs are often unable to utilize the opportunities available through technology due to lack of working capital finance. The budget proposals of access to credit and tax breaks to MSMEs will help reduce capital constraints and encourage investment in IT solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) to help them work smarter, operate more efficiently and be innovative.The Budget announcements will further encourage technology vendors such as Epicor to continue adding value to medium-sized businesses through technology offerings that help them grow now and positions them for success in the future.
GB Kumar, Vice President – India and APAC at Prysm Inc.
The one key takeaway from Union Budget 2018 is clearly the envisioned rise of India as a connected and technology-driven nation. There is a clear focus on creating a digital economy through sizeable strategic investments in developing the requisite infrastructure. With the government’s enhanced commit to the Digital India scheme – an allocation of INR 3,073 crore, and the successful selection of 99 cities (out of 100) for the Smart Cities initiative – we believe we will see expedited implementation of Connected Cities. Another commendable announcement was the allocation of INR 10,000 crore to the Bharatnet project and establishment of 5 lakh Wifi hotspots in rural geographies. The government’s announcements that promote digitization through greater connectivity, will fuel uptake for collaboration and remote working solutions resulting in a more productive and connected India.
We hope Government will actively encourage emerging technologies such as block chain. This is important for Indian tech industries and start up ecosystems to flourish. Overall, it is a progressive budget, something that puts the onus on the Indian Information Technology industry and also benefits from.
Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder & Chairman of Smartron
Union Budget 2018 has given clear indications of a continued focus on the growth of new businesses in India. The announcement of increase in basic customs duty on mobile phones to 20% is a concrete step towards fostering local manufacturing in India which would further fuel indigenous innovation. This will allow us to build an innovation engine pipeline of several global brands in the country. As India’s first global OEM and IOT brand with a vision of putting India on the global innovation map, the Union Budget would prove to be the necessary catalyst for our continued growth towards becoming a multi-billion dollar company globally.
India needs an investment (VC) ecosystem that can pump in US$15-US$20 billion every year to support and sustain a 5000+ startup ecosystem. Union Budget 2018 has taken the needs of the ecosystem into consideration by taking policy decisions to build a robust alternative investment regime in the country along-with a taxation model designed for the special nature of VC funds and angel investors. These policies and new taxation model would definitely help the start-ups to ensure survival and profitability over the years. As India’s first global OEM and IoT brand, Smartron believes in collective innovation and this year’s Union Budget would help us in our long term vision of bringing in the start-ups together on a single platform to innovate at the global level.
Mr. Arun Gupta, CEO and Founder of MoMagic Technologies
Mr. Rajesh Rege, Managing Director, Red Hat, India, and SAARC
It was a well-rounded budget. Emphasis on education, entrepreneurship & healthcare was much needed & is welcome. FM’s comments on AI & Blockchain are a step in the right direction & we look to an early implementation of these initiatives.
Prakash Mallya, Managing Director, Sales & Marketing Group, Intel India
Today’s Budget clearly pivots on a digital-first India, and three recommendations made by the FM relate directly to the potential we see in the country. First, the NITI Aayog effort to institutionalize research and development in artificial intelligence reinforces the value that machine learning can bring to issues of national importance. If synergized with the work being done by the academia and industry, we can expect fast emerging use cases that can democratize AI in India. Second, exploring the application of blockchain in governance is a strong indicator of the government’s intent to improve citizen services without compromising on security, especially as Aadhaar gets linked to citizen accounts. And finally, the DoT’s establishment of an indigenous 5G center is an encouraging sign of the government’s view of collaboration with the broader technology ecosystem as the best strategy to accelerate the rollout of 5G infrastructure in India.
Mr. Rohit Kulkarni, Country Manager at Payoneer India
It was heartening to see our Finance Minister recognizing India’s MSME enterprises as a major element for growth and the fastest growing sector post demonetization and GST. The FM in the 2018 budget has reduced the tax for MSME’s by 5%. The deduction of tax has come down to 25% from 30%. This gives MSME’s and other traders an opportunity to expand their services globally and venture their businesses into various global marketplaces.
Another major highlight of the budget is, government encouraging fintech companies on the usage of blockchain technology in India which has the potential to positively impact the payment sector, leading towards a more digital India. Adoption of these newer technologies can help to improve real-time data analytics and have a positive impact on risk identification and fraud analysis, which can be an important tool in securing India’s dream of becoming a digital economy.
