No doubt the technology growth will pave the foundation of future security, space exploration, healthy lives, automation etc. thus it is important for any country’s government to come forward and play an active role along with IT companies to regulate and support financially the proliferation of tech advances. Recently, India’s Finance Minister revealed the 2020 budget of the nation with new and overhauled polices along with a significant amount of fund allocated for AI enhancement and other technology verticals.
Here are the thoughts and utterance of different technology and other industry doyens from distinct verticles…
Mr Deepak Kagliwal, Director & Head, Sales and Marketing at Blazeclan
There is no doubt that our nation is rapidly moving from adopting global digital trends to redefining the entire digital landscape of the country. As a public cloud service provider, Blazeclan Technology is encouraged by the government’s recognition of the potential of big data and analytics. We align with the Finance minister’s analogy of calling “Data as the new oil’ as we believe that data lies at the core of ensuring scalability of businesses regardless of the industry they come from. Proposing relevant policies to govern and budget to grow, the government has provided a boost to one of the strongest arms of the Indian Economy.
Mr Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee
This has been a historic budget, I would rate it 8/10. This is a common man’s budget. From education to infrastructure, govt has ensured promising new projects. This would encourage buying and would improve market sentiments. In terms of Electronics and TVs, we were expecting a reduction in GST to 18% and extend the 0% duty on open cell panel.
Mr Amitansu Satpathy, Managing Director, Best Power Equipments
The budget is overall encouraging for the industry. We expect a lot of initiatives announced by Hon. Finance Minister. Once implemented will definitely boost economic growth.
Ms Bhawana Bhatnagar, Interior Stylist, Founder of Casa Exotique
I think the most important thing about the proposed 2020 budget by the honorable Minister for Finance is that we all know what to expect in the months to come with respect to each
of our sectors. As an interior stylist, I foresee inflation in the interior market that includes all furnishing items. This is to be expected because the market will surely respond to the new 10% increase in import duty on furniture items announced during this year’s budget presentation. There’s no market in the world that can absorb such a huge increase without massive implications on prices. However, while we will have to buy at very high prices in the foreseeable, we hope that the government make some interventions and help develop the needed technology that will not only boost our local furniture production but will also help improve the quality of our locally made interior items to global standards. If this can be done, then the policy would be meaningful and economically helpful in the long-term.
Mr Sandeep Bhambure, Vice President and Managing Director, India & SAARC, Veeam Software
The government’s announcement of setting up a policy to build data centre parks throughout India for digital connectivity and the allocation of Rs 6,000 crores for BharatNet is a big step towards a successful Digital India initiative. This will increase the adoption of technologies such as IoT, Analytics and AI; leading to an unprecedented amount of data generation. Data management and protection will play a key role to safeguard the citizen’s data from cyber-breaches. Additionally, the implementation of intelligent data management platforms will help achieve positive outcomes from the data.
Mr Sumit Sood, Managing Director, Asia Pacific (APAC), GlobalLogic India
We welcome the government’s commitment to bring policies that will allow the private sector to build data centre parks across India, which will further enable the organizations to skillfully incorporate data in their value chains. Also, with the announcement of government’s most ambitious BharatNet project to link the entire country through a common optical fibre network and launching Quantum computing scheme with an investment of more than $1 billion over a period of five years, India will surely showcase its true potential in the technology sector this year. The way technology is sweeping in the common man’s day-to-day activities, data has become the new need in today’s date. We support the government’s decisions and look forward to their aid in transforming the technology sector and the digital economy.
Mr. Yash Rane, Founder, Chizel
Budget 2020 looks promising from startup point of view. Also, Reducing taxes will really help spending power of common man thereby increasing cash flow in the market. However, it does not address the slow down in the market. We have not seen any aggressive measures that could promise USD 5T dream of INDIAN ECONOMY.
Mr Siddharth Jain, Co-founder, Vaahika
The personal income tax deduction is a big plus given by the FM, this will help in growth revival. The increasing turnover threshold limit to 100 Cr and tax benefit time period to 10 years is another big push for startups. Also, Deferring tax on ESOP’s for startups is a big positive move that will help small startups in retaining talent. The increasing tax audit minimum turnover limit from the current 1 Cr limit to 5 Cr will benefit a large number of small and medium enterprises.
Overall it is a balanced budget which seems to be focussed on honouring the taxpayers. It envisages measures for rebuilding taxpayers confidence by providing tax relief, reducing unnecessary tax litigations and by forming taxpayers charter. Though the devil is in the details and a lot would depend upon its implementation but on the face of it one can definitely call it a ” Tax Payers Budget “.
Mr Akshay Singhal, Founder, Log 9 Materials
At the outset, budget looks to balance aspirations and shortcomings. For Deeptech entrepreneurs like us, budget presents a clear national intent towards greener environment and renewable energy which is commendable and much appreciated.
Mr Vartul Jain, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, GreyOrange
It is heartening to see how this year’s Union Budget focuses on promoting India as an investment and innovation hub. Focus on entrepreneurship, skill development and supply chain economy as well as thrust on technology are important for the growth of the Government’s Digital India and Make in India programs.
