The Ultimate List Of Budget 2023 Reactions By Leading Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Founders & Policymakers


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Feb 01, 2023


The much-awaited Budget 2023 has been presented, and there are mixed reactions everywhere. We asked leading entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs and policymakers about their views on this budget, and we received some interesting reactions.

Here are the highlights:

Mr. Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI

“The Union Budget is growth accretive, fiscally prudent and consumption supportive. The huge emphasis on capital expenditure could be the perfect recipe for a private investment cycle that is already visible. Support for MSME and Agriculture will broad base credit growth. Reasonable Government borrowing numbers will support lower interest rates and the move towards a clutter free new tax regime will significantly spur consumption. Overall, the budget is forward looking and will support an inclusive economy.”

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons

Given the challenging macro backdrop of slowing global growth and tightened financial conditions, Finance Minister has aptly prioritized growth.

I welcome the move to more productive expenditure, budgeting capital spending of Rs 10 lakh crore—a 33% increase over the previous year and the highest in the past two decades as a share of GDP. At the same time, the revision of income tax slabs under the new tax regime should increase purchasing power for many. Loan guarantees and other assistance toward MSMEs, a focus on tourism, and measures announced for the care economy (like new nursing colleges) will boost job creation. The budget also remains committed to shared prosperity by extending the free food scheme for one more year.

This budget shows not only the kind of policy support that is necessary for the economy at this moment but also strengthens the strategic foundations for our long-term growth. We are witnessing three major transformations globally: rapid digital adoption, the rebalancing of supply chains, and environmental sustainability. This budget helps position India to play a leading role in all three transformations

Mr. Rajesh Gopinathan, MD & CEO, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

“The Union Budget 2023 by the Honourable Finance Minister further builds on the government’s focus on enhancing India’s digital infrastructure and enabling growth pathways for the Indian economy. The provisions for research in artificial intelligence and 5G implementation, and the Government’s vision of Make AI in India and Make AI work for India are commendable. Bringing in the National Data Governance policy is also a welcome step. Overall, it’s a forward-looking budget that will fortify the digital spine of the country.”

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.”

Kami Viswanathan, Senior Vice President, FedEx Express, Middle East Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA) Operations

“The Union Budget 2023 demonstrated the Government’s vision to expedite infrastructure development, with the announcement to increase capital expenditure. This will help put the economy on an accelerated growth path.

Furthermore, the budget emphasizes the government’s commitment towards the “green growth” approach. The indirect tax proposals to boost green mobility will provide a further impetus to accelerate the adoption of EVs in India. This initiative also resonates well with FedEx’s own global goal of achieving carbon neutral global operations by 2040.

Lastly the measures taken to support and enable MSMEs in India, who play a pivotal role in burgeoning the Indian economy, will help accelerate the sector’s growth trajectory.”

Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra

“It is a very positive budget from a technology sector perspective, as it sets the right message about 5G labs, setting up AI centre of excellence and the focus around skilling, which is absolutely the key need for the country as we live through the Prime Minister’s vision on TechAde and technology being the core enabler. From a business perspective, steps around ease of doing business have been taken and I think that’s commendable. I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister and the government for taking these steps”.

Mr. Sundararaman Ramamurthy, MD & CEO, BSE

“The Budget of 2023 continues from the earlier budgets which successfully guided India during one of the toughest periods for mankind, with a continued focus on Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Amrit Kaal. As a result of a consultative and inclusive process, suggestions and feedback received from various stakeholders, have been factored in, wherever possible. Various areas of national importance have received their due focus – MSME sector, Infrastructure building which fuels economic development, Ease of doing business which attracts foreign participation and domestic capital creation, Green energy, Tourism, export orientation using custom duty rationalisations, harnessing the power of youth, etc. ‘Shri Anna’ brings a novel concept to food safety, nutrition and self-sufficiency. Personal taxation has received its well-deserved attention too, bringing a smile on the face of the common man. To top it all, strict adherence to prudent fiscal management while keeping the pedal on the accelerator for long-term structural growth initiatives, which in our view, is the hallmark of this Budget.”

Nadir Godrej, Chairman and MD, Godrej Industries Ltd.

“The Union Budget 2023-2024, the first of the Amrit Kaal, strikes a good balance between the country’s growth ambitions and need for fiscal prudence. The sharp increase in capital spending combined with a focus on reining in the fiscal deficit, will not only spur infrastructure development and job creation for our country’s youth, but do so responsibly. Capital expenditure will further increase the growth of the economy and even if the deficit rises debt to GDP will fall.

At the same time, the budget’s commitment to sustainability must be commended. It successfully combines conservation principles by way of the MISHTI mangrove plantation scheme with steps to speed up the transition to clean energy, underscored by a Rs. 35,000 crore high-priority capital outlay aimed at helping the country meet its 2070 net-zero goal. At the same time, reduced compliance red tape and loosened regulations promise to further fuel our nation’s start-up culture. Lastly, I agree with the Finance Minister that India will be in a unique position to improve its standing in the global economic system while leading the G-20.” It is a wonderful opportunity for India to spread the message of sustainability and inclusive growth.”

Vishwas Patel, Executive Director, Infibeam Avenues Ltd and Chairman, Payment Council of India.

“The budget has given a digital boost for supporting and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country for the coming generations.

By recognizing the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and spotting the vital role that AI is going to play in the economy, corporate, defence, healthcare and society in future, it has been a futuristic preparatory move where the government has shown its political will.

Even though the government has already provided an increase of incentive amount of Rs 2600 crore under the scheme for promotion of RuPay Debit card and UPI for banks and fintech players, it would have been much supportive if the government could have accommodated the payment industry demand of Rs 8000 crore incentive.

The increase from 7 years to 10 years for carrying forward losses by startups is a commendable step taken by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, along with tax reliefs given to the middle class and service class public by reducing the tax liability.”

Venkatraman Venkateswaran, Group President & CFO, Federal Bank

“Budget 2023-24 is an Infrastructure Spending oriented budget with 7 priorities set by the FM. The budget unveiled tax cuts and set the virtuous cycle of job creation. Out of the overall growth agenda, specifically looking at Banking sector, there are two major proposals. Firstly on Agricultural credit, the target is hiked to Rs.20 Lakh crore, which will help drive rural growth. Additionally, the revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, with infusion of Rs 9000 crore into the corpus, will enable additional collateral free credit guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore”.

Mr. Girish Kousgi, MD & CEO, PNB Housing Finance

“As our nation marches towards Amrit Kaal, the intended infusion of Rs.79,000 crores towards affordable housing is a positive move. Its’s a win-win situation fortifying our nations rural infrastructure and adding power to lower and middle income groups. The wheels are set in motion towards an inclusive and sustainable economic growth and this 66% increased commitment will bolster higher rural participation”.

Mr. Ajay Kanwal, MD and CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank

“Budget has consistency, growth orientation and balance. We see positive spots which interests us – agriculture, affordable housing and MSMEs.

The rebate on personal tax will boost saving and consumption and super for us – the employees.”

Arvind Subramanian, MD & CEO, Mahindra Lifespaces

“This year’s budget highlights the importance of infrastructure development, urban planning, affordable housing, domestic manufacturing, ease of doing business, and energy transition with a focus on sustainability.

The increased allocation of Rs 79,000 Crores towards Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), is expected to provide the supply-side stimulus that will not only aid real estate developers but will also boost end-user demand for affordable homes. Moreover, the revision in income tax slabs and rates will provide more disposable income, further accelerating the demand for homes. We believe the increased outlay of Rs 10,00,000 Crores towards infrastructure development, including the creation of urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and 3 cities will support industrial activity, create new employment opportunities and fuel demand for housing. There is a continued focus on supporting domestic manufacturing, which bodes well for the industrial parks.

As the pioneers of green buildings and sustainable construction in the country, we are particularly pleased to see the government’s commitment to transitioning to green energy and reducing emissions. By taking this important step towards sustainable development, India is further up on its path to meeting its commitment to Net Zero developments.”

Mr Umesh Revankar, Executive Vice Chairman, Shriram Finance

“The union budget 2023-24 is a growth oriented budget and the FM has checked all the boxes – from consumption to capex to spending to middle class to industry. The income tax benefits announced will boost purchasing power for middle-class consumers. It’s a capex-heavy budget, with an announced 33% increase in capex, which will boost infrastructure, logistics and the transportation business. The government’s focus on Ease of doing business and the expanded corpus for the credit guarantee will mean MSMEs have a lot to gain from this budget. Agriculture and rural development have been given detailed attention which should boost the rural economy and consumption. I believe the announcements made will trigger a pick-up in credit off take for small enterprises, the consumption-driven 2w business and lending to transportation.”

Rajesh Sinha, Founder and Chairman, Fulcrum Digital

“The Budget 2023 presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman was very progressive and rightly backed by the tech-driven Amritkaal Vision. The government’s vision to “Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India,” as well as its emphasis on strengthening AI infrastructure through the establishment of three excellence centers, will provide a significant boost to the Indian technology sector. We welcome the resolution of integrating 100 labs in engineering institutions for developing apps using 5G services, which will open a new doors of opportunities, business models, and employment potentialities. Being a digital engineering company that is constantly thriving on technological innovations to support the data governance practices of businesses, we look forward to the national governance policy that will be brought out to unleash innovation and research.”

Debashis Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, LTIMindtree

“The Union Budget 2023 is forward-looking and offers something to every section of the society without compromising on fiscal consolidation. It underscores the growing significance of cloud, data, artificial intelligence, and other new-age technologies in governance, while also taking a big step forward in simplifying processes and improving the ease of doing business. The budget’s emphasis on digitalization and trust-based governance will open new opportunities for the IT sector to leverage its globally acknowledged technology strengths to make a difference here.

One of the salient aspects of the budget is its continued emphasis on skilling, employability, and industry-academia collaboration, which are critical to India’s competitiveness as a global hub of digital and Industry 4.0 skills. Unveiling avenues for leading industry players to partner with educational institutions in driving interdisciplinary research and cutting-edge AI and 5G applications will create a win-win proposition for both — a rich training ground for students involving real-world challenges and use-cases, and greater opportunities for the industry to further strengthen the digital ecosystem in India. By building upon the earlier vision of a more structured development of Tier 2 and 3 cities, the budget will further enhance our ability to capitalize on an expanded talent pool, vital to the long-term sustainability and scalability of the IT services industry in India. Overall, the budget speaks to India’s potential to become a global benchmark in technology-led transformation.

Spurring consumption through a slew of measures — taxation benefits, an exclusive savings scheme for women, and enhanced investment limits for senior citizens, to name a few — will provide impetus to higher capital expenditure in the private sector as well.”

Mr. Amar Ambani, Group President and Head- Institutional Equities, YES SECURITIES

“In her shortest budget speech that lasted 87 minutes, the sweet spot, without doubt, was the capex intensity budgeted by the Finance Minister. Spurred by a tax bonanza, thanks to formalization of the economy and inflation, the FM accelerated the capex run-rate. Apart from the central investment, states have been allocated a higher share of money with incentives in place to generate a higher spend on capex.

Even though this was the last budget before elections, it’s not been a populist one, with total expenditure estimated to rise by just 9% yoy. This is justified as a large part of spending and expenditure growth took place during the two years of Covid. Subsidies too have been cut after a big rise in last couple of years.

On the fiscal front, the deficit numbers are in line with our expectations for FY23 as well as the target for FY24. With formalization of the economy, we are upbeat on continuance in tax buoyancy and given the present intent on careful expansion in revenue expenditure, it is possible to walk on the FRBM roadmap.”

Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Group

“This is an outstanding budget as it is disciplined, growth-oriented, inclusive and sustainable. The Finance Minister has done a commendable job by tabling a budget that is big on consistency and driven majorly by capex. The steep increase in capex, to the tune of Rs 10 lakh crore, will ensure the continuum of cyclical recovery. Capex spending is good because it has a higher multiplier effect: every rupee spent on capex has a multiplier of Rs 3 as compared to just about Rs 0.9 for revenue expenditure. That apart, higher capex also creates jobs in the hinterland. The focus on core infrastructure, including increased funding for railways and clean energy, as well as the government’s ambitious plans for the agricultural sector, will help to improve rural incomes. Above all, it is encouraging to see the government setting the pace for climate action by announcing a “green budget” that will pave the way for a greener, cleaner planet.”

Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director (Auto & Farm Sectors), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

“The Budget has struck the right balance between managing growth and fiscal prudence. The reduction in income tax and other taxes will put more money in the hands of consumers, driving consumption and growth in the economy . The Government’s focused investments in infrastructure will support long term sustainable economic growth. The budget enhances the positive sentiment in the country when the global environment has uncertainty.”

Mr. Rampraveen Swaminathan, MD and CEO, Mahindra Logistics Ltd

“We welcome this budget as it focuses on sustainable growth and infrastructure development. The announcement of setting up Urban Investment development fund (UIDF) for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will provide a much needed boost for smoother and faster logistics transportation and will further ensure greater connectivity in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Identifying 100 critical transport infrastructure projects will have a positive impact on nation’s last and first mile connectivity. Additionally, the announcement of 50 new airports, helipads, and aerodromes will enhance the regional air connectivity across the country whereas the highest ever allocated capital outlay to Indian Railways will add to the smooth connectivity between different points of country and easy and faster freight movement.”

Ms Ranjita Raman, CEO, Jaro Education

“The Budget 2023 saw the Government lay its focus on skilling of youth – students and salaried professionals, which resonates heavily with the work that the edtech sector is doing. The Budget specified that there will be courses provided in areas like AI, IoT, Robotics, and other soft skills, to steer the youth towards meeting the demands of today. At Jaro Education, we have also been striving to provide courses to our consumers around these new-age requirements. The Government encouraging the same goes a long way in putting it under the spotlight. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is now being united with the needs of Industry 4.0 to align education courses that meet the needs of the industry.

The Edtech industry was hoping for support from the Government in the form of schemes and incentives for improving online initiatives. We hope the Government revisits GST on education, especially higher education and upskilling courses. The current GST on education services is 18%, which is for luxury items. In the current industry dynamics, such education is not luxury but essential and hence, we hope for consideration on the same.”

Mr. Vijay Chandok MD & CEO – ICICI Securities

The Union Budget is a testament to the government’s vision of achieving a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy, with strong public finances.

The government’s focus on capital allocation is a clear indicator of its intention of bolstering growth and employment in the country. We believe the increment in capital investment outlay for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to 10 lakh crore will empower the government to create an efficient ecosystem that renders extensive growth and prosperity in the country.

The new proposed tax regime will provide major relief to all taxpayers, especially middle class people, providing higher disposable income in their hands. This will enable them to explore more investment avenues and leverage the increasing prowess of the Indian economy. Further, the government’s decision of allowing SEBI to develop, maintain and implement norms and standards for education in the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) will enhance the competencies of functionaries and professionals in the securities market.

Nalin Negi- CFO and Interim CEO, BharatPe

“We warmly embrace the Union budget 2023. Fintechs have come a long way over the last few years, and the Government’s initiatives to drive financial inclusion and enable digital payments have been one of the key drivers of the growth journey of this sector. Fintech services in India have been facilitated by India’s digital public infrastructure including Aadhaar, PM Jandhan Yojna, video KYC, India Stack and UPI, and digital payments have grown by 76% in transactions in 2022. In this budget, FM Nirmala Sitharaman has reimagined the government’s Digilocker services for the fintech sector. This will further aid the growth of the sector, along with the Government’s continued support to drive digital payments. Also, the government’s plans for encouraging countries looking for digital continuity solutions to set up data embassies at the GIFT City will further help position India as a global leader in the fintech industry.

Technological advancements can give us the edge as we strive to become a US$ 5 trillion economy. The announcement of setting up of Centres of Excellence for AI will fuel the focus on technology and innovation. Also, the National Data Governance Policy that will bring in innovation and research by startups and academia will enable access to anonymized data.”

Mr. Rahul Talele, Group CEO – Kolte-Patil Developers Limited

Overall, a strong budget, reflective of government’s confidence in the economy and, aimed at fostering a compounded growth effect. We are extremely pleased with government’s consistent focus on sustainable cities, strategic urban planning, and transit-oriented developments via Urban Infrastructure Development Fund enabling the growth of Tier II, and Tier III cities. Increasing the fund for PMAY by 66% to Rs. 79,000 cr. will provide further impetus to affordable housing. In addition, increasing the limit for personal income tax rebate to Rs 7 lakhs will have a direct effect on disposable income, encouraging purchase of residential real estate. It is heartening to see India’s emphasis on 5G based applications hinting towards India’s stronger stance on digitization. Make AI in India and Make AI work for India initiatives will drive the future of India’s digital development that will go beyond sectors, creating multiple new-age job opportunities in the process. In all, we welcome government’s high capex outlay and thrust on green growth to build a more sustainable future.

Sarosh Amaria, Managing Director, Tata Capital Financial Services Limited

“We welcome this robust support from the Government in this #AmritKaalBudget. The entity wise Digi-locker will help in easing the process of digital applications. The infusion of ₹9,000 crore in the revamped Credit Guarantee Scheme is enabling MSMEs with an additional collateral-free credit of ₹2 lakh crore thereby plugging working capital gaps for small businesses”.

Mr. Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director – Kalyan Jewellers

“We applaud the government’s efforts to boost India’s economy through a structured policy and regulatory-driven framework. The Union Budget 2023 is progressive setting the stage for a more equitable and sustainable future, paving way for rapid digitisation to ensure Indian businesses emerge as a dominant force on the global stage.

We are confident that increased disposable income due to changes in the tax slab will improve spending power, thus benefiting the overall consumer sector including the organised jewellery retail industry. Initiatives such as PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman programme are a pioneering step towards empowering traditional artisans and craftspeople – the backbone of our industry. This newly-conceptualised assistance package will be a welcome relief to the community and will enable them to equip and upgrade themselves with changing times. The government’s innovation-led and technology-driven approach reflects in its investment towards research on lab-grown diamonds, which will generate new employment opportunities, while resonating with the export as well as urban Indian market. The increase in the import duty of silver will not have a significant impact for us (Kalyan jewellers), as our primary focus is on gold, diamond and other precious stone studded jewellery.

Laying the foundation for India@100, the Union Budget 2023 is truly a testament to the government’s commitment and consistent efforts towards holistic and inclusive economic growth and its vision to make India the 3rd largest economy in the world. Overall, the reforms in the budget are mostly aligned towards strengthening Government’s schemes like Make in India, Digital India and ease of doing business in the country. This budget is a step in the right direction towards a bright and prosperous future.”

Prashant Kumar, MD & CEO, YES BANK

“The Union Budget 2023 attempts an inclusive growth structure for the economy through various measures that are expected to reach the last mile. The effective capex of the Central government was enhanced to INR 13.7 Lakh crores, or 4.5% of the GDP was an acknowledgment that capital expenditures are crucial for the economy and could boost the growth. As the efficiency of capital expenditures is higher at the state level, the government once again earmarked INR 1.3 lakh crores as a 50-year loan to States, which would incentivize capital expenditure. ECLGS scheme continues with an additional INR 9000 crore added to the corpus which would boost the fund flow for the MSME sector.”

Amit Chadha, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services

“The Union Budget 2023 has shown a strong focus on boosting digital infrastructure and adoption, which is a positive sign for the technology industry. It was also encouraging to see Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman share her vision of “making AI in India and making AI work for India”, further highlighting the importance of building a strong AI ecosystem in India. We welcome the government’s move towards developing three AI excellence centres and 100 5G labs, as well as introducing the National Data Governance Bill, which will open up a wide range of opportunities for business growth and employment generation. As a pure-play ER&D services provider, our belief is that such a mass scale enablement of digital transformation and innovation will unlock the full potential of the Indian engineering and technology sector. It will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its strong hold as a global preferred destination for engineering services.”

Kamal Singal, MD & CEO, Arvind SmartSpaces

“The Union Budget 2023 is a progressive budget with a strong thrust on infrastructure and connectivity, domestic manufacturing, ease of doing business, and green development.

This budget focused on tax reliefs, including a revised income tax rebate from INR 5 lakhs to INR 7 lakhs which will provide customers with a larger share of disposable income. Additionally, the increase in outlay for the PMAY scheme to INR 79,000 Cr is also a positive indicator for the industry and opens the opportunity for newer homebuyers, especially in affordable segment. The government’s plan to create urban infrastructures is expected to accelerate development across tier-2 & tier-3 cities, further creating a demand for residential buildings.

Moreover, it was highly encouraging to see Green Development as one of the key themes of the Budget and we welcome this move which will create awareness regarding the importance of green buildings and environmentally ‘conscious’ construction activities, further enabling India’s ambitious sustainability goals.

The structural demand for the residential real estate market remains strong. We expect the customer sentiment towards real estate, and growth indicators to remain strong over the coming year.”

Mr. Pradeep Bakshi, MD & CEO, Voltas Limited

Budget 2022-23 will provide an impetus for growth across sectors, that will help the economy revive at an accelerated rate. The measures introduced by the Finance Minister in Budget 2023 will not only support domestic capacity creation but also boost infrastructure, generating both growth and employment across industries. The overall increase in capital expenditure in line with our dream of make in India and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” will also create long term benefits paving the way for recovery. The development of urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and 3 cities will increase the demand for infrastructure projects, consumer appliances and HVAC systems. The focus on agriculture and horticulture storage will help in expanding the market thereby increasing the demand for cold chain & commercial refrigeration.
We also foresee the budget spurring demand for construction equipment, considering significant investment in infrastructure projects like railways, road, urban infrastructure and power. Additionally the green growth agenda will help our business and customers at large to achieve their vision of a greener tomorrow.
Further, the increase in the personal income tax rebate to Rs. 7 lakh will provide consumers with higher disposable income, helping them spend on improving their life style through purchase of their desired appliances and other equipment for their households. We also believe that attention on customs duty for AC components and other high demand consumer durables would help manufacturers reduce cost of production and thereby increasing the consumer demand. At Voltas, we have been contributing towards nation building since our inception and we look forward to being a part of India’s growth story as it strives for higher trajectory.

Hemant Tiwari, Managing Director, India, Hitachi Vantara

“This year’s budget spells growth and inclusion overall. The government’s initiative around Fintech services, enhancing the usage of the national level cloud platform DigiLocker, will further boost technology adoption among individuals and MSMEs. The introduction of National Data Governance Policy will enable safe access to anonymized data and increase transparency. Moreover, with the AI revolution happening globally, the AI centres of excellence will provide exciting opportunities for cutting-edge innovations to be deployed across important sectors such as healthcare and sustainable cities, while providing new employment opportunities. Additionally, ‘The Green Credit programme’ as well as the initiatives towards building ‘Sustainable cities of tomorrow’ are strong leaps forward in building India’s green future. These are indicators of our nation’s commitment to climate action and efficient use of resources.”

Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder and Managing Director, upGrad

“The Union Budget highlights the government’s focus on Care, Green, and Digital – three crucial themes that will continue to shape our economy. The good push on specialized education in nursing and medical devices, as well as the strengthening of teacher training, will help build a strong foundation for our healthcare system. The promotion of online learning through Mission Karmayogi and the IGOT platform will further drive the adoption of digital technologies, even across rural and remote regions. Another significant milestone includes the focus on setting up more AI and 5G labs and R&D centres and the need for a skilled talent pool to support this adoption, which will drive the digital transformation of our economy. It will enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ a reality while also pushing the growth peddle significantly. Emphasis on the importance of Skilling and Upskilling in New-Age and Industry 4.0 Skills, will prepare Indian Talent for International Demand and position India as the Global Talent Capital of the world. We expect a wider collaboration between the government and TSPs (Technology Service Providers) in the coming times for ensuring our talent remains armed with future-ready skills and domain expertise. The budget’s proposal to provide stipend support to over INR 47 lakh youth is a major move to encourage skilling. Overall, the budget strikes a balance between caring for our citizens, protecting our environment, and harnessing the power of technology to build stronger and more progressive infrastructure for us. It is a stepping stone during the first phase of Amrit Kaal to make India a global superpower in terms of skilled manpower, technology and business growth”

Mr. Madhusudan Ekambaram, Co-Founder & CEO, KreditBee

“The Union Budget has provided a very futuristic outlook into the government’s vision for the financial sector and the fintech industry. The budget’s focus on digitization and financial inclusion through facilities like Aadhaar, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Video KYC, India Stack and UPI will help Fintechs innovate more in their service offerings. It will support sectoral growth, ease access to credit and encourage the entry of new players in the industry.

Simplification of KYC processes to be amenable as per evolving needs and adopting a risk based approach will ensure that resources are allocated in the most efficient ways based on priorities over processes.

Further, provisions regarding boost to digital infrastructure especially towards expanding the scope of Digilocker will help enhance credit availability to micro segments by making credit evaluation and document verification easier for fintechs and other financial institutions.

Lastly, the introduction of tax policies that favour the startup sector are also positive steps. Not only will it boost entrepreneurship in the country, but also provide an impetus to innovation and investment. Thus making this budget a step in the right direction for the fintech industry and the economy as a whole.”

Venkatraman Narayanan, MD & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies

“Digital has emerged as the hallmark of Union Budget announced today. Be it setting up of AI-focused CoEs, or Unified Digital Skilling platform, the role of digital technologies is empathetically at the forefront of India’s economic rise. It will be interesting to see how the paperless digital locker based documentation storage and management for citizens shapes up, as accordingly it promises to open up a wave of opportunities in the domestic market related to cyber security, cloud, AI and ML. While tax exceptions on exports are a welcome step, certain breather on corporate tax would have complemented it well.
Overall, it is a sound and holistic budget devised to ensure upliftment, empowerment and inclusivity to all.”

Ram Iyer, Founder and CEO, Vayana Network

“The union budget of 2023 has been exceptionally consistent over the years in focus areas across Infrastructure, Agriculture, MSMEs and ease of doing business.

The capital expenditure has been increased by 33% to a historic high of INR10 lakh crores, showing government’s commitment to creating jobs and stimulating expenditure resulting in a multiplier effect pegging GDP growth at 7%.

Investments in development of public digital infrastructure for agriculture, facilitating data embassies in GIFT City, expanding the use of Digi Locker and setting up National Financial Information repository signal towards the continued focus on digitisation and broadening its access to the public.

Revamped Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs is a significant move to support MSMEs’ who have been battered by Covid related disruptions, the infusion of Rs 9000 crore into the corpus would undoubtedly benefit small business owners.

Concrete actionables towards ease of doing business in the form of PAN being a single identifier, reducing compliances and decriminalizing provisions are legislative steps ensuring ease of doing business.

Overall, it is a promising budget that continues to build on the groundwork laid during the previous budgets.”

Manish Mimani, Founder & CEO, Protectt.ai

“It is encouraging to see the government focus on building a digitally-driven nation in the Union Budget. By expanding innovative services in the fintech space, along with announcing the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India, we have a lot to look forward. Though not explicitly highlighted in the Budget, we can also expect to see the cybersecurity landscape evolve and benefit from increased use of AI in operations, products, and services. In addition, the government’s relief measures for startups in areas of tax benefits and setting off losses comes as a welcome move, and will go a long way in encouraging the Indian startup ecosystem to continue to innovate.”

Dewang Neralla, CEO, NTT DATA Payment Services India

“The ‘Saptarshi’ Budget has laid stronger fiscal support for building digital public infrastructure in 2023-24, which will give further impetus to India’s financial technology stack, including UPI and other digital payment solutions. UPI has witnessed a great boost in recent years by registering a growth of 76 per cent in transactions and 91 per cent in value terms which shows, India is outpacing digital payments in the world and the industry is enhancing its contribution towards nation-building. The inclusion of digital payment systems in Prime Minister Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman is a major step towards strengthening the ‘Digital India’ initiative. The first budget in ‘Amrit Kaal’ combines both growth and consumption. Simplification of KYC methods for digital payments and increased options to keep personal and financial documents in digi-lockers will strengthen the entire digital payments ecosystem. Focus on benefits for individual taxpayers will help in creating increased disposable income, consumptions, savings, etc. all adding to the growth of digital transactions.”

Harshil Mathur, CEO & Co-Founder – Razorpay

“The continued focus on fintech and startups in the Union Budget 2023 speech by the Finance Minister is very encouraging and inspiring. India’s projected growth as the fastest-growing economy among the seven largest emerging market economies and aiming to grow at 7% is a positive sign in the global economic downturn. One of the key driving forces behind this is the rapid transformation brought about by the fintech space – a significant 76% increase in digital payment transactions in 2022 has aided in the formalisation of the Indian economy. The Union Budget 2023-24 presented a prime opportunity to further fuel the growth of the Indian economy through measures that promote innovation, and support the adoption of new technologies. I believe the move to provide credit guarantee for MSMEs through an allocation of INR 9,000 crore will empower the growth of small businesses, thereby pushing the trajectory of the economy like never before. 
One of the key takeaways from this year’s Budget for the fintech sector are the Data Governance Policy and KYC simplification that will be definitive changers in the times ahead. I believe the policy will bring in an additional layer of privacy and trust for the ecosystem and enable start-ups and research entities to safely access non-personal data, and foster accelerated innovation and growth. Meanwhile, simplification of the KYC process keeping a risk-based approach in mind is in tandem with the needs of India’s digital transformation. Making PAN the common identifier for all online businesses will definitely ease the process of compliance for start-ups. Additionally, the government’s decision to facilitate the growth of the start-up community by reducing over 39,000 compliances will set the precedent for a vibrant 2023 for start-ups. Overall it’s a well balanced budget with a strong focus on digital inclusion.”

Sampad Swain, CEO and Co-founder, Instamojo

The current budget is going to be a game changer through its razor sharp focus on entrepreneurial inclusion, besides enabling the digital economy.

With Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission and PM VIKAS schemes, the government has ensured democratisation of entrepreneurial access to the most marginalised and neglected entrepreneurial communities of women and local artisans as they can now leverage the digital economy edge. This coupled with ease of entry for new entrepreneurs into the economy is an additional fillip to stimulating business growth for micro entrepreneurs at large. 

The announcement of a credit guarantee corpus of INR 9,000 crore which in turn has ensured a disbursal of collateral free of over INR 2 lakh crores is also bound to have a significant impact on the MSME space and catalyse growth for the ecosystem.  


Lastly, the budget has also set the stage for the creation of a wide D2C market in India by stimulating demand through the revisions in tax slabs. To summarise it all, the budget is all set to usher in a revolution by enabling and empowering micro and small entrepreneurs while also adequately balancing it by powering consumer demand. 

Mr. V P Nandakumar – Managing Director & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd

“The key announcements around the MSME sector are likely to help the self-employed and small businesses. High focus on firming up digital infrastructure and capital expenditure will have a snowballing effect on employment generation and new business opportunities. Also, the Union Budget has given freedom of choice to the salaried class and professionals by making the new tax-regime as the default and increasing the taxable slab above Rs 7 lakh, and proposing to reduce the highest surcharge rate from 37% to 25% under the new tax regime. In my view, these measures will go a long way in sustaining the `India growth story’ by increasing the momentum in private consumption, which incidentally contributes to approximately 60% of the GDP and its growth, by ringing in fresh demand in the economy. On the other hand, it may also lead to a higher household savings rate in financial assets, which is very important for sustaining the overall economic growth of the country.”

Parimal Heda, CIO, Digit Insurance

The Union Budget, while maintaining fiscal prudence, has provided an impulse to potential growth through higher allocation to capital expenditure, which has nearly doubled from 1.7% of GDP in 2014 to budget estimate of 3.3% of GDP for FY24. The Budget focusses on empowering the youth with a strong impetus to growth, skill development and job creation. The announcements made in this year’s Union Budget have provided a host of both direct and indirect benefits to not only the start-up ecosystem and insurance sector, but also to individual taxpayers.

IRDAI from January 1, 2023, made KYC mandatory for all types of insurance policies. Proposal of an amendable risk-based KYC process will enable better adoption of many general insurance products, including bite sized policies. Announcement on building digital public infrastructure for agriculture as an open source will aid farmers to get seamless and timely information regarding insurance for their crops. For the start-up ecosystem, relaxation in carrying forward and setting off of losses from seven years of incorporating their firm to 10 years will aid many early-stage start-ups in growing their business.

The Union Budget also provides two indirect benefits to the insurance sector. Customs duty exemption extended to import of capital goods for manufacturing of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles will effectively reduce the overall cost of EV vehicles. This will likely lead to faster adoption of clean vehicles, and in turn will also trickle down to the insurance sector and boost EV insurance business of companies. Government’s renewed focus to boost domestic tourism through various schemes, too, will have a ripple effect on travel insurance as more travellers will plan their holidays in different parts of India.

On the personal income tax front, increasing the rebate limit to Rs 7 lakh, extending the benefit of standard deduction in the new tax regime, and revising the highest tax rate will surely increase the disposable income in the hands of millions of taxpayers, thus boosting their spending and providing a fillip to the overall economy.

Mr. Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd

“The budget 2023 is oriented to economic growth of the country. I am sure that 33% growth in capital expenditure will result in balanced development. This is a smart move since it will help the country achieve its goal of becoming a 5 trillion-dollar economy and a global powerhouse. I believe that the announcement of setting up 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services and the vision to promote Artificial Intelligence in overall industries is a strong step by the government. This will further lead to automation in the industries which will help in propelling India’s growth and promoting smart cities. The union budget 2023 has come up with positive announcements for different sectors to support the Make In India initiative and can result in balanced growth in the near future.

Mr. Mahesh Wagle, Founder & CEO, Cybernetik

“We are pleased with the government’s sustained backing for ‘Make In India’, its flagship initiative aimed at turning the country into a manufacturing hub. To that end, the Finance Minister’s announcement slashing customs duty on machinery and components for the sector is a reflection of the government’s commitment to this vision. The reduction in duty is a step towards enabling the sector to explore the numerous possibilities that recent technological advancements have unveiled. Changes to the indirect tax regime reducing compliance burden on firms too will help the manufacturing sector in the long haul.

As a firm with Robotic automation at the very centre of its operations, Cybernetik is equally pleased with some of the policy decisions announced in the budget to ensure the trajectory of the sector’s growth continues to spiral upward. The decision to set up laboratories in engineering institutions to help drive innovations in advanced technologies bodes well for this sector, which will benefit from the influx of bold and new ideas. “

Surojit Shome, Managing Director and CEO, DBS Bank India

“The Finance Minister has signalled the government’s intent to maintain stability, while encouraging balanced economic growth. The proposed policy reforms and increased capital infusion will provide an impetus to MSMEs and the start-up ecosystem. Coupled with the proposal to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence by setting up Centers of Excellence, this should help stay in sync with the latest innovations. It is also very encouraging to see the FM allocating more funds for transitioning to a more green and responsible economy.”

Dr Yajulu Medury, Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University

”The budget provides a much-needed impetus towards empowering the education sector and youth towards helping them realize their true potential. The setting up of 100 5G enabled labs to develop apps in engineering institutions and 3 centers of excellence in Artificial Intelligence is a major step towards ‘Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India’ and helps in shaping the new engineer of today. The 30-skill India international centres across states will further promote interdisciplinary research for developing cutting-edge applications to transform critical sectors and provide solutions for sustainable cities. In order to bridge the skill gap in India, the budget is in line with Mahindra University’s focus on integrating critical thinking and problem-solving through a dynamic and diverse curriculum.”

Nitish Mittersain, Founder, CEO & Joint Managing Director of Nazara Technologies

“The Union Budget 2023 has given prominence to digital infrastructure. The intent is not only on developing but building an ecosystem. The budget makes digitisation an integrated aspect of all sectors. AI is the next level in technology innovation and enterprise creation. The creation of three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ will be a game changer in streamlining AI further. The budget also emphasizes developing applications under 5G as the country makes way for it.