Mr. Rajeev Jain, Chief Financial Officer, Intex Technologies
The Budget is focused towards increasing the personal disposable income in rural India and critical areas like education, health, and infrastructure. This will further enhance the Make in India initiative of the Government in the ritical electronic industry particularly mobile, which is the key product of all the Government’s initiatives.
The Budget will spur the demand side of the economy by proposing various rural income enhancement schemes and reducing various pain areas of farmers. This will in turn rejuvenate the overall economic growth and spur demand for consumer electronics items like mobile phones and LED TVs thereby fuelling domestic businesses.
Intex has been known to cater to the developing Tier 2 and 3 cities since inception with its affordable consumer products and with the various rural personal disposable income enhancement schemes introduced in the budget, it will give a fillip to the sale and demand of electronic products.
The budget has further strengthened the Digital India initiative with the boost in increasing allocation for digital education through classrooms and continue with the further broadband penetration in the country.
I welcome government’s move to walk the talk on “Make in India” by increasing customs duty (to 20%) on the imported mobile phones and in PCBAs of accessories like batteries & chargers (15%), which will prove to be the big boost for localisation and setting up of a domestic component ecosystem. This is a big thumb up to domestic players like Intex, which have been developing domestic capacities since long in electronics manufacturing.
The Budget has also increased duty on certain LED TV components such as LED panels (15%), which will push for developing capacities for local manufacturing of components. Such move encourages Intex that has been working on enhancing domestic capacities and has recently begun its own Open Cell Manufacturing or LED Panel manufacturing to improve quality control and produce affordable quality products. It will encourage localization in India with domestic manufacturers now implementing plans for local production capacity.
Overall, the budget is development oriented fulfilling the ease of doing business and ease of living for citizens.
Souma Das, Managing Director, Teradata India
We welcome the Finance Minister’s emphasis on adoption of new age technologies like artificial intelligence, the blockchain, and machine learning. Leveraging these technologies will drive new insights from data to enable better policy implementation and fast-track reforms leading to improvement in citizen services and accelerating economic growth.
We are excited about the government’s continued focus towards Digital India as it enables transparency, better governance, and resource utilization. The thrust on digitization by doubling the expenditure for ‘Digital India’ and setting up programs to channelize research efforts in new-age technologies is definitely a step in right direction.
Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, the Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University around the education sector
It is heartening to see that in the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs. 1 lakh crore till 2022 to push research in technical and medical education under the Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE). In addition, the initiative to provide for an integrated B.Ed. program is a much-needed step towards training of our teachers. While technology is recognized to be the biggest driver in the education sector, technology alone will not enable, since it functions in our social system, and there are serious social challenges that the country still needs to address.
I was also looking for specific incentives to enhance private and philanthropic participation and industry-academia collaboration in the sector, given that India spends only 0.7% of its GDP on research. A strong governmental push in the form of an innovation policy will help. The ‘PM research fellows’ need not be restricted to only elite public-funded institutions — one needs to create an entire ecosystem of excellence in the country, and not just a few islands of merit”, said Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University.
Sajith Kumar – VP – Digital Business Service and Benjamin Sanjay, Director – Digital Business Service
Cryptocurrencies does not have any physical value however blockchain as a technology has multiple technological advantage and usage. Present day payment system needs two aspects to look upon – a) data security and b) data privacy. Data security – is needed to secure the citizen centric data and payment transaction that gets initiated. The citizen-centric data like AADHAAR, Bank Account or any other Govt provided data needs to be secured and encrypted. Blockchain technology enables for uniquely encrypting the data and transaction, with all stakeholder participating. Data Privacy – Private data of citizen (Account Information/ personal data) leakage has been one of the main concern. Specially for avoiding fake transaction– it will be in best interest of payment bank to implement blockchain technology consensus-based smart contracts. Unless citizen authorizes the transaction the transaction will not get initiated.
Arsalaan Kashif, Associate Director, Marketing – Happiest Minds Technologies
This is definitely a welcome move by the government as the ecosystem that supports cryptocurrencies is unregulated and highly speculative. A lot of people view blockchain and cryptocurrencies as two parts of the same coin which couldn’t be further from the truth. Blockchain is simply the underlying ideology which can be readily applied in various scenarios including payments to ensure greater transparency and decentralized control. Just like the internet in the 90s, the idea of blockchain is primed to be a game-changer and one can only hope that it’s used to create positive disruptions in the market place.