Measures such as an Investment Clearance Cell, early stage fund and multiple tax rebates and relaxations for startups–will help widen their scope and provide more opportunities. From a business perspective, Government continues to extend its support to MSMEs and bolster their growth by allowing for debt restricting, all of which will help boost the entrepreneur ecosystem.
We also laud the Government’s focus on improving the supply chain economy. Measures such as geo-tag warehouses and the establishment of efficient facilities at the block level will be key for ensuring zero wastage and optimizing resource allocation.
We are now excited to witness how the industry makes the most of these initiatives for entrepreneurship and drive innovation to further the spirit of India Vision 2025.
Mr Chet Jainn, Founder & CEO, Crowdera.
I think it’s a very good move deferring the ESOPs or deferring it for 5 years, till they sell it or leave the company. I think it’s a very interesting move and startups will be able to exercise such facilities to hire more talents.
Though it’s financing for MSME is also a very interesting topic where a lot of MSMEs will be able to leverage this opportunity to scale, finance their invoices and keep increasing their production with the additional financing options that they would have.
And almost Rs 100,000 crore education sector package is subtly going to boost the economy to the education sector. Ed-tech companies and certain other educational programs are going to benefit. I am very sure interesting permutations and combinations are possible when the innovative startups come into the education space with this. We will have to see the details of Rs 99,300 crore package that the government has announced.
Mr Tim Nicolle, Founder, PrimaDollar
The Finance Minister’s announcements under Union Budget 2020 introducing new schemes will help the small players in the export sector in a big way. The new Nirvik scheme introduces high insurance cover for exporters at a reduced premium. Simplified processes for faster claim settlements will be beneficial for both the exporters and the general insurers. It will lead to providing high insurance cover, reduction in premium for small exporters and simplified procedures for claim settlements, this will encourage export finance. This will boost exports. Coming to the MSMEs, the announcement for the subordinate debt for entrepreneurs is a big positive and will help the MSME sector benefit in a massive way. These seem to be sound measures that can stimulate profitable activities for players in the trade and finance sector.
Mr Harsh Jain, Co-founder and COO, Groww
Making policy for data center parks for digital resources like fintech, AI, aggregator platforms along with the connection of 1 lakh villages via optical fiber internet is great news for digital India. This will definitely increase digital penetration into India that was unthinkable before.
Mr Archit Gupta, Founder, and CEO, Cleartax
Firstly the deferment of ESOP taxation at the time of exercise is a very welcome move. This will help motivate and hire high quality resources. The amendments to section 80IAC on relief to startups is lacklustre. This section has several conditions that need to be fulfilled and a lot of approvals built into it as eligibility criteria. The government needs to relax this more. Reduced compliances via single window for multiple compliances, reduced applicability of various Acts could really ease doing business in India and this will be more impactful.
Ms Meghna Suryakumar, Founder & CEO, Crediwatch
The focus on enabling growth for MSMEs in today’s Union Budget is encouraging. Enabling NBFCs to extend invoice financing to MSMEs through TReDS, should enhance opportunity to fuel the Indian economy and widen the acceptability and trust by the BFSI sector. The extension of GEM e-marketplace as a unified procurement channel should bring more vendors (from the current 3.2 lac) onto the platform. Additionally, amendments to Factor Regulation Act 2011 should boost the MSME sector. On the Debt Recovery side for lenders, the allowance to smallers NBFCs to approach the DRT for smaller ticket size loans, would be beneficial in lowering NPAs & improving the asset quality. However, we expected to hear more clarity on the scheme to provide subordinate debt to be provided by banks for entrepreneurs of MSMEs since less than 15 % of the 50+ million Indian Small businesses have access to formal credit and there is a debt financing gap of the SME is over $1 Trillion.By allowing data centre parks in the country, the government has set a positive sentiment for the industry.
While this will allow better infrastructure in storing and dissemination of data, we were expecting the government to touch upon incentives for setting up data centres which will allow Fintechs to scale faster at an economical cost. This coupled with the extension of Bharat Net (FTH) to 1 lac gram panchayats would add a significant boost to the Digital push in the country.Given that several steps have been taken in the past to drive the Corporate Bond market in India, the increase of FPI limits from 9% to 15% is a positive push to increase international participation in high quality borrowers via the debt route. This coupled with easy access to credit from banks & NBFCs should bring down credit costs in the medium term.
For start-ups, considering the fact that in the initial years, one may not have adequate profit to avail this deduction, extension to avail the claim of deduction from the 7 years to 10 years is a breather. Deferral of tax on ESOP plans for start-ups should also help bring quality corporate talent to this industry.
Mr Sandipan Mitra, Founder, Hungerbox
India has embraced the shared economy and welcomed the digital revolution with open arms. The Union Budget provides some important benefits for emerging entrepreneurs. With the corporate tax being slashed to 22%, companies can now have a little more room to breathe and benefit from the assistance in funding through the investment clearance cell that has been proposed. This budget has certainly addressed some challenges that were faced by budding start-ups and has made it easier for them to receive funding from investors.