While focusing on new pillars of growth, the budget has also given start-ups their due credit. Establishing a National Data Governance Policy to enable access to anonymized data and extending the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups will be a game changer. In addition, removing the minimum threshold of Rs 10,000/- for TDS and clarifying taxability relating to online gaming is one of the key takeaways.
The proposed Union Budget also reflects the proactive approach by the government in streamlining the tax system and promoting fairness in the industry.”

Anand Shukla, MD, Ocean Infraheights (Golden I)

‘The announcement for INR 10,000 crore per year for urban infra development fund will provide a major boost to the real estate sector. This will be beneficial for the use of priority sector lending shortfall and will provide robust momentum to the real estate sector. With the enhancement of 66% in the outlay for PM Awaas Yojana, will ensure the protection of housing rights to the grassroot level. Our initiatives in the areas of retail, IT/ITES offices, and residential construction are in line with the goal of promoting sustainable economic development while preserving the environment.

Farhan Pettiwala, Head of Corporate Affairs, Hikal Limited

“Under the provisions of the Union Budget, new programme for research in pharmaceuticals will be formulated that will not only promote R&D investments but also encourage to invest in research would boost pharma sector. The reduction of basic custom duty on acid grade fluorescence from 5% to 2.5% is a big relief for the pharma industry as it will make the domestic fluorochemicals industry Atma-Nirbhar. Similarly, the exemption of denatured alcohol, is used in chemical industry, will support ethanol blending program and facilitate energy transition. Meanwhile, 10000 Bio resource input centres will truly help India create a national-level Bio resource micro fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.”

Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva

“With the ongoing 5G rollouts in India, the government’s decision to establish 100 5G application Labs is a timely move to spur innovation in developing the 5G ecosystem and India relevant use cases. There is a great opportunity to combine 5G and AI to improve network speed, responsiveness, and efficiencies. The special emphasis on establishing AI centres of excellence shall help produce specialized talent to enable India preserve its global advantage and leadership. These are extremely positive initiatives and shall bring technological advancements to the country as AI and 5G are the two most critical elements to enable futuristic innovations and developed related 5G ecosystem.”

Matthew Foxton, India Regional President & Executive Vice-President, Branding & Communications · IDEMIA

“I am pleased to see the focus in Union Budget to strengthen the Digital ecosystem, India’s digital advancements in this decade have been remarkable, especially the integration of digital infrastructure and identity framework. Establishing a strong national identity system is crucial as it boosts security, drives economic growth, and strengthens social unity. The adoption of a unified KYC process, utilizing Digilocker and Aadhaar as the primary means of identity verification, is a positive step forward and will increase financial accessibility for marginalized communities”.

Vishal Mehta, Managing Director, Infibeam Avenues Ltd

“Overall, all sector has been positively addressed by the Honourable Finance Minister. The best part is incentivizing the foreign data Centres players to set up their base at GIFT City. It’s a smart move by the government to address the concerns of the foreign data centre or cloud data centre players, as they were apprehensive or concerned about domestic law applicability on their operations.

Now, by offering Data Embassy at GIFT City for foreign data centre companies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has solved their concerns. Gujarat International Finance Tech-city (GIFT) is India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), and in the SEZ zone, the domestic law is not applicable, as SEZ zones are deemed foreign territory.

The way there is a separate regulation for Aircraft leasing at GIFT city; similarly, for other business verticals, in the same way, there will be foreign data centre-specific regulation for global players easing off their concerns. It seems this move of offering Data Embassy to the foreign data centres is to address their concern, which is an excellent move by the government.

Now there is a twin advantage. First, this move will attract global cloud data players to set up their base at GIFT city as a preparation towards complying with the Indian laws on data centres, which are expected to come up soon. Thus, the migration of large data centre businesses to India will start. Second, this will take care of data onshore, addressing the government’s needs or concerns, as now the data will not leave India’s shore, and yet it is equivalent to a global location (SEZ) where global players with ease can operate.

Infibeam Avenues Ltd also has its state-of-the-art data centre facility at GIFT city, and we believe the Data Embassy offer will also open the opportunity for us to collaborate with foreign data centre players.”

Mr. Anurag Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, OneScore & OneCard

“As we enter the Amrit Kaal, the 2023 Union Budget is a step in the right direction towards achieving economic growth in India and making India a 5 Trillion USD economy in the coming years. It is a testament to the government’s commitment to the growth of the Indian economy through the promotion of entrepreneurship and moving the country towards a digital economy. Initiatives like UPI have revolutionized digital payments in a way that has not been seen even in developed countries with a staggering 126 lac crore rupees worth of digital payments through UPI. The announcement made last year by RBI to link credit cards with UPI was a step in the right direction and has broadened the horizon of digital payments in India helping in inclusive financial development.

The Budget has further highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship and creating employment in the country with a special focus on skilling the youth. We welcome the government’s decision to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits for startups from 31/ 3/2023 to 31/3/2024 and reducing many non-essential compliances for enhancing the ease of doing business. The government has been actively involved in providing incentives and resources for entrepreneurs, startups, and fintechs to enable them to grow and prosper in the Indian economy. With the right policy framework and incentives, India can continue to be a leader in the digital economy space and become one of the most innovative countries in the world with technology and knowledge at its core.”

Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council

“The government’s focus on the skill development of India’s potential youth talent through initiatives like NEP, PMKVY 4.0 for skilling in niche new-age technologies like 5G, AI, 3D printing, drones, coding, mechatronics, robotics, and IoT draws further impetus to the ongoing efforts. Blue and grey-collar job demand in India grew by up to four-fold in 2022. Annual demand in telecommunications and 5G have increased by 33.7 per cent in September 2022. There was a demand for 1.3 million workers in FY22-23 which is growing each year and. New use-cases including cloud computing, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also seeing a sharp rise in hiring. We believe the initiatives will be beneficial to close country’s growing demand supply gap of technical talent workforce. With the government’s push to establish 30 Skill India international centres, 100 premier labs for developing applications to use 5G services, and centres of excellence for AI, India has the potential to deliver talent not only across domestic markets but also to the international market. The initiative like the Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) is also a progressive move by the government to uplift the tribal population and empower the students to take up new job opportunities.”

Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, India & Vice President APAC, at Barco

“Indian economy is heading towards a bright future, the ‘Saptrishi’ of the Budget 2023 prioritizes on inclusive development, reaching last mile, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power. Announcement around adding 50 tourist destinations as a whole package and focusing holistically on physical as well as virtual connectivity, tourist guides, high standards for food streets and tourists’ security through an app to enhance tourist experience, is a significant step that will unlock growth and job opportunities in the sector. The Budget is perfectly aligned with Barco’s aim to make India a popular tourist destination with visible impact, allowing people to enjoy compelling entertainment experiences. Further, Budget has focused on overall growth & sustainability as India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, moving toward net zero carbon emissions by 2070 & setting up the AI based solutions in health, education, and sustainable cities will give additional push towards the extensive use of technology”.

Mr. Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Ltd.

Government policy formulation is a consultative process and the successive budgets including todays is a strong reflection of this process, aimed at promoting a virtuous cycle of growth and employment. Significant and sustained push on Infrastructure spend, Railways, Green Technologies and Defence is a welcome measure. Overall direction to take India on the trajectory of a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy coupled with productive capital investments will have long-standing benefits in driving inclusive financial growth and enhancing per-capita income levels.

A. Gururaj, MD, Optiemus Electronics

“This year’s budget is a strong effort to consolidate the Indian economy in post-pandemic dynamics, raising the personal tax exemption limit will certainly boost consumption and the electronics industry will surely benefit from it. Continuing the import duty cuts on Camera Lens and batteries for mobile manufacturing is a welcome step and this will continue to fuel the remarkable growth India has witnessed in domestic manufacturing.”

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby


It is extremely heartening to see ‘inclusive development’ and ‘reaching the last mile’ being amongst the seven pillars for Budget 2023-24, as it will lay the foundation for faster financial inclusion and a more equitable society. The government’s commitment to economically empowering women in rural areas will go a long way in making India an inclusive nation. The National Rural Livelihood Mission has achieved remarkable success by mobilizing rural women into 81 lakh Self Help Groups, and we are committed to take this initiative ahead. Through our association with UPSRLM, we have onboarded 10,000 women as BC-Sakhis and upskilled them to offer financial and digital services to their communities and help bridge the urban-rural divide. We are hoping to accomplish this nation-building initiative through more women members of society.

Additionally, to make MSMEs more resilient and competitive, the ₹9000 crores infusion in the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) will help shield them from the rising interest rate burden. This measure will ensure the continued handholding of MSMEs, which account for more than 30% of India’s GDP and remains an important engine of economic growth, job creation, income generation and livelihood support.

The Government’s vision for the Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with elements like the Data Governance Policy and Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. With PAN as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies, inter-department data sharing between various government organizations will help in better overall administration and ease of doing business. Further, the use of DigiLocker and Aadhaar will help establish personal identities and smoothen current KYC hurdles. With our PAN Card services, we are happy to extend this service to citizens at a nearby store and provide them with a valid proof of identity, thus helping bring all at the last mile into the formal financial fold.

We are happy that over the past few years, we were able to focus on Aspirational Districts and deliver on one of the key aspects of financial inclusion. Going forward, we will continue deepening on the Aspirational Blocks Program to further the Government’s vision of making all financial services accessible to the underserved segments of the society. During Amrit Kaal, in line with our government’s aims to achieve the vision for India@100 with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, we at PayNearby, pledge to walk hand-in-hand in making India a digitally and financially inclusive nation with our moto of Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.

Tarun Sharma, Founder and CEO, Yodda Elder Care

“The budget is inspiring and encouraging for the start-up ecosystem. For the elders and seniors, setting up 157 new nursing colleges is a positive step in increasing the number of caregivers and is in line with the commitment to increasing public health expenditure to reach 2.5% of GDP by 2025. Also, the limit enhancement in the senior citizen savings scheme to Rs 30 lakhs is likely to encourage more savings from seniors.

While this budget is very positive for the masses, it misses the intent and lacks inclusiveness for the senior citizens. With the rise of the ageing population, there is an urgent need for professional at-home care services for elders. While businesses like caregiving or home visits from nurses have been freed of tax burdens, at-home elder care continues to be taxed at a rate of 18% GST – a factor limiting the affordability and reach of such services. We urgently need these services to be tax-exempt or taxed at a lower rate to ease the burden on the senior citizens.”

Neha Bagaria founder & CEO of JobsForHer

“We appreciate the emphasis on training the young population, and the decision to decrease the total tax obligation, which encourages domestic spending. However, we were hoping for a gender-inclusive budget that would offer more chances for women’s career growth, tax incentives to hasten their skills development, lower the cost of higher education for women, and provide support for female entrepreneurs. Hope these are also included in future drafts”.

Dr. Prateek Kanakia, Chairman and Founder, TheGreenBillions

“This budget should be labelled as the first Green Budget as the businesses can now adopt a greener approach and cultivate sustainable solutions practices with the allocation of ₹35,000 for priority capital investment towards energy transition. Launching the national green hydrogen mission is a significant step in moving towards clean & green energy. Further, municipal solid waste can play an important role in achieving a hydrogen production capacity of 5 metric million tonnes by 2030. Given India’s G20 presidency, this budget is a watershed moment in India’s fight towards climate change.”

Ms PREETI MALHOTRA, Chairman, India – Foreign Investors India Forum

“Extremely happy to note that the vision of ‘Saptarishi’ outlined in the budget today is a vision for Bharat@100 – a democratic and developed nation by 2047. India’s growth plans are ambitious, ‘unleashing potential’ requires intense capital investment that must be financed by exploring current avenues such as FDI which continues to be a key catalyst for growth. Foreign Investors who are more committed to the motherland require certain liberalisation in terms of taxation of global income on extended stays in the country. Several reports and case studies have shown a strong positive correlation between FDI and economic growth and a lot of our Asian neighbours have successfully used FDI to achieve exponential growth. For India too, this must be the next immediate step to direct the nation towards “Amrit Kaal.”

Nilanjan Banik, Economist, Mahindra University

“It is a fantastic budget. It has elements of unleashing purchasing power both from the perspective of consumers and businesses. For the common man, there has been an increase in tax rebates. For businesses and the economy as a whole, there has been an increase in the allocation of capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is hiked to Rs 10 trillion and this money when used for building roads, ports, and airports will lead to a further round of income and employment generation. Additionally, an all-time high allocation towards the railway sector will complement this connectivity pan-India and will make India a better place to do business. And all of this spending towards capital expenditure is undertaken by taking into consideration that the fiscal deficit is kept under control. Money is being spent judiciously and towards the infrastructure sector, keeping in mind the long-term (amrit kaal) growth”.

Mr. Sunil Yadav – CEO, PlayerzPot

It is rightly said that the Indian economy is on the right path and headed in the right direction. When the economy focuses on providing ample opportunities for citizens, particularly our nation’s youth, who are dedicated, focused, and enthusiastic about their goals, its development will be optimal. We are pleased to learn that the budget has prioritized youth empowerment and the creation of new jobs.

It is a welcome move to define the future of the online gaming industry to remove the minimum threshold of Rs. 10,000 for TDS and to clarify taxability. The action will result in transparency, a clear legal identity, and standardized taxation for online gaming.

We hope that the government will unquestionably support the sector’s growth and development in the right direction, which will benefit the economy and its stakeholders.

Puneet Gupta, vice president & managing director, NetApp India/SAARC

“The announcements made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have given us a lot to be excited about. The mission of Amrit Kaal has put us in a strong position to truly call this a digital budget, given its large focus on technology and digital. From the government’s announcement of setting up of 100 5G labs and the development of 3 Centers of Excellence for AI, all of these will go a long way in unleashing the digital potential of the country. In a world that is driven by data and AI, we see numerous and infinite opportunities ahead of us. It will be a privilege for us at NetApp to play our role in building a truly digital nation which is the future of tomorrow.”

RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India & Learnet Skills

“The government’s enhanced focus on increasing education access in rural India in this year’s Union Budget is a welcome move and will have a positive impact on the country’s literacy rate. It is also reassuring to see that teachers’ training has been given prominence; we look forward to witnessing its effective implementation in the year. This will help improve the quality of teaching and lead to better opportunities provided to students. What is also motivating is the announcement of the National Digital Library, which will encourage youth from diverse contexts to learn in a comprehensive manner. The National Education Policy, with its focus on empowering the youth with futuristic skills, will work towards the holistic development of youth for a better tomorrow. We welcome the announcements and significant increase in allocations for the school education and skill development sectors, which are aligned with Schoolnet’s goal of providing equal access to world-class education to all learners, especially those in the middle and bottom of the economic pyramid.

Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO, Tide India

“The budget 2023 lays down a slew of measures to boost the holistic growth and development of the entire MSME community, including the launch of a unified Skill India Digital Platform. This will help in enabling demand-based skilling, facilitating access to entrepreneurial schemes, and linking with employers, including MSMEs. Simultaneously with an infusion of Rs 9,000 crore into the corpus, the credit guarantee scheme will prove beneficial for MSMEs that are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. While the scheme had a rough start, lending to MSMEs by banks has surged significantly in the past two years and the scheme has helped alleviate stress in the sector. Increasing presumptive taxation limits for MSMEs and certain professionals with a turnover of up to Rs 3 crore and Rs 75 lakh, respectively is another critical relief for MSMEs. This will help make tax filing simpler for small businesses as they will be relieved from the tedious task of maintaining books of accounts and their income will be calculated on a presumptive basis, depending on the turnover. I believe all these measures collectively will act as a catalyst to boost the Indian economy.”

Sanjeev Chandak, Co-founder & CEO

“The Budget laid much-needed importance on MSME sector which is still recovering from the pandemic-induced challenges. The infusion of INR 9,000 crore corpus for revamped credit guarantee scheme significantly addresses the credit gap and is aimed at enhancing credit access thereby paving the way to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. This apart, this year’s budget also laid focus on another important aspect i.e., the introduction of National Data Governance Policy which will ease the KYC process and reduce privacy breaches. It will also enhance the use, access and quality of data and improve the Government’s data collection and management while enabling inclusive development. This is still at a very nascent stage and will require consistent efforts to truly create a digital economy.”

Dr. Manas Fuloria, CEO and Co-founder, Nagarro

“It is definitely a responsible budget with an eye on the fiscal deficit. We are cheered by the steps taken to increase the ease of doing business, such as the use of PAN as the universal ID and the introduction of Digilocker; however, we hope the concept of ease of working between regulators and industry percolates to the operating levels. The investments in green energy are very welcome. Similar levels of investment to combat other sources of air pollution would have been desirable since the challenge there is equally acute and more immediate. The increase in the education budget is praiseworthy, along with the moves to promote AI, but the increase is still small. The productivity revolution that AI will bring may be fundamentally disruptive, and much higher levels of investment are needed, in my opinion, to thoroughly modernize our education.”

Kumar Shekhar, Deputy Country Manager, Tide India

“The announcement made by our honorable finance minister of Permanent Account Number (PAN to be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of govt agencies is a significant decision. This would create a single digital identity channel that can be linked together and understand the government services a citizen uses to provide a more streamlined experience. At present, there are multiple identifiers used at the Centre and state levels, including Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), Tax Deduction Account Number (TDA), Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), Corporate Identification Number (CIN). Using PAN as a standard business identifier will help improve the ease of doing business in the country by enabling simpler processes for applying for clearances, registrations, and permits, making hassle-free operations for government officials and citizens. Other than simplifying the KYC process, the move is also expected to enhance financial inclusion for individuals and business owners. With a vision to make Digital India, it’s a win-win one-size-fits-all approach solution.”

Mr. Lalit Arora, Co-founder of VingaJoy

“The Union Budget has tweaked duty on electronics and phone parts in the Union Budget 2023. In today’s budget announcement, the Mobile phone production in India increased from 5.8 crore units valued at over ‘18,900 crore in 2014–15 to 31 crore units valued at over ‘2,75,000 crore in the most recent financial year as a result of numerous government initiatives, including the Phased Manufacturing Programme. We suggest reducing the customs charge on the import of some components and inputs, such as camera lenses, and extending the reduced duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for an additional year in order to further increase domestic value addition in the production of mobile phones. We appreciate this step taken by the government as it makes electronic devices(mobiles) affordable. Eventually more people can be a part of digitalization and use services like 5G internet.

Nitya Sharma, CEO & Co-founder, Simpl

We welcome the budget for providing much-needed impetus to the country’s startup ecosystem. Announcements such as the extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from 31st March 2023 to 31st March 2024 and the provision of providing the benefit of carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to ten years, are truly great moves. Moreover, the government has also deducted a whopping 39,000 compliances that MSMEs needed to abide by and decriminalised over 3,400 legal provisions. Such steps will play an instrumental role in ensuring the ease of doing business in the country. Entrepreneurship is the very backbone of India’s economic development. Therefore, the measures suggested in the recently unveiled economic survey, such as capital gains tax regimes like those of Singapore and the UAE and capital flow procedures similar to those in countries like the US and Singapore, to accelerate the reverse-flipping of startups back to Indian shores, are vital moves.

Mr. Shalin Gandhi, Managing Director, SUBMARINE PENS

“This year’s budget is a brickwork laid out for growth with the MSMEs breathing great relief as the credit guarantee scheme is revamped by 9000 crores. MSMEs to receive 2 lakh crore in collateral free finance. The government has also extended a tax holiday for startups till March 2024. The budget has also introduced several incentives for importing parts by relaxing duties, mainly supporting manufacturers in the IT, Pharma and Renewable Energy sectors”.

Mr Gayomard Driver, Group Chief Financial Officer and Board Member, Jeena & Company

“It is a welcome budget as the focus on infrastructure improvement is apparent. Improvement through the revival of airports, helipads, water aero drones, and advanced landing grounds will support quick and efficient logistics. It could also simplify and improve regional air connectivity, further increasing the growth across the logistics sector.

The industry is poised to increase commitment towards developing green logistics infrastructure and an increase in green job avenues as a result of the government’s strong focus on green energy and sustainability in the 2023 budget. Globally, supply chain networks are being improved using AI, and now, with the attention on ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’, the Indian logistics sector will be able to do that as well. Sustainable practices paired with improved technology will further improve the establishment of lean operations placing a high priority on process optimization, waste reduction, and raising customer value.”

Akash Dahiya, Co-founder, SanKash

“The Union Budget 2023-24 has some positive takeaways for tourism, given the decision to promote the industry on mission mode via the participation of states, the convergence of government schemes and public-private partnerships. The country offers immense attractions for both domestic and foreign tourists. A proactive approach will help in tapping India’s tremendous tourism potential. Through an integrated approach, a minimum of 50 destinations are to be selected via the challenge mode. Under the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative, every destination will then be developed as a complete package for tourists. Besides, through the Vibrant Villages Programme, infrastructure and amenities for tourists would be facilitated in border villages.”

Mr. Parry Singh, Founder and CEO, Red Fort Capital

The finance minister has focused on growth and digitalization, which is the need of the hour. Capital Investment outlay has been increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would have a multiplier effect on the economy. The government has continued its support to MSMEs by announcing 9000 crores for the MSME credit scheme and returning 95% of the forfeited amount for contract failure during Covid-19. Furthermore, the enhancement in DigiLocker will increase the efficiency and reduce TAT for financial institutions and FinTech

Ms Shilpa Bhatta, CFO, The Sleep Company

“We are thrilled with the announcements made in the 2023 budget; it truly shows the government’s commitment to supporting start-ups in India. One of the biggest problems we face as an ecommerce player is relatively longer delivery timelines which leads to higher cancellation and return rate. The government’s focus on improving regional connectivity by developing 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing groundings is a welcome step. This step will be instrumental in shortening the delivery timelines for our customers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and achieving our larger aim of being present in every Indian home.”

Mr. Madhusudan Ekambaram, Co-Founder & CEO, KreditBee

The Union Budget has provided a very futuristic outlook into the government’s vision for the financial sector and the fintech industry. The budget’s focus on digitization and financial inclusion through facilities like Aadhaar, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Video KYC, India Stack and UPI will help Fintechs innovate more in their service offerings. It will support sectoral growth, ease access to credit and encourage the entry of new players in the industry.

Simplification of KYC processes to be amenable as per evolving needs and adopting a risk based approach will ensure that resources are allocated in the most efficient ways based on priorities over processes.

Further, provisions regarding boost to digital infrastructure especially towards expanding the scope of Digilocker will help enhance credit availability to micro segments by making credit evaluation and document verification easier for fintechs and other financial institutions.

Lastly, the introduction of tax policies that favour the startup sector are also positive steps. Not only will it boost entrepreneurship in the country, but also provide an impetus to innovation and investment. Thus making this budget a step in the right direction for the fintech industry and the economy as a whole.

Mr. Muzammil Riyaz, Founder, EVeium Smart Mobility

“In the last year alone, EV Sector has seen many ups and downs. At present, EVs contribute to only 2 per cent of the total auto sales in India and extensive support from the government is required to chalk out sustainable growth of the sector. To achieve the ambitious mission of e-mobility in India, initiatives announced in the Union Budget this year including – Customs Duty reduction from 21% to 13% on capital goods and machinery for Lithium Batteries, and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year are going to help. These will certainly encourage each EV manufacturer to contribute to the industry initiatives to achieve mass EV adoption by 2030.”

Mr. Mukesh Taneja Co-founder & CEO of GT Force

“Auto sector in India has been struggling for way too long. It was expected that the foray of EVs will give a new life to the players, however, the sector continues to suffer from initial ownership costs and other factors. The penetration of EV brands and the adoption of the new technology seems to be taking time. Amidst this, the announcement by Hon’ble FM to replace old government vehicles will certainly play a game changer for the sector. Additionally, an Indirect tax proposal can certainly fuel the exports which will lift the auto economy immediately, as manufacturing here is competitive on the global stage. Furthermore, manufacturing lithium-ion battery has been a challenge for EV players, and it was the first ask of EV players to have customs duty exemptions on the import of capital goods and machinery required for lithium-ion batteries. Overall the budget has certainly taken steps to revive the sector”,

Amit Relan, Co-Producer, Woot Factor – Brand Architects

“The budgets’ focus on the travel and tourism sector will indeed be beneficial for the event industry. This will be reflected through a significant increase in the number of MICE events being curated this year. Right from the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative to the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, these initiatives bode well for the industry providing integrated opportunities for growth and expansion on both national and international platforms.

The revised income tax slabs have increased spending power which might lead people towards attending more experiences. Additionally, the budget’s emphasis on technology, the future for the Indian economy seems bright. The common man emerges from this budget the happiest and the evident shift in the government’s approach this year will definitely detect an upwards trend, one which is even better than the pre-pandemic years.”

Ankur Maheshwari, Chief Financial Officer, Freo

“The Union Budget of 2023-24 has demonstrated a clear commitment towards financial inclusion, support for the startup ecosystem and personal tax reform. It is a highly inclusive budget which has addressed many key growth pillars of the economy. A huge relief has come in the form of personal taxes, the New Tax regime which is now also the default tax regime has been incentivised significantly to improve adoption. The Budget has provided a playing field for taxpayers by increasing rebates and ensuring that there is no income tax levied up to 7 lakh rupees in income. Additionally, the revised tax slabs under the new tax regime and the extension of the standard deduction will ensure that the salaries class will have more liquid cash which will directly impact the consumption and investment.

We are also very appreciative of the Govt’s focus on the startup ecosystem and reducing compliance related burden which will inevitably ensure ease of business for startups. Focus has also been provided on fiscal support for Digital Payments Infrastructure which has already proven to be greatly impactful for Indian fintech. We are positive that this budget will set the stage for India’s growth to the next level.”

Harish Menon, co-founder and head of Investments and product research at House of Alpha

“The first reading of Union Budget 2023 is positive in many ways. Increase in capital expenditure is a huge positive for the economy. Increase in rebate limit on personal tax, the new tax slabs and reduction in surcharge at the highest tax bracket are all going to increase disposable income for the citizens. It augurs well for domestic demand & consumption. The government seems to be banking on robust GST collections to continue since fiscal deficit numbers are re-emphasized to be brought under control in coming years. Bond markets have taken this as a positive move and the 10 year yield has softened post the budget.”

Ajay Chaurasia – Vice President, Business, Product and Marketing at RupeeRedee

“Revamping credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs with an infusion of Rs. 9000 Cr. into the corpus will prove to be highly influential in boosting digital lending across segments. Furthermore, KYC and PAN to be used as a Risk based approach are a good step towards ensuring financial security. With the increase in digital transactions and connected banking, this would assist in boosting the flow of customers and lower the cost of onboarding.

Mr. Arvind Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO, C4D Partners

“Before anything else, kudos to the finance minister and her team. What a great budget! As an impact investor, Budget 2023 has me excited to watch the industry’s growth with tremendous support coming in from the government, including the initiatives, policies, and funds that the budget has proposed for green and sustainable businesses across sectors. The emphasis on “Green Growth”, and a high focus on MSMEs – which have been rightly referred to as the growth engines of the economy, and impact-heavy sectors, like agriculture, manufacturing, clean energy, healthcare, skilling and education, and waste management, are sure to drive positive traction for the impact industry.Furthermore, a notable initiative was presented for bridging the gender gap in entrepreneurship, with a focus on the vast and underserved rural market. The Rural Livelihood Mission, crafted for empowering rural women through 8.1 million self-help groups is a tremendous effort by the government to foster the upliftment of women entrepreneurs in the country. The sourcing, branding, and marketing support will help women-owned/led businesses to scale their operations to larger markets.It was good to note that the government is focused on inclusive development, and sustainable growth, and seeks to actively work toward Sustainable Development Goals. I am sure this will offer a much-required impetus to businesses and investors alike to steer their efforts and money toward building a better future for people and the planet.”

Sangram Sabat, COO & Co-Founder, Saarthi.ai

India launched its first strategy policy on AI in 2018. It was among the first nations to do that. Globally we’re the largest exporter of software. India is one of the leading providers of talent in data and AI skills (16% of the world’s AI talent pool). As a nation dreaming to become a superpower, we’re expected to invest in AI. We’re still miles away in our investment in AI vs. the ones we are trying to overtake. I won’t say this is a big leap but definitely a positive reinforcement to the Govt’s pro-AI policies. The steps are in the right direction with the opening up of COEs and focus on upskilling as that would ensure the utilisation of such investments allowing young talent to accelerate their journey and startups to build great products, to drive economic growth through AI.

inod Shankar, Co-founder & Partner, Java Capital

The biggest highlight of the budget has been the strong focus on going green and sustainable, which augurs well for the planet, the country and the startup ecosystem. There has been renewed progress over the last 12 months in investing in climate startups, this trend has been kept alive with focus of the budget on green growth.

The broad horizontal direction across green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment is unprecedented if executed well.

The schemes announced align well with the net zero target by 2070. With this positive direction we should expect more startups and increased venture capital funding in green startups like ePlane, newtrace.

Encouraging behavioural change for carbon footprint reduction is a new paradigm for the people. This has the potential to change individual and societal behaviour with the Green credit programme, PM-PRANAM and MISHTI

Haribandhu Patra, CFO Lentra

The Union Budget 2023 is focused on building a strong and resilient Indian economy with a focus on tech-driven development, leading towards a knowledge-based economy with a strong financial sector. The government’s focus on simplifying processes, expanding fintech services, and improving bank governance reflects its commitment to economic growth and stability. The announcement of 50-year, interest-free loans for states is expected to drive investment in infrastructure, leading to economic growth and job creation. The increase in the agri credit target to Rs. 20 lakh crore and the computerization of agricultural credit societies are expected to boost the agriculture sector in the future. Under the National Data Governance Policy, simplification of KYC processes, expansion of Digilocker, and proposed framework for credit infrastructure will increase access to financial services for all and foster financial stability. On the youth power front, The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will help train lakhs of youth and improve their employability in the fast-changing tech-driven economy. The estimated fiscal deficit of 5.9% of GDP shows the government’s responsible approach to fiscal management. We are optimistic about the potential impact of these reforms on the Indian economy and look forward to contributing to its growth. Further, the revision of income tax slabs will empower the middle class by enhancing their spending capacity. This in turn will boost the country’s economic activity and gross domestic product (GDP), and ultimately help achieve sustainable economic growth.

Abhishant Pant, Founder, The Fintech Meetup and General Partner, YAN Angel Fund

After the slow adoption of DigiLocker, expanding its scope on users and types of documents will significantly boost the consumer journey seamlessly over the top of digital public infrastructure. An agriculture accelerator fund and digital public infrastructure for agriculture could lead to the emergence of a new set of Agri-Fintechs, which has been restricted so far due to market constraints. Simplifying KYC by adopting a risk-based approach will ensure faster onboarding of consumers and deepen the journey of Digital India initiatives.

A comprehensive review of existing regulations by the financial regulators through wider consultation with ecosystem players will further simplify, ease and reduce the cost of compliance. In addition, continued fiscal support to strengthen digital payments infrastructure will ensure continuity in the growth of digital payments in volume and value in the absence of merchant discount rate (MDR) in a few payment rails.

Mr. Mayank Arya, Co-founder at Yes Madam

“Startups in India demand ease of doing business, and the Hon’ble FM has taken the same into consideration by reducing more than 39,000 compliances and decriminalizing 3,400 legal provisions. This will not only provide relief to the existing entrepreneurs but will also encourage the aspiring ones. Additionally, the persisting skill gap in youth is something that is faced in every organization. This implicates a direct impact on the overall employment rate in the country. Therefore, the proposals such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 and setting up of 30 Skill India international centres announced in the budget are more relevant now than ever.”

Sanjay Lodha , CEO of Netweb Technologies

Government focus on AI and setting up 3 centres of excellence is a good beginning to see the adoption of AI in government use. We are excited as this beginning will further enhance going forward and it will have an impact in consumption of Electronics and to use the huge amount of Data that India is now able to generate. Ai excellence centre will help in exploring the data easily and insights that could help in delivering govt models applications.

It is exciting to see Govt. push on 5G and private 5G, Government has also identified some of the important use cases As stated a total of 100 labs will be set up in engineering colleges in partnership with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other organisations.
This is quite in line with the task we were aiming at as well. In order to create applications employing 5G services. The labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and healthcare applications, in order to realise the new range of options, business models, and job potential.

The building of applications increases the requirements of strong server connections, Data Storage, the hardware choices for embedded security wherein if we talk about the general impact, it will increase the businesses from Servers to IoT Manufacturers. These services would help in running various application and radio access networks which will help in excelling 5G in future. The purpose of these labs will be to present fresh opportunities, company ideas, and job prospects. .

Data Governance policy is going to give impetus on further helping in adoption of digital technologies and will be instrumental in growth of many more applications. Excellence centres will help in delivering govt schemes like adopted technology ,blockchains and other new applications .

Overall we believe that this will give a positive growth and enhancement in the digital electronic, data localisation and usage that will boost the technology as a whole.

Mr. Archit Garg, Co-founder of Glamyo Health

“ Widening the infrastructure pan India is the primary need when it comes to strengthening the healthcare structure. And to do so we need skilled talent and thicker allocation. Last year, Hon’ble FM had announced AI intervention in health, and NDHM, which had fueled the infrastructure aspect, while this year the budget has included the wish for more talent by announcing 157 new nursing colleges in co-location with 157 medical colleges. Simultaneously, the new entrepreneurs that came forward to contribute to the healthcare ecosystem can now enjoy the ease of compliance too. It is a holistic approach for healthcare spread over two year if one sees it together.

Mr. Gaurav Jalan, Founder & CEO, mPokket

“While we expected to see more announcements around the fintech sector, some of the welcome moves are the expansion of Digilocker services that will allow fintechs to store and share documents online in a secure manner with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other entities. The fintech sector has benefited much from prior Government initiatives, such as PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Indian Stack, and UPI.

We would also like to highlight certain measures announced in the Economic Survey 2023, such as the simplification of employee stock option (ESOP) taxes, capital gains tax regimes like those existing in Singapore, UAE, and the Netherlands, and capital flow procedures akin to the US and Singapore to accelerate reverse-flipping of startups back to India. This plays a major role in strengthening the domestic economy. Startups have always been one of our key engines for economic growth and it’s great to see that the number of recognized startups in the country has increased from 452 in 2016 to 84,012 in 2022. About 48 percent of our startups are from tier 2 & 3 cities and our country today is the third largest ecosystem for start-ups globally and ranks second in innovation quality among middle-income countries.

Entrepreneurship is truly vital for a country’s economic growth and towards this, the Government has extended the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from 31.03.23 to 31.3.24. It has further proposed to provide the benefit of carrying forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to ten years. This is truly a welcome move.”

Ankur Nijhawan, CEO, AXA France Vie India Reinsurance Branch

“This budget has touched upon various facets of major importance to our economy including focus on last mile, green growth, infrastructure and development, youth power and inclusive development. Focus on agriculture sector with enhancing storage capacities and establishing an accelerator fund for startups serves as a watershed to increase earnings and innovation in this segment. Budget allocation towards research in pharma and health is a step in the right direction which would further make India atmanirbhar. Budget has also very aptly recognised the importance of AI by allocation of funds towards setting up of specialised AI centres in educational institutes which would enable finding solutions in agri, health and sustainable cities. Reduction in duties on goods for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries would be a major step to reduce cost of EVs and promote green growth.

Further, change in the income tax slabs is a major development towards making India a more consumer driven economy. It would leave more money in the hands of individuals giving them the liberty and power to decide where to spend. The new tax regime does not allow exemptions on savings like the earlier one. This change poses a major need for sectors like insurance to create a product which is consumer focused. Consumer has so far been buying it to avail tax incentives however, this new change demands that the sector revamp its offering to meet consumer expectations and servicing requirements to create demand by offering customised, user friendly offerings and improving the customer experience.”

Mr. Rakesh Kaul, Executive Director and CEO, Clix Capital

“It is a balanced budget and growth oriented. Given that NBFCs have been playing a pivotal role in providing easy access to credit for MSMEs, we expected to see some incentives being announced for the growth of NBFCs. It is good to see that the Government has rationalized taxation in the MSME sector and other initiatives that will play a decisive role in easing their burden.

