Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the last full-fledged Union Budget of the Modi government before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on 1 February 2023. (PTI)

Union Budget 2023: What leading corporates said about the announcements?

1) Avinash G Singh, Senior Vice President – Investment Research, Aranca

“We believe that the latest budget presented by the government strikes a balance between fiscal prudence and supporting growth. The allocation of INR 1.97 trillion for infrastructure development, including highways, ports, and airports, is a positive step toward job creation and stimulation of demand in various sectors. The allocation of INR 15,700 crore for the MSME sector is also a welcome move as it provides much-needed support to this critical sector that has been hit hard by the pandemic.

However, we acknowledge that the higher-than-expected fiscal deficit of 6.8% of the GDP could lead to inflationary pressure and put upward pressure on interest rates. The lack of any major reforms in the tax system is also a missed opportunity to simplify the system and make it more efficient.

Despite these challenges, we believe that the budget is a step in the right direction and will monitor the implementation of these initiatives and their impact on various sectors of the economy. Our goal is to provide clients with insights and analyses to help them make informed investment decisions. We believe that with the right policies and implementation, the Indian economy has the potential for long-term growth and prosperity.”

2) Akhilesh Reddy, Chairman & MD, RPPL

“We are quite pleased with the variety of steps the government has made to support startups. India currently has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world and is second among middle-income nations in terms of innovation and quality. As a sports venture, we anticipate government-sponsored sports initiatives like Khelo India. This spending plan will undoubtedly support new businesses in the nation.”

3) Vipin Vindal, CEO, Quarks Technosoft

“To realize the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions. This will provide large incremental values to several sectors like edtech, healthcare, agriculture, etc. It has great potential in various fields and creates an effective AI ecosystem. As a matter of fact, the more companies implement AI, the more job opportunities open up. The decision taken in Budget 2023 of setting up one hundred labs for developing applications using 5G services in engineering institutions is a very thoughtful one.”

“The new generation of wireless is the new upgraded education and 5G Labs in universities will immensely contribute to the emerging and changing tech innovations. 5G peddling in many progressions such as EdTech, AR, VR XR, and Metaverse, can redefine classroom education, making it more interesting and meaningful by demonstrating complex theoretical concepts practically. This step will create new opportunities in research and experimentation that will drive economic growth and improve people’s lives.”

4) Sharad K. Upadhyay, General Manager, Crowne Plaza, Greater Noida

“The union budget 2023 has sent ripples of positivity energy across the entire hospitality industry. The government’s increased focus on tourism promotion will act as a booster shot for the industry. The increased capital expenditure will help build better roads and railways and enhance the accessibility to various existing tourism destinations and help develop new ones. The hospitality industry in the country has long suffered from the lack of skilled professionals. The government’s focus on skill development in the tourism and hospitality industries will have long-term benefits for the sector. The hotel industry, being an integral part of the hospitality industry will be one of the primary beneficiaries of it.

The government’s continuous focus on the healthcare industry will boost medical tourism in the country and the hotel industry will be one of the main beneficiaries of this.”

5) Vittal Ramakrishna, CEO and Founder, POD World

“The Union Budget 2023-24 presented by the Finance Minister reiterated the importance of Entrepreneurship for a country’s Economic Development. India still proudly holds the position of the ‘3rd largest ecosystem for startups’ globally and ranks ‘2nd in innovation quality’ among middle-income countries. And I positively believe that the ranking for innovation is going to go up in the next few years – thanks to the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 which seeks to further entrepreneurship in the country by focusing on skilling lakhs of youth in new age courses like Coding, AI, Robotics, Mechatronics, IOT, 3D Printing and Drone technology.

More on the Modi Government’s embracing technology is the fact that there will be dedicated Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India. These centers will be established in top Indian institutions to ensure that ‘we make AI in India’ and ‘make AI work for India’.”

6) Vinet Kuumar, CEO & Founder of Thoughtsol Infotech

“I am very pleased with the budget of 2023 that focuses on increasing digitization. The setting up of 100 new labs for developing apps using 5G services, and the three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence is a great opportunity for the IT services industry to flourish. I believe these initiatives will help in creating new business models, and employment opportunities and will enable us to create innovative products and services. Also, I am sure that these initiatives will have a positive impact on the GDP of our country and create a strong base for the IT industry in India. Overall, I am very optimistic about the future of the IT services industry and am looking forward to the new opportunities that will arise from these initiatives.”

7) Manish Godha, Founder & CEO, Advaiya Solutions

“The budget has a lot of right ideas, which make this quite opportune for sustained growth of the economy. With global headwinds, it is heartening that the focus is on modernizing the economy, and while the long-term investments have not been ignored. Thrust on digital, AI, and formalization of commerce would bear fruit as new business models and entrepreneurship would evolve and take benefits from the same–fueling overall growth. From the perspective of tech and consulting, we believe it will unlock many opportunities to transform Indian businesses and the governance transformation would only propel this further. With slowing down global markets, this should allow the Indian IT industry to pivot in a significant manner, with capabilities, innovation, and IP becoming drivers of growth rather than cost arbitrage.”

8) Trina Das, Founder, Gigchain

“The Union Budget 2023 is a great step for the government to focus on inclusive development and creating job opportunities. We were expecting more on the startup front, especially for first-generation entrepreneurs and seed funding, but we feel excited to see startups and manufacturing in India as an area of focus. It gives us a lot of confidence in India’s development from here. If executed and implemented correctly, this can reap a lot of progress as a nation for the years to come. We have seen our growth and yet some sectors like skill development remain stagnant irrespective of tremendous growth in every other that just due to sheer lack of execution.”

“Inclusivity and allocation of funds for rural infrastructure and focus on job opportunities for youth and the blue-collar segment will definitely act as a big step. Many startups can be opportunistic and make it work in their favor. We are also impressed by the focus on education and AI development this year which if implemented correctly can boost our progress as a superpower country. We hope the plan is executed efficiently and these sectors meet their goals this year. We are optimistic and feeling excited about the kind of opportunities this can create.”

9) Sunil Gupta, MD and CEO, Avis India

“The significant boost provided to the travel and tourism industry in this year’s Union Budget is causing for inspiration, and the initiatives introduced by the government to enable infrastructural support, better connectivity, ease of doing business, and promotion of tourist activities will further augment growth of the country’s economy. The enthralling developments in the income tax regime will enable the growth of domestic and international tourism in India, and the ‘Dekho Apna Desh,’ along with the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ will promote a vibrant culture for tourism in the country.”

10) Rikant Pittie, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip

“One of the striking features of today’s Budget 23 announcement was the echoing of India’s global recognition as a powerhouse of entrepreneurship and innovation. This was mirrored in the government’s initiative to support the vibrant ecosystem by extending the date of incorporation for income tax benefits from 31 March 2023 to 31 March 2024. This will provide an opportunity for several startups to flourish, especially in the travel and tourism industry, which are yet to recover from the blows that were dealt during the pandemic. The foresight shown with the proposal of extending thebenefit of carrying forward of losses on change of shareholding of startups from seven to ten years, along with an enabling regulatory framework introduced by developments in GIFT IFSC will further provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities within the tourism industry, and provide an impetus to budding entrepreneurs in the space. With the commencement of India’s Amrit Kaal, the future of India’s startup ecosystem appears bright, and the travel and tourism industry is all set to play a major role in the economy’s development.”

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