Mr. Ankur Choudhary, Co-Founder & CIO, Goalwise.com
On the personal finance front, the 2020 budget has not lived up to the expectations of the taxpayers. While increasing the insurance cover for bank depositors from 1 lakh to 5 lakhs is a positive and much awaited step but on the income tax side, it has been a disappointment. Although a new tax regime with lower tax rates has been introduced, the removal of all exemptions including even 80C exemptions, will water down its benefits. On top of it, the option to choose the old or the new income tax regime will just complicate filing income tax returns which was already a complicated process for individual tax payers. Although the Dividend Distribution Tax has been abolished at the company level but now it will be taxable at the hands of the investor. For startups and MSMEs, the increase in turnover limit and number of years to avail tax exemptions benefits is a positive. Also, no audit for companies with up to Rs 5 crore turnover and amending the Companies Act to remove criminal liabilities for offences that are civil in nature will improve ease of doing business.
Mr. Agendra Kumar, President, Esri India.
The budget has some very positive proposals for the GIS (Geographic Information System) market. There are several areas where the hon’ble Finance Minister has announced allocations of funds which will directly benefit from the use of GIS.
It is heartening to see the allocation of Rs 11,500 Crores in 2020-21 for Jal Jeevan Scheme, this will certainly help in improvement in water resources and providing 24×7 water to households. Also, Rs 12,300 allocated to Swatch Bharat Mission for 2020-21 will help in roll out of initiatives for disposal and processing of solid waste and wastewater. These two schemes are very important for the country and GIS can help in the management of water resources, water distribution and in achieving the objectives of Swatchh Bharat mission.
5 new Smart Cities have been announced in collaboration with states, apart from the allocation of Rs Rs 103 lakh Cr for infrastructure in the form of 6500 projects for housing, supply of safe drinking water, clean energy, health care for all. GIS has been supporting the growth of Smart communities and in the improvement of the liveability of the cities.
GIS was the heart of R-APDRP program that aimed to reduce the power distribution losses by various electric utilities in the country. Now the announcement to make smart metering mandatory by all DISCOMs in the country will bring-in an important reform, the installation and management of smart meters can easily be handled through GIS based systems.
Mapping on land on both sides of railway tracks for generation of solar energy is driven by GIS and so are the other areas like expansion of sea ports, development of Inland Waterway and 100 more airports. It has been announced that the National Gas grid will be expanded from16200Kms to 27000 Kms. GIS is already been used in installation and management of Gas pipelines and distribution; the expansion of Gas grid will create more opportunities for the use of GIS and other geospatial technologies.
Mr Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-founder, Vedantu
The vision of making education accessible to the farthest corner of the country will greatly benefit students. The allocation of budget to hone the skill sets of teachers and educators will positively impact quality learning and thereby provide a boost to the education sector. Additionally, the allocation of budget to BharatNet will also have a deep impact on skilling rural India as it has the potential to open up online learning to students and professionals from remote villages. With better bandwidth internet, a qualified teacher located in a metro city can impart LIVE online classes to students in small-town India, where there’s a dearth of quality education. Technology will soon disrupt the entire concept of the classroom and make it an extremely personalized, one to one teaching-learning experience tailored for each mind.
Mr Jitendra Chaddah, Chairman, IESA
The vision for the semiconductor and electronics industry in the budget speech is encouraging. We feel this interim budget by Finance Minister is progressive and inclusive. It focuses on leveraging new technologies to build countrywide digital infrastructure, skill-building and drives growth by providing cost benefits for electronics manufacturing in India. The scheme to boost the intelligent electronics & semiconductor ecosystem by the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging and electronic equipment, assures more investment. We foresee the sustained incentives by the government to promote local manufacturing will fulfil local demand and also enable India to become an export hub for electronics.
Mr.Mike Chen, MD, India, TCL
At TCL, we believe that the Finance Minister has announced an encouraging Union Budget 2020. Proposing the scheme to encourage the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging and electronic equipment is a welcomed move and we look forward to a complete policy and leveraging the same to kickstart the domestic manufacturing through our panel factory in Tirupati. Furthermore, painting a futuristic picture in this year’s budget announcement, the FM also acknowledged advanced technologies like IoT, AI, and analytics changing the world. At TCL, we are forever committed to advancing our ‘AI x IoT’ ecosystem in India and will continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies to offer the best services to our customers in India.
Mr Rahul Sharma, MD-India, LogMeIn
Budget 2020 looks very promising. We are particularly enthused about the FM’s announcement of seamless delivery of digital services as part of the next wave of the digital revolution. AI, ML, Analytics, IoT, Robotics are making giant inroads in India, as was observed in the budget. The policy being introduced to build data centre parks throughout the country will help enhance the digital infrastructure to a significant extent. We are looking forward to the next phase of Digital India which will be a big growth driver for businesses and individuals alike.