We believe the following measures announced will catalyze the MSME ecosystem tremendously. For instance, micro-enterprises with a turnover of up to 2 crore and certain professionals with a turnover of up to 50 lakhs will get the benefit of presumptive taxation. The limits have been increased to 3 crores and 75 lakhs respectively to taxpayers whose cash receipts are not more than 5 percent. Further, to ensure that MSMEs receive payments on time, the Government has proposed to allow a deduction for expenditure incurred on payments made to them only once the payments are actually made. In addition, taking into account that MSMEs have faced many challenges during the pandemic, the refund of 95 percent to MSMEs is a welcome move. The DigiLocker app that had been created will now be made available to MSMEs, large businesses, and charitable trusts, where they will be able to store and share documents online in a secure manner with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other business entities. The Government has infused 9,000 crores in the corpus for this, enabling additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of ` 2 lakh crore. The Digilocker services will be a boost to fintech startups as well, as up till now, DPI only allows individuals to store and share their certificates, such as academic records, driving licenses, and PAN cards.

Further, the KYC process has also been simplified by taking a risk-based approach. A one-stop solution for updating identity will be established using Digilocker service and Aadhaar as foundational identity. The Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of government agencies.

In addition, as MSME skilling is an important aspect that needs to be addressed, the Government has announced a digital ecosystem for skilling. A unified Skill India Digital platform will be set up that will focus on demand-based formal skilling, linking with employers including MSMEs, and facilitating access to entrepreneurship schemes.”

Mr. Rajagopal Menon, Vice President, WazirX

It’s a fantastic project since it makes life easier for the average person. DigiLocker can help firms ease the KYC (Know Your Customer) process by offering a secure, electronic version of personal papers that can be easily shared. This eliminates the requirement for physical document submission and verification, making the process more efficient and comfortable for both the customer and the enterprise. Furthermore, the DigiLocker application’s one-stop solution for identity and address updates can ease the process of changing personal information, decreasing the time and effort required to make these modifications across numerous businesses.

It’s a big step to abandon the “one size fits all” approach to Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. It can help by enabling for a more tailored and risk-based approach to client identification and verification. By decreasing the quantity of extraneous information and documents needed, this can lead to a more efficient and effective KYC process, as well as a better customer experience. Furthermore, adapting the KYC process to the individual risks posed by each customer can help to improve the business’s overall security and compliance.

Leon Foong, Head of APAC, Binance

“2022 has highlighted the need for progressive regulations that protect customers and transparency whilst enabling innovation in compliance with local regulations. The government’s decision to reduce more than 39,000 compliances and decriminalise 3,400 legal provisions will help tremendously in increasing the ease of doing business and help the country become a USD 5 Trillion economy in the coming years.

Binance strongly believes that a stable regulatory environment can support innovation and is essential to establishing trust and fostering long-term growth in the industry.”

Pratik Gauri, Co-founder & CEO, 5ire

“It is exciting to note that the government is incorporating “Green Growth” among its national priority in the Union budget agenda. India’s sustained efforts towards reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) will ensure that the country’s per capita emission of GHG will continue to be low until 2030-31.

The government’s renewed commitment to AI development is a welcome step. Artificial intelligence has the potential to drastically improve the efficiency of a workplace by augmenting the work humans do.
Especially in data-intensive verticals such as BFSI, healthcare, e-commerce, manufacturing, and retail, India is ripe for explosive development due to being one of the world’s largest consumer economies and providing a competent workforce to implement AI-developed technologies across the globe. Both AI and Web 3.0 could enable greater collaboration and knowledge sharing among educators and learners, as well as more secure and private data management. This will also result in the world shifting from a “value capture” economy to a “value creation” economy.

With this, an understanding, on the national stage, of the critical importance of entrepreneurship in the Indian economy is also highly commended and welcomed, given that India stands as the third largest ecosystem for startups globally and ranks second in innovation quality among middle-income countries.”

Rahul Pagidipati, CEO, ZebPay

“The 2023 Union Budget announcements is a game changing one in many areas, especially when it comes to personal income tax. Moreover, there are some welcome changes for the Indian start-up ecosystem. Entrepreneurs play an important role in the development of a country, therefore, the proposals to simplify and rationalize provisions, reducing compliance burden will surely encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in the country. Moreover, enhancing ease of doing business in India is a welcome move for many start-ups setting up business in India and international ones considering entry into this market. Growth in the UPI transactions is a positive sign for digital India with 7,400 crore digital payments worth 126 lakh crore transacting through UPI. FM’s move to skill the youth of India under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is going to help in solving the tech talent crunch in the industry and the expansion of the Skill India Digital platform will enable the youth to find employment across the country.

With the right resources and incentives, start-ups can reach their goals and become successful in their respective fields. While India has already set a benchmark in terms of growth in the start-up ecosystem, with the budget 2023, start-ups can be confident to grow and scale even further. It is a step in the right direction for economic growth in India and the country’s eventual goal of being a 5 trillion dollar economy.”

Avinash Shekhar, Founder and CEO, TaxNodes

“We welcome the initiatives taken in the Union Budget 2023, by the government. They will help startups like TaxNodes play a pivotal role in the high-growth sector. The move to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits is a crucial one for startups.

Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the growth of a country, hence, these proposals will simplify provisions and reduce the compliance burden, thus, boosting the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country. Moreover, ease of doing business makes India an investment-friendly destination and allows domestic as well as international businesses to thrive.

The focus on the youth and providing opportunities to skill them will also address the talent crunch being faced in the technology space, particularly in the Web3 domain. Though there is no mention of crypto taxation in the Union Budget, this year’s economic survey indicates the importance of a robust Web3 ecosystem and transparent regulation. Startups like ours are going to play an active role in promoting safety and stability in the crypto space.”

Pramod Kathuria, Founder & CEO, Easiloan

Union budget 2023-24 reflects that the government is profoundly embraced the digital revolution in the fintech sector and promoting the use of digi locker for documentation. The collection and retrieval of relevant document for customer verification and identification is a key area we as Digital home loan marketplace Easiloan are looking to optimize. We are glad that the government’s new budget is a push in the same direction. Expansion of Digi locker services to the Fintech sector will be a great boost for individuals, banks and financial institutions to store and share data online in a secured and faster manner

Additionally, The decision of the government to set up 100 labs in engineering institutes for developing apps using 5G services will usher in new opportunities unlocking various possibilities.

Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Cofounder and Managing Director of Venture Catalysts ++

This budget is focused on harnessing technology in each and every sector to boost entrepreneurship and creating more job opportunities. The brief but concise budget announcement delivered by the finance minister marks a milestone moment in the development of India’s startup ecosystem. To start with, the initiative to develop a digital public infrastructure for agriculture is a step in the right direction, which will prove vital for the growth of India’s emerging AgriTech sector. The foresight displayed with the establishment of an Agriculture Accelerator Fund to support startups and entrepreneurs in the country is striking, and will go on to further strengthen India’s largest industry. Moreover, the emphasis to promote on-job training, industry partnerships, and alignment of courses with the various needs of respective industries under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 reflects a progressive and resourceful outlook for encouraging and developing India’s resplendent startup ecosystem. The importance given to the development of Artificial Intelligence ecosystem through Make AI In India and Make AI Work For India, along with the transformative measures for ease of doing business and boost for urban infrastructure, all will convene to ameliorate India’s global status as the leader in economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and will promote the startup culture to produce companies of the future. With the new budget, prospects of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem seem bright and inexorable.

Mr. Sagar Agarvwal, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Beams Fintech

This year’s budget has been fairly positive for the startup ecosystem. The extension in time-limit of incorporation for IT incentives gives an additional push to the Indian Startup ecosystem. More importantly, the extension of carry forward period on change in shareholding from 7 years to 10 years makes startup acquistions more attractive, supporting consolidation in the industry and hence enabling exit opportunities for founders and investors. Announcements around PAN being the common business identifier and expansion of Digilocker’s scope will further lead to some reduction in compliance cost for Banks, NBFCs and fintechs. Given that multiple startups today are focusing on SMEs, we are also excited about the Rs. 9,000 Cr revamped credit guarantee scheme. Access to low cost finance will help SMEs grow faster, which will create immense value for the startup ecosystem that exists around it.

However, we were also expecting to see a few more changes specific to the PE/VC investment industry, hoping to get favorable changes around LTCG, carried interest etc. We are hopeful that the Indian Government would follow-up with some relaxations for investors in the coming financial year.

Mr. Prakash Chhabria, Executive Chairman – Finolex Industries Ltd.

“We appreciate the budget’s emphasis on promoting consumption and reviving the economy. The augmented focus on the agriculture sector will facilitate the farmers in smoothening of their operations , get more funds for inclusive rural development. The creation of agriculture infrastructure funds along with separate allocation for high-value horticulture will give the industry a much-needed boost. The industry would also gain from the 11% increase in the agriculture credit objective from Rs 18 lakh Cr to Rs 20 lakh Cr. We eagerly await the implementation of these measures and their impact on agriculture and farmer profitability. This budget also highlights separate focus on providing water connections & toilet facility to households. This will spur demand in the plumbing and sanitation segment. Additionally, a hike in capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development and the allocation of Rs. 79000 Cr to affordable housing will act as a catalyst for building, construction materials and allied sectors.”

Jyotirmoy Chakravorty, Founder and CEO of Ubona Technologies

“As MSMEs are now coming through the pandemic’s big blow, the revamped collateral-free credit guarantee scheme will definitely prove to be a big boost for MSMEs. This would spur a great growth of MSME through the financial year 2023-24. In fact collateral free credit enables not only a guaranteed loan but also this removes a great deal of hassles in the process of availing the loan. This is a laudable move by the union government as it not only boosts the growth of MSMEs but also creates a huge number of jobs for youths across the country.

Also it is a great initiative for the government to establish centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence. This would give a huge push for automation space as this initiative would create a huge skilled talent pool.

Pramod Gummaraj, CEO of Aprecomm

“This budget’s focus on boosting use of artificial intelligence through centers of excellence and the initiative towards setting up 100 labs for app development using 5g services are indeed a great move and a great boost to the respective sectors. In fact ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ are much needed initiatives in present times when artificial intelligence is spreading its arms wide across all the sectors. Had its scope been extended to the telecom sector along with the other three sectors the initiative would have been more fruitful.

While there are initiatives towards promoting Artificial Intelligence and 5G through dedicated budgetary allocations, the current budget has not taken into account the necessity of supporting telecom tech. With telecom players in India and abroad increasingly preferring to integrate various new age technologies developed by Indian players to ease their business in the current market scenario, the current budget could have given the much expected budgetary allocation to boost telecom tech players in the country. Budgetary allocations and policy support would have enabled India to stand atop of the world with Indian telecom tech players leading global markets.”

Anubhav Jain, Co-founder and CEO, Rupifi

“The government remains steadfast in its drive towards digitisation and the holistic development of the financial sector. We see notable positive measures being taken particularly in the areas of technological development and MSME self-reliance. With the revamping of the MSME guarantee scheme, it places a greater emphasis on enhancing ease of doing business, with more than 39,000 compliances being reduced and over 3,400 legal provisions decriminalized. Digitisation remains to be a key priority, fintechs are encouraged to adopt a risk-based instant approach simplifying the KYC process, while implementing a KYC system that fully meets the digital requirements of India. With the KYC process simplified, a one-stop solution will be created to update individuals’ identity and address information using DigiLocker and Aadhaar. The finance minister’s proposal to expand documentation scope of DigiLocker is a welcome step.

The National Data Government Policy for innovation and research will also prove instrumental, promoting faster innovation and growth by enabling start-ups and research organisations to access non-personal data in a secure manner. It will add a layer of confidentiality and reliability to the ecosystem. Further, tax benefit proposals for start-ups extending the incorporation sunset and carry forward for losses will also prove to be a positive encouragement for the entrepreneurial youth.”

Mr. Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money

“We are delighted to see the government’s continued focus on the rural sector in this year’s Budget as well. MSME’s are the backbone for the growth of India’s economy. Initiatives such as offering relief to MSMEs by returning 95 percent of the forfeited amount, revamping of the credit guarantee scheme, reducing the cost of credit by 1 percent and enabling MSMEs to avail the benefit of presumptive taxation as well as allowing expenditure deduction on payments made undoubtedly showcase the government’s vision for the growth and development of the sector. Furthermore, setting up DigiLocker will ensure a faster and secure way of storing and sharing documents thereby enabling quick turnaround and cost reduction for the sector.

Initiatives such as setting up the Agriculture Accelerator Fund and building an open source, open standard and interoperable digital public infrastructure will create a platform for existing agri-startups as well as upcoming ventures to provide innovative and tech-led facilities to farmers that will help in revamping the sector and encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs thereby driving next level growth for the sector.

The government’s vision of a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy will play an instrumental role in creating a conducive environment for startups across the spectrum, especially those with a rural focus. The proposal of providing income tax benefits as well as providing the benefit of carry forward of losses will support the startup ecosystem to flourish further and create numerous opportunities in the coming future.

The government’s focus on further enhancing domestic tourism under the Vibrant Villages Programme, creation of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative and proposal of public-private partnerships will help in the economic development of underserved citizens and identifying and utilising the untapped potential existing across the length and breadth of the country.

The unprecedented growth of India’s economy fuelled by digital payment initiatives like UPI is a testimony that we are on the right track to become a 5 trillion economy. We look forward to seeing India’s next phase reaping the benefits of the initiatives announced during the Budget session and partnering with the government to drive financial inclusion for the last mile.”

Ajay Malgaonkar, Offshore Head of Engineering, Prolifics

‘The announcement of opening up three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI), at top educational institutions, addresses the need for AI led skill-development, which is crucial for a future-ready India and will provide a further boost to the already growing tech talent pool of the country. Innovative digital technologies such as AI and Machine Learning are a significant step in advancing financial inclusion in India, making businesses across sectors more accessible to a larger segment of the public. As a result, service delivery will improve, and diverse segments of society will be able to actively engage in financial ecosystems. This would encourage businesses to invest in core R&D on AI and Robotics, unlocking India’s technological potential and accelerating our Prime Minister’s ambitious goal of a $5 trillion GDP by FY2025.’

Gaurav Kumar, Founder & CEO, Yubi

“The Union Budget 2023 has set India on a clear path of accelerated economic growth. It has enabled a cascading impact on India’s nation-building efforts.

The 33% rise in capital infrastructure spending to INR 10 lakh crore, or 3.3% of the GDP coupled with an effective government capital expenditure of INR 13.7 lakh crore will create a chain of economic activity downstream the supply chain. To meet this demand more effectively the finance minister has rightly enabled the MSME sector which is a key cog in this supply chain. By infusing INR 9,000 crore in the corpus for credit guarantees which would enable INR 2 lakh crores in collateral-free loans and a reduction in cost of credit by 1%, the finance minister had ensured that India’s MSME is well geared to leverage the resulting economic growth. However, to make the ecosystem more efficient and credit access faster, the finance minister has announced significant measures like increasing the scope of documents that could be synced with DigiLocker and allowing businesses to have an identity on the same platform. Coupled with PAN being used as a common identifier across digital systems, underwriting processes would be streamlined and time to deliver digital credit would be reduced significantly.

All of this would set India on the path to hyper-growth and well positioned to overshoot our growth estimates over the current 7%.”

Ms. Smridhi Goyal, Co- Founder & CEO, Sekyo

The union budget announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman is a great step towards making India digitally forward, a sustainable global superpower, and a healthy nation. The announcements are significant on the startups and digitization front as the promised tax exemptions will boost the consumer tech start-up segment. The extension of tax rebates will be extremely useful as it will encourage domestic capital to grow businesses and help build a vibrant ecosystem and drive economic growth. This step will also help in garnering more employment opportunities in the consumer tech startup industry.

Mr. Krishna Veer Singh Co-Founder and CEO, Lissun (A Mental Wellness Startup)

It was evident during the lockdown that mental health has remained an ignored area and demands immediate attention. In the last budget, Hon’ble FM announced the launch of a Tele Mental Health service. This year, the budget has encompassed the needs of healthcare professionals by announcing 157 new nursing colleges. All this together will serve the purpose of adding fuel to the healthcare infrastructure, and it is the only way it will make complete sense. Also, there has been a significant increase in the budget allocation towards the Healthcare Ministry which indicates the government’s attention toward health standards in the country.

Anuj Kumbhat, Founder and CEO, WRMS

“The Union Budget 2023 is quite optimistic for the agritech sector. Their contribution to economic growth has been well recognized. Budget 2023 envisages an open-source digital infrastructure for agriculture and an agriculture accelerator fund focused on youth entrepreneurship in the rural area is quite appreciated. It will provide impetus to the nascent agri-tech sector and could help boost the sector which employs nearly half of the country’s workforce.

Moreover, an open-source digital infrastructure will enable inclusive farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services of planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit and insurance help for crop estimation, market intelligence, and support for the growth of agritech startups.

Also, digitalizing the field of agriculture with the latest technologies is a need of the hour and very well-focused in the budget 2023. It will boost sustainable agriculture productivity; help farmers deal with the majority of the problems that they face on an everyday basis and in return will enhance profitability.”

Susheel Tejuja, Founder & MD, PolicyBoss.com

The budget is indicative of the continued economic growth resolve that the government has underlined via a slew of reforms, rebates and announcements all aimed at turning India into a consumption economy. Increased infra push of 10 lac Cr will boost trade and transit economy alike, resulting in rapid growth corridors fueled by public infrastructure spending. Announcements regarding Tax Reforms and rebates for companies incl. tax implications, unified filing, ease and transparency in data access and governance, with focus on MSMEs underlines continued government efforts in ensuring ease of doing business and boosting entrepreneurship across industries. Direct Tax reforms with revised tax slabs under new Tax Regime will benefit masses, yielding higher take-home salaries. Simplified tax filing will further boost individual tax payer confidence. From insurance perspective, announcement revision of tax exemption limit from proceeds of high value insurance policies is noteworthy as insurance companies typically receive 12-15% of their overall premiums with individual premiums of ₹ 1 Cr and above. As further details emerge, one will get more clarity on exact specifics. Increased infra push augurs well for general insurance companies as new project insurance related opportunities will get created. For senior citizens, revision of limit to 30 lac will help get better reruns on higher saving amount. This is a positive development for LIC and Post Office. To sum up, this budget is forward looking and progressive, with the common man benefiting from Ease in Access to Quality Education, Housing and Skill Development & Enhancement while boosting economic growth and spurring entrepreneurship.

Mahesh Palashikar, President, GE South Asia

“We welcome India’s Union Budget 2023-24, unveiled today. We applaud the Government for focusing on green growth as one of the top four opportunities for transforming the Nation during Amrit Kaal. Green growth will certainly drive cleaner economy and create large-scale jobs, and be a vital ‘Saptarishi’ priority to achieve net zero by 2070. We are encouraged by the commitment of capital investments of Rs. 35,000 Crores to accelerate energy transition towards net zero. The well-deserved recognition of pumped hydro storage as a robust storage solution and the proposed detailed framework is indeed a pragmatic step forward. As India moves towards round-the-clock cleaner power, a cost-effective storage solution like pumped hydro would be game-changer in providing sustainable, affordable and reliable power access for all citizens.

We are pleased to note the proposed investment for construction of the inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of renewable energy from Ladakh. The policy interventions in specific fuels like green hydrogen and wind must continue for India to succeed in achieving its long-term decarbonization objectives. This is an exciting time of country’s green industrial and economic transition. We continue to remain committed as strong partners to help the Nation in its journey towards net-zero!”

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO Salesforce India

“The 2023 budget is a growth-oriented and inclusive one that lays a solid foundation and strengthens the economic outlook for India. We have a unique opportunity of being a demand-driven economy with a rapidly digitising population. The increased capital investment outlay has a multiplier effect on generation of employment opportunities and thereby better standard of living for citizens. India is the talent basket of the world and has one of the youngest populations globally; we have a tremendous opportunity to unlock the potential of the country’s young workforce. The unified Skill India Digital Platform, addresses the imperative of businesses and Government to do more to address the skills gap enabling inclusive development of talent. Promoting sustainable growth is an opportunity for India to lead and has been essential and top of mind for all leaders; the focus on ‘green growth’ across sectors can unlock new economic opportunities for India. We are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years on Digital Public Infrastructure and a significant driver to this has been the innovation in Fintech, this budget is an impetus to further accelerate this growth with investments in AI, 5G, startups and more, accelerating demand and innovation at scale. Continued emphasis on Trust-based Governance and Ease of Doing Business, especially in a growth economy, has the potential to attract investments. The budget gives businesses India an opportunity to shine bright – domestically and internationally – ensuring they act, and fast.”

Manish Khanna, Co-Founder, of Unlisted Assets.

Agri Sector
A digital public infrastructure for agriculture has been proposed by the Union Budget 2023 Finance Minister as a “open source, open standard, and interoperable public benefit.”
This would make it possible to provide inclusive farmer-centric solutions for crop planning and health, better access to farm inputs, loans, and insurance, assistance with crop estimation, market data, and support for the expansion of the agri-tech sector and entrepreneurs.
To support young entrepreneurs in rural areas starting agri-startups, an agriculture accelerator fund will be established. The fund’s goal is to provide farmers with creative, cost-effective solutions to their problems. Additionally, it will introduce contemporary technologies to change agricultural methods and boost productivity and profitability.

Digitalization
Union budget 2023 has given prime importance to digitalisation. Further
a national data governance strategy would be released to encourage research and innovation by entrepreneurs. It will make anonymous data accessible. The KYC procedure will be streamlined and flexible to as per risk rather than being one size fits all. Additionally, financial sector authorities will be urged to create a KYC system that is entirely compliant with Digital India’s requirements. Fintech industry, Banks and financial institutions will benefit greatly from the expansion of Digi locker services.
It will make it easier and faster for them to store and transfer data online. Further, it’s a good initiative to boost the fin tech sector and technology driven startups

Power Sector
India is on the path to becoming a net zero-carbon economy by 2070. To achieve this, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced an INR 35,000 crore capital outlay to kickstart the journey. The Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is a promising step towards achieving energy transition in India. It provides fiscal benefits to promote renewable energy projects, battery energy storage and other related activities. This scheme will help in creating a favourable investment climate for private sector entities to invest in these projects, thus accelerating the growth of green energy infrastructure across the country. Companies that are in the renewable energy and Power Sector can get direct benefits from these schemes. Investors can invest in Pre- IPO stocks of power sector companies like Sterlite Power Transmission as these will benefit from the Budget.

Tourism sector
There is a huge thrust on tourism sector in the budget. 50 domestic destinations will be selected and uplifted. Domestic tourism will be promoted as an alternative to international tourism. We have seen Samhi Hotels, Oyo, Ixigo planning their IPO in 2023. If you look at Easemytrip which got listed in 2021 has created huge wealth for investors also announcing high growth in topline and bottomline. We would see many companies in this sector going in for IPO from the unlisted space. Some of the burn companies like Oyo are also expected to be operationally profitable in FY23, which is a huge positive coming out from covid downturn.

Taxation
According to the new tax system, the income tax rebate will rise from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh,
Though the new tax system will be the default, taxpayers could choose the previous one. In the new tax system, the FM has also decreased the number of tax slabs.
The government has reduced the surcharge of the highest rate from 37% currently to 25% in new tax regime. A salaried person currently has the choice to choose the old tax system and keep using the standard tax deductions and exemptions. Otherwise, he or she might choose the new, more favourable income tax system, which does not offer any typical tax breaks or exemptions. The person will have to forego 70 tax deductions and exemptions under the new tax law, such as the HRA tax deduction, LTA tax deduction, Section 80C deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh, and so on.
For people who were unable to take use of the existing tax deductions and exemptions, a new tax regime was announced. Additionally, it assists in reducing the burden of compliance for salaried taxpayers.
The benefit in tax slab may give rise to savings and overall investment in the economy.

Edu Tech
We have seen consolidation in the edu tech sector over the past 1 year. The thrust towards education, skill development, reaching last mile and providing decentralized education at affordable prices can be achieved through technology. Unlisted companies like Physicswallah, and Byjus will benefit from this long-term trend.

Sandeep Dutta, Chief Practice Officer – APAC region, Fractal

“The union budget proposals by Hon Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlight the government’s commitment to driving technological advancements in the field of artificial intelligence and realizing the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”. India is sitting on a unique opportunity to become the AI powerhouse for the world – we have the demographic dividend of a growing young workforce and are already at the cutting edge of AI with the 3rd rank in AI related publications globally. The creation of centres of excellence for artificial intelligence in top educational institutions across the country will foster innovation in the field of AI while developing solutions for and significantly reinventing areas like agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. Furthermore, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 to skill youth through new age courses like coding, AI, robotics, and IOT will help create an AI talent pool that can contribute to the growth of the industry as well as the Indian economy. This emphasis on investment in AI research and talent development is a welcome step towards establishing India as a global AI leader.”

Partha Patnaik, Global Head of Human Resources at Profilics

“The announcement of opening up three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI), at top educational institutions, addresses the need for AI led skill-development, which is crucial for a future-ready India and will provide a further boost to the already growing tech talent pool of the country. This would encourage businesses to invest in core R&D on AI and Robotics, unlocking India’s technological potential and accelerating our Prime Minister’s ambitious goal of a $5 trillion GDP by FY2025.”

Mr. Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM and MD & CEO, VECV

“33 % increase in capital outlay with an effective provision of Rs 13.7 lakh crores will spur growth in the economy resulting in positive impact on the Auto sector.”

Adding further, he stated, “The Auto industry is fully aligned with the initiatives on Sustainability and Decarbonisation and increased focus on Hydrogen, Ethanol Blending, Bio Gas, Electric Vehicles and Battery Storage.

Announcement for funding various Government Departments for replacement of old vehicles is also commended.

Another appreciable feature of the budget is putting more money in the hands of the individuals by some lowering of effective personal income tax rates that should increase consumption and consequently lead to more demand.

All in all, this is a growth-oriented budget with positive impact on the Auto Sector.”

Mr Yatin Gupte, Chairman & Managing Director, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility Ltd

“We welcome the forward-looking budget presented by our Hon’ble Finance Minister. The budget has rightly been referred to as the vision of Amrit Kaal. This year’s budget brings a big boost to the India’s economy by covering all the verticals for the holistic development of the nation. The sanctioning of Rs. 35,000 crores for energy transition is a significant step toward India’s net zero goals and will undoubtedly provide a much-needed push to a sustainable tomorrow. Tax exemptions on capital goods, lithium-ion batteries, and further reduction of customs duty will accelerate green mobility and rapid transition towards electric vehicles, making the sector stronger than before. We are eagerly looking forward to the government’s ambitious vision for upgrading the EV infrastructure ecosystem. Further relaxation on personal taxes and push for the job creation will bring sustainability in the market and increase purchasing power. Domestic consumption is a prime driving force for the economy. With the infrastructure boost and effective capital expenditure, the industry is optimistic that this budget will definitely augur well for the economic recovery and overall growth of the country.”

Mr. Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, Simplilearn

“The 2023 Union Budget highlights various initiatives by the Government of India to promote new age frontier technologies as well as youth upskilling across sectors. With India now the third largest ecosystem for start-ups globally, and ranking second in innovation quality among middle-income countries, it is promising to see measures taken by the Government for startups bear fruit. To this front, it is a considerate decision to extend the date of incorporation of income tax benefits for startups showcasing the focus of the Government towards the growth and expansion of India’s startup ecosystem.

In terms of education and skilling, the proposals to bolster student education as well as professional skilling, if fostered well throughout the year will contribute to India’s growth and development. The Government’s decision of formulating the National Education Policy is a testament of its efforts in recognizing and unleashing the potential of the youth through skilling. With three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence to be set-up in top educational institutions in line with the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, we can look forward to the growth of new-age technologies such as AI, robotics and more.

Further, the introduction of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 would benefit the youth of the country to scale and find suitable job opportunities. The Government’s decision to set up 30 Skill India International Centres across different states is a notable initiative undertaken in the 2023 budget as it would extend youth skills globally and also put Indian youth on the international skill map. The initiatives announced as a part of the Union Budget today are signs of building a new, strong, digital India focused on sustainability and growth.”

Sumeet Mehta, Cofounder & CEO of LEAD

“The first Amrit Kaal Budget’s focus on quality of education for all is progressive and encouraging. I welcome the focus on teacher training and upskilling students with Industry 4.O skills. However, while initiatives such as a National Digital Library and support for Eklavya Model Residential Schools are steps in the right direction to address the massive learning loss from the pandemic, well-designed PPPs are the need of the hour to create innovation at scale for millions of school going students in India. This will make high-quality learning more accessible and affordable, especially for students in small towns who lack resources; and will result in long-lasting impact at scale. GST rebates on printing of books, assessment material and educational hardware can further enable affordability and access to high-quality, multimodal education in schools. Going forward, I look forward to policy support in this direction.”

Ms.Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach, Embassy Group

“We, at Embassy, are happy to see the fields of education and healthcare, the cornerstones of our outreach, significantly addressed in the Union Budget 2023.

After nearly three years of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the education budget crossed Rs. 1 lakh crores last year. With the shift towards digital learning, an expansion of digital infrastructure that is inclusive in nature is much needed in the upcoming year. Therefore, it’s great to hear our Honorable Finance Minister share that a National Digital Library for children and adolescents will be set up, which makes available books across geographies, languages, learning-levels, and more. States will also be encouraged to set up physical libraries and provide technology to access the National Digital Library Resources. Additionally, to bridge pandemic-induced learning gaps, as well as build a culture of reading, the National Book Trust, the Children’s Book Trust, and other sources will be encouraged to provide noncurricular titles in regional languages and English to these physical libraries.

Considering the drastic shortage of teachers in government and rural tribal schools across the nation, we are pleased to note that in the next 3 years, the Centre will recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for the 740 Ekalavya schools serving 3.5 lakh tribal students. EMRS has had their budget increase by a significant Rs. 581.96 crore to Rs. 2,000 crores for the 2022–23 financial year. Supporting residential schools run for tribal students, this scheme will go a long way towards enabling a holistic tribal education system in the country. Teachers will be vital towards recognising tribal cultures, languages, curriculums and unleashing their inherent learning ability.

Teacher training will also gain further prominence across the country and be reimagined through integrated curriculum transactions, continuous professional development, dipstick service, and ICT implementation.

Supplementing the policies to develop the state of education, upskilling has been identified by experts in the field as another crucial area for development. To skill the youth for international opportunities, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different states. With over 4 million people joining the Indian workforce annually, these measures will strengthen the next generation of blue- and white-collar employees and contribute to the growth of the Indian economy through an upskilled workforce.

Taking this a step further, a National Education Policy has been framed that focuses on skilling youth by adopting economic policies that assist in job creation. Embassy has partnered with the Karnataka Skill Development Centre (KSDC) to conceptualise and build a state-of-the-art skill enhancement campus in Bangalore. The centre aims to train over 60,000 people in 32 sectors and 300 job roles.

Many of the students across government schools in the country suffer from common illnesses and diseases that they lack awareness of and the resources to manage. It is heartening to hear that a mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 will be launched, which includes creating awareness and screening 7 crore people in the largely affected tribal areas.

Manu Rikhye, Partner, Merak Ventures

“It is a proud achievement for us that India is now the third largest ecosystem for startups globally. As investors, it is encouraging to hear the government is still keen on promoting startups. Entrepreneurship was and always will be vital for boosting the country’s economy. The major announcement on extending the income tax benefit date to start-ups has brought a brief reprieve to the space. To unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy was also brought out to enable access to anonymized data. We hope the government will further look into introducing deferment of the time of payment of tax on ESOP plans available to employees of more startups.

It would have also been encouraging if the budget accommodated for an advisory on the PE/VC ecosystem. Easing of restrictions on domestic institutions like Provident Funds and NPS to invest in VC funds would have allowed for greater participation in domestic VC funds, which in turn, will help make patient and long term domestic capital available for AIFs.

The carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to ten years will amp up investments in the sector. The budget could have been a game changer if the government did not miss the opportunity for rationalization of capital gains, taxation, especially for startups.”

Mohan Ramaswamy, CEO and Co-Founder of Rubix Data Sciences:

“Nirmala Sitharaman’s 5th budget revolves around seven priorities: inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector. India’s MSME sector is impacted by measures related to all of these priorities. By boosting outlay to focus on each priority, there will be positive ripple effects on MSMEs that constitute the backbone of India’s business landscape. One of the expectations from the MSME sector for this budget was measures to enhance access to working capital. With the Rs. 9000 crore infusion into the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs and the allocations into various government schemes, this demand will be met to a large extent. Moreover, 39,000 compliances have been reduced and 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalized to enhance the ease of doing business, making the going a little more smoother for India’s MSMEs.”

Please find below the post-budget reaction by Kaushal Sampat, Founder of Rubix Data Sciences:

“The Union Budget 2023-24 has given a big boost to KYC. By recommending a risk-based approach instead of the current one-size-fits-all process, the government has paved the way for better compliance in customer and counterparty onboarding, as it adjusts verification levels depending on the risk. It will also help in cutting costs, saving time, and improving customer experience by a huge margin. eKYC has also got a big push in this Union Budget. The introduction of DigiLocker for MSMEs, Trusts, and other entities will vastly ease the eKYC process, as verification of statutory documents will be simplified.
This budget has reiterated the government’s digitization intent. As a data sciences company, we are excited about the announcement of a national financial information registry. Considering that our platforms use and require a range of digital data from various government sources, having an umbrella source that has the latest available data would massively make KYC verifications, credit checks, business assessments, and therefore, risk scoring, easier and more credible. We hope the government will take this on a war footing as the Hon. Finance Minister seemed to convey and give this country a robust public infrastructure for enabling smooth credit flow.”

Vishal Gupta, Founder and CEO of Seclore

“The union budget is one of the most forward-looking union budgets of my lifetime. When you hear AI, Drones, agri acceleration fund, digital locker and e courts in the same speech, it reflects truly inclusive growth and development. The focus on skill development and promotion of the Skill India program will go a long way to creating long term development of the “Amrit Peedhi”.

The National Data Governance Policy and the “data embassies” announced today was overdue and will pave the way for India to be seen as a secure and private haven. India has gone from the 10th to the 5th largest economy in the last decade and this budget overall sets the country up for a similar trajectory in the coming years.

Rajat Deshpande, CEO and Co-Founder of FinBox

“It’s been heartening to see that financial inclusion has been clearly laid out as a priority in the 2023 budget, and been backed up by solid policy recommendations. For starters, the government has revamped the ELCGS scheme, infusing INR 9000 cr into the corpus and reducing the cost of credit by 1%. The formation of the National Financial Information registry and Digilocker for MSMEs too is a huge step for the credit underserved and is set to improve credit flow and promote financial inclusion.
Agriculture wasn’t left behind either – the FM proposed three centres of excellence for AI where leading AI players will collaborate in areas of health and agriculture. We’ve been talking about tech and agri for a while now, and it’s thrilling to see it come to fruition.”

Ketan Gaikwad, MD and CEO of RXIL(Receivables Exchange of India Ltd)

“India has made remarkable advancements in the MSME sector, and the revamped credit guarantee scheme will take effect from April 1, 2023, through the infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus. This will enable additional collateral-free credit of Rs 2 lakh crore to MSMEs – FY 22 had a credit guarantee approved of 56,172, and an additional 9000 would improve their business and overall contribution to the GDP. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman is aimed at providing assistance to traditional artisans and craftspeople to improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products. The scope of documents available in Digi locker will be expanded to enable more fintech innovative services and to ease up the process for MSME registrations in these services.”

