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Budget 2023 Reactions: Business leaders respond to budget

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

Murali Ramakrishnan MD and CEO of The South Indian Bank: “This year’s Union Budget is noteworthy on a number of counts. Effective implementation of schemes like opening of 47.8 crore PM Jan Dhan bank accounts will benefit common citizens. With the establishment of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), we expect infrastructure in tier 2 and tier 3 cities receiving a significant boost. The enabling of the Digital locker for MSMEs for securely storing and sharing documents online with various authorities, regulators and other entities will encourage seamless business.”

PN Vasudevan, MD and CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank: “The Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister today has many positives. It is a growth-oriented budget with a planned capital outlay of 10 Lakh Crore and a higher allocation for the PM Awaz Yojna Scheme which would spur the housing finance market and all its upstream and downstream industries.

It has a fillip for the rural economy in the form of higher fertiliser subsidies for the farmers, putting more money in their hand. With improved road connectivity, this is expected to improve money flow in the rural economy.

The Budget also has very positive news for individual taxpayers. The people at the lower end of the income bracket benefit from an increase in the minimum tax slab from 2.5 to 3 Lakhs along with all the other benefits available under the old scheme, while for people willing to shift to the new tax regime, the minimum taxable limit has been increased from 5 to 7 Lakhs. This may spur more people to opt for the new tax regime. And at the top end of the income earners (new tax regime), the tax limit has been reduced from the current 42.7 % to 39%. Both of these should result in higher level of disposable income and higher consumption.

While apparently being liberal with various segments as above, the Government has also done an extraordinary job of maintaining the fiscal prudence, riding on strong tax collection. The revised estimate of borrowings for the current financial year has been reduced while for the next year, the borrowings estimated at 15.43 Lakh Crore is lower than the widely expected 15.8 Lakh Crore. The fiscal deficit has also been contained during the current year within the guided 6.4%, while for next year it is pegged at 5.9%, clearly showing that the Government has very well managed the tightrope walk between fiscal prudence and supporting economic growth.

Overall, the budget scores on many fronts and should help place the country in the global map as a country well positioned to sustain its strong GDP growth and a torch bearer amongst the major economies of the world. At a time when there are significant concerns about economic sustenance in our region, this Budget further strengthens our image as a well-managed country, at the cusp of next levels of sustainable growth.”

Vikas Garg, Co-Founder and CEO of Paytail: “The government’s efforts to simplify the KYC process and adopt a risk-based approach will go a long way in streamlining the process for customers and fintech companies alike. We appreciate the focus on a digital-first approach and the use of technology to improve financial inclusion in India. The establishment of DigiLocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management is a game-changer for the fintech industry. This will simplify the process and save time for customers while also enhancing the security of their personal information.”

Nilesh Patel, Founder and CEO, LeadSquared: “The Union Budget 2023 aims to promote technological advancements in India by simplifying and reducing 39000 compliances in the coming year and decriminalizing thousands of legal provisions. This will ease the process of doing business for startups. This year’s budget also includes measures such as the introduction of Entity DigiLocker, which will securely store and share essential documents specifically for MSMEs, start-ups, large enterprises, and charitable organizations, and streamline KYC processes, all on one platform.

Additionally, the government’s commitment to empowering the youth by introducing mandatory courses such as AI, coding, drones, IOT, 3D printing, and other soft skills under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 and establishing of 30 Skill India international centers, will connect skilled youth with employers and leaders in the industry and encourage entrepreneurship.”

Dheeraj Hinduja, Executive Chairman, Ashok Leyland: “Union Budget 2023-24 is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of building a competitive and resilient India, with inclusive growth. The budget emphasises comprehensive national infrastructure development and expands on the digitization of the economy. The road transportation sector plays an important role in national development and would have an even more impactful role, going forward, in supporting the Government’s vision. The announcement that old vehicles owned by the central government and state governments will be replaced as part of the vehicle scrapping policy presents a significant opportunity for fleet modernisation. This budget also echoes our sentiment and commitment to clean energy vehicles for a cleaner and greener future, as part of a national mission to achieve the net zero carbon emission goal.”