Mr Aakrit Vaish, CEO, Haptik
As digitization and advanced technologies continue to gain momentum, we welcome the Budget 2020 announcements. Once again, the Finance Minister’s emphasis on machine learning, robotics, AI and IoT will help boost India’s digital journey. A significant proportion from the allocation of INR 3000cr for skill development should focus on these cutting-edge technologies. We are also delighted to witness proposals such as the linking of 100,000 Gram Panchayats through the enhancement of Bharat Net and setting up of data centre parks across the country. As national systems become more sophisticated and our workforce is equipped with the relevant skills, we will truly see the next wave of the digital revolution, with greater scope for large-scale indigenous innovation.
Mr Suganthi Shivkumar, Managing Director, ASEAN, India & Korea at Qlik
We appreciate the government’s decision in the 2020 Budget to dedicate the necessary funds and resources towards developing revolutionary and breakthrough technologies such as ML, robotics and AI to further the skills that will prepare us for the next wave and accelerate India’s journey towards becoming a digital giant. With data equated as the new oil, the government’s plan of building cutting-edge data parks across the country is equally important. Furthermore, the governments initiative of allocating Rs 6000 crores to enable unabridged digital connectivity in over 100,000 Gram Panchayats through the Fiber to Home BharatNet scheme holds brilliant potential in securing India’s passage towards achieving tech-empowerment for the remote sector.
Mr Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO, Rooter
It’s very encouraging to see that Indian Government regards entrepreneurship as “strength of India”. Start-ups can not only get a lot of foreign investment in India but also create thousands of jobs. The investment clearance and advisory cell for entrepreneurs is a great step to encourage new entrepreneurs and provide assistance. Moreover, the seed fund to support early-stage start-ups will help them to create a quality market fit product before approaching VCs.
Mr Yashash Agarwal, CEO, Gamezop
FM’s proposal of delaying tax collection on the exercise of ESOPs is a welcome move. The current structure looks to collect taxes too early causing employees to not exercise vested shares. Easing direct taxation for eligible startups will encourage businesses to chase the right metrics and not just growth at the by bleeding money. The definition of “eligible startups” must be broadened to bring more companies in this fold.
Mr Rakesh Kharwal, Managing Director, India/South Asia & ASEAN, Cyberbit
The government has highlighted the role of digital technologies like analytics, IoT, AI, and quantum technology during this Budget Session. The burgeoning digital infrastructure of India needs a strong cybersecurity framework to support it. Now, since it has allocated Rs. 99,300 crores to the education sector and Rs. 3,000 crores for skill development itself, a good way to realize India’s digital vision could be by working on the cybersecurity front from the very beginning. The government may want to cover its tech initiatives with avant-garde simulation-based cybersecurity training platforms like Cyber Range for proposed cyber forensic university and Skill India campaign. This will help India in generating millions of jobs for the youth and also strengthening national security.
Mr Akash Gupta, Founder and CEO – Zypp (Earlier known as Mobycy)
The Union Budget 2020 paints an affirmative picture for the future. We are glad that the Finance Minister has emphasised on improving the air quality, citing that the matter of clean air is a matter of concern in large cities that have a population of over 1 million. To the same end, we believe that EV-powered everyday commuting solutions offered by Zypp through Electric Scooters and Logistics solutions will play a crucial role in times to come. The budget announcement further comprises positive news for India’s fast-growing start-ups.
The proposal to set-up investment clearance cell for entrepreneurs along with assistance in funding would definitely prove to be extremely beneficial. Furthermore, increasing the threshold of start-ups eligible for tax deduction from an annual turnover of 25Cr to now up to 100Cr is another welcomed move. The FM has also increased the window for such start-ups to claim a tax deduction for 3 years out of 10 years now as compared to 7 years previously. Owing to the same, the start-ups will find it easier to take risks and not be burdened financially while pursuing trailblazing innovations. Deferring ESOPs for start-up employees is another affirmative move, giving employees of start-ups to postpone taxation for 5 years or whenever they exit the venture, whichever is earlier.
Ms Ambika Sharma, Managing Director & Founder at Pulp Strategy
The latest budget announcement for the year 2020 -21 bears vast potential in shaping India’s road towards achieving its target of emerging as a 5 trillion dollar economy. With India currently posed as the fifth largest economy in the world, I am particularly enthralled by the government’s decision to optimize new-age disruptive technologies such as Machine Learning, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) towards attaining a seamless and integrated service sector. Further advancing the digital revolution in the country is the government’s resolution of developing state-of-the-art data centers across the nation. Moreover, the FM’s proposal to allocate Rs 6000 crore for connecting 100,000 Gram Panchayats by FY21 will also prove instrumental in accelerating India’s journey towards becoming a tech –enabled nation.
Also admirable is the government’s successful implementation of the Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao scheme which was reflected by the high gross enrollment of girls in all levels of school education. With the budget modeled towards realizing a progressive and equal women-centric society, the Finance minister also highlighted the fact that presently more than 6 lakh Anganwadi workers are equipped to upload status of more than 10 crore households. The government’s decision to provide Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition related programs and Rs 28,600 crores for women – linked programmes will vastly help in furthering women empowerment and gender equality.