Mr. Atulya Kaushik, Co-founder & CEO of PrepInsta

The Budget seems to give more push to employability readiness in youths. Direct Benefit Transfer under a pan India national apprenticeship scheme which will impact 47 lakh youths seems promising. Setting up 100 Labs in engineering institutions will help graduates be ready to build applications on India’s 5G stack. Focus on smart classrooms will also help us take advantage of the metaverse and immersive learning. Overall it should help India to release its demographic dividend for inclusive development. We applaud the government’s decision to establish a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescence to facilitate access to high-quality books on any device. The finance minister’s decision to expand Eklavya model schools for tribal students is another step forward in promoting digital literacy. Furthermore, by proposing 30 Skill India International centers across various states, Surely, this year’s budget clearly emphasizes the importance of closing the skill gap in youth across India

Mr. Neeraj Tyagi, Co-Founder and CEO, We Founder Circle

“Post-pandemic a lot of startups were struggling for survival and still are. The announcement of the extension of tax benefits on the incorporation of startups, and additional 3 years to carry forward the losses to set off against future profits will serve as lifeboats to many. Additionally, what is not realized yet is that ease of compliance plays a major role for any business. More so for new businesses and young entrepreneurs. More than 39,000 compliances have been reduced which will offer great convenience to startups and encourage aspiring ones. The Agri Accelerator Fund set up by the government will not only encourage entrepreneurs but also attract investors to invest in Agri startups aggressively. The good thing is that we have some of the most exciting agri startups like Hesa, Anveshan and Growit.”

Mr. Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder, We Founder Circle

“For any startup to grow smoothly, easier compliance plays a major role. A lot of decisions of the entrepreneurs and investors depend on the same. In this budget, more than 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalized, indicating that even the government sees the startup ecosystem contributing greatly to the future of India. Simultaneously, investors have remained enticed by the agriculture sector in India, and always encourage any innovation that offers support to the largest industry. The announcement of the Agri Accelerator Fund by the government will not only encourage entrepreneurs but also strengthen the agri supply chain which has been struggling for way too long. We have been bullish and investing in Agri startups and have 3 companies in our portfolio, I believe this initiative by the government will see a boost across the entire value chain in the agriculture industry and we definitely see a lot of startups emerging and potentially becoming unicorns from the Agri startup community.

Carrying forward Digital India, and the now renowned IndiaStack or BharatStack of digital solutions for financial inclusion, compliances, governance, and public services, the Honorable FM has announced the launch of various other digital programs such as a digital platform for agriculture, Digital National Library, AI Center for Excellence, extension of eCourts, Unified Skill India Digital Platform, Tourism App, Central Financial Data Repository, Unified Filling Platform, thrust on BharatStack viz. Digilocker, Video KYC, etc.

This is commendable and takes India higher in the tech sphereariousv. Especially, the unified filling platform, if done properly, can simplify the multiple compliances that companies have to currently do for various regulations through a common digital filling of data/forms.”

Mr. Kishan Tiwari, Co-Founder and CEO, TSAW Drones

The Hon’ble Finance Minister’s announcement in the Union Budget 23-24 to revitalize 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones is a landmark decision. This will jumpstart the fourth industrialization by effectively utilizing drone technology for automation in logistics, transportation, infrastructure, and rural development, as well as create new-age jobs for the nation’s youngsters. TSAW is committed to supporting the government’s mission by assembling state-of-the-art ‘Made in India’ drones and DRONECO is committed to providing end-to-end drone services for internal sovereignty, last-mile connectivity, agriculture, healthcare and others. The announcement of the Agri Accelerator Fund by the government will encourage more entrepreneurs to serve Indian rich and heritage agriculture Industry. Being a Drone manufacturer, TSAW sees a big opportunity of collaborating with Agri start-ups to serve and show a real case of Drones in the Agriculture industry.

Mr. Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO of Cashaa

While many crypto industry leaders had big expectations for the union budget 23-24 and requested some key reforms such as lowering the TDS rate from 1% to 0.01% and providing clarity on taxation, I, as the CEO of Cashaa, a neo-bank that provides services to hundreds of businesses in the crypto industry, honestly did not have lofty hopes from the Indian Government through this budget. I genuinely believe that it is best to wait until the Indian government fully comprehends what cryptocurrency is and the value it can bring to the Indian economy. Overall, this budget is very considerate knowing that the government is still trying to understand the crypto and is not saying anything about the crypto. So I appreciate that.–

Mr. Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director of SuperBot (PinnacleWorks)

This Budget is notable for its renewed emphasis on the development of digital infrastructure. The Indian government’s intention to establish three “Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence” in prestigious educational institutions to make “AI Work for India” is a dose of encouragement for entrepreneurs who have been working in the field, hoping to give a new face to sectors and services. These centers will undoubtedly serve as a bridge between educational institutions and leading industries, with the goal of researching and developing practical AI applications across different verticals including agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. Furthermore, the focus on building a strong AI ecosystem in India and training skilled AI professionals will assist new businesses in acquiring the right talent. This also puts a lot of responsibility on education institutes to strengthen the curriculum in the field.–

Mr. Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote

The food and beverage Industry had high hopes for the Union Budget. In the last year, the sector has faced two major challenges: recovering from the aftereffects of COVID-19 and combating rising inflation and food prices. However, following the announcement, the food and beverage industry had a mixed reaction to whatever little was doled out as part of the Union Budget 23-24. Nonetheless, the industry is optimistic that consistent measures such as skill development and new investments will help the industry recover from the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Anmol Bohre, Co-founder & Managing Director of Enigma

It is really great to see how environmental sustainability has been one of the top 7 priorities in this budget. The Pro-EV budget focuses on much-needed initiatives such as Customs Duty reduction from 21% to 13% on capital goods and machinery required for Lithium Batteries and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year. This will certainly encourage each EV manufacturer to contribute to Government initiatives to achieve mass EV adoption by 2030. This will also encourage investments in the EV sector which help new players to continue with innovation.”

Mr. Mridu Mahendra Das, Co-founder & CEO Automovill

Auto and auto service sector have been facing various challenges. In the current scenario when new age entrepreneurs are trying to explore businesses in unorganised sectors like auto services or similar, it becomes difficult to follow procedures of traditional business, as it comes at a cost, and you only have so much bandwidth in terms of resources. Therefore, we value a lot that the budget has taken the same into consideration and by reducing more than 39,000 compliance it has made an effort to add to the ease of doing business in India. Additionally, the tax benefits on their incorporation is being extended by another year and the carry forward of losses to set off against future profits will now be allowed for 10 years instead of 7 years, which is going to provide a lot of relief to startups.–

Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-founder, QuoDeck,

“We at QuoDeck believe that the increase of 33% in the capital expenditure in this year’s Union Budget will boost infrastructure development in the country, which ultimately leads to long-term job creation. Particularly in the light of what many say is an approaching global recession, this kind of cushion is extremely important to sustain employment in the country. It’s also a good thing that the government is continuing its focus on skilling and on-job training, particularly in new-age areas such as AI, robotics, drones and soft skills.”

Tarun Joshi, CEO & Founder, Join Ventures and IGP.com

“At Join Ventures, we have always believed in the significance of traditional artisans and craftspeople in keeping our rich cultural heritage alive and provided them with a global platform to earn from their craft. We are thrilled to see the government’s recognition of India’s valued artisans and craftspeople through the PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman initiative, which will not only improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products but also integrate them with the MSME value chain. This is a proud moment for all of us who have been working towards preserving and promoting the timeless beauty of traditional Indian crafts.”

Sanjeev Chandak, Co-founder & CEO, ftcash

“The Budget laid much-needed importance on MSME sector which is still recovering from the pandemic-induced challenges. The infusion of INR 9,000 crore corpus for revamped credit guarantee scheme significantly addresses the credit gap and is aimed at enhancing credit access thereby paving the way to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. This apart, this year’s budget also laid focus on another important aspect i.e., the introduction of National Data Governance Policy which will ease the KYC process and reduce privacy breaches. It will also enhance the use, access and quality of data and improve the Government’s data collection and management while enabling inclusive development. This is still at a very nascent stage and will require consistent efforts to truly create a digital economy.”

Saurabh Pandey, Co-founder and CEO of Eloelo

“At Eloelo, we’re happy that the country’s creator economy will get a boost due to the favorable policies by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharama. This year’s Union Budget has provided a relief in customs duty for the use of smartphone parts like camera lenses and batteries, and that will help keep smartphone prices down. A long-term focus on manufacturing smartphones in India will help in increasing digitisation of the country. We’re also happy that the country’s start-up ecosystem is getting a boost by the favorable policies on startup shareholding.”

Vineet Singh, Co-founder & CEO, Castler

“We are thrilled to see measures aimed at easing the compliance burden for businesses, PAN as a common business identifier, and promoting efficiency through integrated systems. The establishment of Digilocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management further demonstrates the government’s commitment to a digital-first approach. We look forward to leveraging these developments to enhance our services and support the growth of fintechs in India.”

Vikas Garg, Co-founder & CEO, 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,”

Sousthav Chakrabarty, Co-Founder & CEO. Siply

“The Union budget announcements on personal income tax are a step towards financial inclusion and empowerment for India’s hard-working middle class. By increasing rebate limits and reducing tax liabilities, the government is freeing up more funds for the citizens to invest and grow their wealth, ultimately driving economic growth and stability. We at Siply are thrilled to support and contribute to this vision of financial inclusion.”

Krishna Raghavan, Founder at Unlistedkart

The Make in India push is now being extended to artificial intelligence. The government has planned to set up as many as three centers of excellence for AI under a campaign titled ‘Make AI in India and Make AI work for India’. This is a major push for the IT space. There are close to 70 AI popular startups in India. But with the theme such as build for the world, we could dictate many ground breaking adoptions using technology. For Eg. Airport Security scrutiny, National security & Intelligence, Agricultural tech adoption, Disease management, etc. The innovations in the AI space is endless.

Mr. Frederick Devarampati, Founder & CEO at HotNot

“As a fashion tech entrepreneur, I am thrilled to see the government’s emphasis on supporting innovation, research, and development in the Union Budget 2023-24. The rollout of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) is a game changer for the economy, especially the creator economy, providing a major push for the growth of tier 2 and tier 3 cities. With higher capex spending and a focused effort to reduce the fiscal deficit, this budget presents a huge opportunity for the Indian creator community. At a time when the market is facing challenges, this budget is a beacon of hope and a much-needed stimulus for the economy.”

Barnik Maitra, the Managing Partner of Arthur D. Little India

“The biggest takeaway from the Budget speech of Hon’ble Finance Minister is the increase in government capital investment to Rs 10 lakh crore from Rs. 7.2 lakh crore last year. If central grants and state loans are taken into account, a total of Rs 15 lakh crore of capital outlay has been announced by the government. This amount is around 5% of the GDP and is an unprecedented budgetary allocation in India’s history.

This amount is allocated in several sectors of importance – railways, infrastructure, green growth/energy transition, agriculture, electric mobility spanning several schemes. This is a big step for India as it will attract substantial foreign capital, with the strategy of the government being to crowd in private investments by significant government capital allocations.”

Nirmit Parikh, Founder & CEO, apna

The central government’s push to skilling in the country for lakhs of youth in the Budget 2023-24 is a welcome move, considering the youth are the pillars of our economy. This initiative will open avenues and create millions of job opportunities in emerging technologies for over 100 million youth in the country – a huge motivation for students and graduates to thrive and succeed in their home country. Furthermore, I also commend the Government’s announcement around the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for enabling demand-based formal skilling, linking with employers including MSMEs, and facilitating access to entrepreneurship schemes. The vision of empowering youth and MSMEs is a strong blueprint for India@100 which is being built on inclusive India.

Mr. Avnet Singh Marwah, CEO and founder at SPPL ( Super Plastronic Pvt. Ltd. )

Customs duty on open cells of TV panels cut to 2.5 percent
This is a welcoming move by the government of India to reduce customs duty on the open cell to 2.5%, we will pass this benefit to customers. Television prices can come down up to Rs 3000 on larger screens.

With one of the best budgets in the last 4 years, the government is pushing electronic manufacturing in India. Feel good factor for all sections, welcoming the move to reduce customs duty to 2.5 % this will reduce the price of tv by 5%.

Mr. 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 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’.

Also, there is bound to be a noticeable upsurge in startups focusing on Agri-tech owing to the Agri-Accelerator fund which the Budget has aligned to boost startups contributing to this space. And rightly so, considering that India is a nation of farmers – what better way to create the best of both worlds than to combine the most ancient livelihood in the country with that of emerging, cutting edge technology.

Another need-of-the-hour focus will be on Healthcare with PharmTech taking prominence in the sector and the emerging startups thereupon. Needless to say, there’s good news for MSMEs in the aforementioned and other sectors with the infusion of INR 9,000 Crores in the revamped credit guarantee scheme – effective 1st April this year. Overall, I think Sitharaman has given us a Budget poised to fuel Innovation and Entrepreneurship in India.

Mr Rohit Pathak, President, IEEMA and CEO, Birla Copper (Hindalco Industries Ltd)

“Overall it is an excellent budget that will accelerate India growth as we start Amrit Kaal. The increase of capital investment outlay by 33% to ₹10 lakh crore for 2023-24 is a bold step. The doubling of spend on Railways, which is all electric now, is heartening to see. The cascading effect of infra spend coupled with reduced individual tax rates, will give a strong boost to consumption, especially for the Electrical & Electronics sector. The extra leeway given to States to encourage their capex, while maintaining link to Power Reforms, is also a great step. The allocation to Green Hydrogen, Ladakh RE infrastructure and Green Economy will accelerate our net zero and Energy self-reliance journey. There was no specific mention on acceleration of the T&D infrastructure, which will also be critical. All in all, an excellent budget that will position India as the fastest growing economy:

Yulia Aslamova, Head of Asia, DRIM Global

The Budget presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman builds on the excellent Budget from last year, continuing the trend towards more productive expenditure. Like the rest of India, we welcome Budget 2023 with open arms. With easing capital gain taxation and carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to ten years, the country could become an innovation hub to many more startups this year.

Entrepreneurship is vital for a country’s economic development. India is now the third largest ecosystem for start-ups globally, and ranks second in innovation quality among middle-income countries. The several supportive policies for startups in Budget 2023 by the Finance Minister will help to scale up the operations to a greater extent and create a boom for the startup ecosystem across the country.

Anish Srikrishna, CEO, TimesPro

“The budget has ushered a slew of initiatives by emphasising the National Education Policy’s skilling outlook. We welcome the move and expect public-private cooperation to meet the goals of this initiative, accelerating India’s transition to an Industry 4.0 economy. The three AI centres of excellence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ will benefit the development of digital infrastructure and skills in India. At a time when skilling and reskilling are critical for India’s youth, the government’s recognition of the need for skilling is an encouraging move for the Higher Education and H.EdTech sectors. However, we continue to believe that lowering the GST on professional learning programmes would have made modern learning more accessible and affordable, assisting millions of learners in becoming future-ready.”

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.”

Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director of GIA India

“The government’s announcement in the Union Budget 2023 to provide research and development (R&D) grants and consider custom duty reductions for laboratory-grown diamonds is a boost for the Indian diamond industry. The R&D grants will encourage innovation and growth in the laboratory-grown diamond sector. In addition, the potential reduction in customs duties on laboratory-grown diamond seeds will also help to reduce production costs. I believe this move could help increase consumer appeal of the diamond category and result in growth opportunities for the Indian gem and jewellery industry.”

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 specially for first generation entrepreneurs and seed funding, but we feel excited to see that 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 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 its goals this year. We are optimistic and feeling excited about the kind of opportunities this can create.

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

Kanav Kalia, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Oxane Partners

The Union Budget 2023 has undertaken a series of steps to strengthen the fundamental pillars of the economy, including the financial sector. The Union budget has correctly highlighted the imperative for greater emphasis on innovation, research, and development, which are crucial to helping India reach the aspirational goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy. Focusing on the amplification of emerging technologies that can help create a world-class technology ecosystem.

On the capital expenditure front, a 33% increase in capex to 10 lakh crore rupees, will provide a major boost to building roads, ports, and airports — helping India become a reliable investment destination. The current budget is aimed at regulatory and policy relaxations that will work towards boosting the start-up ecosystem, encourage foreign investment in the country, and increasing the availability of capital, helping companies navigate through predicted recession. These measures will further encourage private investments on infrastructure and development projects, creating a favourable environment for private investment firms to allocate more dry powder in the country.

Overall, budget 2023 provides new wings to India’s growth story by focusing on investment, increased expenditure, employment, ease of doing business and rebate in income tax limit. It will play a pivotal role in determining the roadmap for India’s growth momentum and defining the recovery, especially when most of the world is staring at a recession.

Ms. Liberatha Peter Kallat, Chairperson and Managing Director, DreamFolks

The Union Budget 2023 showcases the Indian government’s dedication to fuelling the growth of the Travel and Tourism sector. Allocation of funds for the development of tourist infrastructure, such as new airports, railways, and highways, will make travel easier and more accessible. The addition of 50 airports, helipads, water aero drones, and advanced landing grounds will improve regional air connectivity, increase footfall for both domestic and international travellers and reduce overcrowding at airports, thereby making air travel their preferred choice. The budget also prioritizes sustainability, aiming for a green economy and net zero carbon emission by 2070. Adopting eco-friendly solutions such as sustainable technologies in sleeping pods and energy-efficient lounges etc., will support this vision and enhance the overall travel experience. These advances will stimulate the local economy, and create more job opportunities, whereas tax incentives and skill development programs will further encourage investment and growth in the sector, making travel and tourism a driving force in India’s economic growth story in the coming years.

Sandip Chhettri, CEO TradeIndia.com

The Union Budget for the fiscal year presents a positive outlook for the MSME sector in India. The allocation of funds for credit support will help MSMEs access finance at lower interest rates and improve their ability to invest in growth. The government’s push towards digitization is also commendable, with a new scheme to provide financial assistance for the adoption of technology and automation. The measures to ease the process of doing business, such as simplifying the tax regime and reducing compliance burdens, will help MSMEs operate more efficiently and effectively. Additionally, the budget focus on skill development and entrepreneurship, with the announcement of new incubation centers and training programs for young entrepreneurs, is a welcome step. The outlook is optimistic for the big picture and the success will now hinge on effective implementation

Ms. Midhula Devabhaktuni, Co-founder and CMO of Mivi

Budget 2023 envisions a futuristic India that will be more green and sustainable. The Green Growth initiative highlights the efficient use of energy across various economic sectors. These green growth efforts will help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy and providing for large-scale green job opportunities, something that we are emulating for our new resource set-ups in Hyderabad. Additionally, the new initiatives for Make AI in India and Make AI work for India will aid in the development of cutting-edge applications and scalable solutions that will help create more employment, opportunities in India.

Mr Arijeet Talapatra, CEO at TRANSSION India

The Union Budget allocation towards the development of electronics manufacturing clusters and implementation of the National Policy on Electronics, along with the reduction of customs duty on certain components, is a major step forward for the industry. This will provide a much-needed boost and help us compete at a global level, leading to increased domestic manufacturing and exports of smartphones. This is a move towards democratizing technology aligned with itel’s vision and transitioning towards a smartphone & digital economy.’

Mr. V. Srinivasan, Chairman, eMudhra

“The emphasis on digitizing India in the Union Budget is commendable. The vision for Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based India. The proposed National Data Governance Policy will help in boosting data led development and encourage technological growth. The push to create Centers of Excellence for AI will help create a digital ‘Aatmanirbhar’ India and promote AI based solutions across sectors. The introduction of Entity Digi Locker for business enterprises will facilitate online storing of documents which will accelerate the digital transformation of the country.”

Lalit Singh- Chief Growth Officer- TelioEV

“Excited to see the budget’s focus on green growth and the pro-EV initiatives, particularly the reduction of customs duties on lithium batteries and extension of subsidies for EV batteries. These actions will drive demand for electric vehicles and align with the budget’s goal of promoting eco-conscious lifestyles. The policy to replace old, polluting vehicles will further accelerate the transition to EVs. Overall, a well-rounded, progressive budget that will encourage investments in the EV sector.”

Pankaj Gupta, CEO-Mufin Green Finance

The EV sector is observed as one of the most dynamic segments of the clean energy industry and seeing the govt. setting “Green Energy & Green Growth” as one of the top seven priority sector for Budget 2023-24 makes EV players like us bullish towards the speedy growth of the EV industry. We at Mufin Green Finance work with a vision to drive financial inclusion by providing income-generation loans to end users.

We so far helped moreover 10,000 livelihood of people who are directly or indirectly associate reducing over 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through the EV financing and it lies in tandem with government firmly committing towards the goal of “net zero carbon emission by 2070 as part of the “Panchamat Mission”.

With lithium cost soaring up, an exemption on the Lithium- ion battery from Custom duty comes as a major relief. We believe the success of the green growth would be dependent on alternate storage and the Budget announcement of setting up a battery energy storage systems with capacity of 4,000 MWh with aid of viability gap funding would further help in establishing India as an EV hub. But the most needed thing for EV penetration is EV financing which should be moved to priority sector lending.

Dhiraj Tripathi-Co Founder and COO- of Electric One Mobility Pvt Ltd

“Green Growth” features among the Top-7 priorities in the Union Budget. Full marks to the Finance Minister for announcing some much-needed initiatives to boost the Electric Mobility (EV) sector, giving out a clear indication that the Government loved the potential of the EV industry towards green growth, environmental sustainability, and employment generation.

  1. Customs duty reduction on capital goods for Lithium battery manufacturing from 21% to 13% will help faster adoption of EVs as the cost of EVs will go down
  2. Extension on subsidies on EV batteries for one more year
  3. To push ‘Make in India’, increase import duty on SKD and CBU vehicles
  4. Policy on the replacement of old polluting vehicles will also help EV transition
  5. Announcement of Green Credit program
  6. Outlay of 19,700 Crores for Green Hydrogen will reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports
  7. Viability gap funding for Battery energy storage systems”

Mr. Rahul Attuluri, CEO and Co-founder at NxtWave

“We wholeheartedly welcome the Government’s initiatives announced in the Budget 2023-24. The re-envisioning of Teachers Training through integrated curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick service, ICT implementation and the development of the district Institute of Education and Training as institutes of excellence are a great move towards augmenting the existing education ecosystem in the country. Also, the setting up of the National Digital Library for children and adolescents where quality books across geographies, languages, and levels and device agnostic accessibility will be made available is a great initiative to make up for lost learning time students faced during the pandemic.

The youth are the future of the country. Therefore, to empower youth and to help the Amrit Peedhi realize their dreams, the Government’s National Education Policy will especially focus on skilling youths by adopting economic policies that facilitate job creation. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youth in the next three years. Moreover, to skill the youth for international employment opportunities, over 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States.

NxtWave is always ready to take forward the vision of the Government and empower Indian youth with required skills and become job-ready. We are happy that the government is establishing a strong AI ecosystem in India to train skilled AI professionals. This will help us to develop practical AI applications in regional and sustainable cities.”

Mr.Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India

Successes in the previous budget and our transformation into the ‘AmrutKal’ were highlighted today by the Honorable Financial Minister.

It’s encouraging to see continued support for digital payment systems, digital document integration, and the creation of a digital public infrastructure for agritech and Fintech. Introduction of Digital lockers, Digital Library, E-Courts, and the promise of one hundred research labs to create applications for 5G were the landmark announcements.

Empowering youth with 30 Skill India Centers imparting skills like Coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IoT, 3D printing, and drones with other NextGen cutting-edge technologies will make them economically independent.

Establishing three Institutes of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence Development is a major step forward for our country and will help to create AI in India and make AI work for India.

Summarizing, the budget makes it abundantly clear that 2023 will be the year of digitalization, with demands for digitalization rising throughout the year. As an Interconnection Platform, DE-CIX India is pleased to shoulder the duty of ensuring the long-term viability of India’s Digital Infrastructure as “We Make Interconnection Easy. Anywhere”.

Saurabh Soni, Co-Founder, Digisparsh

Saurabh Soni, Co-founder of Digisparsh said “Government’s decision on increasing ICMR labs across the country was a reminder that as a nation we need to increase our focus on R&D in public health planning. If the responsibility is actively shared by the private sector, through Private-public Partnerships, we can drastically improve access to healthcare services in rural India.

However, merely looking at diagnostics will not help. Active health tracking and prevention will be the key here. Finhealthtech is the tool that can accelerate this process! We urgently need to integrate financial services and health care with technology to improve healthcare service penetration!”

Archana Jahagirdar, Managing Partner, Rukam

“The Union Budget of 2023-24 has exhibited a deep commitment to inclusive growth. The budget has addressed major expectations from across industries. We are particularly excited about the government’s continued efforts to encourage entrepreneurship in the county. Recognising it as a vital pillar for development and proposing multiple provisions for startups and MSMEs, including the extension of the date of incorporation for claiming tax holiday by a year and the proposal to increase the benefit of carrying forward losses for startups to 10 years. 39,000 compliance and over 3,400 legal provisions were decriminalized to enhance ease of business In India. Further, the simplified KYC process will collectively pave the way for India to strengthen its digital stack which is the bedrock of the startup ecosystem.

Additionally, GIFT & IFSCA received a major boost that will be undertaken to enhance business activities in the global financial hub. The IFSCA will be delegated power under the SEZ Act to “avoid dual regulation”. Further, a single-window IT system will be set up for registration and approval of IFSCA, SEZ GSTN, RBI, SEBI and IRDAI authorities. The Budget also provided acquisition financing by units of foreign banks in IFSC; this would help in reducing the cost of financing outbound M&A.

With a slew of provisions, the budget truly looks promising for India’s growing economy.”

Mr Sameer Gupta, Chairman & MD, Jakson Group

The nucleus of Budget 2023 is enhancing the quality of life, inclusive growth and sustainability. I am sure this vision will narrate the story of ‘’New India, Progressive India”. The green economy is in the centre, and all aspects of the energy transition and security are thoroughly covered. As a result, India should surpass its current standing in the field of renewable energy, including storage and green hydrogen.
The government has taken steps to decarbonize the Indian economy, aided by specific budgets- viability funding for a 4000 MWh battery storage energy system, pumped hydro, Rs 20,700 investment for RE evacuation from Ladakh, and the inclusion of green credit in the Environment Protection Act.

Mr Bikesh Ogra, MD & CEO, Jakson Green

The Union Budget 2023 with an outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for green energy transition, addition to the recently announced Green Hydrogen mission with outlay of Rs.19,500 crore has reiterated GOI’s commitment to achieve net zero targets alongside making India important hub for renewable manufacturing. Encouraging the Net Zero goal the government has firmly put clean energy transition at the centre of India’s economic growth. A firm step towards green missions of government will give impetus to job creation, research n development as well as export opportunities while contributing to net-zero objectives. These initiatives are likely to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce import dependence for the renewable sector. The Union Budget 2023 clearly indicates, India is ready to establish itself in the leadership position on the global green energy transition.

Mr. Mahesh Shukla, CEO & Founder, PayMe

The Finance Minister has brought in several changes in the tax regime, which can be seen as a welcome move for the common people. The government has announced big incentives under the new tax regime and given a big push on the capex. The finance ministry has also brought revisions to the tax structure by reducing the number of tax slabs to 5 and increasing the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh. A low tax regime is always beneficial for the taxpayers since introducing tax cuts and giving more money in the hands of people will eventually boost the country’s economy. Another positive move by the government was increasing the capital investment outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which will account for 3,3 per cent of the GDP. Also, the new KYC PAN norms declared by the Finance Minister will be a win-win situation for both the government and the customers, since customers are linked to a single-digit number, which is the PAN – making banking easier.

Javed Tapia, Founder & Managing Director, Clover Infotech

“The measures introduced in the Union Budget 2023 in terms of ease of doing business such as reducing compliance requirements and legal provisions will play a key role in attracting global investments into India. By relaxing contract execution policies, facilitating availability of credit, and extending tax benefits to start-ups and MSMEs, the FM has taken progressive steps to build a favourable support ecosystem for start-ups and MSMEs. The training and skilling initiatives under the ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’, will create a highly skilled workforce that can significantly accelerate our economic growth.”

Narayan Subramaniam, Co-Founder and CEO, Ultraviolette Automotive

“Electric mobility is the future, and policy support is essential for the growth of our EV ecosystem. The announcement in the Union Budget of extending concessional duty for lithium-ion cells will give an impetus to Indian manufacturers. With respect to the removal of customs duty on capital goods imported for manufacturing lithium-ion cells, this is a positive step, likely to benefit the Indian EV ecosystem in the long run. As we take strides towards achieving the Net Zero carbon emissions target by 2070, the continuation of such forward-thinking policies will be key to establishing India’s technology and manufacturing prowess on the world map.”

Ms Shilpa Bhatta, CFO, The Sleep Company

“We are thrilled with the announcements made in the 2023 budget; it truly shows the government’s commitment to supporting start-ups in India. One of the biggest problems we face as an ecommerce player is relatively longer delivery timelines which leads to higher cancellation and return rate. The government’s focus on improving regional connectivity by developing 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing groundings is a welcome step. This step will be instrumental in shortening the delivery timelines for our customers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and achieving our larger aim of being present in every Indian home.”

Mr Gautam Chopra, Co-Founder, BeatO

“Even though the Budget this year focuses on strengthening the healthcare infrastructure, it is prudent to point out that the growing demands on our healthcare system cannot be met only by increasing the physical infrastructure. The setting up of 157 new nursing colleges is a huge step towards meeting the ever growing demand for providing care through paramedical staff. However, for care to reach those who really need it, it is imperative that they can leverage simple and affordable digital technology, which will help them reach the masses and serve them more efficiently. Integrating this initiative with the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will be key to delivering services to the last mile.
Indian pharmaceuticals are known across the world for giving us cost-effective drugs, but we still lack innovation in new drugs, molecules, and therapies. Opening up of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laboratories for research by public and private medical college faculty members and private sector research and development teams to encourage collaborative work will produce great results in providing a sustainable ecosystem for research and development.
The dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices, fueled by skilled and technically equipped manpower, will make India the hub for creating new-age affordable medical devices like wearables and drive the trust in digital health
More support and allocation of resources for health-tech start-ups to become effective would have been appreciated, as well as integration of digital solutions by such startups within the public health system would help them take their products and services further and reduce the burden on the system. In last year’s Budget, the government proposed providing up to Rs 2,000 crore as venture capital to create an ecosystem for health-tech start-ups to help them access capital and develop innovative products and services but we haven’t seen concrete steps followed in the deployment.“

Mahek Mody, co-founder Up⤴️

“The 2023 Budget has indeed witnessed the government make conscious efforts to better the state of Indian entrepreneurship and MSMEs. In a world moving towards Smart and Connected Homes which are technology-led, the governments’ focus on AI, Robotics and other Engineering education across sectors is much appreciated. However, the limited scope of reduced custom duties and subsidies to mature industries such as Fintech, Electric Vehicles, and Mobile Phones, may hinder the growth of nascent sectors.

The $30 billion consumer appliance industry has immense potential and could be dominated by Indian companies with the appropriate support. We acknowledge the centers’ steps on reduced tax slabs and the extended loss carry-over period, but hope that startups in new and emerging industries will receive greater attention in the future. Our goal is to establish India as a leading exporter of modern and smart appliances, for which government support is a must”

Ms. Harini Ramachandran, Co-Creator of Excellence Installations Technology and Co-founder of Antano & Harini, Legacy Accelerators

“The Union Budget 2023 is positively addressing the rural & economic weaker sections and also the aspirational businesses of India. Furthermore, empowering women entrepreneurs, especially through skill development and through investments in branding & marketing is a favorable move, meant to promote niche and driven businesses in India.
As the government continues to invest on mental health and skill development, I believe it’s also time that we prioritize Capability Building for India’s burgeoning entrepreneurs and workforce. Capabilities like to be able to model and learn from the geniuses around, to disassociate and bring creative, out-of-the-box ideas, capabilities of emotional resilience and mastery. Because capabilities are for life and naturally grows and evolves the current capacity an individual has to accelerate their success, launch a unique legacy, and create B!G Impact in the world.
My hope after this year’s budget announcement is that the people will leverage the increased tax exemption and ease of compliance to invest in themselves, in building superior capabilities of world leaders that will enable them, furthermore, to create a big impact in the world.”

Raghu Ravinutala, Co-founder and CEO, Yellow.ai

“At the outset, it is very important for us to acknowledge the various touch points that the Union Budget 2023 has been able to address. It is truly an inclusive budget, and we see that it has prioritised the focused growth of artificial intelligence as part of the ongoing expansion of digitization and the holistic development within the technology industry. The proposal to establish three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions is a move that will accelerate the country’s progress towards the true democratisation of AI. These Centers will collaborate with leading industry players to drive interdisciplinary research, innovate cutting-edge applications, and provide scalable solutions in agriculture, health, and sustainable cities — an exemplary model showcasing the collaborative force of the country’s ecosystem. Aligning with the larger vision to “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work for India ”, this initiative will contribute immensely to turning ‘AI for All’ and ‘AI for Good’ into a reality.

Not only that, the budget also focuses heavily on skilling the Indian youth for the new-age digital economy. The launch of a unified Skill India Digital Platform enabling demand-based formal skilling and access to entrepreneurship schemes along with the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 scheme for training for new-age courses such as coding, AI, robotics, IoT, and 3D printing drones is a reflection of the government’s focus on preparing the Indian youth to be future-ready.

The Union Budget 2023 stands true to the government’s continued efforts to encourage entrepreneurship in the country through provisions for startups. This includes the extension of the date of incorporation for claiming a tax holiday by a year and the proposal to increase the benefit of carrying forward losses for startups to 10 years. Overall, the budget is a true testament to the government’s belief in the potential of the country’s tech and startup ecosystems to aid in large-scale sustainable economic development. We are hopeful that it will further empower companies like Yellow.ai to reinforce our vision for a technology-first economy in India.”

Aniket Bajpai, Co Founder, LimeChat

“The Union Budget 2023 presented by the honourable Finance Minister today made certain crucial provisions with the vision to accelerate India’s growth. Having experienced a sharp recovery, India’s economic growth in the current year is estimated to be 9.2 per cent, highest among all large economies. In light of this, the FinMin’s provisions towards fostering home-grown digital infrastructure development capabilities are poised to unleash the full potential of the Indian Economy.

We are encouraged to find that our expectations of this budget have borne fruit with the announcement of setting up three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence, to be set up in top educational institutions. This will serve as a fertile ground for interdisciplinary research and innovation. This, along with the PM Kaushal Vikaas Yoajna 4.0 for skilling the youth in new-age courses, and the setting up of 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will be a crucial turning point in India’s digital transformation journey, and we look forward to participating in this vibrant ecosystem! Furthermore, we are also enthused by the provisions made within this budget for the Start-up ecosystem in the nation. This is a direct result of the consistent results that it has shown over the years. The sector shows promise, and will continue to grow and support the national economic progress with support from the centre”.

Gaurav Chopra, Founder & CEO of IndiaLends

“The budget has been presented in line with expectations and it is important to maintain consistency in order to support business growth. This year’s budget emphasis on both business and individual growth. The finance minister outlined the priorities, and we fully support those. There were announcements related to the centralization of financial information and the expansion of digital storage, which are seen as positive steps towards the digitization of financial services. However, there is still a need to review the details before determining the true impact. Additionally, the revision of income tax slabs is a positive outcome as it is expected to increase the disposable income, thus boosting growth and credit demand.”

Mahin Gupta, Founder of Liminal

The budget announcements by the honourable Finance Minister have infused new energy into the start-up ecosystem across the country. The tax holiday for start-ups has been extended to 10 years, which will provide much-needed liquidity to the start-ups in their growing phase; this is a master stroke by the government because as the economy opens up, we will see more start-ups coming up in the field of technology, digital payments, digital infrastructure and agri-tech which will create a strong foundation for the next decade of economic growth, innovation, and job creation.