Bhavik Damodar, Office Managing Partner- Mumbai, KPMG in India: “This is a growth propelling budget focused on inclusive development, ease of doing business through further digitisation, significant infrastructure investments, further promoting domestic manufacturing, growth of green and alternative energies whilst achieving the stated long term sustainability goals.”

Sudarshan Venu, MD, TVS Motor Company: “This budget is well rounded. The FM has put inclusivity, capital expenditure, consumption, digitisation and the middle-class front and centre. The emphasis on increased infrastructure spends and support for lithium-ion battery manufacturing will be a great multiplier for industry overall.”

Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder, BYJU’S: “With a focus on digitalization and formalization, the budget is investing in digital public infrastructure that will position India for continued growth and competitiveness. The education sector is a key area of investment, with the launch of PM Schools for Rising India, the recruitment of 38,800 teachers, and the establishment of a National Digital Library for children. These initiatives will help equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for success in the future, and the emphasis on teacher training and innovative pedagogy will ensure that the quality of education in India continues to improve. This forward-thinking budget sets India on a path towards self-reliance and global competitiveness.”

Anil Pinapala, CEO and Founder, Vivifi India Finance: “The Union Budget 2023 is a commendable approach towards India’s vision for inclusive growth. It has laid its due focus on building the blocks that will transform our nation into one of the strongest economies in the world. With financial inclusion at the core, the relief for taxpayers in terms of direct tax is an absolutely welcome move. The government is creating an incentive structure for people to move from the old tax regime to the new tax regime. This transformation will empower our citizens with a stronger economic stability and a higher standard of living.

The fact that the per capita income has doubled to Rs. 1.97 lakh since 2014, speaks highly of how we have significantly improved our position; as a well-governed and innovative country with a conducive environment for business as reflected in several global indices. Several accomplishments have had a major role to play in India’s rising global profile: unique world class digital public infrastructure, e.g., Aadhaar, Co-Win and UPI; Covid vaccination drive in unparalleled scale and speed; online KYC processes. Further, the budget expanding access to documents in digi-locker will help in fastening credit underwriting as well as overall KYC processes. Remote onboarding and underwriting will streamline and bring efficiency to the processes.

With the world moving towards a digital revolution, the Indian government has introduced reforms that will transform India into a digital super- power. As a nation, we are making progress in the right direction. Looking forward, initiatives for start-ups, technology, upskilling and financial literacy will undoubtedly act as a successful catalyst for India’s growth.”

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO,, & “Overall, the FM presented an inclusive, growth oriented and fiscally prudent budget. Rationalisation of income tax, especially at the lower end of the income spectrum, would provide extra funds in the hands of middle-class families and alleviate the burden of increasing interest rates. It may also encourage those on the fence to purchase a home, which is the most trusted asset class for Indians. The demand for housing is already very robust, and the Budget 2023-24 would further galvanise growth for India’s real estate sector”.

Also, the increase in overall capital expenditure, the increased outlay for PMAY, the setting up of the Urban Infra Development Fund and the record capital allocation for the railways, will help create better infrastructure and provide a further boost to the real estate sector”.

Mohit Rathod, Co-Founder, Truly Desi – Start-up, FMCG, Agriculture, and MSME Sector: “Agri Accelerator Fund will inspire a lot of young entrepreneurs in the Agriculture sector to bring in new innovations by supporting them financially and making this space more organized. Additional provision of Marketing linkages should be considered for millet-growing farmers and startups producing millet-based products as it will give a huge boost to the sales of millet-based products in the domestic and international markets.”

Vikas Jain, Founder, Acviss Technologies – Start-up, MSME and Tech Sector: “The new tax exemptions are going to help the salaried class. Startup tax benefits are welcome but could have been better. But reducing compliances will also be beneficial for SMEs. This can be a leap for creating a better and…

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