Mr Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, Onvu Tech
This year’s budget includes a number of positive reforms for the surveillance and security agency. The government has announced the launch of Police Academy and Forensic Sciences, 5 more smart cities, 9,000 KMs of economic corridor, enhancement of tourist attractions, and improved business landscape for MSMEs alongside others. Security and Surveillance infrastructure is a core element of all of these reforms and will give a strong stimulus to the segment.
The government has announced a number of measures for the education sector with a whopping Rs. 99,300 crore budget. With it, courses will go online soon and Top-100 NIRF Ranked Institutes start offering them. The government has also announced positive reforms including Asian-African ‘Study in India’ program, establishment of Police Academy and Forensic Science, and integration of medical institutes with dist. hospitals. Rs. 3000 crores have further been allocated for Skill Development. Perhaps, all of these reforms will go a long way by including video-analytics-based EdTech solutions to them as well.
Mr Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies Limited
For cyber forensics University – One major step announced by the FM involved the proposal for establishing a national forensic university and cyber forensic university. With cyber-crimes increasing at a rapid rate, the need for cyber forensics has become more important than ever for a rapidly digitising country like India. The setting up of a cyber forensics university is a welcome move from the Government. This will definitely help in improving India’s expertise to solve complex cybercrimes.
Ms Sanya Goel, Director and founder of start up Fuel@doorstep Humsafar App
Entrepreneurship has always been the “strength of India,” and proposed a slew of measures to ensure ease of doing business for Indian startups, including a seed fund to support early-stage startups and an investment clearance and advisory cell for entrepreneurs, among other measures and called India’s growing crop of entrepreneurs “job creators”.
We welcome Budget 2020: Govt proposes easing of tax payments for startups Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed easing of tax payments for startups with a view to promoting the growth of budding entrepreneurs “by deferring the tax payment by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest.” Currently, ESOPs, or employee stock option plan, are taxable.”
We welcome the announcement of an eligible startup having a turnover of up to Rs 25 crore is allowed a deduction of 100 per cent of its profits for three consecutive assessment years out of seven years if the total turnover does not exceed Rs 25 crore.
Mr Sunil Patwari, CEO, Rashmi Rare Earth Limited
We laud the budget presented by Ms. Sitharaman today. She stated that the Government could announce an Rs. 36,000 crore fund to provide production linked incentives (PLI) to smartphones makers. Building a complete ecosystem to spur local manufacturing is the key for its success. This scheme will support the manufacturers to offer quality products at competitive prices, generating ample employment opportunities and boosting the domestic economy. Our request to the Government to give preferential treatment to Indian companies having 100% local equity over their Chinese counterparts. Faster and hassle-free implementation of Incentive Schemes is the call of the hour.
Mr Arjun Bajaj – Director Videotex International ( Daiwa & Telefunken)
The reduction of income tax in the slabs below 12 lakhs will definitely increase the disposable income of the consumers hence resulting into an increase in the overall sales across industries which will further improve the economic conditions of the country.
We were expecting the government to take action on the 0% open cell duty structure which could increase post-September due to no manufacturing/bonding plants of open cell in India. An extension in 0% duty is needed due to no local manufacturing.
Mr. Vikram Kumar, Co-founder, Letstrack
The Union budget 2020 is providing a big push to the technology and digital connectivity in India which is helpful for the country. India is embracing its sharing economy with aggregators and regular businesses which is going to be beneficial for all companies.
As said in the budget, IoT and AI are changing the way of the working of the economy and our focus needs to be on the same. Our new digital economy is based on innovations which are going to disrupt the established business models. Setting up of an investment clearance cell to support the startup owners in funding is a welcome step. Investment Clearance Cell will give investors free investment advisory, land banks and facilitate clearances even at the state level. A pan-India single-window clearance system for investments will improve the ease of doing business in India.
The new budget is going to be helpful for early-stage startups as they would be providing the early-stage funding including the seed funds and it is going to bring in the ideation and development.
Mr Parimal Heda – Chief Investment Officer – Digit Insurance
There was lot more we were expecting from this budget on measures to revive the auto industry, increase in tax soaps, etc but it is good to see the focus on digital governance pushing for digital revolution in a big way. A viability gap funding window will be set up to set up hospitals in PPP mode and in its first phase those districts will be covered where presently there are no Ayushman empanelled hospitals. Machine learning and AI in Ayushman Bharat scheme shall enable better designed disease preventive regime and create better healthcare facilities”. “Recapitalization of INR 6950 crores of PSU Insurance companies will help in terms of improving their solvency metrics and is a step towards merger of the PSU general insurers.
Mr Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks
The Union Budget provides a major boost to the interests of broadband services enablers and aligned stakeholders as one of the major takeaways that evidently emerged was the fact of connectivity being at the core of all key pursuits planned by the government.