This is an amazing time to be a start-up founder in India as the government is committed to fostering the growth of existing start-ups and simultaneously encouraging youngsters to join the start-up revolution, which will not only add to the economic growth of the country but will make India a global hub for innovation in fin-tech space.

We also appreciate the government’s move towards enhancing the ease of doing business. Compliances culminate in a major part in setting up businesses, especially in the fin-tech sector. We at Liminal lay a huge emphasis on creating a regulated and compliant ecosystem to ensure transparency, and the government’s announcement of reducing more than 39,000 compliances to provide is a welcoming move.

Increasing the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24, which is 3.3 per cent of the GDP, is highly encouraging as it is expected to boost digital infrastructure across the country for providing digital services to the remotest part of India. However, no changes in taxation were something expected w.r.t digital assets as the government is still testing the waters with the CBDC pilot project underway.

In addition, Public digital infrastructure for the Agri sector under an open-source standard will revolutionize the industry, propelling it to unprecedented levels of growth. By harnessing the power of 5G, Web 3.0, and Metaverse technologies, GDP growth can be accelerated by a significant percentage. This digital infrastructure, ranging from supply chain optimization to analytics, will bolster the agri value chain and make it even stronger and more productive.

Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin

The union budget 2023-24 is aimed at making India a start-up capital of the world. The agriculture accelerator fund announced by the honorable finance minister will encourage a lot of bright entrepreneurs to jump on the agriculture technology start-up bandwagon. We are delighted to see that the tax holiday for start-ups has been extended to 10 years as it will provide immediate comfort to the start-ups that are engrossed in innovation and need liquidity for product development.

The relaxation of the tax exemption limit to 7 lacs will increase the surplus funds for the common man which will spark activity in various sectors like investments in digital assets, consumer goods, and tourism.

The focus on infrastructure development in the current budget will boost physical and digital infrastructure for catalysing India’s economic growth and make achieve the target of a $5 trillion digital economy. Overall, this budget accommodates the aspirations of ambitious India which is poised to make its mark at a global level.

Tarusha Mittal COO and Co-founder, Dapps and UniFarm

We are excited to see a special focus on start-ups in the Union Budget 2023-24. The creation of an agriculture accelerator fund is a bold move towards driving innovation and creating more jobs for the youth of our country. The start-up space will get a big boost from the extension of the tax holiday as it is expected to increase the cash flow which is critical for the growth of any start-up.

The fintech sector is expected to become a $200 billion behemoth by 2030 and the current budget has extended the Digi locker services to start-ups to foster innovation in fintech services. India’s robust digital infrastructure will enable larger penetration of web3-related products and services.

The simplification of KYC procedures by making PAN a common identifier for all digital systems will support the vision of digital India. The PAN-based KYC will enable fintech businesses to make customer onboarding highly convenient and at the same, simplify the KYC reporting to the relevant government authorities.

Ms. Sujata Pawar, Co-Founder & CEO at Avni- A Feminine Hygiene and Menstrual Healthcare Startup

“We applaud the initiatives declared in the Union Budget 2023-24 by Honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget strikes an appropriate balance between confronting the key foundations of Health & Well-being, Inclusive Development, Human Capital, Innovation, and R&D, as well as laying the groundwork for a prosperous economy by investing heavily in infrastructure. The government’s intention to empower women entrepreneurs through self-help clusters focused on raw material supply, product branding, and marketing is also a very unique and sensible step given that community impact plays a major role with women in India. Furthermore, the announcement of 157 new nursing colleges will further aid strengthen India’s primary healthcare system.”

Sugandh Saxena, CEO, Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE)

“The Union Budget has multiple measures that will support the fintechs in India, contributing to and accelerating the progress of customers, small businesses/MSMEs and the economy.

Firstly, a continued focus on growth, jobs, formalisation, youth/MSMEs/self-employed, low-middle income segments, rationalisation and simplification of taxation and expanding digital public goods will benefit the digital economy and hence the digital lending ecosystem greatly.

Secondly, the Budget proposes a new set of building blocks to strengthen the foundation underneath the credit ecosystem. Specific measures for MSMEs through guarantee schemes will have a significant impact. Initiatives around risk-based KYC and a unified mechanism for updating it for customers and businesses will ease their access to credit, enabling the expansion of the fintech lending industry. A common identifier for business and unified filing and return with consent-based sharing will further boost small-business which are key customer segments and drivers to fintech credit. Expanding the scope of digilocker and implementing the national public credit registry will catalyse an even more seamless and robust fintech credit ecosystem, harnessing data and empowering customers.

Thirdly, the Budget talks about rationalisation, transparency, consultation and accountability in the financial sector regulation, emphasising greater engagement with the industry stakeholders. These underlying principles go a long way toward creating suitable policy frameworks. Initiatives like benchmark TATs for licensing and registering regulated entities will bring transparency and visibility and are very important for the market players, including start-ups.

Lastly, initiatives on skill development and research on new technologies, including AI, 5G, coding etc, are ecosystem-level developments significant for innovation and talent as the digital economy and fintech ecosystem take deeper and broader roots.”

Nandini Mansinghka, CEO of Mumbai Angels

India has emerged as the third-largest hub for startups in the world. aWhile no specifics on the PE/VC space were mentioned in the Union Budget, it has directed the regulators to undertake a comprehensive review of the rules and compliance that govern the investments in ventures. This is a welcome move and we are expecting more details to come out soon, and at Mumbai Angels, we will be actively participating in this dialogue. Furthermore, apart from the extension of income tax benefits specifically for startups, the budget also talks about several beneficial schemes across several sunrise sectors, which we see as key drivers of the startup economy in the next few years, like Agritech, Healthtech, AI/Tech and sustainability. Having invested in startups like Falca (Agritech), Sunfox (HealthTech), TurboHire, Kredily, Travel Buddy (AI/ Tech), Bambrew (sustainability), we feel these moves will create a lot of traction and encourage more entrepreneurial ventures in these sectors.

Mr. Shantanu Bairagi, Co-founder Artfine

“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced revamping of the CGTMSE in the Union Budget 2023, which is a positive step as the CGTMSE has been extremely effective in keeping MSMEs afloat during the pandemic. Additional corpus is a very welcome step, especially given that many industries are still reeling from the pandemic’s impact and high commodity prices. To assess the true impact of the revamp, we must examine the specifics such as increased borrower limits, tenor extensions, and so on (as requested by the industry). Furthermore, the establishment of a national information registry to facilitate credit flow to MSMEs will strengthen cash flow-based lending from collateral-backed sources, thereby increasing credit flow and facilitating financial inclusion in the economy.”

Mr. Ketan Gaikwad, MD and CEO of Receivable Exchange of India

, “India has made remarkable advancements in the MSME sector, and the revamped credit guarantee scheme will take effect from April 1, 2023, through the infusion of additional Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus. This will enable additional collateral-free credit of Rs 2 lakh crore to MSMEs – FY 22 had a credit guarantee approved of 56172, and an additional 9000 would improve their business and overall contribution to the GDP. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman is aimed at providing assistance to traditional artisans and craftspeople to improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products. The scope of documents available in Digi locker will be expanded to enable more fintech innovative services and to ease up the process for MSME registrations in these services.”

Mr. Arun Poojari is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cashinvoice

“In the 2023 Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised growth for MSMEs by strengthening the CGTMSE corpus, which has been a helpful source of MSME credit, particularly during the COVID crisis. However, the coverage of CGTMSE is limited to term loan products. Expanding it to include supply chain finance products such as inventory funding, bill discounting, and factoring can make it more impactful for MSMEs. The introduction of the National Information Registry for MSMEs has the potential to improve MSME access to credit if it effectively addresses the challenge of ready information availability and connects with the Account Aggregator framework, enabling end-to-end digital MSME financing.”

Rajat Deshpande, Co-founder and CEO of Finbox

“It’s been heartening to see that financial inclusion has been clearly laid out as a priority in the 2023 budget, and been backed up by solid policy recommendations. For starters, the government has revamped the ELCGS scheme, infusing INR 9000 cr into the corpus and reducing the cost of credit by 1%. The formation of the National Financial Information registry and Digilocker for MSMEs too is a huge step for the credit underserved and is set to improve credit flow and promote financial inclusion. Agriculture wasn’t left behind either – the FM proposed three centres of excellence for AI where leading AI players will collaborate in areas of health and agriculture. We’ve been talking about tech and agri for a while now, and it’s thrilling to see it come to fruition.”

Gaurav Shisodia, Country Manager, Payoneer.

“The 2023 Union Budget’s focus on MSMEs with increased funding and improved access to credit is a positive development for the sector, which is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic. Moreover, I applaud the government for presenting a forward-thinking budget with positive developments for the financial sector and furthering the digitization of the sector.”

Sonam Srivastava, Founder at Wright Research, SEBI Registered Investment Advisor.

The FM started the speech by reinforcing the India growth story, highlighting how India grew at 7% last fiscal, and the Indian economy has increased in size from being 10th to 5th most extensive in the last nine years. The budget theme was to reinforce India’s growth and recovering position in the global economy.

The big announcements were a 33% increase in Capex, which was beyond estimates. Another significant announcement typical for the election year was increasing tax exemption up to 7 lac per year from 5 lac per year in the next tax regime and further rationalising taxes.

The FM broke up her focus into seven key areas: inclusive developments, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financials.

The budget received a big welcome from the market and the public initially, but soon, the market gave up most of the gains. The implications of the tax regime changes are also being widely debated as they might not have a large impact on the middle-class tax payer in the long run.

Impact

Infrastructure

The most significant announcement was – an increase in total capital investment outlay by 33% to 10 lac crore, making effective capex 13.7 lac crore, forming 4.5% of GDP. This is far above our expectations of 3.5% and should boost the infrastructure, capital foods, cement, logistics and railways.

Railway outlay was highest ever at 2.4 lac crore. Critical projects for urban development and transport enhancements were announced. Nifty Infra jumped on this news. Equity indices welcomed the infrastructure spending announcements. But bond yields climbed two basis points to 7.38% since the FM announced the hike in capex outlay.

The railway’s stocks had a muted reaction, maybe because of profit booking with Jindal Steel, Dixon and other infrastructure linked stocks cheering the news the most.

Personal Income Tax

In an announcement typical for the pre-election budget – in the new tax regime, she increased the tax exemption up to 7 lac per year from 5 lac per year. She has reformed the taxation rates with 0 tax up to 3lacs and reformatting the overall personal tax in the new regime. In the new regime, savings-based exemptions are not applicable; hence, the middle-class taxpayer who avails the tax exemption on insurance and savings is not too excited. The FM also reduced the tax surcharge rate to 25% from 37%. She estimated an outlay of 35000 crores due to this.

The broader benefit to the middle-class income taxpayer is debatable as in the new regime, the 80C benefits are lower. The large taxpayers will see the benefits of this move, but the broader middle class will not see much of a benefit.

New India Sectors

More than 39,000 compliances have been reduced to enhance the ease of doing business, and over 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalised. The Union Government has smartly used settlement schemes, often open-ended, to garner additional revenues and resolve long pending tax and contractual disputes. The government has also stated its intent to review and rationalise existing compliances with public participation.

These moves would make India get a better ranking in the ease of doing business rankings, welcome the foreign industries looking to move out of China, and make India a beneficiary of the China+1 incentive.

Custom duty support for mobile phone manufacturing components, televisions, electrical chimneys and the chemicals industry, especially ethanol blending, were announced. Custom-duty SOPs for synthetic metals were also announced. This reinforces the incentives for the New India industries and benefits stocks like Blue Star, Fiem Industries etc.

Green Energy

Maintaining the focus on green energy, the FM announced Rs 35,000 crores in priority capital for energy transition and achieved India’s net zero carbon emission goal by 2070. Sitharaman also announced an additional Rs 19,700 crore towards the government’s Green Hydrogen Mission to lower carbon intensity and reduce fossil fuel use. She also announced a five million tonne target for green hydrogen production by 2030. The Centre is also supporting the setting up of battery energy storage of 4,000 MwH, she said, adding that a green credit programme will be also notified under the Environment Protection Act.

Stocks in the renewable energy sector, especially batteries like Amararaja Batteries and Exide, are cheering the budget announcements.

Financial Sector

She discussed a comprehensive review of existing regulations for the financial sector and focused on including private sector contributions to regulatory reviews. No capitalisation of the banking sector was announced, or capital tax structure changes were announced. The NSE PSU Banks received no mention and the PSU Bank index is under pressure, down 2.84% per cent even as the Nifty Bank Index is up 0.7% per cent.

The insurance sector stocks like SBI Life, HDFC Life, GICRE took a big hit as the FM proposes to remove tax-free status on certain insurance policies with premium above Rs 5 lakh. The asset management sector and mutual funds on the other hand would welcome this move as those funds could move to MFs or ELSS.

The Banking sector has welcomed the moves to expand credit in the economy and the acknowledgement that no further capitalisation is needed to for the Indian Banks, which already have high asset quality. Chola Finance, M&M Finance were big gainers in the Financial Services space and among private banks ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank gained big.

Travel

India hotel is the biggest gainer in the mid and large-cap space as the Union Budget 2023 increases tax collection at source for overseas tour packages. The TCS (tax collection at source) for overseas tour packages has been increased from 5 per cent to 20 per cent for high-cost tour packages above 50 lac. This would rationalise the pricing in the tourism sector, incentivising domestic travellers who have come back in force after the pandemic.

CA Manish P. Hingar, Founder at Fintoo

“In the most awaited budget 2023, one of the positive moves is for senior citizens where the maximum investment limit for senior citizen saving Scheme accounts has doubled from 15 lacs to 30 lacs. This scheme currently offers an 8.0% p.a. interest rate, and this positive move will give senior citizens who are usually conservative investors to invest up to 30 lacs in this scheme at 8%.
Similarly, the maximum investment limit in Post office Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) accounts is also increased to 9 lacs for a single account and 15 lacs for joint accounts. Currently, the rate of interest offered is 7.1% per annum, payable monthly. Highly Conservative Investors will have more opportunities to invest money in this scheme for the debt exposure in their portfolio.”

CA Manish P. Hingar, Founder at Fintoo

“Capital Gain exemption u/s Sections 54 and 54F-
As per sec 54 / 54F of Income Tax, 1961, an individual or HUF can take a deduction from gain arising from the sale of a House property or other investments by reinvestment in another house property with no limit. In the current budget proposal effective from 1st April 2023, if the investment in new house property is more than 10 crore, then the deduction amount will be limited to Rs. 10 crores only. In summary, the maximum deduction an individual or HUF can avail is Rs. 10 crores by investing in new house property. It is going to impact the ultra HNI people as they need to pay long-term capital gain on the sale of house property with big ticket size but it will be not a major setback as you can still take a deduction up to Rs. 10 crores.” CA Manish P. Hingar, Founder at Fintoo

Nidhi Manchanda, Certified Financial Planner, Head of Training, Research & Development at Fintoo

One of the major setbacks that is given in the finance bill is related to the taxability of the maturity proceeds of a life insurance policy. As per the budget 2023, the maturity proceeds of all life insurance policies that are issued after 1st April 2023 and have an annual premium of more than Rs. 5 Lakhs will now be taxable. One should note that if an individual has more than one life insurance policy which is issued on or after the 1st of April 2023 and also if the aggregate amount of premium of such policies exceeds 5 lacs, then the maturity amount will be taxable.
However, the death benefit continues to remain tax-exempt from such life insurance policies, and it is not applicable to ULIPs. This move is definitely negative for the insurance industry and will impact related stocks. Post the budget, the market has seen a fall in the stock prices of HDFC life, SBI Life and Max as they are down by around 7%.

Nisha Harchekar, Head – Equity Research at Fintoo
“Railways get big chunk in Budget 2023-24 – Government announces Rs 2.40 lakh crore capital outlay; this is 9 times the outlay announced in 2013-14. Similar to industry expectations, the Railway outlay has come at a whopping amount. Railway related stocks namely Titagarh, IRCTC, RVNL, IRCON gain.”

Nisha Harchekar, Head – Equity Research at Fintoo
“The announcements related to the eradication of sickle cell disease by 2047 and promoting the health education and skills development program by establishing new 157 new nursing colleges in strategic places definitely look good from the citizen’s perspective looking for development in healthcare facilities as well as for the people looking to build a career in the nursing industry. However, from an investor’s perspective, the announcement related to promoting the research and development of cutting-edge medical technology would more or less impact the MediTech sector than the pharma sector.”

Sreeram Ramdas – Vice President at Green Portfolio, SEBI Registered Portfolio Management Service Provider.

Agri Sector
Open-Source Digital Public Infra for Agri sector, farm inputs, credit, insurance, crop protection, agri accelerator fund, agri start-up focus will create huge opportunities for the sector. We have over 65% population living in rural areas and almost 45% population dependent on agriculture.

Push of cotton will further give thrust to the Textile sector. Food security, opportunities to expand exports for agricultural sector will support current account deficit.

Storage capacity creation and formation of cooperative societies to help dairy and fisheries were announced. The announcement favoured shrimp exporters specifically. Coastal corporation would be an ideal exposure at this point. The company has several new capex’s ongoing and their new Ethanol plant is expected to commence in Q2 FY23. We see a robust revenue visibility not only from their traditional shrimp business but also their ethanol venture.

Energy- Transition and Renewables
There is clearly a higher thrust on renewables, green energy, biomass, and energy transition getting outlay of 19700 crores
Battery storage policy, pump storage policy for This is in sync with net zero carbon emission target for 2070 for India. We like Exide industries and JSW Energy in this space and we maintain a good exposure.

Exide is currently a market leader in lead acid batteries and recently announced its 6,000 Crores for lithium ion manufacturing. This is expected to commence in late 2024. They will certainly benefit from battery energy storage of 4,000 MW that was announced as well.

JSW Energy is a power producer and has been smoothly transitioning into renewables. They aim to have an 80/20 mix with renewables as the primary source of energy production. On the valuations and growth prospects, we remain highly inclined to these names.

Tourism
Tourism enhances GDP and we have seen a huge uptick in tourism post covid. The government’s announcement around selecting 50 tourist destinations and its promotion will aid in improving the 6% tourism makes to the GDP.

Stocks like Lemon Tree Hotels and Thomas Cook are the names on our watchlist. Thomas Cook has a strong promoter backing and their financials are yet to benefit from the post-pandemic sentiments. Their ventures such as forex business and resort businesses are stabilising and doing well.

PLI Scheme
PLI scheme has given a prime focus to mobile manufacturing and other electronics. The ambition of the government has really come into reality. From 5.8 Crore units in 2014 to 15.43 Crore units, this is a rise of nearly 434% within nine years and this is not surprising. We have seen Apple’s three largest suppliers disentangling their supply chain and moving to India. Apple has already exported goods worth 2.5 billion USD, and we are seeing traction among local domestic firms which is reflective in the figures.

Mr. Mandeep Arora, MD & co-founder, UBON

“The 1st budget of Amrit Kaal by honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is well divisional. Starting from skilling for youth, job creation, senior citizens, and digitalization to MSMEs this budget is unturned every stone. Envisioned as modinomics, the budget came with high hopes.
For the manufacturing and electronics industry, this will be a big relief, as customs duty on many electronics parts imports has been reduced. This means mobiles and consumer electronics will be low cost from now. This will help in value creation, employment generation, and better productivity and provide affordable electronics for Indian consumers. Emphasizing on skill development and value-based knowledge through digital platforms for free is another step to support youth.
MSMEs are mentioned as growth engines of the country and I appreciate equal attention of the government on failed businesses also. This will help the sector grow with the back support of the government. A 1% reduction in the cost of the MSME credit guarantee will help the industry to grow as well. The infrastructural development has given a major part of the budget, we expect that the government will allocate some funds for the development of more industrial areas and upgrading their infrastructure for MSME.
However, Industry is a bit disappointed as Industry was expecting announcements related to Incentives for domestic design, Expanding the PLI scheme, and Strengthening the supply chain which was the need of the hour. We hope the government will consider our request in the next budget and support the industry in becoming a global manufacturing hub and achieving the Atmanirbhar Bharat dream.

Ms. Pallavi Singh Marwah, Vice President at SPPL (Super Plastronic Pvt. Ltd.)

  1. Big jump in capex

With the government announcing a 10 lakh crore capex budget, which amounts to 3.3% of the country’s GDP and the highest ever outlay for railways and development of over 50 airports, helipads, aerodromes, etc, it is evident that the government is focused on upgrading the country. This has been supported by the development of last-mile connectivity and a push to the tourism industry. There have been multiple schemes and allotments of budget towards entrepreneurial ventures and to the youth of our country as well as collateral-free credit to MSME’s. However, no support has been extended towards the existing private sector setups in policy terms.
The government’s initiative to Make AI for India is a welcome one and will help in achieving development in rural as well as urban areas. Policy support has been provided to all by reducing compliances and the suggestion to amend 42 central acts which will be a welcome change from an operational perspective.

  1. Customs duty on open cells of TV panels cut to 2.5 percent

The reduction in duty on open cells is a very welcome one and will help in competing with the volatile international panel market as well. A reduction in GST for higher-sized televisions is still something we look forward to and urge the government to reconsider.

Visakh Sasikumar, CEO & Co-founder, Fyn mobility

This is undoubtedly a future looking announcement which will help India to become one of the prominent players in green hydrogen space and thus reducing the dependency on lithium. With the budget allocated to energy transition we will see a lot of businesses turning to EV fleets. Green credit system will ensure that the startups and MNC’s who is working for making the planet a sustainable place to live are incentivized

The viability gap funding will ensure that new battery tech will get supported in the early days before it attains economies of scale.

Customs exemption on capital goods and machineries for lithium batteries will reduce the per kilowatt-hour cost of batteries and thus accelerate EV adoption in both personal and commercial segments.

Satish Kataria, Founder –FANDORA.APP

“It seems that the government has not given heed to potential demand of rationalising taxation on the virtual digital assets in this budget. I would like to reiterate that while Crypto Currencies as such could be speculative instruments, and hence demanding a higher taxation perspective – not all digital assets should be made part of this category. Again, while the government has issued its clarity of digital tokens underlying real time assets – but then, Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) representing underlying art and content IP – are still dappling under the uncertain regime. I hope that the government realises that such NFTs and Web3 assets can actually help our content industry multifold – through adding additional monetisation layers to their existing content and enabling audiences to engage with their favourite creators in a more active, significant manner. I believe that the government should encourage Content based NFTs and bring them under the category of real asset based tokens – thus providing essential incentivisation for Indian content creators to create even a better global impact.”

Mayank Singh co founder of Campus 365

Setting up of 100 labs in engineering institutions with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other businesses for developing applications using 5G services is a positive development for the technology sector and India. Some of the potential impacts that I expect: Boosting 5G Adoption would help students and researchers with access to 5G technology and resources, the labs will help to promote the adoption of 5G technology in the country.

Encouraging Innovation: By providing students and researchers with the opportunity to experiment with and develop new applications using 5G technology, the labs will encourage innovation in the field and help to drive technological advancement.

Supporting Skills Development: By providing students with hands-on experience with 5G technology, the labs will help to build the skills and knowledge required for the development and deployment of 5G applications.

Driving Economic Growth: The development of new applications and services using 5G technology will have a positive impact on the wider economy, by creating employment opportunities and promoting investment in the education and technology sector.

Rajeev Tiwari co founder of Stemrobo Technologies

This year’s education budget will have a long lasting impact as the focus remains on industry specific skills involving introduction of technology from young age and also the benefits reaching the last mile beneficiaries I.e the students and parents through Eklavya Model residential Schools impacting more than 3.5 lac tribal students.

The launch of PM Kaushal Vikaas Yoajna 4.0 is really a welcoming move to prepare Indian youth for the jobs of the future technological world. Courses focused around robotics, mechatronics, 3D Printing, Coding, Drones and other soft skills to be offered under this scheme are going to play a vital role for empowering the youth in new age skills

Three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence will be established in prestigious educational institutions to realise the aim of “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work for India.” It is perhaps the first time that programmes to enhance capacity and promote reading have been mentioned in the union budget. The budget’s emphasis is really promising to me as an educator. In India, both public and private school education will undergo a revolution with the development of District Training Centers for educators. It is like a dream come true to establish a National Digital Library and physical libraries at the ward and panchayat levels. The National Book Trust is tasked with fostering a culture of reading by disseminating materials in a variety of regional languages.

Mr. S Durgaprasad, Co-Founder, Director, and Group CEO, Bahwan CyberTek.

“Budget 2023: Doubling down on digital, knowledge-based inclusive development for future well-being”

“The political will to invest in people and research for technology-driven growth is clear. The announcement of three centers of Artificial Intelligence and 100 labs for 5G apps to nurture R&D in India with the vision to Make AI in India and Make AI work for India will further strengthen India’s position vis-à-vis global counterparts. The 30 Skill India international centers focused on emerging technologies, with a strong focus on, on-the-job training, will contribute to the country’s expanding knowledge capital, positioning India as a strong digital contender.

The reduction of compliances to improve ease of doing business, the 33% hike in capital expenditure, along with the continuation of interest-free loans to state government will catalyse economic growth providing job opportunities. Budget 2023 is a progressive step towards building a stronger digital and green India

Nikhil Kurhe, Co-founder & CEO, Finarkein Analytics

“Budget 2023 has articulated the seven pillars that will be key to India’s economic development, with financial services being amongst them. The measures proposed for GIFT IFSC have made it even more attractive for fund managers. The single window clearance for all approvals, making IFSCA the authority for all SEZ compliances, allowing acquisition financing and enabling arbitration will truly make GIFT an International Financial Services Centre.
The announcement of a thorough review of all financial services regulations in the country through public consultation is warmly welcomed. The existing restrictions must be rationalised and modernized in order for Indian investors to become globally competitive.
One missed opportunity was that the rationalization…

The year of Digital Public Infrastructure

The first five minutes of the budget mentioned Digital Public Infrastructure like Aadhar, UPI, and CoWIN. I think that set the tone perfectly for what to expect from the Finance Minister for the next ninety minutes, and the budget has definitely delivered on all the right fronts.

The focus remained on a people-centric world order combined with sustainable development. To facilitate ample opportunities for citizens to fulfill their aspirations, a strong impetus for growth and job creation was a core focus of the budget. Additionally, the government’s fiscal discipline and sticking to deficit targets is commendable and puts India on a path of strong macroeconomic stability. While the reaction to the last 15 minutes and changes to the personal tax under the new regime was palpable and expected, I strongly believe that there were a few foundational pieces that have been set in motion in this budget that will have a multiplier effect in the coming years.

The first big winning theme on the DPI front I believe has been DigiLocker. DigiLocker has had a slow start over the years but has rapidly been activated with strong core utility and anchor use cases. DigiLocker + Aadhar is a robust identity and document layer and will play a key role in facilitating risk-based KYC. PAN as a common identifier for businesses will again be a central focal point, although I’m a little disappointed that Udyog Aadhar wasn’t promoted as highly in tandem with PAN. The scope and depth of documentation that will be available through DigiLocker is expanding and I expect usage and uptick will naturally follow. A one stop solution/centralized IT system was another recurring theme around KYC with a single window for identity and address updates will also be built on existing identity DPIs.

The second core theme which I feel has a lot of scope and can move the needle significantly for the Indian economy is the Agristack. A Digital Public Infrastructure focused on the agriculture domain that will be open source, based on interoperable open standards will be a game changer. As more data is made available for relevant decisioning, ancillary services which can drive growth and revenues for agriculture will flow seamlessly. I expect new credit and insurance products around agriculture to be built exclusively around the Agristack in the coming year. Furthermore, the budget mentioned a fund for agritech startups and initiatives which is yet another impetus for this sector to pick up and set us on a multiyear path.

Lastly, the third core highlight which I believe will fly under the radar is the National Data Governance Policy. This is absolutely massive. Cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence that we see today like ChatGPT, Google’s LAMBDA and other AI models are largely following similar architecture. Difference in their experience and utility is a function of the datasets they are trained on like Wikipedia edit history, social media, and other publicly available datasets are used to train these Large Language Models. India with our Open Finance (Account Aggregator) and Open Health (Ayushmann Bharat Digital Health Mission) initiatives will be uniquely positioned with datasets having such wide breadth and depth in the quantity and quality of data available in finance and health domain. Combined with the right policies, anonymised and de-identified datasets can be made available to researchers, think tanks, and other relevant entities to build cutting edge AI in these domains. In a year or two the AgriStack will provide a steady stream of data to build novel AgriAI models as well. Having a robust National Data Governance policy will be key to ensure there’s no compromise on privacy and security of data principles though. Additionally, the value that will be created from this policy will naturally accrue to the nation and have far reaching implications beyond Indian borders as well.

I would say the budget was very foundational in nature with benefits and initiatives that will continue to deliver dividends not only for the coming fiscal, but beyond as well.”

Mr. Ashwani Rawat, Co Founder & Director Transerve Technologies.

The Budget presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman builds on the excellent Budget last year, continuing the trend towards more productiveexpenditure. Like the rest of India, we welcome Budget 2023 with open arms. The Union budget has correctly highlighted theimperative for greater emphasis on innovation, research, and development, which are crucial to helping India reach the aspirational goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy. Focusing on the amplification of emerging technologies can help create a world-class technology ecosystem.

Budget 2023 provided wings to India’s Growth story by focusing on investment, increased expenditure, employment, ease of doing business.& rebate in income tax limit to 7 lakh in new tax regime.

The Budget is consistent with our PM Narendra Modi’s vision of making India Atmanirbhar: a digital superpower, a sustainability leader and a healthy nation. This statement of intent is clearly supported by a plan for the future, and backed by allocations — specifically in the areas of infrastructure, digital transition, planet resilience, education and health — to support Indian ambitions.

Mr. HP Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, Satin Creditcare Network Limited

“The Budget for 2023 announced by Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is focused on strengthening the digital and technological infrastructure of various industries and boosting the economy of India. Given that financial services are one of the cornerstones of growth during Amrit Kaal, the Government has focused on strengthening the financial and MSME sector within this Budget with a holistic approach. With continued assistance to the MSME sector, the Government announced a revamped credit guarantee scheme with an investment of Rs 9000 cr into the corpus which will take effect from 1st April 2023. This is a major step towards strengthening the MSME sector and helping NBFCs provide credit to the underbanked sector of the nation. The new scheme will enhance the collateral-free credit guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore rupees, reducing the cost of credit by 1%. Additionally, the Budget announced various measures to be taken for the development of rural economy. With the aim to promote inclusive development, the Budget focused on building a digital public infrastructure for farmers, encouraging agri-based start-ups, and helping i boosting value added crop production. Not only will this encourage the MSME sector but also provide support to the recovering MSMEs to stand back post the pandemic hit. The Budget also announced an increased outlay allocation for ‘Prime Minister Awas Yojana’ (PMAY) by 66% to over Rs. 79,000 crores. The expansion of the Digilocker services will work towards strengthening the digital ecosystem within the fintech sector.”

Mr. Kunal Mehta, Founder & Director, Arthan Finance

Accepting the Union Budget for FY2023–24 spells uninterrupted growth. This budget intends to build upon the foundation established by the previous budget, with a vision of a prosperous, inclusive India where the fruits of progress reach all sections. This time, a Relief for MSMEs was announced stating that in the case of a failure, the government will restore 95% of forfeited funds. The emphasis on financial inclusion will increase. According to the national data governance strategy, the KYC process would be streamlined utilising a risk-based methodology. Using the Digilocker service and Aadhaar as the basic identity, a consolidated identity-updating system will be developed. The Permanent Account Number (PAN) will serve as a universal identity for all digital government platforms. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive loan guarantees through prudent measures. In addition, beginning April 1st, 9000 crores will be available for collateral-free guarantee credit under the revised plan. Utilizing the tax regimes, the budget intends to strengthen the startup environment. The establishment of a national financial register will enhance the efficient flow of credit and promote financial inclusion. India has now entered “Amritkaal.” Given that financial services are one of the primary pillars of growth during Amritkaal, the future financial services ecosystem will concentrate on financial stability and technology-driven innovation. Approximately 10 lakh crores of capital investment will generate GDP growth and wealth creation opportunities for Indians across the economic spectrum, consequently increasing the odds of asset management funds in India. With an influx of Rs. 9,000 crores, the government has revised the loan guarantee scheme for SMSE. This becomes effective on April 1, 2023. This will decrease credit costs by one percentage point. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is the national mission for financial inclusion designed to promote affordable access to financial services, including savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension. This budget is very aspirational and will help India in a long run.

Vikas Aggarwal- Founder & MD- Ipower Batteries Pvt Ltd

“We at Ipower welcome the government initiative of scrapping the custom duty on capital goods/machinery for the manufacture of lithium-ion cells for use in batteries of electrically operated vehicles (EVs). This will for sure help in increasing the adoption of EVs. This will allow new cell manufacturing facilities to grow their presence and encourage new players to enter the market. With this budget, the Government of India has presented a clear message that how strongly India is looking to achieve Net Zero. Lithium batteries are going to play a very important role in the same.”

V. Raman Kumar, Founder and Chairman of CASHe

“It is a forward-thinking, balanced budget that gives particular attention to the financial industry. The Budget’s announcement of a “risk-based” KYC procedure as opposed to a “one size fits all” strategy is well appreciated. Expanding the scope of DigiLocker will benefit fintechs as it will simplify the KYC process and enable more significant digital investment and lending adoption. Additionally, it will help bring down the customer on-boarding cost and lead to ease of business. Introducing risk-based KYC will also encourage small ticket-size investors to sign up on investment platforms by doing a minimum KYC. Simplifying the KYC process will enable more significant digital investment, and lending adoption decisions will ultimately aid the fintech sector in better consumer acquisition and database analysis. The initiative will help bridge the digital gap and further penetration of the internet and smartphone it has provided an opportunity to close the credit gap further.

The centres of excellence(CoE) on AI is a well-thought-off move. It will go a long way in learning and adopting AI in the country, giving impetus to the fintech and digital lending sector. It will aid in extending high-tech benefits, including penetration of digital credit to all parts of the country.

The overall restructuring of the tax slabs has simplified the new tax structure while, on average, giving consumers more purchasing power. The initiative is expected to boost investor sentiments towards savings in different asset classes and grow their investment portfolio.”

Mr. Mandar Agashe, Founder & VC of Sarvatra Technologies

The simplification of KYC process will serve to be instrumental in proliferation of digital payments in the country. The Budget announcement of adopting a ‘risk-based’ KYC procedure, instead of ‘one size fits all’ approach, addresses the underlying issue pertaining to customer verification process faced by banks, NBFCs and fintechs. This will also encourage greater adoption of digital payments in the country. Currently, the KYC obligation is same for customers doing small value as well as large value digital transactions. Those opting for minimum KYC wallets and e-KYC bank accounts have to eventually upgrade to a full KYC accounts after a stipulated period of time to keep availing the financial services. Once, the risk-based KYC process is introduced, more customers will be encouraged to KYC for financial transactions, including the small-value transactions. The Finance Minister during her Budget speech said that the financial sector regulators will be encouraged to have a KYC system fully amenable to meet the needs of Digital India. The move will eventually help the fintech industry in better customer acquisition along with customer data management.

The setting up of National Financial Information Registry is a welcome move. While we await the draft framework on this, it will promote efficient flow of credit and data interoperability, eventually leading to accelerated financial inclusion.

Bhavin Patel, CEO and Co-founder of LenDenClub

“The overall reorganisation of the tax slabs has made the new tax system simpler while giving consumers more spending power on average. This positive step is anticipated to improve capital investment across multiple asset classes with a stronger focus on increasing private investment. Reducing the highest tax rate will encourage investment leading to growth in wealth for the investors. However, It would have been great if some tax benefits had been provided to investors in new-age asset classes, in investments such as RBI-regulated Peer-to-Peer lending.

The budget is growth-oriented, virtually touches crucial sectors, and lays the groundwork for a future-ready digital India. It is heartening to see the digital economy and fintech-enabled development being a key focus area of 2023–2024, given the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”. This initiative will undoubtedly boost the innovative use of technology, resulting in greater financial inclusion, better and faster service delivery, easier access to credit, and participation in financial markets. It certainly sends a strong message that India is at the forefront of technological adoption. With the creation of ‘Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence’, the incorporation of AI into the educational system will provide the talent required for the FinTech sector, and advancements in AI will result in better Fintech products.

India’s growth strategy is based on delivering digital financial infrastructure as a public good. Improved digital infrastructure will result in seamless services and a wider distribution of FinTech products, especially lending.

Moreover, the “National Financial Information Registry” is a positive move as it will strengthen financial stability and inclusion across the nation.”

Sudarshan Lodha, Co-founder & CEO, Strata

“The overall tax slab restructuring has simplified the new tax regime while leaving an increased average individual purchasing power in the hands of the consumers. With an enhanced focus on boosting private investment, this is a welcoming move expected to increase capital investment across sectors. Reducing the highest tax slab to 39% will channelise increased investments in the high-value asset classes, including infrastructural avenues.

Furthermore, the budget also focussed on inclusive development with a special emphasis on boosting manufacturing. Additionally, a massive infusion of INR 10 lakh crore for infrastructural development will boost last-mile connectivity by strengthening inland transport and supporting infrastructure, complementing MSME manufacturing and generating increased employment.

It will certainly increase the commercial real estate market momentum, creating more demand for state-of-the-art manufacturing and warehousing facilities. Additionally, this will likely create a pumped-up demand for sophisticated office spaces beyond Tier I cities. Such measures also add to the development of new commercial hubs reducing the pressure from the metros and tier-I cities. This rise in demand, fuelled by the positive taxation relief, will increase the disposable income for average investors, thus improving their investible funds. This will have a robust impact on the spur in private investment and commercial real estate being one of the most promising investible avenues and will bolster India’s real estate industry by helping it inch towards its dream of becoming a $ 1 trillion market.”

Anil G Verma, Executive Director and CEO, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.

“This is a balanced and inclusive budget which will provide further impetus to growth. The renewed thrust on investment in infrastructure will drive the productivity of our economy and generate employment. Our competitiveness in the global economy will also be improved through the thrust on research in fields like 5G services, AI and agriculture. Together with the initiatives to reduce the compliance burden and de-criminalise several regulatory provisions, it will improve the ease of doing business in India and attract fresh investments.

Measures to improve rural incomes and reduce personal income tax rates will deliver more disposable income in the hands of people, driving consumption. This will likely generate a virtuous cycle of fresh investments leading to higher employment, incomes and productivity, further spurring consumption. The Green growth focus will orient the entire economy towards adopting sustainable practices in all areas and put us in a good position to play our role in the efforts to improve the future of our planet.

The key to realization of the planned outcomes is effective implementation.”

Smita Shetty Kapoor, CEO and Co – Founder at KelpHR

Absolutely pleased to hear our Finance Minister speak about AI for India and in India. Quick, effective and efficient adoption of AI for specific processes will help us move towards becoming future forward quickly. HR organisations in India should be looking at investing in AI to simplify targeted activities, accurately & quickly. From talent acquisition to managing performance appraisal, data management, succession planning, creating learning programs and even being an assistant for mental health; AI has the scope of becoming perfectly amalgamated within our systems. When it comes to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices, using AI can also help with removing biases that may exist in hiring and talent management.

Rajesh Ghanshani Director Business Development Indian Subcontinent, STAAH

“The Indian government’s recent budget announcement aimed at boosting domestic tourism is being seen as a major positive step for the industry. With the country’s vast size and diverse offerings, the travel sector is poised for growth. The integration of technology, such as a centralized travel app, is expected to bring greater efficiency and convenience for both travelers and businesses. This could not only drive an uptick in domestic travel but also attract foreign visitors to experience India’s rich cultural offerings,

Bharat Gite, Founder & CEO, Taural India

Announcing Budget 2023, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasised that infrastructure, investments and green growth are among Government’s seven priorities. While infrastructure will have a multiplier effect and push private players to support the economic development, this added with the announcement of the unified Skill India Digital platform gives hopes for the right workforce development and industry connect.

With a big leg-up to capital investment by 33% increased allotment, the highest ever budget for the Indian Railways, attending to MSMEs as the engine of growth, the big picture focus of Budget 2023 is growth. This is accompanied by the excitement of a push to indigenization in the mobility sector with the budget announcing a 60-70% rise in fully imported luxury cars and EVs.

As manufacturers of Aluminium casting which has wide applications in all these key industries, I am hopeful that this Budget will usher in many key opportunities for adoption of aluminium solutions.

Amit Gautam, Co-founder and CEO, Innover

“The 2023 Union Budget embraces an all-encompassing strategy to unleash the full economic potential of India. The emphasis to expand India’s
technological capabilities through investments in Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence is a strategic move towards catalyzing the Digital India vision. Furthermore, the government’s initiative to set up 100 5G labs will widen the scope of AI applications and pave the way for adopting Metaverse, Blockchain and other digital technologies for businesses.

As an industry leader and a strong proponent of contemporary technologies, our emphasis is to empower Indian enterprises to capitalize on this technology wave, leverage data and AI to provide real-time insights into customer preferences, offer products and services on the web, and across curated virtual spaces to increase reach and compete in the global markets. The move will also encourage technological innovation and provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in cutting-edge technologies, further solidifying India’s position as a hub for tech talent.”

Mr Satyen Kothari, Founder and CEO of Cube Wealth

“It’s encouraging to see that the budget includes resources for the middle class. Raising the tax-free income limit to Rs. 7 lakhs per year would give people more money to invest and save. This rise in productivity and taxes across various tax brackets gives an opportunity for consumers to consider investing that money rather than spending it to build long-term wealth. We should also be pleased that DigiLocker will be used for new sorts of documents to help infinite seconds, and that a hundred labs will be formed to promote it. Engineering institutions will develop 5G apps, which is wonderful for technology, and the union budget will place a priority on AI. Because Cube Wealth is also a tech business, this is extremely good news for how finance and technology are being supported by the government.”

Dhaval Thanki, Vice President, APAC & MEA, Loginext

“The Union Budget has focused on driving innovation and encouraging ease of doing business for startups, and that is very encouraging. The proposal to introduce the National Data Governance Policy for access to anonymized data will be a boon to the startup sector, and it will facilitate a lot of value creation for customers as well as businesses. Furthermore, proactive measures in areas of tax benefits and offsetting losses are welcome moves. At LogiNext, as we continue to build in India for the world, we look forward to growing the digitial prowess of the nation, through path-breaking innovations in logistics technologies, ably supported by the Government of India.”

Raj Bajoria, Co-Founder & CEO at Selfex

“Our start-up is relatively new. We have been fortunate enough to have avoided the brunt of the pandemic, and we would like to express our appreciation for the government’s recognition of the challenges faced by the start-up industry during that era. The measures announced in the Union Budget for start-ups to extend incorporation dates and carry forward the losses are greatly welcomed and will greatly alleviate some of the hurdles faced by both old and new start-ups.

We are elated that the government has taken into consideration the struggles faced by start-ups during this difficult time, and we believe that these initiatives will provide a much-needed boost for the industry. The pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances, and these measures will help start-ups like ours to not only survive, but thrive in the post-pandemic era. It also shows us that the government keeps our interests in mind, allowing us to grow and also allowing more innovators to create their own space.”

Pooja Sodhi, Co-Founder & CEO at Combonation

“The start-up industry has been facing several challenges, including the impacts of the pandemic. The measures taken to extend incorporation dates and allow for loss carry-forward are greatly appreciated, as these initiatives will aid in mitigating the aftermath of the pandemic and provide much-needed relief for start-ups to manage their operations and navigate unforeseen circumstances. We are extremely grateful to our government for considering the needs of the start-up community and for taking proactive steps to support our industry’s growth and stability.”

Mr. Abhay Vohra, Partner, Burgeon Law

The Central Government’s announcement for the expansion of the government digital certificate depository bestows a fair and streamlined approach for the growth of the fintech sector, while being aligned with the ease of doing business initiative by the Central Government. It has also been decided that the secure and faster benefits and services of the DigiLocker will be extended to MSMEs as well through a separate entity platform. This is definitely a welcome move which will enable organisations/entities to store and share their documents with more regulatory bodies than what the platform currently allows. In fact, this expansion will further satiate the garnered interest of foreign governments which are desirous of international adoption and implementation of the DigiLocker platform and its services.

Mr. Gaurav Dahake, Founder & CEO, Bitbns

The General Budget has been encouraging for the startup community in terms of the government’s vision for the country over the next couple of years. A slew of programs like Startup India, Digital India in the past have championed the startup ecosystem and helped it become the third largest in the world. With this budget, the government has yet again reinforced its commitment towards the startup community through measures like budgetary support for public digital infrastructure to enhance digital payments, extension of Digilocker services for the fintech sector, setting up of a New Financial Repository, Income Tax benefits and extensions and a consultative approach to optimum regulation in the financial sector for making regulations are together going to boost the startup community.
Another initiative to fuel India’s startup ecosystem is the initiative ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’. This clearly indicates that the country is committed to being a crucible to spur tech innovation by setting up three Centres of Excellences across the country and bringing the best of talent, industry and academia together. Efforts to build 30 skill India international centers for skill development and bring in new age courses on Coding, Robotics, Soft Skills among others are equally worth appreciating as it powers the youth of the country to be ready for jobs of the future and makes our future tech talent the best in class across the globe.
Moreover, the programs being initiated to increase sustainability and reduce carbon footprints will largely prove beneficial for a green economy in the future.

Mr. Vishnu Prasath Devarajan, Founder, Supercluster Pi

India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and the front-runner in bringing some of the most accessible and affordable technology solutions like UPI to the world. Further, building on India’s technology prowess, the Government of India has yet again taken an audacious resolve to ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI for India’ by committing to create 3 Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions in the country. This is a seminal step in bringing academia and industry together to develop and hone India’s tech talent and gear it ahead of its time to build for a rapidly changing world. The budget has also accommodated a long term vision of upskilling the next generation of young talent by aligning school education with the jobs of tomorrow.
The announcement of PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is a step in this direction to skill lakhs of youth within the next 3 years in new age courses like coding, AI, robotics, soft skills as well as the setting up of 30 skill India international centers across different states. This will definitely level up Indian tech talent. Other key initiatives like setting up of Agritech Accelerator to develop technology companies and support techpreneurs reinforce India’s commitment to building its startup ecosystem. The budget has also made considerable room for startups to carry forward losses from seven to 10 years, providing relief for the startup ecosystem that is still emerging from funding winter.

Raja Debnath, Co-founder and CEO of Veefin

The General Budget 2023-24 is clearly a concerted effort to push the Indian economy upwards from its current position of being the 5th largest in the world. And highlighting the role of the financial sector among the seven priorities in achieving this vision shows the government’s resolve in making financial access and inclusion pivotal to our economic growth.
There is a clear commitment towards the needs and priorities of India over the next 5 years with a robust capital investment outlay of Rs.10 lakh crore towards green mobility, financial inclusion, technology innovation, agriculture, education and skill development, public and digital infrastructure.
Aptly termed the backbone of our economy – MSMEs stand to gain from the Rs.9000 crore infusion into the revamped credit guarantee scheme. The new scheme will bring financial relief to MSMEs by incentivising banks to go more aggressive on unsecured and priority sector lending and also provide credit to MSMEs at a lower cost. The current market size for Supply Chain Financing, a major beneficiary of which is the MSME sector, is estimated to be around Rs. 150,000cr. The new scheme effective April 1 2023 is likely to boost public and private sector banks to pursue SCF with vigour and increase access to formal credit channels in the MSME sector, which still averages around 8 per cent.
Additionally, the introduction of Digilocker for MSMEs will support them by easing the process of digital application of credit and digitizing the saving of documents. Some other key measures that will boost the confidence of the financial ecosystem and its players include the setting up of the National Financial Information Registry and the public consultation on regulation making and subsidiary directions.
Not just MSME credit, there is a strong commitment also towards Agri credit target of Rs.20 lakh crore, green credit and infrastructure investment – which creates tremendous opportunities for banks and financial institutions to innovate credit products and solutions through technology and scale financial access to support the socio-economic aspirations of the country.
The budget resonates with the aspirations of the citizens and the new India which is more visionary in its goals both domestically as well as globally.

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.”


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 specially for first generation entrepreneurs and seed funding, but we feel excited to see that 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 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 its goals this year. We are optimistic and feeling excited about the kind of opportunities this can create.

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

Mr. 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.”

Mr. Shreegopal Kabra, MD & Group President, RR Global

“This Union Budget, we applaud the Government’s focus on the growth of green infrastructure that supports factors like green building, green energy, and green equipment. These sustainable practices are a step in the right direction to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emission by 2070. At RR Kabel, we support the Government in building a sustainable and safe ecosystem for the future generation.

Additionally, the budget aims to achieve efficient urban infrastructure with programs like Smart Cities Mission for 100 cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for 500 urban bodies. The budget also places a lot of emphasis on developing the nation’s infrastructure by giving impetus to Tier 2 and 3 cities for developing urban infrastructure.

As a company committed to safety through quality, we hoped the Government would lay emphasis on the need to build safe infrastructure through the use of technologically advanced premium quality products. As we step into a new financial year, we are determined to support the government’s objective of a stronger economy that is built on robust infrastructure.”

Rajesh Kabra, Director, RR Parkon

One of the priorities of the Union Budget was the focus on Green Growth which will help accelerate factors like green fuel, green energy, green mobility, green buildings, green equipment, and more. As RR Parkon has always been at the forefront of introducing sustainable solutions for generations to come, we welcome this move wholeheartedly.

The Government’s goal of having a country with net zero carbon emissions by the year 2070 is a bold and outstanding step in the right direction. Automated Parking Systems are an ideal choice to reduce carbon emissions as the slower the vehicles go, the greater their emissions of Co2 and other greenhouse gases. Automated parking systems are aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 20-30 per cent simultaneously saving the car owners the frustration of finding parking in busy areas. They also play a significant role in saving green spaces as compared to traditional parking systems.

Support for urban infrastructure will also persuade people to embrace sustainable lifestyles and smart home technologies. Cities and states will be encouraged to engage in urban planning and provide enough resources for urban infrastructure through the Smart Cities Mission for 100 cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for 500 urban bodies. Being a leader in automated parking systems, we aim to assist the government with these measures by implementing sustainable manufacturing processes and lowering the carbon footprint at our factories.

Lastly, this Budget has laid a solid foundation to transform India into a technology-driven country by boosting education, skill development, entrepreneurship, R&D, Digital Infrastructure, Green Growth and job creation. As a result, there will be a greater emphasis on investing in technology that will help developing cutting edge applications and scalable problem solutions for a sustainable tomorrow.

Kirti Kabra, Director, RR Global

As a woman entrepreneur, I believe that financial independence for women is imperative and the announcement of the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate through the 2023- 24 Union Budget is a step in the right direction. As more women are getting educated, it is imperative for the Government to create job opportunities for rural women. The brand promotion and linkage with local and global markets will uplift women belonging from the economically weaker section and give them a chance to showcase their capabilities and talents, not just nationally, but also at a global front.

Karan Shaha, Co-founder and CEO, Vahak

A commendable Budget by the Hon’ble Finance Minister. In line with our expectations, #Budget2023 has focused on incentivising state governments for infrastructure development. The Centre’s support with enhanced outlay of Rs. 1.3 lakh crore will definitely act as the accelerator toward logistics policy creation at the state level. With this in place, we are hoping to see good traction in transportation infra creation, especially related to top freight routes, logistics parks and highways development. Additionally, opening opportunities for private investments in infra will pump in efforts toward roads, urban infrastructure and power sector developments, which are critical for efficient transportation and transition to green mobility.

We also welcome the decision to extend the income tax benefits for start-ups and the formation of the National Data Governance Policy. These were much needed given the market dynamics and the fast-emerging start-up ecosystem.

Ms. Sana Afreen, CCO & Asst. Director -Program Management, Rizzle

The 2023 Union Budget of India is a clear indication of our determination to make AI work for India, by investing in its development and utilizing its power to address the unique challenges facing our nation. We are poised to harness the full potential of AI and create a brighter future for all.

The use of AI has already sparked a revolution. Businesses will increasingly employ AI to improve customer experience and make operational tasks more efficient. On digital platforms, AI-based discussions and other use cases are widely available.

Excited about the new transformations AI will bring and how those will encourage people to upgrade their learnings and skill sets. We see a lot of value in focusing on AI for India, as shared in the Union Budget. As an organization that ‘Makes in India’, we look forward to greater development around AI to enable consumers at multiple levels..The Budget’s announcement of the opening of three artificial intelligence centers puts a spotlight on AI-driven skill development. We fully support the government’s efforts to position India as a global digital power.

Mrs. Shweta Tanwar Mukherjee, Entrepreneur & Content Creator, Founder, SociallKnot

Budget 2023, presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman, builds on the momentum of last year’s productive expenditure and reinforces the government’s commitment to supporting India’s growth and development. The Union Budget recognizes the importance of innovation, research, and development, essential to reaching the aspirational goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy and a world-class technology ecosystem.
The addition of cutting-edge technologies such as drones and 3D printing, the establishment of 30 Skill India International centers, and the launch of a unified skill platform demonstrate the government’s commitment to equipping the future workforce with the tools necessary for success in a rapidly changing job market.
The budget includes several initiatives aimed at promoting women’s empowerment, including savings schemes specifically designed to meet their financial needs. These efforts are a critical step towards achieving gender equality and creating a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.

Vivek Banka, Co-Founder

“ Though fairly uneventful as over the past many years, the budget has a few takeaways 1) Increased focus of the government on the new and Simplified tax regime and focus on spending rather than savings, 2) Plugging tax loopholes that especially HNI’s used to exploit loopholes ( Market Linked Debentures and Insurance) and lastly continued focus on infrastructure and agricultural economy. All worries about capital gains turned out to be thankfully a damp squib. All in all an excellent budget with continued focus on what we’ve been seeing last many years

Amandeep Kaur, Founder and CEO, Phoenix TalentX Branding

Budget 2023 is definitely a growth-oriented budget with several sectors gaining in one go and an acute focus on building a tech-driven, green-led and financially independent economy. We are particularly excited about the active role and sponsorship of the government towards Skill India initiatives like the International Skill Centers, Centres for excellence in AI, and 100 labs in engineering colleges to develop 5G apps. It will not only empower the youth of the country, boost our knowledge economy, talent capital but also accelerate India’s role in building cutting-edge and innovative digital technology solutions for the citizens of the planet . This inclusive budget will further consolidate India’s position in the world economic order – our macro-economic and financial stability as ushered by this new budget too will further propel India’s image as a rising economy .

Minal Anand, Founder & CEO, GuruQ

This can be done through collaboration with private education companies and edtech organizations to provide education to the youth in tier one, tier two, and tier three cities, and improve the literacy rate in the country. In conclusion, while the Union Budget 2023 has made significant progress towards promoting AI and innovation in India, there is still a need for greater focus on education and the development of human capital. Only through a comprehensive approach that takes into account the needs of the youth, startups, and the education sector can we truly achieve the goal of making India a digital superpower.

Mr. Parry Singh, Founder and CEO, Red Fort Capital.

The finance minister has focused on growth and digitalization, which is the need of the hour. Capital Investment outlay has been increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would have a multiplier effect on the economy. The government has continued its support to MSMEs by announcing 9000 crores for the MSME credit scheme and returning 95% of the forfeited amount for contract failure during Covid-19. Furthermore, the enhancement in DigiLocker will increase the efficiency and reduce TAT for financial institutions and FinTech.

Mrinaal Mittal, Director, BlackTeak Realty

“Based on my preliminary reckonings of the 2023 Budget, the real estate industry has been treated as-is, not much benefit given to real estate sector either developers or customers. The sector is bound to benefit indirectly from the focus on infrastructure development, particularly urban infrastructure. This fraternity also benefits indirectly from the decrease in individual tax outlays. A bigger budget under the PMAY for affordable housing, which is 65% higher than last year, will boost this segment of real estate. The net yield to REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) investors has decreased as a result of changes to the taxation of REITs and InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts), which include distributions made to repay debt as taxable income. The capital investment outgoing witnesses a sharp incline of 33% up to Rs 10 lakh crore and this will comprise 3.3% of the nation’s GDP. This outlay is three times of the same made in 2019. Overall a rather underwhelming treatment and tepid measures for the real estate fraternity”

Hari Kishan Movva, Senior Vice President, SILA

“My first impressions of the 2023 Budget are that a status quo has been maintained with respect to the Real Estate sector. The focus on infrastructure development, especially urban infrastructure would have an indirect positive impact on the sector. Similarly, the reduction in tax outflow for individuals is also an indirect positive to the sector. Amendments in taxation of REITs / InvITs wherein distributions via repayment of debt have been included in taxable income reduce the net yield to REIT investors. The introduction of a limit of INR 10cr on capital gains exemption for the purchase of residential property under Section 54 & Section 54F is also a marginal negative for the luxury residential sector.”

Rajeev Sinha, Co-Founder, Onlygoo

“The Budget 2023 paves an urgent pathway towards a more focused Sustainable Development of the nation & its economy. A welcome and seemingly robust steering of the economy can be expected in the coming years, courtesy wider budget allocations to Sustainability based infrastructure & capacity-building for this year. Better Capacity Battery Energy Storage Systems, Green Credit Programme for intrinsic behavioral change, PM-PRANAM Initiative for Restoration, Conservation & Awareness of Natural Resources, GOBARdhan Scheme to inspire circular economy etc. are some heart-warming additions in the Budget in terms of Green Growth of the Nation.

It would seem very likely that relevant institutions & our government are now motivated with urgency to achieve the promised Net Zero Goals, primarily through Energy Transition Objectives.

In my opinion, this is going to be a very important year from the lens of Sustainability, as the trickle-down effect of this crucial concept has acquired a considerable pace in the last year. In this welcome advance, we shall hope to be an important part of Sustainability’s very own torchbearer community”

Mr. Tarun Prajapati, Co-founder and Managing Director, Cultivator Natural Products Pvt. Ltd

“The finance minister has shown solidarity with farmers by announcing that Over the next 3 years, one crore farmers will get assistance to adopt natural farming and 10,000 bio input resource centres will be set up. We also applaud the fact that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has also announced accelerator fund for agriculture startups in ‘Amrit Kaal’ Budget.”
He further added, “India is moving on the right track despite having multiple odds. The government is also increasing digital infrastructure in the rural areas and setting up an accelerator fund for agri-based rural startups. India is primarily an agriculture-based economy and this budget is definitely a pro-farmer one. We also congratulate the government for bringing an agriculture credit target by 20 lakh crores that focuses on empowering every walk of Indian socio-economic strata. We are optimistic about the overall economic growth of the nation.”

Umesh Singh, Director, Tara Candles

Our commitment to making AI work for India by investing in its development and harnessing its power to address the particular problems our country faces is evident in the 2023 Union Budget of India. We are in a position to fully utilise AI’s potential and build a better future for everyone.
A revolution has already been initiated by the usage of AI. Businesses will use AI more and more to enhance customer experience and streamline daily operations. AI-based talks and other application cases are increasingly accessible on digital networks. Excited about the changes AI will bring and how they will motivate individuals to improve their knowledge and skill sets.

Kapil Bhatia, Founder & CEO, UNIREC

The government’s commitment to assisting India’s growth and development is reaffirmed in FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2023, which builds on the momentum of the previous year’s productive spending. In order to achieve the ambitious aim of having a $5 trillion economy and a top-tier technological ecosystem, the Union Budget recognises the significance of innovation, research, and development. focuses on “Green Growth” for the first time as a result of India’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by the year 2070. An excellent initiative for implementing several laws for energy efficiency across various economic sectors as well as programmes for green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment. These measures to promote green growth reduce the economy’s carbon intensity and create numerous chances for green employment.

Nehal Mota, Co-Founder & CEO, Finnovate

Union Budget 2023-24 was a tightrope walk for the Finance Minister. The GDP growth had to be strong enough to offset the recessionary impact of central bank hawkishness. However, this had to be done with lower fiscal deficit. The FM did just that. She announced a Rs20 trillion allocation for agricultural credit and 33% higher capex guidance at Rs10 trillion or 3.3% of GDP. Effective capex was Rs13.70 trillion or 4.5% of GDP. All this was managed through a sharp 22% cut in subsidies, leading to fiscal deficit lowered by 50 bps to 5.9% for FY24. The gross borrowing target for FY24 was pegged at a tad above Rs15 trillion. On the capital markets front, there were expectations of a macro push, more money in the hands of people and selected sector tweaks. Macros have been managed rather well. The budget refrained from any changes to capital gains tax, dividend tax or STT; which is understandable. However, at the lower end, the budget raised the exemption slabs and at the upper end reduced tax rates. The net result could be a huge surge in purchasing and investing power. This higher spending power is a big advantage for a consumer economy like India.
The legendary George Bernard Shaw called the budget an attempt to equate the earning capacity with yearning capacity. Even the IMF has acknowledged India as the fastest growing large economy in the next 2 years. The gap between government optimism and public scepticism called for a sound budget. The FM provided just that.

Mr. Kishan Jain, Director at Goldmedal Electricals

“We welcome the measures announced by our Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, who put a strong emphasis on green growth and youth skill over the 2023- 24 Union Budget. The ideas that are put into practise will shape the future of an energy-efficient India with a focus on the target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. This will emphasise the significance of switching to energy-efficient solutions, which will be driven by cutting-edge technology and automation. Additionally, the Rs 35,000 crore designated for priority investment towards energy transformation and the net-zero aim will support India’s ambition of taking the lead in tackling the global climate crisis in addition to helping it become a green superpower. We also appreciate the measures undertaken to emphasize skill development which will drive large-scale employment growth across the country. The launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform is expected to lead the country’s youth to develop skills in new-age technologies that are relevant to Industry 4.0 such as coding, AI, IoT, and more.
At Goldmedal Electricals, we’ve always been committed to the green movement, whether it’s through product manufacturing or the introduction of innovative market-ready solutions. We appreciate that the first Amrit Kaal budget laid significant importance on green growth and digital skills because it has helped to lay the groundwork for a brighter, greener, and more advanced future for the nation.”

Suhas Khullar, CFO, Loco

“The Union Budget for 2023–2024 is commendable for setting the bold vision of making India a tech superpower.Two Initiatives focusing on capability building for the tech ecosystem stand out. First, the intention to set up 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services has the potential to open up a wide range of prospects for the ecosystem, including esports. Secondly, setting up of centers of excellence for AI under the “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India” vision, along with the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, will help young people in developing the necessary expertise in coding, artificial intelligence, and other technologies. These enhanced digital skills will now support the sector’s capacity to grow into a significant employer.

The initiatives on Entity Digilocker, setting up e-courts, and Central Data Processing Centre would improve transparency, and support the ‘ease of doing business’. The focus on capability building for the technology ecosystem, and improving the ‘ease of doing business’ will help strengthen India at a foundational level.”

Mr Ashwin Chawwla, Founder & Managing Director, Escrowpay

The Government of India has proposed the use of Aadhaar-based Unique Identity Number (UID/UAN) as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies. This would enable the government to identify individuals across different agencies without having to maintain separate records for each agency. PAN will be the sole identifier and would help in stopping multiple submissions for MSMEs.

The UID/UAN will be used to securely store and access personal information of citizens, and to facilitate access to government services. Additionally, it will also enable the government to better track the usage of public services, improve public service delivery, and reduce fraud and corruption.

Anuj Arora, Co-Founder & COO SahiBandhu

“Under the Union Budget 2023, Finance Minster Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned rise in duties on gold, silver and diamond. If the market price of Gold increases, people wanting to avail loan against the Gold will get a higher loan amount for their gold sitting idle at home. We encourage Bharat citizens to make the most of this opportunity to get onto formal lending with SahiBandhu Gold Loan and further the Saptrishi goal of financial inclusion.”

Shailendra Singh, MD and Founder, Creduce

“This budget is a landmark first step towards Narendra Modi’s government’s commitment towards Net Zero 2070. This was a long time coming. And it has come with a bang. The outlay is futuristic, decisive and milestone driven. The budget places a substantial emphasis on green growth and sustainability”.
The government has earmarked Rs 35,000 core in priority capital investment towards energy transition and achieving India’s goal of net zero carbon emission by 2070.
Sitharaman also announced an additional Rs 19,700 crore towards the government’s Green Hydrogen Mission to lower carbon intensity and reduce fossil fuel use. She also announced a five million tonne target for green hydrogen production by 2030. These funds will be used to promote renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and bioenergy, in addition to reforestation and wildlife conservation.
The government has also announced the launch of a national recycling policy to promote waste management and reduce the country’s carbon footprint. The budget also highlights the government’s commitment to electric mobility, with a proposal to launch a scheme to provide electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the country. This would again prove to be a boon for entrepreneurs looking at investing into charging pods.
In addition to these initiatives, the budget also provides tax incentives for companies engaged in environmental-friendly activities, such as renewable energy production and water conservation. This would prove to be good boost for the entire sector and involve an wholesome approach and involvement. The government has also allocated funds for the development of green infrastructure, including the creation of green energy corridors, smart cities, and coastal economic zones.
These incentives will not only augur well for the environment also those dwelling around them. This would create a lot of job opportunities which would translate into wealthy nature.

Mr Greg Moran, CEO and CoFounder of Zoomcar

“It’s fascinating to see that our Hon’ble Finance Minister has addressed some major concerns about India’s progress towards clean energy in the Union Budget 2023. The decision to extend the exemption to capital goods imports for the manufacture of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles is a much-needed boost to green mobility and EV adoption in the country.

The government has made a significant effort to promote tourism, especially in the post-covid era, by proposing the creation of an app to improve the tourist experience. We think that the tourism sector has a lot of untapped potentials. Such programmes, in our opinion, can advance both green travel and tourism.”

Mr Dhruv Sawhney, COO and Business Head at nurture.farm

“The announcements around the setting up of agriculture accelerator fund, making digital infrastructure for agriculture, computerization of primary agricultural credit societies, setting up of the AI centres etc are measures towards supporting technology adoption and promoting digitization of agriculture at scale. Empowerment of rural women by lending infrastructure, capital, knowledge, accessibility, supply chain, and marketing support to 81 lac self-groups via the formation of farmer producer enterprise ecosystem is set to improve rural employment, rural income, purchasing power, catalysing their ability to serve large customers and meet export requirements.
The role of Agritech companies to drive innovations in the insurance space, catalyze rural livelihoods, and move the transition towards sustainable food has been well called out, however support measures to scale these programs can be created. There could have been more measures to devise incentives and investments to specifically educate, adopt practices that solve for climate change in agriculture.”

Saket Chirania, Co-Founder of Agrizy

Agriculture and allied industries are undoubtedly the backbone of India’s economy, since they collectively facilitate rural employment, development and food security. The government has continued to acknowledge this fact in its proposed budget this year as well, for which we must commend the Finance Minister. This year’s budget makes a sincere attempt to promote technology and innovation in agriculture to make the sector future-ready. The setting up of agriculture accelerator fund will provide a great boost to the budding agri-startups in the country. A digital public infra for agriculture will be built as an open-source, interoperable public good. The government is keen on boosting the sector, and that intention is clearly reflected through the increase in agricultural credit target to INR 20 lakh crore, which will empower the small scale farmers. In addition to this, I am certain that the digital public infra for agriculture announced today, which will be built as an open-source, interoperable public good, will not just drive the use of technology in the agriculture sector but also open up a host of new growth avenues for the farmers. The government’s boost to natural farming and setting up of 10,000 Bio Input Resource Centres will also be a major propellant for the sector, adding to the quality of the crops produced while also adding sustainability to farming practices.

Nishant Behl, Founder, and CEO of Expand My Business

“The union budget announced by the FM today strongly defines the direction in which the country’s entrepreneurial transformation is headed to. This year’s budget is positive, pragmatic, and entirely committed to support innovation in the country to accelerate the economy. For startups, the government has extended tax benefits on their incorporation by another year and the carry forward of losses to set off against future profits will now be allowed for 10 years instead of 7 years. Receiving the government’s support through such provisions is quite heartening for budding enterprises, especially since the entire world is experiencing an economic slowdown. Also, policies like increased industry-academia collaboration through National Data Governance Policy, simplified KYC process and access to anonymised data will also positive push for the startups in India to flourish and expand. Entrepreneurship is vital for a country’s economic development and India, and it is heartening to see the government take positive steps in this direction.”


Sandipan Chattopadhyay, CEO & MD of Xelpmoc Design & Tech

The union budget announced by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today strongly defines the direction in which the country’s entrepreneurial transformation is headed. This year’s budget is positive, pragmatic, and entirely committed to supporting innovation in the country to accelerate the economy. Policies like increased industry-academia collaboration through National Data Governance Policy, simplified KYC process and access to anonymized data will also be a positive push for the startups in India to flourish and expand further. Realizing 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. Entrepreneurship is vital for a country’s economic development and it is encouraging to see the government take positive steps in this direction.

Nishith Rastogi, Founder & CEO, Locus

“It is encouraging to observe Green Growth as a priority pillar of the Union Budget 2023. In fact, the budgetary allocations and innovative policies all point towards the government’s ambitious plan of achieving net zero emission ‘Panchamrit’ by 2070. In this regard, I believe the logistics sector will play a crucial role, as non-electric vehicles are one of the major contributors to carbon emissions in India and across the world. To that end, special attention must be paid to the Indian supply chain and logistics sector, especially the last mile. By adopting new-age solutions driven by AI, ML, etc., this sector will be able to reduce vehicle emissions drastically and improve operational efficiency. We look forward to doing our bit to realize the government’s ambitious and timely initiatives.

Piyush Goel, Founder and CEO, Beyond Key

Insights from the Budget session emphasized that the three centres of excellence will be developed at top educational institutions in the country, for realizing the vision of ‘make AI in India’ and ‘make AI work for India’. Leading market participants are expected to involve themselves in interdisciplinary research, along with the creation of cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in sectors such as agriculture, health, banking, and insurance, among others. This is a promising decision for the sunrise sector of India, this will lead to a faster infusion of technology, on-ground adoption of AI-based technologies, and help the growth of AI-based startups.

India is among the top three talent markets, producing 16% of the world’s AI talent pool; with new centres of excellence, fresh talent can be skilled to be absorbed in the development workforce.

Animesh Samuel, Co-founder & CEO, E42.

“The budget highlights several initiatives to maximize our economy’s potential. The emphasis on the creation of scalable solutions for agriculture, the health sector, and sustainable cities, among others is important to spark an efficient AI ecosystem that resonates with the mission of E42. With three centers being set up for AI-led skill development, we embrace the government’s efforts to position India as a global digital power. This comprehensive approach towards promoting the development and adoption of AI technologies in the country is sure to drive economic growth!”

Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman and Co-Founder, Global Schools Foundation

“The Budget 2023-24 can be summed up in one sentence – more power to the people. As an educationist and entrepreneur, I see it as a focused attempt to put India on a superhighway of development. The announcement of deeper investments in digital and physical infrastructure for the benefit of the student community comes as great news as GSF looks to invest more in the younger generation for a better future of the country. The decision to start three centers of excellence for Artificial intelligence is also the need of the hour. Top educational institutions including GSF are extensively investing in AI, as an interdisciplinary tool for cutting-edge research and inventions. For schools, the decision to put more resources in teacher training comes as welcome news. With this budget, the aspirations of the youth match the priorities of the government. As a Foundation, now our responsibility has increased 10-fold to ensure that the vision of the government be fructified through committed investment in the Education sector.