Towards this, initiatives announced such as providing push to smart metering, setting up five new smart cities, establishing new data centres across the country and more importantly the allocation of Rs.6000 crore towards BharatNet to provide connectivity to 100,000 gram panchayats within this year itself, augers well for the telecom industry.
Mr Amit Jain, Founder of Rising Star Tours and Travels
The proposed 2020 budget by the Finance Minister is in line with the vision of the country to be among the top-three largest travel markets in the world by the year 2025. Many people in the travel sector, including myself, have hoped that the new budget will stimulate the strength and growth of our travel sector and I must confess that my expectations have not been cut short. The recent promise to accelerate the development of highways by the administration through the proposed budget is great and it is what we all want to hear.
My position is that the administration shouldn’t lose sight of our ultimate goal of becoming one of the best in the process of implementation, this is a sector that is capable of bringing billions to our country. Local transportation infrastructure for air, water, and land needs to be revamped; not just for the comfort of our citizens, but with the vision to meet international standards that will attract foreigners who will boost our economy. Therefore, the current plan in the proposed budget shouldn’t be relegated to the archives but should be fully implemented without political acrimony.
Mr Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu
It’s great to see the Union Government’s focus on education. The FDI part was in waiting for a long time, glad to have it come through – it will really help us make a big leap! Online education programs, introduction of new
courses that will push students into careers of tomorrow, and of course ‘the Indian SAT’ for promoting #StudyInIndia – all are in the right direction, and I am personally very excited about us at Leverage Edu helping execute some of these parts.
Mr Kunal Jain, Founder & CEO, Analytics Vidhya
I welcome the Government’s initiative to open Data Center Parks across the country as the finance minister has rightly said that ‘Data is the New Oil’. This will lead to the digitisation of the rural areas while providing various employment opportunities to the people across the country.
Also, I would appreciate the use of AI & ML by the government in Aayushman Bharat Scheme to improve the healthcare services and eradicate tuberculosis in India by 2025.
Mr Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India
We congratulate the government on presenting the Union Budget 2020 for the common man and it’s encouraging to see that the government has taken the lead to deliver on its promise of excellence in healthcare. The government’s “TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” initiative to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025 is a significant step towards building a healthy Society. India being the highest recorder of TB cases in the world makes it imperative for us to understand the high risk of catching the disease. The government’s vision aligns with our mission to
raise consciousness and promote advanced diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis among patients.
Additionally, the government’s impetus on boosting the domestic manufacturing of electronics and medical devices in the country will reinforce the commitment towards raising awareness for early detection in India. Apart from this, the announcement to boost Artificial Intelligence is a great step to strengthen the usage of technology in the field of healthcare while intensifying the quality with accessibility and affordability. We believe that the government has put forward a progressive budget with a strong vision to take India’s social, economic and overall well-being to greater heights.
Dr Vivek G. Mendonsa (Director-Sales | LYNX_Lawrence &Mayo)
The budget 2020 is a holistic and integrated budget, focused on promoting the ‘ease of living’ for a common man and ‘ease of doing business’ for SMEs, MSME’s and corporate. With a clear thrust on projects that work keeping sustainability and optimum use of resources in mind, the budget outlines plans to strengthen infrastructure relevant for renewable energy, transport, IT and agriculture, and allied industries. Further, a plan to
offer employment opportunities to India’s young engineers, management graduates, and economists, in construction, operation & maintenance of infrastructure through the ‘Project Preparation Facility’, and the mandate for urban local bodies will provide internships to engineers for one year at district and state level, the budget displays a long term vision to make India a youth-led economy.
The proposal of 100% tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infra projects, budgetary allocations of INR 22,000 Cr earmarked for the power and renewable energy sector and allocations of INR 4,400 Cr for clean air in cities with a population of over one million, expansion of the National gas grid from 16,200 km to 27,000 km, concessional tax rate of 15% to power generation companies, and government initiatives to forge global partnerships for environment, are impactful steps in the direction of building a robust infrastructure for sustainable energy resources.
Focus on building a strong IT infrastructure through the creation of ‘Data Parks’ for an effective and integrated digital network, is another visionary step to making India a robust digital economy. Focusing on transport, with the development of highways, waterways, and air-routes, especially the Krishi Udaan and Krishi Rail for agro produce transportation using cold storage, and enhanced connectivity of tribal and remote Northeastern states, are some of the impactful initiatives announced. All of these initiatives showcase the government’s commitment to driving an integrated, sustainable, and humane approach to economic growth, that will have long term impact on the wealth and well-being of generations to come.
Mr Pathik Shah, CEO of DB Digital
Promoting and building data center parks across India and improving connectivity through BharatNet seems like a great move forward – it would be great to leverage both to enable seamless interchange of data across local government bodies and also enabling access to it to private companies to build innovative applications leveraging that data – just like the data.gov initiative by the US government; and that could also help drive data localization forward – depending on the specifics.
The way they should be structured should be very similar to UPI – making technology entrepreneurs from across India lead the strategy, architecture and execution of the network and making it open so anyone can plug-in – from existing tech giants to startups.