Mr.Rohit Rathi, Co-Founder & CEO, KarmaLife

I am elated about the focus on the growth of the fintech sector and the gig economy in the Union Budget 2023. The measures announced by the government, such as the comprehensive policy for the digital payments sector, central repository for financial data, and the national employment policy, will provide a supportive regulatory environment for fintech companies and gig workers. This presents a great opportunity for us to serve the growing gig economy in India and bring financial inclusion to this underserved segment of society.

Mr. Suresh KV, President & Region Head, ZF India

“The 2023-2024 Union Budget is welcome and leads us towards a cleaner and more sustainable mobility solution for a greener and cleaner India. This budget highlights significant positive initiatives for the automobile industry through a slew of announcements supporting state government and municipalities in scrapping pollution-causing vehicles. The scheme makes way for faster electric vehicle adoption and helps transition to cleaner mobility in the long run. Along with that, the prioritization of green growth will aid all energy-generating sectors – wind, hydro and solar. The national green hydrogen mission, which was recently launched with an investment of Rs 19,700 crore will help the economy transition to low carbon intensity and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports which would help guide the industry’s services toward smart logistics of the future. The increased outlay for infrastructure will also assist the transportation sector as a whole with a positive effect on logistics, light vehicles, industrial vehicles and commercial vehicles.

At ZF we welcome this forward-looking budget that focuses on digitalization, green growth strategy and cleaner mobility solutions for India’s inclusive development”.

Mr. Rohit Mali, Director, Firefly Fire Pumps

“We welcome the Union Budget presented today by the Indian Government. It is a highly supportive budget for the MSME sector, especially after the challenges faced by the sector during the last 2-3 years. The biggest support comes with the infusion of INR 9000 crores in revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs. This will aid the existing MSMEs to grow their businesses at an exponential rate and encourage new businesses to enter the game.
With significant reforms announced today for the ease of doing business, owners of companies are secure & confident that these initiatives will in return provide a sense of surety for business owners. The Union Budget is progressive as the reforms safeguard the interests of MSMEs to ensure that the dues are cleared without delays.”

Srividya Kannan, Founder and Director of Avaali Solutions

“The Union Budget presented by the Indian government is truly ambitious with its seven ‘Saptarishi mantras’. Many welcome announcements are in line with a focus on the country’s technological development and commitment to becoming a global superpower. It is heartening to hear the adequate emphasis on digital skill investment, including CoEs in the education ecosystem, tech and AI innovation announcements, 5G apps, and other digitalization priorities. This will create more jobs across the country, increase economic activity, and add value to the nation’s GDP. Companies across various sectors are expected to benefit from this investment which will help them become more competitive by accelerating their digitization process. It is also heartening to see announcements focused on green growth and ensuring various initiatives focused on sustainability. Additional infusion into CGTMSE and interest rate reduction thereon are also very welcome moves. Overall, it will be interesting to see how these investments will be made and how we can ramp up the digital talent pool to build various tech innovations that will be useful for our country.”

Akash Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, Cashfree Payments

The Finance Minister has presented a distinctive set of measures in the Union Budget 2023-24 with a streamlined focus on rapid, holistic and inclusive economic growth. It is a well-crafted statement of intent, drawn from the success and learnings from the past with the potential to further enhance India’s growth prospects.

Realising the crucial potential of digital infrastructure in the financial sector, the hon’ble FM has announced measures to increase the scope of DigiLocker services for individuals and MSMEs. This will certainly aid in enhancing the accessibility of financial services with higher convenience and simplified processes with robust security.

It is also encouraging to see that the hon’ble FM has given due attention to compliance in the financial sector. A simplified KYC process, adopting a ‘risk-based’ approach as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ outlook will ensure accurate and sophisticated verification as well as in-turn regulated operations in the financial services space. Highlighting the growth of digital payments and fiscal support for digital public infrastructure is also appreciable” as this further contributes to India’s digitisation efforts.

Nageen Kommu, Founder & CEO, Digitap

The Union budget announced by FM holds great significance for the Fintech sector, as it lays down the roadmap for further growth and development in the industry. Recommendations on adopting a risk based approach for KYC and a system that is amenable to meet the needs of Digital India will ensure measures taken to control potential financial crimes are in line with the risks identified.

Additionally, extending incorporation benefits for startups to 10 years will further boost sentiment and encourage entrepreneurship in the country. This will also make startups more attractive to investors since a lower tax burden means better income and returns on investment.

Lastly, provisions to boost R&D and innovation for financial inclusion, and create innovative financial products by expanding the ambit of the Digilocker facility and using 5G, AI and other technologies will help bridge existing gaps in the system and auger a positive impact to the country as a whole in the long run.

Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital

The budget was an excellent opportunity for the Finance Minister to take advantage of India’s pole position globally, and she has done justice to it.

With finances bolstered by recent oil gains related to events across Europe and clean PSB balance sheets, the government had decided to spend on infrastructure in a big way, while still maintaining the controlled fiscal deficit path. The focus on refining the banking and financial markets through technology-led initiatives, such as the National Financial Information Registry and unified KYC; replacing the tedious process of document submission with DigiLocker storage; result-based financing, and reforms to develop the municipal bond market will pave way for the maturity of our markets to global benchmarks.

By recognizing Green growth as an important pillar in the budget, the FM has laid the path towards economic development that is sustainable and in line with global efforts to tackle climate change. Green growth includes initiatives such as the promotion of renewable energy sources and the adoption of more sustainable practices which in turn, will promote broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives by companies.

On the other hand, the rationalization of tax slabs, simplification of compliances for small businesses, and most importantly, the reduction in personal income taxes would put more money in the hands of the public, thereby boosting the economy after the pandemic-induced slowdown over the last couple of years.

Mr. Arjun Gulati, Co-founder, Easydesq

“As India enters its Amrit Kal, the government of India has propelled us into a year of economic pursuits with the Budget 2023. With the proposed changes, India will be among the fastest-growing major economies in 2023 and the coming years.”

“The budget, with its focus on startups and entrepreneurial ventures, has its sight set on furthering India’s position as the world’s 3rd largest startup ecosystem. This budget also takes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a Digital India a step ahead by focusing on AI and IoT and increasing our digital prowess through innovative technologies.”

“Aligned with the G20 theme of “Vasudev Kutumbakam”, the budget has also promised the completion of 80 lakh houses under PM Awas Yojana (PMAY), for which the government has allotted Rs. 48,000 crores. The outlay of the PMAY is also being enhanced by 66 per cent to over Rs 79,000 crores. Additionally, homebuyers will get elbow room to purchase due to the extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS). This move also addresses resolving the urban housing shortage among low and middle-income groups and promoting homeownership among women.”

“With a significant focus on the Saptrishi arena, this budget is highly growth-focused and is undoubtedly a step to tap India’s economic potential.”


Gaurav Goel, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Toprankers

“Directing focus towards the new and emerging fields, the Budget reflects great foresight in skilling for industry 4.0, which includes soft skills for job-readiness and is likely to improve the number of workforce. Improvement in pedagogy, more centres of excellence, the launch of a unified Skill India Digital Platform, a digital approach to bridge the pandemic learning loss via the National Digital Library, and a drive towards ICT in most significant proposals are all positive signs for the industry!”


Sarvesh Shrivastava, MD and Co-founder, Eupheus Learning

“We saw some encouraging steps being taken for the education sector under the 2023 Budget layout. Especially the emphasis on setting up digital libraries and teacher training, it was also heartening to hear about the increase in the spends %age on education. While accelerated digitalization and teacher training is amongst the key mandates of NEP 2020, we will see an accelerated role being played by the EdTech companies if the tax structure around their services/ solutions are also addressed in a more progressive manner.”


Quote from Mr. Nimish Arora, President, EO Gurgaon

“2023-24 looks like an opportune year for propelling the Indian economy. India is all set to to be among the fastest-growing major economies and over the next few years. With consistent focus on the “Saptrishi” priorities, the budget is highly growth focussed with a huge capital expenditure outlay of 10 lakh crores.”

“In line with the previous budgets, it has also continued on a path of fiscal consolidation, with a target of 5.9% fiscal deficit. The budget also has extended support to start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures through income tax benefits and extending carry forward of losses to 10 years to further India’s position as the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world. It has also bolstered a Digital India outlook by focusing on AI, IoT, and a digital economy for ease of doing business and ease of living. The 2023 budget is a blueprint with a nice green touch, increasing focus on green initiatives such as e waste recycling, green hydrogen mission, vehicle scrapping and energy transition initiatives. The loudest applause, however, would be for the improved state of individual taxpayers, with the tax rebate limit increased to Rs 7 lakh which will give higher spending power to the middle class thereby supporting the entire economic growth. There was also relief for the highest tax bracket payers by reducing their effective tax rate by 3.7% approx. With these significant facets of the budget, India is undoubtedly heading towards an Amrit Kal.”


Mr. Vipul Verma, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Advantage at Wadhwani Foundation,

“Additional infusion into the credit guarantee outlay will help increase the number of MSME enterprises in the formal financial ecosystem. This can further help in improvement of the MSME/s operations, growth and scale, leading to an upkick in job creation. The impact will be more notable in some geographies where the potential to grow the number of MSME/s is substantially higher.”


Mr. Amit Tyagi, CEO, Payworld

“In the Union Budget 2023-24 our Honourable Finance Minister considered Financial Services as one of the key pillars of growth during the Amrit Kaal that focused on financial stability with technology-driven innovation. Undoubtedly, the Union Budget has provided a much larger-than-expected boost to growth-inducing capital spending, while at the same time managing a fair degree of fiscal consolidation. The significant increase in online payments to 76 percent in transactions and 91 percent in value clearly shows a valuable surge in the adoption of FinTech services in India and gives us an opportunity to serve better, in the coming years. The announcement about the simplified KYC process by adopting a risk-based approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach is another great step towards building a better digital economy of the nation. Besides, the regulators in the financial sector will also be encouraged to have a KYC system fully amenable to meet the needs of digital India. The government’s plan to launch DigiLocker storage and sharing services for MSMEs and other business entities, including startups, to enable more innovation in fintech services will give the FinTech startups ease to boost their businesses. The financial information registry looks like a great step towards the Atma Nirbhar Bharat in the financial space. credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs will further accelerate the growth of the sector in line with our vision of becoming a 5 trillion-dollar economy. Also, investments in Capex will supercharge economic growth and will help in more equitable growth of the nation.”


Mr. Vikram Ahuja – Managing Director, ANSR and Co-founder & CEO, Talent500

The 2023 Union Budget hits all the right notes for skill development and the start-up ecosystem in India. As one of the leading suppliers of talent in data and AI, India produces 16% of the world’s AI talent pool. The Budget’s focus on AI-led skill-development by announcing the three centres for artificial intelligence is a welcome move. This will be further amplified by the decision to set up 30 Skill India International centres across different states to cover new age courses for coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics IoT, drones etc.”
“Overall, the Budget has reinforced India’s positioning as a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy and I’m optimistic that there will be easier and more friendly regulatory moves to support our growth as a global innovation hub. However, lack of investments in IT Infrastructure in Tier-2 and 3 cities is a big miss, considering the huge talent pool dispersed across such cities in the country.”

Pankaj Gupta, Founder and CEO, of EnableX.io

“I feel that the establishment of the centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ is a great step towards mining the opportunities that the sector holds for our youth.

Digitization is our new reality and without a doubt, these labs show a concentrated effort to increase the range of opportunities in business models, employment potential, Intelligent transports systems, healthcare, and more.

The proposed 100 labs for development of applications leveraging 5G services is an exciting step to drive 5G adoption. The improved network connectivity & availability of rich media applications will create infinite opportunities especially in education & healthcare sectors”

Sohit Kapoor, Founder DRiefcase

“The National Data Governance Policy can truly be a game-changer. It has the potential to unlock tremendous value from data, especially healthcare data. The Policy, along with the recently announced Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), will encourage legitimate use of data, thereby enhancing the overall privacy framework in the country.”

Ravi Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO, Upstox

“We are thrilled to see this budget’s well-balanced and forward looking approach. From basic infrastructure to environment, from fintech to education and upskilling, the budget covers it all and accelerates efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

In line with the government’s vision to strengthen financial inclusion, the establishment of the National Financial Information Registry is a welcome move. PAN as a common identifier will simplify the KYC process and also enhance ease of doing business. For individuals, the increase in the income tax rebate from ₹ 5 lakh to ₹ 7 lakh under the new tax regime will leave more disposable income in the hands of individuals, and thus higher investment potential.

To encourage more retail investing and insurance adoption, we wish that the honourable FM would increase tax savings for investments and reconsider the proposal to discontinue the tax SOPs on mutual funds and insurance.

Initiatives for start-ups, technology, upskilling and financial literacy, will undoubtedly catalyse India’s growth. This is India’s moment on the global stage and our government is doing a fantastic job seizing this opportunity and realising our country’s potential.”

Navin Dhanuka, MD and CEO, ArisUnitern RE Solutions

A number of significant announcements that are directly or indirectly relevant to the real estate and infrastructure industries were included in the Union Budget 2023. The Pradhan Mantri Awaz Yojna’s emphasis on capital gains tax, the urban infrastructure development fund, improving opportunities for private investment in infrastructure, and promoting sustainable cities for a brighter tomorrow are all positive steps that will also help the real estate sector.

Aashirwad Deshmukkh, Founder, Howdyy

“The Budget prioritizes a “green growth” strategy that aims to reduce carbon intensity and create new green job opportunities by adopting green fuel, energy, and building practices. The government’s commitment to this approach is a step towards a cleaner and prosperous future for India and positions the country as a leader in addressing the global climate crisis. This seems to be a promising step in the right direction

Anirudh A Damani- Managing Partner, Artha Venture Fund

“The FM has laid out a firm budget for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. From Agri to healthcare to FinTech, a string of announcements like National AI centers, national digital libraries, and the AgriTech accelerator fund. All the announcements aim to foster entrepreneurship at the college level and rural areas. The long-term impact of these programs also deals with improving the quality of talent and founders aspiring to launch their business ideas.

Seeing the government’s overall focus on green growth, 5G, and AI is a positive message for the investor community especially backing startups in industry 4.0 sectors like AI, IoT, drones, EdTech, medical tech et al. As the early-stage ecosystem continues to demonstrate higher growth and attract funding, it further solidifies our belief to back innovative startups working on addressing issues like improving medical infrastructure and overall digital payments integration by leveraging next-gen tech.”

Mr Hemant Sood , Founder at FinDoc

The budget is forward-looking, aiming to cater to the next 25 years, and aims to boost economic growth while covering a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, digitalisation, green energy, and catering to all economic classes.The budget aims to focus on infrastructure development, with 50 new airports, helipads, and aerodromes being the government’s priority.

The government has fixed the fiscal deficit target for 2023-24 at 5.9% of GDP and aims to reduce it further to 4.5% by 2025. There is good news for taxpayers, with a relief on the Income-Tax rebate of up to INR 7,00,000 and a reduction in the processing time for income tax returns.

The budget also caters to the youth, with a plan to launch Vikas Yojana 4.0 that includes setting up 30 skill India International Centers and providing a stipend to 47 lakh youth in three years. The agriculture sector is also given attention, with the allocation of INR 79,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana

In a nutshell, the budget happens to be a comprehensive and well-thought-out strategy for a better India, one catering to all the sectors, assuring collective progress and most importantly it is a people-oriented budget constituting to a better lifestyle for all individuals


Mr Setul Shah , Founder at RunR Mobility

The budget focuses on ‘green growth,’ which includes boosting the use of clean energy, and reducing pollution. This is a crucial step towards a greener and sustainable future for the country and will play a significant role in reducing the carbon footprint. This announcement will accelerate the adoption of EVs in India, boosting the manufacturing of electric vehicles and components, and also supporting the development of charging infrastructure. We are excited to make a difference in our country by promoting green mobility. We aim to make cost-effective EVs while also helping the environment.

Akhilesh Reddy, chairman & MD at Indian Racing League

“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”


Mr. Vittal Ramakrishna, CEO and Founder, POD World, A full stack fundraising platform.

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 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’.


Rajesh Subramony, Managing Director, India, at Qualitest Group.
“A forward-looking budget presented by Hon. Minister of Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman-Ji.

Extended thoughtful prudence on fiscal deficit, while investing in Capex, boosting consumption and spending will set up the pace for inclusive economic growth.Truly visionary investments in education, sustainability in education, sustainability / green energy and Artificial Intelligence (“Make AI in India, Make AI for India”) will support long term growth in the right direction.”


Mr Rohit Pathak, President, IEEMA and CEO, Birla Copper (Hindalco Industries Ltd)

“Overall it is an excellent budget that will accelerate India growth as we start Amrit Kaal. The increase of capital investment outlay by 33% to ₹10 lakh crore for 2023-24 is a bold step. The doubling of spend on Railways, which is all electric now, is heartening to see. The cascading effect of infra spend coupled with reduced individual tax rates, will give a strong boost to consumption, especially for the Electrical & Electronics sector. The extra leeway given to States to encourage their capex, while maintaining link to Power Reforms, is also a great step. The allocation to Green Hydrogen, Ladakh RE infrastructure and Green Economy will accelerate our net zero and Energy self-reliance journey. There was no specific mention on acceleration of the T&D infrastructure, which will also be critical. All in all, an excellent budget that will position India as the fastest growing economy..

Navin Rao, Co-founder, The Kaftan Company.

“The overall budget this year has been presented with much optimism and growth-related initiatives. As an entrepreneur, I am happy to see a few key benefits supporting MSME enterprises such as ours, including a “Skills India” digital platform to help the MSME sector with further growth. Income Tax related benefits for start-ups that can further innovative and future solutions for the country as well as the simplification of processes with the introduction of centralization of IDs for businesses as unique identifiers.
As an apparel manufacturer, I am especially pleased to see assistance packages introduced for traditional artisans and craftspeople. They are an integral part of the MSME value chain and must be supported with this initiative. I believe that with this initiative, the quality, scale, and reach of products made by these skilled workers reach new heights.”

Arjun Sinha Roy, Co-founder, iRasus Technology Pvt Ltd

“The budget has taken Green Growth as one of the Pillars of the economy for the coming financial year. Programs for green fuel, energy, mobility, and equipment have been announced. These initiatives will help create new Investments and Jobs in the Clean Energy sector, of which the EV sector is an important part.
The outlay to the National Green Hydrogen Mission for 19700 crores is also a step in the right direction as it helps create the eco-system for a completely new Green Energy paradigm.
The announcement of Viability Gap Funding for Battery Energy Storage is a recognition of the criticality of Energy Storage as a core Infrastructure.
Custom duty exemption has been extended to the capital goods and machinery required to manufacture lithium-ion cells in EV batteries. This is going to be a big push for enabling the localization of Cell Manufacturing.
We also see other initiatives like incentivizing Municipal Bonds and the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), which will help create new Urban Infrastructure, of which Clean Mobility Infrastructure will be a crucial part.
We would like to see more being offered in terms of incentives for the entire EV Infrastructure sector. As I have said, India could quickly become the global Hub for EV, and we would have liked to see more incentives to encourage domestic manufacturing in the sector”.

Aditya Modak, Co-founder, Gargi by P N Gadgil & Sons.

“The government has maintained control of the current budget by limiting the deficit within limits, leading to a 4% higher revenue receipt over the revenue expenditure.
The gold import duty has remained the same; we expected it to go down by 2.5%. On the other hand, the import duty on silver has increased by 2.5%, affecting the fashion jewelry market due to the price hike of Sterling Silver.
On the other hand, the reduction in surcharge on super-rich taxpayers will give positive sentiment to investments. Also, the increase in the Income Tax limit will increase the disposable surplus income of the middle class, which will be good for tourism, discretionary spending, and luxury FMCGs”.

Anand K Rathi, Co-founder, MIRA Money.

“It’s a budget that was on expected lines. The focus was on capital expenditure, especially on the execution and completion of infrastructure-related projects. The budget delivered that. Overall, it was a satisfactory budget on expected lines and is progressive.
Happy that the Government didn’t give in to the pressure from the middle class. Though there has been a revision in the income tax slabs for the salaried class, the income Tax regime needs a massive change. We need a clear rollout plan toward a simpler, more effective, and inclusive income tax regime.
There should have been a mention of a plan for the development of ports. Many ports and connecting roads need a lot of work and simplification of the process. As a fast-growing economy, we needed a massive upgrade in the existing facilities.
Also, the budget didn’t announce any steps for the semiconductor industry. While we are yet to read the fine print, it would have helped if the budget could have allocated Rs.10,000 crores to the industry. There is a massive potential for Indian manufacturers to make use of this opportunity.
The government is trying to make Section 80C obsolete with the new tax regime. I would have liked a phased rolldown of 80C. Many investors force themselves to save in ELSS and Term insurance. My concern is that under the new tax regime, this may lead to reduced individual savings. 80C could have been addressed.
Regarding the step towards a PAN card as a KYC, this is the right step forward. As such, Aadhar was linked to a PAN card; with this, the number of documents required for businesses and investing will decrease. As a next step, if a PAN card can be the primary document, it would make onboarding easier for individuals and corporates.”

Aditya Balani, Co-founder, LetsDressUp.

“The budget has been well-balanced overall, but some concerns still haven’t been addressed for Startups like us.
One of the key concerns for Startups like us is the inverted tax structure. We pay ~18% input tax but get only ~5% output tax. This creates a net input of over 10% which is not credited to us immediately as cash, thus leading to working capital issues.
Secondly, the taxation on startup investments is significantly larger than on investments in public markets. It will really help the startup ecosystem if there is parity between the systems.
India is a market with potential for disruption and innovation as there is an extensive reservoir of youngsters who would like to explore the path of entrepreneurship. Ease of business and ironing out these concerns will fast-track our economy and industry toward growth”.

Palash Agrawal, Founder / Director, Vedas Exports.

This budget has been good for MSMEs like us and common people too. MSMEs like us now must pay only when we receive payments. This is a huge relief, as we suffered due to the non-receipt of payments from vendors. Funds have been allotted to the handicraft industry, which is a welcome sign. I would have loved to see more incentives for exporting handicrafts; it would have given a further push to the home décor industry like ours. There could have been more players who would have come, and India could have become an export hub for handcrafted artifacts.
The budget has taken care of women and senior citizens; women are getting special benefits, and senior citizens have higher tax slabs. Overall, this will be good for the economy.

Mr. Vipin Vindal, CEO, Quarks Technosoft

In Budget 2023, 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.

Yash Jain, Co-founder & CEO of NimbusPost

“This optimistic Union Budget of Amrit kaal is groundbreaking in itself, setting a clear ground for reformation by proposing 100 critical infrastructure projects with an investment of 75,000 crores for last and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and the food-gain sector. The government has allocated 2.7 lakh crore to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, signifying its focus on extensive connectivity which is going to further boost the logistics industry.

Ms Divya Jain, Co-founder, Seekho

The Union Budget 2023 encourages and helps our youth realise the importance of Upskilling by establishing skill India international centres across states. Even establishing a national digital library for children will be helpful to build a solid infrastructure.

Giving priority to regional languages and collaborating with non-governmental organisations will also help to improve rural education. This year’s union budget also provided a ray of hope for the education sector, with the finance minister announcing the recruitment of 38,000 teachers for Eklavya Model and Residential Schools, which will provide opportunities for tribal students.

Mr Amrit Singh Co-Founder and CRO at Loop

“The budget has focused on improving India’s R&D capability in pharma and medical devices while increasing vocational training on nursing. In their approach to sickle cell anemia eradication they have shown a preventive healthcare framework of health education, proactive testing and treatment that should be the cornerstone of all healthcare in India, which is currently only focused on last mile sick care. We hope future Budgets will cater to preventive care”

Hiranmay Mallick, CEO & Co-Founder at Tummoc – a public transit app

“Glad to see the priority given to ‘Green Growth’ in this year’s budget. Sustainability and steps towards net zero carbon emissions are the need of the hour. With the global climate crisis, it’s time for us all as individuals, entrepreneurs, and changemakers to start playing our roles. The green credit programme planned as a part of this initiative is one that will encourage and incentivize sustainable choices in an otherwise majorly non-sustainable corporate world. Mass transition to public transport as a primary mode of commute will indeed play its role towards reducing carbon emissions.”


By – Pushkar Singh, Partner at Tremis Capital – An early-stage investment firm that invests in highly curated startups

“The Union Budget 2023 paves the way for a brighter future and gives a significant boost to the fintech sector by simplifying the KYC and identity verification process. A one-stop solution for identity and address reconciliation using an expanded DigiLocker and the use of PAN as a business identifier for digital systems will significantly reduce compliance for fintech companies. Simplifying KYC norms on a risk-based principle will enable greater ease of transactions and reduce dropout rates. Players will have access to anonymized data, allowing them to provide more innovative and customized financial services to customers, driving financial inclusion and promoting economic growth. The government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for fintech companies recognizes their critical role in driving India’s economy. This budget is quite favorable for the fintech ecosystem in India.”


By- Monalisha Thakur, Co-founder & CMO at Tummoc – a public transit app

“The Mahila Samman Bachat Patra scheme is a great initiative for blue-collared women employees as it allows them to save more not only for themselves but for their families. The scheme can also be used to allow parents to save more for girl children thus taking a step towards securing their futures. A rate of interest of 7.5% allows them to beat inflation, thus giving them a better chance during rough economic conditions. There are also a number of other initiatives announced in the budget that are a step in the right direction. Especially the priority given to ‘Green Growth’ which will only lead to a cleaner, greener tomorrow for society as a whole.”


By- Nitin Raj, CEO and Co Founder, Riverum- Travel tech Company

“This is a significant increase and will definitely send some shock waves but the tour and travel industry that has already learnt and experienced so much during the 2 years long hefty covid outbreak and hopefully it will surely find a work around for this as well. However this tax collection at source is for the tour packages above Rs 50 lakhs. If we look at it from another point of view then in a way it is good and promotes domestic tourism and there is a lot more demand for domestic packages than international ones. There is also a possibility that high cost tour packages can now be split into multiple travel plans by tour operators and travel agents. Furthermore the devil is in detail for both sides in this case. Will it have an impact on the demand in travelers for high cost travel packages is yet to be determined.”


By- Achal Kothari, Co-founder & VP – Business, ByteBeam- AI & Iot device management Company

“The 2023 Budget lays out a clear vision for India’s future with a focus on physical infrastructure, such as roads and rails, and investment in new technologies like AI to spur economic growth. The move to exempt raw materials for Li-ion battery manufacturing and emphasis on reducing carbon emissions is a strong signal that the government is committed to promoting sustainable technologies like electric vehicles. This budget is poised to drive the accelerated adoption of EVs and related technologies like chips, connectivity modules, and TCUs.”

Mr. Saurabh Agarwal, M.D. & CEO, Unify Facility Management Pvt. Ltd

As an entrepreneur, I am happy with the recent union budget presented by the Honourable Finance Minister. The budget has provided a roadmap for growth and development in the coming financial year 2023-24. I am confident that the measures announced in the budget will give a much-needed boost to the service industry and help us navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and the war. Here are the points that we appreciate:

  1. The highest on-record increase in Capital Investment by 33% for the third year in a row will have a multiplier effect on the economy. This increase is 3.3% of our GDP at INR 10 Lakh Crore well higher than the 7.5 lakh crore in the previous year. We welcome this move and it will push India to reach the milestone of a 5 trillion Dollar economy faster. This investment will be a force multiplier propelling growth and warding away the fears of a possible global economic recession gripping the country substantially.
  2. Rebate of Tax exemption (in the new tax regime) increased from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 7 lakhs, under the New Tax Regime. This will have high disposable income in the hands of the individuals – thus increasing spending, eventually boosting retail growth.
  3. Tech-driven paperless compliance has been given special mention. Extending the scope of Digi-Locker to include business entities and usage of PAN as a common identifier is another great step towards digitization. This will eliminate the need to have over 20 enterprise identities in the current environment. It is a good step towards sustainability as well through saving a lot of paper and time. Around 3,000 compliances have either been removed or many offenses decriminalized.
  4. A very important proposal for the MSME is that those who take services and goods from an MSME unit will not be able to claim expenditure on such purchases unless they pay the MSME. This will result in faster payments to MSMEs thus improving their cash flows and therefore survival.
  5. Outlay for the MSME sector has been increased by 9,000 Cr via credit guarantee schemes.
  6. The Jan Vishwas bill aims to address the longstanding challenges faced by India’s entrepreneurs. It is a step towards establishing a transparent and trustworthy governance model.

Founder & CEO of QuackQuack, Mr. Ravi Mittal

“The Budget 2023-2024 comes bearing good news; it shows the economy to grow at 7% this year, which is the highest among all major economies, and we couldn’t be more optimistic. The focus on Startups in this year’s budget is certainly encouraging. As a young company with 22 million users, we are hopeful that the announcement regarding Startups will only take us further ahead. It is exciting to see that India will have more Centres of Excellence for the development of Artificial Intelligence to help make AI work for India. We understand that the Data Governance Policy will be brought out to unleash innovation and research and is expected to encourage startups, but it is still too early to say how and on what this will be implemented”

Co-founder and CEO of Revamp Moto

“In the recently announced budget, GOI has taken key initiatives in boosting the Green economy. Specifically in the EV sector, reduction in custom duty on lithium-ion cells will help in incentivizing the product cost to end consumers. Thus, resulting in boosting the sales of EV’s. This will be further catalyzed by the government’s initiative of strict scrapping policy. We look at increased CAGR of EV sector in the FY 22-23”

Mr. Rajesh Shah, MD & Chairman of Eurobond

“We express our strong support for the visionary budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This budget places an emphasis on the comprehensive development of the economy through targeted investments in infrastructure, micro and small businesses, and affordable housing. The allocation of 10 lakh crore rupees for capital expenditures will bring the Capex/GDP ratio to a historic high of 3.3%. Despite the potential for a slowdown in the global market, it is amazing to see how this budget supports India’s continued growth through the encouragement of investments in the manufacturing and export sectors, which will further lead to the creation of substantial employment opportunities. Overall, this budget masterfully balances the imperative need for growth and sustainability, keeping de-carbonization as a central consideration”

Our FM Nirmala Sitharaman also recognized the importance of technology, skill development and new innovations for the youth of the country in the Union Budget, all these initiatives will form the cornerstone for India’s success. Sharing his views on the same, Mr. Rishabh Khanna, Founder and CEO of Suraasa says, “The budget reflects the government’s commitment to improve access to quality education and to promote the use of technology. The establishment of three centers of excellence for AI will help advance ‘Make AI for India’ & ‘Make AI work for India’, fostering innovation and providing opportunities for students to learn the latest technology. The re-envisioning of teacher training programmes through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, and continuous professional development will help address the challenges such as the shortage of qualified teachers and the lack of teachers’ career growth. The budget provides teachers with the resources they need to grow and succeed. This commitment to teacher growth will help ensure teachers are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. The plan to set up 30 Skill India International Centers highlights the importance of skill development. These centers would also increase their chances of finding employment opportunities abroad. Moreover, the launch of PMKVY 4.0 under NEP 2020 would enable the youth to compete in the global job market and grow”

Adding to it, Ms. Ritika Kumar, Founder & CEO of STEM Metaverse

“The emphasis of the government on past mile access is extremely encouraging for the edtech sector. This involves digitization of content and training and skill development becoming part of every sector. Coming to the k12 school education bit, “We are thrilled to see the government’s commitment to empowering students through innovative and futuristic learning solutions. The establishment of a National Digital Library for children and adolescents, physical libraries at panchayat levels, and a focus on teacher training are all steps in the right direction. As a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge edtech solutions, we are particularly excited about the plan to set up Centers of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions. Additionally, the allocation for providing age-appropriate reading materials to inculcate reading habits is a step towards promoting literacy and lifelong learning. The commitment to establishing 38,800 teachers and support staff for the 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools over the next three years is a major boost for tribal students who will now have access to quality education and opportunities. With this budget, we see a promising future for education in India and look forward to supporting the government in its efforts to provide a brighter future for all students in the country”

Mr. Soham Chokshi – CEO and Co-founder, Shipsy

At Shipsy, we are excited to see the Indian Government’s continued commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and investment in the infrastructure sector through the Union Budget 2023. Extending income tax benefits and other relaxations will further help start-ups drive growth. The allocation of funds for critical transport infrastructure projects and the revival of regional air connectivity will modernize the logistics industry, drive greater adoption of multimodal transportation and improve supply chain efficiency. The push toward enhancing India’s 5G ecosystem will further accelerate digital transformation in the transportation management sector. We look forward to playing our part in making India rank among the top 25 countries by 2030 in the Logistics Performance Index.

Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk

“Amid shrinking budgets and an economic downturn, businesses are increasingly having to do more with less and the importance of Artificial Intelligence in a time like this cannot be overstated. The Union Budget’s focus on ‘Make AI work in India’ is a much needed move to develop more skilled talent in the AI field and set new standards for India’s growth,”.

“Our recent CX Trends Report revealed a gap between consumer expectations and business priorities – 84% of Indian consumers expect AI interactions to become more natural and human-like over time, but less than half of Indian businesses (45%) plan to invest in such technologies in the next 12 months when it comes to their customer experience. The government’s move will accelerate the development of India’s AI ecosystem, especially at a time when businesses – particularly MSMEs – face budget constraints when making strategic investments into technology. The Rs 9,000 crore corpus fund and tax concessions made for this sector in the budget will help boost tech adoption among small businesses, and accelerate progress towards a Digital India.”

Kartik Shahani, Country Manager, Tenable India.

“From digitizing government services to creating centralized online databases for citizen and government services and more — the Union Budget 2023-24 has made strategic allocations in turning the wheels of innovation in India.
“With the 76% increase in UPI transactions in India since 2019, the government has given a major push towards simplifying KYC norms and its proposal to adopt a risk-based approach to KYC is a welcome move for businesses in the country.
“It is at this precipice that organizations, both public and private, must focus on building cyber resilience by adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This is because cybercrime is the biggest concern for organizations in the country.

“With such a massive impetus for digitally-driven growth in India, organizations must focus on gaining visibility into the entire attack surface. This includes identifying vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, internet-facing assets and attack pathways. The push for R&D leveraging 5G technologies for IoT, mechatronics, AI, Industry 4.0, and drones would also require these organizations to focus on embedding security at the start of the software development lifecycle. Adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity with exposure management that gives complete visibility into the attack surface will put organizations in the best position to reduce their cyber risk.”

Mr. Vineet Nayar Founder of Sampark Foundation and former CEO of HCL Technologies.

“We welcome govt’s move to provide continuous professional development and learning for school teachers and related funding. With further enhancement of ICT implementation, govt. can focus on pruning non-strategic investments in education to create a larger pool for strategic investments in use of frugal technology and increasing number of teachers and their capacity. Reading is the foundation for our children’s creative minds and this renewed focus on ramping up public libraries would help them to choose and create their own career choices,”

Dr. Mukesh Gandhi, Founder and CEO, Creative Synergies Group

“India’s present economic growth is estimated at 7%, which is an optimistic projection for businesses across industries, despite predicted economic headwinds. As India treads on the path to becoming a global economy, the Union Budget 2023 placed a strong impetus on skill learning, job creation, technology-driven schemes and sustainability. On the skill training front, the Budget announced plans to set up over thirty Skill India Centers structured around industry 4.0 technologies such as IoT, AI, and robotics, and set forth the plans of launching three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work for India” schemes. This has the potential to diminish concerns around the Indian IT sector’s 5 lakh talent gap in the coming years. Additionally, taking its green goals forward, the Finance Minister announced plans to replace state-owned old fuel vehicles. This, coupled with the push for India’s transition to reach 5 MMT of green hydrogen production by 2030 and outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for energy transition investment, the time is ripe for automotive OEMs to accelerate their EV production. Also, considering the extended infusion of Rs 9,000 Cr for MSMEs under Credit Guarantee scheme, small-scale businesses in the automotive industry have the opportunity to produce technologically advanced products and consider collaboration with next generation technology vendors.”