Mr. Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform
This budget states about the new education policy(NEP),Which will be announced soon and this time the focus will be on attracting experienced and qualified teachers & Education sector needs greater finance to attract good teachers and thus ECBs and FDI will be leveraged. A total of 150 higher education institutes will have apprenticeship programmes by March 2021. Urban local bodies will provide fresh engineers a job opportunity for one year, says FM.
This will help engineers learn on the job which is actually good because in India major population of engineers lack the skills required for growth which will be tackled here. The major step towards boosting online education is the introduction of degree-level full-fledged online education programme to be offered by the top 100 institutions in the country also Degrees can be taken online soon and will be offered by the Top 100 NIRF ranked institutes.
This time education sector is under focus and the introduction of online courses and degrees will definitely proved to be a big step towards digitalisation of Indian education system. FM also announces Rs 99,300 crore outlay for education sector in 2020-21 and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development and as suggested by the FM By 2030, India is set to have the largest working age population in the world which is definitely going to boost the economy.
Mr. Amol Arora, Vice Chairman & MD, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools
By 2030, India is set to have the largest working age population in the world. It is good to know the Government has acknowledged this and the need for the education sector to have greater finance to attract good teachers. In the previous Union Budget, the Government allocated ₹94,800 crore towards the education fund.
This time the Finance Minister has announced Rs 99,300 crore outlay for education sector and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development. But I feel the rise is just not enough to match the current need. Considering the option of External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for education sector was much-needed.The government should look beyond ECB & FDI but also attract more domestic investments and talents.
This requires political will to permit return on capital since Investment in Education will give the highest ROI for the country.We require to cover more students, add better infrastructure and most importantly — improve the quality of education. 150 higher education institutes being given apprenticeship programmes by March 2021 is a welcome announcement as it will promote skills and employability. We are looking forward to contemporary and emerging trends being incorporated in the curriculum with National Education Policy 2020 which is going to be announced soon. It’s disappointing that the Government hasn’t passed on any benefits for the Ed-tech and skill-tech sectors by extending tax benefits and incentives for players, corporates or education institutions by giving tax exemption.
Ms Pearl Tewari, Vice President, Kapture CRM
It’s good to see this budget emphasizing on the Indian spirit of entrepreneurship and aiming towards a digital revolution. We also welcome the pragmatic approach of allowing the private sector to build data center parks in the country and its new policy for integrated information portal.
Mr Loknedra Ranawat, Founder & CEO, WoodenStreet
The allocation of Rs. 27,300 crore will lead to a setup of a better environment for industry and commerce. As the electronic sector is in focus of Government, new startups based on the manufacturing of electronic equipment and semiconductors will also see a rise. New investment in this sector and change in export norms will also give a boost to this industry. The subordinated debt for MSME’s and overall debt restructuring will also benefit the entrepreneurs and small businesses greatly.
Ms Nidhi Yadav Creative head and founder AKS clothings
No doubt, the most commendable effort of the present administration towards boosting local manufacturing and startups is contained in the proposed 2020 budget announced by the honourable minister for finance. The new initiatives contained in the new budget, such
as the plan for NBFCs to increase invoicing to MSMEs and the plan to increase the interest subvention scheme to MSMEs by a year will increase productivity in both our local manufacturing and service industries.
In a country where MSMEs is responsible for about 45% of manufacturing, 40% of exports, and 28% of total GDP; if the above initiatives proposed in this budget is faithfully implemented with no political undertones, it will not only lead to sustained economic growth, but it will also lead to an increased rate of economic growth.
Prashanth G J, CEO at TechnoBind
The budget this time looks very encouraging. Among other things two areas stand out for me. Firstly the FM’s specific mention on recognising new disruptive technologies being an integral part of the economy is very welcome – this will give boost to players like us who are focused on Data and other new gen sectors like Fintech and IoT.
Secondly the acknowledgement of liquidity crunch as a problem area and the eventual measures to alleviate this by the focus on NBFC sector and their lending prowess will go a long way in helping improving the business climate in the country.
Mr Ashis Guha, CEO at RAH Infotech
All in all the Union Budget 2020 is a welcoming step towards enhancing India’s Digital Ecosystem. Significant investments in the space of cybersecurity, electronics manufacturing, and promotion of IT and IT- enabled services is indeed a great move.
The corporate tax cut and benefits derived by new companies, along with improved GST collections, will increase the revenue generation. Initiatives like data center parks across the country, increased focus on BharatNet and National Mission on quantum technologies will boost employment, address skill shortage issue and definitely attract global investments to boost the overall economy. Overall the budget has fulfilled the aspirations of all, from common man to a business tycoon.
Mr Akshay Mehrotra, CEO and Co-Founder of EarlySalary
The Union Budget 2020 is an encouraging step in the right direction, with a focus on three themes – aspirational India, economic development, and compassion – to empower the common man.
This year’s Budget aims to improve liquidity in the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) sector. This move, in turn, will greatly benefit the Fintech industry. The decision, especially reduction in refinances options for NBFC to Rs. 100 crore, will give a much-needed boost to this sector.
The focus on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) and bill discounting model will boost lending models further. It has also been proposed to defer tax payments by employees on ESOPs received from startups by five years. It will greatly benefit employees and increase the capabilities of the companies to attract and retain better talent needed in this space.
This budget is extremely populous and aims to avail more cash to tax players. It all signals that this government aims to stimulate a slowing economy through this Budget.
Dr Vikas Joshi, Founder and CEO of Harbinger Group
Although the budget is high on aspiration, it may fall short in substance. In a welcome move, the budget is aligned to employment-generation in emerging sectors with a focus on skill development, internships for fresh engineers from urban local bodies, and online degree programs from top academic institutions.
However, growing the supply of skilled resources is one side of the growth story. The other side is growing the demand for such resources. A 10% growth target is aspirational, yet lacking in concrete pro-growth measures, especially in high tech industries. Although slashing corporate taxes and introducing faceless tax assessments are welcome measures, the Budget has no benefit extended to the IT industry in particular.
Mr Harshvardhan Lunia, Co-founder & CEO at Lendingkart
Budget 2020 has signalled the governments intent and focus on MSME sector, through a slew of interventions that will see the sector grow tremendously in the long run. Raising the turnover threshold to 5 Crores for businesses with less than 5% cash transactions will help boost the cashless economy and further bring businesses in the organised economic fold. The introduction of app-based invoice financing will also help
businesses better manage invoicing, payments and business cycles. It’s good to see the special focus on AI and new age tech in the budget and the allocation of Rs 8000+ Crores is a shot in the arm for businesses and fintech’s such as Lendingkart that are working extensively in this space.
The allocation and setting up of Data Centre Parks, Fibre to home and investments in quantum computing have the ability to create a digitally connected India. However, a greater impetus to NBFCs and the startup community in general is needed to ensure India becomes a major innovation hub in the coming future.
Mr Puneet and Yatin Jain, Directors Odhni
The 2020 budget presented by the honourable minister for finance will set our economy on the right path in the new decade and for many decades to come if fully implemented. For instance, when you take a look at new initiative proposed by the FM termed the subordinate debt for Entrepreneurs, then the extension of debt restructuring from by another year from which more than 5 lakh of MSME benefited last year; you will see that the vision behind the budget is great for start-ups and therefore great for our budding labour force and economy.
The objective of the administration to increase imports under Free Trade Agreements and the proposed increase in Customs Duty on some imported items such as footwear and furniture will boost local manufacturing and enhance our foreign exchange advantage.
Madhusudhan Bhageria, CMD, Filatex India Ltd.
Abolition of anti-dumping duty on PTA is huge positive for polyester yarn manufacturers like us. We welcome and appreciate the Government of India’s efforts in abolishing anti- dumping duty on PTA to make critical input for manmade fibers easily available at competitive prices. It would go a long way in strengthening domestic manufacturing of manmade fibers and textile players at large, which would also make them more competitive in international markets.
Abolition of current antidumping duty, which is in the range of $23 to $62 per ton on imports from EU and China, means reduction in cost of raw material for polyester yarn manufacturers and easy availability of raw materials too. This would help us to improve our profitability during the next financial year.
Mr Thakur Anup Singh, CMD, Marg ERP LTD
We are very happy to see the government’s focus on boosting start-up ecosystem. The introduction of tax relief on ESOPs was one of the biggest demand from the start-up
industry and it is very encouraging to see that the govt has met this requirement through easing the burden of taxation on the employees by deferring the tax payment by five years. Moreover, the increase in expenditure towards the healthcare and education sectors are very positive for us as pharma and skills are two focus sectors for us.
Mr Santosh Joshi, CEO, BankEdge
We are happy to see the government’s focus on education and skill development. Despite
facing the fiscal constraints, keeping a priority in this area by the government is a great positive step for the education industry. The budget allocation towards National Education Mission has been increased to Rs 392 billion for FY21 from Rs 377 billion for the ongoing year. It is also encouraging to see a boost given to start-up ecosystem through easing the burden of taxation on the employees by deferring the tax payment by five years. Moreover, allowing a deduction of 100% of its profits for three consecutive assessment years is positive for start-ups having a turnover of up to Rs 100 crore.
Mr Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig
I would term it as a ‘forward-thinking’ Budget. The announcement of Rs 6,000 Crore to boost internet connectivity is certainly big news for the internet and e-commerce industries. The announcement of a single investment clearance window for entrepreneurial
projects will boost the ‘Startup India’ mission. There was also an announcement about opening internship opportunities with urban local bodies and Rs 1 lakh Crore push for education, which will directly impact jobs and skill development. And, for those seeking jobs with the government sector, there’s a plan for setting up a national recruitment agency for the hiring of non-gazetted jobs. These and other announcements of investments in the Healthcare and other sectors will give impetus to the recruitment scenario.