Mr. Kiriti Acharjee, co-founder, HealthFab

The Union budget 2023-24 is today presented in front of all of us. We welcomed it wholeheartedly. This budget is focused on some major topics like digitalisation, health, women empowerment, skilled education, and green growth.

Growing with the oath of sustainability is the aim of 3rd Saptarishi – Green Growth. Wheather in health, farming or lifestyle, we need to understand our needs and wants. Keeping This in mind, developing several ICMR labs in private colleges,establishing150 nursing colleges, set up Centre of excellence for better research and developments and better practical knowledge to use medical devices is a progressive step towards women empowerment and satisfying the need for the health sector to create more skilled doctors and health staff for this nation.

Sandeep Shah, Managing Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP

· “Giving a further boost to the regulatory changes made last year to the definition of securities by including Electronic Gold Receipts and subsequent setting of electronic gold receipt (EGR) by Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange, Hon’ble FM today proposed much-needed amendment to taxability of EGR. It has been proposed that the conversion of gold into EGR or vice versa will not be treated as a taxable event. Further for determining whether the EGR will be treated as a short-term or long-term asset, it is proposed that the period for which the gold was held prior to its conversion into EGR will be counted and similarly the duration for which EGR has been held prior to its disposal will be counted. These are welcome changes and will provide the thrust to bring idle gold into the mainstream. It is estimated that India has annual demand 0f over 800 to 900 tonnes. Also with risk management practices put in place by SEBI, EGR is on its way to becoming a preferred instrument by investors. EGR not only infuses transparency in gold spot transactions but also eliminates market inefficiencies and to top it up, gives India a position to command the price setting in International markets.”

Naresh Sheth, Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP

· “Finance Bill 2023 proposes to block Input tax credits in respect of goods and services used for CSR activities of the Company. The input tax paid on goods or services used for CSR activities will therefore form part of CSR Expenditure obligated under Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013. Consequently, lower benefits will flow to the beneficiary of CSR projects.”

· “The Finance Bill 2023 clarifies that high sea sales, third party exports / Out and Out exports and Sales from custom bonded warehoused goods before clearance for home consumption are excluded from GST levy from inception i.e. 1st July 2017 and not from 01.02.2019 as commonly perceived. This will be a great relief to trade and industry at large as proceedings initiated for the period 1st July 2017 to 31st January 2019 in respect of such transactions will now be dropped. In case the supplier has paid GST on such transactions, he will not be entitled to a refund. This is unfair to conservative taxpayers and is open to challenge.”

· “It is now clarified that persons dealing exclusively in exempt supplies, non-taxable supplies or supplies on which tax is payable under reverse charge were not obliged to take GST Registration from 1st July 2017 onwards even if such persons are required to pay tax under Reverse charge. The educational institutions, healthcare service providers, lawyers, GTA etc. will be beneficiaries of the clarificatory amendment.”

Gopal Bohra, Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP

· “Currently there is no maximum threshold limit on the claim of deduction under section 54 or 54F to save tax on long-term capital gain by investing capital gain or net sale consideration as the case may be in acquiring or constructing new residential house property. In order to prevent High Net Worth taxpayers from claiming the benefit of section 54 or 54F by purchasing very expensive residential houses, the government has proposed to impose a limit on the maximum deduction of INR 10 crore that can be claimed by the assessee under section 54 and 54F. The introduction of maximum threshold on the deductible amount, may some extent slow down the demand in high ticket residential properties.”

· “The FM has proposed to treat all capital gains arising from transfer or redemption of market linked debentures (MLD) as deemed short-term capital gain at applicable tax rate, irrespective of the holding period of such securities. Currently, long-term capital gain from such securities is taxable at 10% if it is held for more than 12 months. This will have significant tax impact on such securities which are due for redemption after 31.3.2023 and taxpayer may have to consider realization of gain prior to 31.3.2024.”

Parag Mehta, Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP

· “In 2019 it was clarified that Third-country exports, High seas sales and supply of Bonded-warehouse goods will not be treated as supply and hence there will be no GST. The said amendment was considered a prospective amendment. Authorities demanded GST on said transactions made prior to January 2019. However, it is now clarified to have a retrospective amendment. The same is with a condition that no refund will be granted if GST has already been paid. Further clarification is required that a refund will be granted if the said GST is paid by the assessee without collecting the same from the customer in the course of audits. Investigations etc.”

Aastha Dhowan, Partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP

· “The Extension of capital gain relief due to change in shareholding in start-ups from 7 years to 10 years likely to give a boost in activities in the start-up sector.”

· “Since the tax rate is among the highest in the world, the highest surcharge rate has been reduced for those in the high-income bracket from 37% to 25% as a relief measure.”

· “With the introduction of Sec 115BAE, the taxation of new manufacturing co-operative societies is now at par with that of new manufacturing companies. A level playing field has been provided for manufacturing set-ups in the form of cooperative societies by materially keeping the conditions to avail such concessional tax regimes similar to that of companies.”

Diana Mathias Partner, N.A. Shah Advisory Services

· “A setback to non-residents – 56(2)(vii b) tax exemption is now withdrawn and will be at par with domestic investors. Consideration received in excess of fair value on the issue of shares by companies to non-residents will be taxable. Now, this can have far-reaching implications as non-residents are also subject to FEMA regulations which mandate the opposite i.e. consideration needs to be higher than fair value. Also, the valuation methodology in both regulations differs with Income Tax restricting to only book value or Discounted Cash Flow.”

Jamil Khatri, CEO and Co-Founder Uniqus Consultech

“While the changes to the tax benefits regime for startups are a welcome move, the objective of supporting the startup ecosystem would be better served if the eligibility norms are implemented such that a larger number of startups actually benefit. Currently, the number of startups that are able to avail of these benefits is fairly low”

· “By identifying Green Growth as one of the seven priorities, the government has rightly focused on the sustainability agenda. The planned outlays in this area could also become an enabler for the development of a deeper green technologies ecosystem in India”

Mr. Kunal Lakhara, CFO, Pocket Aces

The Union Budget for 2023–24 will be extremely significant for the Indian startup sector. Given its impressive growth trajectory, this business is regarded as the third largest sector in India. This industry will receive a big boost from the additional year-long extension in terms of income tax benefits.

When it comes to the M&E industry, the government’s plan to establish 100 laboratories that would concentrate on creating applications using 5G services will lead to the introduction of seamless streaming and bolstered audio & video services for viewers. The Budget also announced the launch of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 which will help the youth build new- age skills such as coding, IoT and soft skills amongst much more. With rising demand for such skills especially amongst the startup industry, we are poised to witness increased employment in the country.

Overall, by emphasizing the development of digital infrastructure and youth empowerment initiatives, the much anticipated Union Budget 2023–24 has established a solid base for the economy to expand. We are now anticipating an increased growth rate that will assist India in redefining its place within the global economy.”

Kirti Kabra, Director, RR Kabel

As a woman entrepreneur, I believe that financial independence for women is imperative and the announcement of the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate through the 2023- 24 Union Budget is a step in the right direction. As more women are getting educated, it is imperative for the Government to create job opportunities for rural women. The brand promotion and linkage with local and global markets will uplift women belonging from the economically weaker section and give them a chance to showcase their capabilities and talents, not just nationally, but also at a global front.

Harsimarbir Singh, Co-founder at Pristyn Care

“The Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is well-balanced, progressive and development-oriented. Along with many necessary changes that have been put in motion, the steps to enhance ease of doing business, such as reducing 39,000 compliances and decriminalizing 3,400 legal provisions, is a welcome step. Acknowledging start-ups as drivers for the Indian economy’s growth, the finance minister has also extended the existing tax benefits for such businesses by one more year till March 31, 2024. Healthcare services by the small & medium sector are yet to bounce back, and the Finance Minister’s announcement of revamped Credit guarantee scheme, allocation of Rs9,000 crores and reduced credit cost is sure to boost the sector to revive quickly.

With the opening of 157 new nursing colleges in co-locations with the existing 157 medical colleges, the budget has put a significant focus on the health front. Select ICMR labs will also be made available for research by public & pvt medical facilities, which is a welcome move. In addition, due attention has been paid to improving talent in healthcare by introducing multidisciplinary courses for medical devices and skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, which aims to strengthen public-private health offerings. With great emphasis on the AI ecosystem, we are happy to be stakeholders in the government’s initiative for Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India for relevant applications in the healthcare domain. We are excited about India’s economic growth this year and looking forward to start-ups playing a pivotal role.

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.

Preekshit Gupta, Vice President – APAC & MEA, Bureau.id

“It is great to see the government outline the importance of data protection and prevention during this year’s Union Budget. The announcement of a National Data Governance Policy will provide easy and secure access to data and encourage innovation by supporting the growth witnessed for digital operations in India. Adopting PAN as a standard identifier and simplifying the KYC process is a winning proposition across the entire FinTech landscape. This standardisation will accelerate customers’ digital onboarding process and is a good move towards a financially Inclusive India. This will drastically reduce the current compliance complexities and will improve the ease of doing business.

Creating a one-stop solution for reconciliation and updating of the identity and address of individuals through DigiLocker service and Aadhaar will help protect user data and foster their trust in the digital ecosystem. Furthermore, the announcement of establishing three Artificial Intelligence centres of excellence is a testimony that the government has appreciated the importance of artificial intelligence in making a secure and transparent digital economy. We strongly believe that the government’s continued support and efforts of the startup ecosystem will help India reach a 5 Trillion economy.”

Arun Arora, CEO and Co-Founder of Ekostay, a homestay venture.

“Union Budget 2023 – Post-budget note for the Travel & Tourism sector
The Union Budget 2023 led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came with several great propositions and opportunities for the travel and tourism sector this year. The government identified their lack of concrete monetary support to the sector in the previous budget and took steps to rectify that. The FM addressed the immense importance of the travel and tourism industry in India’s GDP and the ample job opportunities and economic growth potential it holds. To boost the inflow of tourism from domestic and international tourists, some of the steps taken by the government are impressive. For instance, the selection of 50 tourist destinations in the country to be developed as a whole package and the revamp of 50 airports, helicopters, and aerodromes for improving regional air connectivity and boosting the influx of domestic and international tourists will improve the tourism infrastructure tremendously. The railway sector is also receiving a capital outlay of ₹ 2.40 lakh crores, which will improve travel accessibility for the low-income sectors and, in turn, boost tourism. To ease the stay of international and domestic tourists, the government will also look into improving the standards of food safety, tourist security, and physical and virtual connectivity, which we find commendable. As a positive side-effect, we will also see more job opportunities for the public, especially the youth. On the capital outlay front, we think that the infusion of the Credit Guarantee Scheme with ₹ 9000 crores and the provision of ₹ 2 lakh crores collateral to MSMEs in a bid to boost fund flow to the MSME sector will encourage startups and small businesses in the travel and tourism industry to expand their operations and witness an increase in revenue. It will give confidence to MSMEs and startup owners to approach banks for loans and ease the burden on banks to lend funds to MSMEs without collateral. However, unfortunately there was no relaxation on the GST front which was much anticipated from the government. But overall unlike the last budget, these are some concrete developments that will aid in promoting and boosting the tourism industry by a decently fair margin.”

Apurv Modi, Managing Director & Co-Founder, ATechnos Group

“I am pleased that the Hon’ble Finance Minister announced India’s first Amrit Kaal Budget inspired by ‘Saptarishi’ or the seven great sages. The government plans to set up 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ in top educational institutions for realizing the vision of Make AI in India, for India. Moreover, 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will be setup in engineering institutions is a very promising announcement for the tech start up space in general and gaming in particular.

The Honorable Finance Minister deserves full credit for announcing a progressive budget. The government proposed removing the TDS threshold of INR 10,000 for online gaming startups. Also, online gaming startups should provide for TDS and taxability on net winnings at the time of withdrawal or at the end of the financial year.

We look forward to the taxation rate for the gaming sector as it is yet to decide. For now, an 18% tax is being levied on the commission collected by online gaming platforms for games not involving betting or gambling, whereas it is zero for the contest entry fees. However, with the government’s support and the right policies, the gaming industry could become the driving force of the economy in India and help create jobs for millions of people.”

Kaushik Das, CEO & Founder, AAONXT, Odisha’s first Independent OTT platform.

“In the Union Budget 2023 announcement today led by esteemed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, we were anticipating positive developments for the Media, Entertainment, and OTT sectors. But two of our core expectations of the government slashing movie ticket prices and OTT subscription plan costs to boost customer spending on digital and television content have not been addressed directly. We were expecting direct reliefs, but what we got were some indirect reliefs. The relief has come in the form of custom duty cuts on the production and sale of various tangible commodities essential for viewing television media on the big screens and digital content on OTT platforms. These include the reduction of custom duty on cars, smartphones, TVs, lithium-ion batteries, and other electric and technological goods. As reiterated earlier, these are not direct reliefs for the entertainment sector but they are measures that might give an indirect impetus to the public consuming media content through different mediums. A slash in TV and smartphone prices can make it easier for people to purchase a TV or smartphone that could’ve been outside their budget before. Or it could mean getting their ideal TV or smartphone from their choice of brand at a lesser price, leaving them more money for buying subscription plans to their favourite OTT channels and applications. This shouldn’t be a problem for most national OTT platforms given that their cost is already priced affordably. But it would definitely mean good news for subscribing to global OTT platforms like Netflix or Apple TV that charge their users on the higher spectrum

As of 2021, the contribution of the media & entertainment sector was valued at around 1.6 trillion. According to IAMAI, there is going to be a rise in the number of internet users to 900 million by 2025. And according to a FICCI-EY report, TV is expected to bring in a revenue of around 847 billion by 2023. Given the immense contribution of the media & entertainment sector to India’s economy and GDP, these new tax changes will only boost the contribution of this sector further. However, we hope that the government recognizes the contribution of our sector and delivers a more precise and direct relief in the next budget.”

Mr. Dhananjaya Bharadwaj, Co-founder and CEO of ParkMate

“The Budget 23-24 addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reinforces the excellence of the Budget introduced last year. The Union budget correctly emphasised the need for a greater accentuation on innovation, research, and development, which are vital to India’s ambitious goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy. A special proposal to establish three AI centres will motivate entrepreneurs aiming to launch AI startups. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the planned infrastructure target is aligned with broader environmental and social goals. Like the rest of the startup community, we fully embrace the Budget 2023.”

Mr. Abhishek Dwivedi, Co-Founder of EVeez, “The implementation of the Green Economy, which will enhance the nation’s EV infrastructure, in the Union Budget 2023–24 is very encouraging for the EV sector. The government’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability is a noteworthy achievement. Emphasis on lowering carbon footprint and creating jobs through green growth projects demonstrates a profound understanding of how the environment and the economy are intertwined. We look forward to helping create a future where everyone lives in economic and environmental prosperity.”

Farheen Ahmad, CEO & Founder of interality

“Union Budget 2023 has carried forward the existing tax policy on digital assets which means all crypto assets will continue to get taxed at a flat 30% with a 1% tax deduction at the source (TDS). While unveiling the 2023 Union budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not make any specific mention of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, or Metaverse in her speech and left the existing framework of crypto taxation in the country untouched. Experts are not surprised as a majority of them weren’t expecting any major change in the current stance of the country towards digital assets. The perception of Digital Assets as a speculative class of investment still prevails largely in India and despite some credible efforts, cryptocurrencies haven’t been able to win over the confidence of regulators, central banks, and other overseeing authorities across the globe.”

Ahmad further added, “I hope that the Government will reconsider its position on crypto taxes and sit with industry stakeholders to build a healthy and sustainable environment for the growth of Digital Assets in the country. As India has taken the presidency of the prestigious G-20 group of nations, this is probably the most opportune time to build a consensus for the widespread adoption of Digital Assets among the participating countries. The players in the crypto industry also need to work out ways for gaining recognition among regulatory bodies and statutory organisations. In sum, creating an environment of trust and credibility around Digital Assets is the need of the hour and therefore, every stakeholder must put concerted efforts to achieve this ambitious goal.”

Mr. Santhosh Sagar Reddy, Founder and CEO of CoffeeBeans, “It is heartening to witness that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a two-pronged vision for artificial intelligence (AI) in India: ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’. The game-changing potential of AI is very much evident today and now with Budget 2023 proposing setting up three centres of Excellence for AI in top educational institutions, I am quite confident that the technology will herald a new wave of growth across business sectors and industries. Further, the fact that these centres will work in close collaboration with industry and encourage multidisciplinary research is sure to help both the tech industry and the country to realise its true potential in the coming years.”

Mr. Ashish Bhatia, Founder, India Accelerator

We applaud Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister, for presenting the Union Budget 2023, as it provides energy for India’s economic growth. Although the world is in a recession, India is growing, and this is reflected in the budget. In a move that we hope will result in creative and affordable solutions for farmers’ problems, it was announced by the finance minister that an agriculture accelerator fund would be established to support agri-tech startups in rural areas.This might encourage business owners and startups to turn ideas into chances for the agri-sector as a whole to expand, as well as enable accelerators to spend more money in the industry. The Finance Minister also recommended to extend the period of incorporation for income tax benefits to eligible start-ups by one more year, until March 31, 2024, in order to emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship for the nation’s economic development.

Additionally, she also addressed the redesigned Credit Guarantee for MSME programme, which will go into operation on April 1, 2023, with a corpus inflow of 9,000 crore. She also offered to lower the cost of credit by 1% and several reliefs for MSMEs, including the promise from the government to return 95% of the forfeited funds in the event of contract failure during COVID. MSMEs will be able to expand their businesses without worry, thanks to this. We anticipate a year chock full of development and inspiration.

Ashish Sidhra , Co-founder of Alike.io.

“Government’s decision to launch a challenge-based model for selection of at least 50 destinations across India is a hugely welcome step for the development of world class tourism experience in the country. With a holistic focus on not only hard infrastructure, like physical connectivity, but also on softer aspects of Tourism experience delivery like Travel agent quality and tourist safety, the proposed destination rankings will help foster friendly competition among destinations to rank higher than their compatriots. While we await the exact details of the scheme, what gives us optimism is the success of a similar model used for the Swachh Bharat City rankings. We have all seen the positive impact these city rankings have had on the cleanliness across cities in India, driven in large parts due to the sense of competition introduced by the scheme. In a survey done by Local Circles during Sep-Oct 22, 53% of respondents believed that the scheme had led to improvement of civic sense among the general public. A similar grassroot level change will go a long way in delivering a true “Atithi Devo Bhava” experience for guests to these destinations.”

Mr. Ravi Bhushan, Founder and CEO, BrightCHAMPS

“The Budget announcement yesterday by our Honourable Finance Minister was a striking reminder of the importance of skill training amongst the kids and youth of our country. Launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 to cover new age courses such as coding, AI, robotics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, soft skills and more, establishment of the National Digital Library and the push to inculcate financial literacy among the young Indians are all laudable moves by the Government. Concentrated efforts were also made to encourage budding entrepreneurs and bolster the startup ecosystem in India by providing tax incentives and providing capital and funding at various stages of the business cycle through initiatives like Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) under the Startup India Program.

As the Founder of an educational platform that teaches kids 6-16-years-old crucial life skills, it gives me immense joy to see that we, as a country, are moving resolutely towards arming our kids and youth with next-gen skills that will help them grow into confident and independent individuals, responsible leaders, innovative scientists, job creators, artists, investors and more. Today, India is dubbed as the global tech leader, providing tech giants across the globe with the sharpest minds. Going forward, our aim is to transform our country into a formidable force in every walk of life, led by the greatest minds and the kindest souls.”

Parag Khurana, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India

Cybersecurity has for long been a critical matter of concern, especially in light of rapid digitization. With the rollout of 5G and cloud migration, there has been a significant uptick in cyberattacks across the country. In 2022, we have seen the rise of ransomware against critical infrastructure, with education (15%), municipalities (12%), healthcare (12%), infrastructure (8%), and financial (6%) being the five key targeted industries according to research. The Union Budget announcement today paints a favourable picture for the sector with the introduction to National Data Governance policy will help academia and start-ups gain access to anonymised data by the government.
Provisions like the establishment of three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions noting that ‘Make AI in India’ and to ‘Make AI work for India’ will support the creation of a stronger technology infrastructure in the country. This will further boost the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. That being said, Budget 2023 amply highlights the greater focus that the government has placed on string digital infrastructure and technology at large. and we are hopeful that today’s announcement will have an inherently positive effect on the sector.

Alok Mathur, Co-Founder, Digi2L

The multiple policies for “green growth” and “digital infrastructure ” expressed by the Finance Minister in the budget speech is a welcome announcement for the consumer durable industry. This would promote the adoption of greener technology products and help in recommerce of older products in a sustainable manner to create a positive impact on the environment. Companies which have invested in building a digital infrastructure around this could get benefitted by the support from the government. Benefits announced for start -ups to carry forward losses from 7 years to 10 years is also an encouraging step towards atma nirbhar bharat. Alok Mathur, co-founder and CEO of Digi2L.

Mr. Sudhakar Raja – Founder and CEO – TRST Score (World’s Only Human Risk Mitigation Platform).

The two new slabs that have been formed for income tax reasons would benefit salaried professionals. For all salaried professionals, the increase in the income tax rebate from 5 lakhs to 7 lakhs is a pleasant change. A new tax band at the 20% tax rate is being implemented, and it ranges from 12 lakhs to 15 lakhs. Students will have the opportunity to learn and find employment based on the new skill centres, AI-driven hubs and data being provided for analysis by start-ups. The new national data governance policy will open up new opportunities and insights that can drive businesses.

Numerous people will find work as a result of the new nursing schools, and the pharmaceutical sector will benefit from incentives to support R&D by having more options for employment and skill development. The government’s effort to improve R&D in the pharmaceutical industry ought to be applauded. The boost in capital spending will create jobs for many people and help tide the downturn brought about by the western economies. Another intriguing project that has the potential to revolutionise the IT sector is artificial intelligence.

The removal of 3400 legislative requirements and 39,000 compliances will make doing business in India easier. Green growth has been given sectoral importance which is a welcome move.

Neha Singh, Co-founder, Tracxn

“India has evolved to be the third-largest startup ecosystem globally and is one of the leading countries in terms of funding among middle-income countries. The Indian government has been actively working to support the growth of startups in the country. It all began in 2016 with the introduction of “Startup India,” which was followed by numerous other initiatives of a similar nature, including the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS), etc. By streamlining procedures and regulations, these initiatives made it easier to do business and to access financing.

Multiple helpful policies have been implemented into the current budget to support the nation’s startup ecosystem in light of the continuing inflation and funding slowdown. One of the key points announced by the finance minister is the extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from FY23 to FY24. In addition, the government has stated that startups will be able to carry forward their losses for up to 10 years. To accelerate the development of AgriTech firms, an agriculture accelerator fund will be established. The creation of a national data governance policy will make anonymized data available for a range of applications, creating a plethora of business opportunities. These are a few of the significant measures that have been announced this year among many more that will all aim to improve the nation’s overall startup ecosystem”

Ms. Pooja Mehta, Chief Investment Officer, JITO Angel Network

“The government’s announcement of a National Data Governance Policy is a landmark moment for India’s start-ups and academic community. With India being recognised as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world and a leader in innovation quality, it’s a powerful testament to the entrepreneurial spirit in the country. The Focus on R&D and AI Execution to move India more towards Digitisation. Also, extension of tax benefits and the relaxation of the conditions for carry-forward of losses for start-ups is a positive step forward. This shows that the government is again fully committed to support, promote, entrepreneurship and Technology development which will drive economic growth and development in India.”

Ashwin Ajila, Founder & Managing Director at iNurture

“The Union Budget 2023–24 outlines forward-thinking measures and reforms for the Indian education sector. The increased funds allocated to higher education is a promising development for the sector’s growth. These funds, aimed at advancing technology and digitalization, will expedite the implementation of the National Education Policy and also boost the upskilling of students across India, especially in tier 2,3 and 4 cities. However, it is imperative to carefully oversee the deployment of these funds and enforce accountability for the impact and results produced.”

Anup Nayar, CEO-Domestic, In solution Global Ltd,

“With the Finance Minister announcing reduction of 39000 compliances and decriminalizing more than 3400 legal provisions, the budget proposes a series of measures to unlock the potential of our economy and promoting businesses. New age start-ups and unicorns should also feel empowered with the Jan Vishwas bill that will amend 42 central acts to support organizations. In addition, the formulation of the National Information Financial Registry will serve as centralized source of financial information, which will not only empower industry players, but enhance the payments infrastructure as well.”

Mr. Ashish Saraf, VP and Country Director, India-Thales

“We welcome the Government’s inclusive and growth-oriented budget. The seven priority areas including green growth targeted in the budget will certainly position India’s growth ahead of other leading economies of the world. We appreciate the focus on solidifying the technology ecosystem in the country through a set of announcements including setting up of three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions, 100 labs in engineering schools for development of 5G applications and the formation of a National Data Governance Policy, among others. This paves the way for enhancing the robust tech ecosystem in the country, fostering innovation, and entrepreneurship.”

Mr. Vishal Bhatia, CFO, Balancehero India

The Union Budget presented by FM today is an exhaustive, progressive and inclusive one. At Balancehero, we are committed to ensuring financial inclusion for all and are pleased to see the government’s increased allocation towards financial inclusion programs in the recent budget. We believe that this will further drive our mission to provide accessible and affordable financial services to all segments of the population.

Additionally, the reduced regulatory obligations and multiple KYC needs will give entities a much-needed breather. This will also encourage and ensure more people come under the umbrella of the formal financial system.

And the National Data Governance Policy will also offer access to anonymized data and help in a risk-based approach instead of a one size fits all approach that will better fit the needs of Digital India. The budget offers something for everyone and will pave the way for an India where financial inclusion is a reality for all citizens.

Mr. Nikhil Agarwal, President-CJ Darcl Logistics

“This is the first Budget of Amrit Kaal, and we believe that this is a budget aimed at fostering growth. We are sure that the huge rise in capital expenditure by 33% will have an incremental effect on the overall growth of the economy. Infrastructure sector is the backbone of any economy, and the government has been pushing for the sector’s growth for its multiplier effect and linkage effects in terms of job creation. Infrastructure and development are among the seven priorities of the Budget 2023. The newly announced one hundred critical transport infrastructure projects will help the country to ensure energy and food security as these are critical for India as it targets to become the third largest economy in the world in the next 6-8 years. The government has also decided to inject 2.40 lakh crore in railways in order to derive the positive outcome on environment sustainability.

As Budget 2023 focuses on promoting coastal shipping, it will play a critical role in the economy’s competitiveness, expansion, and long-term sustainability, which is an under tapped sector at the moment. Also, the announcement of 100 Labs for developing applications using 5G services will bring in changes across the transport sector including increasingly smart and efficient logistics and improved urban transportation with the implementation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms. The Budget 2023 has demonstrated a good balance between today’s needs and the future’s demand..

Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital

“The Union Budget rightly builds incentives to support low carbon development pathways with the focus on Green Growth among the Saptarishi priorities. Catalyzing sustainable growth in India will require incentives to drive investments in technology and innovation, to ensure that we do not have to make trade-offs between people and planet. We welcome the increased outlay towards energy transition, and particularly for Green Hydrogen and waste-to-energy, which will boost energy independence. The PRANAM scheme and bio-inputs centres shall incentivize adoption of sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices. The Green Credit programme will channel much needed capital to support the transition to a sustainable economy. Concessional duties on Li-ion batteries will provide further boost to the EV sector and help decarbonize the transport and logistics sectors. The measures announced in Budget 2023 will further strengthen India’s position as a global climate leader, and catalyze sustainable, inclusive development.”

ViewSonic India

“We are happy to see that the budget 2023 talks at length about decreasing the digital divide by introducing National Digital Libraries that will facilitate access to quality books for children and adolescents across geographies, languages, genres, and levels. Furthermore, the centre’s mission to re-envision teachers’ training through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development, dipstick surveys, and ICT implementation will help boost the sectoral growth and knowledge sharing with the District Institutes of Education and Training set to be developed as vibrant institutes of excellence for this purpose. Furthermore, we are excited to see that the centre is working towards setting up of three Centres of Excellence for AI (Artificial Intelligence) in top educational institutes. It is a progressive measure that will help boost knowledge sharing and technology development in the education sector. However, we expected substantial measures in the budget for the allocation of resources for the development of technology in the educational sector. This would have supported higher investment and opened doors for new ventures in the industry.”

Namit Chugh, Investment Lead, W Health Ventures

This year’s budget highlights the government’s continued push toward improving access to quality healthcare for all. We are particularly excited about the announcement to open 3 inter-disciplinary AI research and development centres to “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India.” AI in Healthcare has already shown immense promise across the globe in improving care. We have seen use cases across diagnostics where AI tools are bettering accuracy, speed and also enabling early diagnosis, mental health where AI chatbots can be used as the first line of treatment, etc. Given the potential to create large healthcare data sets in India used to train AI and the pool of highly qualified tech talent, this move by the government makes us more ready than ever to make AI in Healthcare a trillion-dollar opportunity.

Healthcare continues to be a space where professionals like doctors, nurses, etc. have unequal influence over any individual’s care journey. Additional investment in developing and upskilling healthcare personnel like nurses and technicians was one of our key expectations from the budget. We welcome the announcement to set up 157 new nursing colleges in the country, a move that will be pivotal not only to healthcare but also employment.

Pratik Kamdar, Co-Founder Neuron Energy

“The Government’s fidelity to reduce carbon footprint in the country has been re-assuring in the Union Budget 2023. The push towards green mobility will propel the growth of the EV sector in India and will encourage further investments. To usher in a green industrial and economic transition, India is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. With its focus on green growth and push for green mobility, this budget provides the much-needed impetus to the sector.

The Customs Duty exemption on capital goods and machinery to manufacture li-ion will be a facilitator for the country to transition to sustainable and eco-friendly mobility. The exemption will have a domino effect on the overall sector with the over substantial decrease in the overall cost of the finished products wherein the battery packs are likely to reduce by 5% coupled with lower initial investments. Additionally, the vehicle scrapping policy will also be beneficial if the old vehicles are replaced by electric vehicles. This will further aid in the country’s vision of mass EV adoption by 2030.

The sector also holds immense potential with regards to providing entrepreneurship opportunities and job creation. With decreased capital investments to manufacture ancillary supplies like li-ion batteries, it will provide a platform for new age businesses and entrepreneurs to venture into the space.

Overall, we are confident that this Budget will aid in the country’s adoption to electric mobility significantly.”

Peeyoosh Pandey, Chief Executive Officer, Hoonartek

“We congratulate Hon’ble Finance Minister on emphasizing technology-led growth for the third successive year. This transformation will lead to greater use of technology solutions, elevating India’s economic efficiency. The Data Governance policy draft is a welcome step; unlocking data for India’s growth will be crucial. With our expertise in the data domain, we are optimistic about staying ahead of market trends and customer needs in this segment. We have been an integral part of the lending ecosystem; simplifying the KYC process will further fuel the coverage. Our approach of accelerating telecom as one of our core sectors aligns with the government’s call to enhance 5G services further. Our credibility in data integration at scale provides us with a natural head-start in advancing our proposition for this fast-growing ecosystem.”

Dr. Samantak Das, Chief Economist, and Head of Research and REIS, India, JLL

“The 2023 Budget, in a pre-election year, sought to build on the roadmap laid down by previous budgets, focusing on inclusive development, fostering growth and job creation while keeping the macro-economy in a stable yet growth-oriented mode. It has given more money into the hands of individuals and households which would, to a large extent, ease out the increasing pressure on account of home loan EMIs and rising home prices. The increase in allocation for PMAY by a significant 66% would help continue capital flow under CLSS and other related schemes. Addressing the need for creating sustainable cities of tomorrow through urban planning, ease of land availability and promoting TOD schemes will be key towards sustainable development moving forward. Focus on overall infrastructure development and on Tier 2 and 3 cities will be key to overall economic development. The Budget is a balanced one for the economy while missing out on key real estate sector demands.”

Arun Krishnamurthi, CEO and Managing Director, AXISCADES

“We believe that Budget 2023-24 has put the right emphasis on boosting infrastructure investment, green energy, and skill development, which will harbinger a positive outlook for the Engineering Services Industry. Enhancement in Capital Investment Outlay to Rs.10 lakh crores and skill development under PMKVY in new technology areas, such as AI and Robotics will not only bring about enhanced outsourcing opportunities to our Industry as well as create the right talent pool to service these opportunities. Identification of 50 new destinations for the tourism sector with attendant airport infrastructure will in turn boost the demand for aircraft and the Aerospace Industry, in which AXISCADES is one of the key players, delivering niche engineering value to Global OEMs in Aerospace.’

CA Aditya Sesh, Founder and Managing Director of Basiz Fund Service Private Limited

“The fund manager is the regulated entity now. For a long time, the issue of single window applications in GIFT IFSC be it the SEZ or IFSCA, or others has been in discussion. This has now been enabled with powers of SEZ being delegated to the IFSCA. The GSTN registration functions will also be delegated to IFSCA. This will vastly improve the ease of doing business and avoid dual regulation.The announcements concerning GIFT City have been carefully considered. The EXIM Banks subsidiary will be set up, since this is outside the FEMA zone,import and export financing and lines of credit will become much easier.Also, acquisition financing through GIFT City units will now be enhanced because ECB deals done abroad will now be structured in GIFT city and financed from here. An announcement has been made to recognize offshore derivatives in GIFT however, we await the details for the full text of the scheme.The Budget has introduced the concept of a Data Embassy which is unique to India. This will act as a data backup. Such data embassies will not be subject to the Data Export Laws of India. In a way, this will move GIFT IFSC to be a pure service centre for service that will not relate to India and GIFT IFSC will end up being India’s defacto commercial capital for International financial services and transactions.”

Swapnil Shrivastav, Co-founder, Uravu Labs

“The focus on the green economy not only addresses climate change problems but also provides a favorable environment for startups like those in the water and climate-tech domain to grow and expand. The green initiatives in the budget, such as the reduction of indirect taxes on customs duty for the green economy and the allocation of funds towards the Ministry of Energy, Oil, and Petroleum and the National Green Hydrogen Mission, demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting the transition towards a greener and more sustainable future. This presents growth opportunities for startups in this field and can help drive their success and expansion in the coming years.”

Mr. Pankaj Sharma, Co-Founder & Director, Log9 Materials

“The government’s decision to extend the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year is definitely welcoming as it would sustain the ongoing momentum within the Indian EV sector. Considering EV batteries account for approx upto 60% of the EV cost, this relaxation will make electric vehicles more affordable and hence enhance the EV adoption rate.”

Mr. Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO- iCubesWire

“The 2023 budget looks promising for the digital and technology sector. Emerging technologies such as 5G, Web 3.0, and Metaverse will give rise to new business opportunities. Moreover, implementing a comprehensive legal framework will strengthen personal data protection. Investments in tech innovation and digital asset creation will facilitate the development of a knowledge-based economy, with leading educational institutes taking the lead. With the development of three Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in its top academic institutions, we will move closer to making AI in India a reality.”

Mr. Harsh Pareek, Regional Sales Director, India and SAARC, Trimble Solutions.

“The Union Budget 2023 sets the vision for a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy. Further, the welcome push for creating sustainable cities of tomorrow, and the announcement of incentives for green building practices has created the perfect storm for the construction industry players to embrace cutting-edge technologies and help India move towards realising its goal to achieve net zero emissions in ‘Amrit Kaal’.

Overall, the Indian construction industry has many reasons to cheer this budget, from the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund for tier-2 and tier-3 cities to setting up of Infrastructure Finance Secretariat for encouraging private investments in infrastructure. The increased outlays for capital expenditure, now at 3.3% of GDP, and higher allocation for the PM Awas Yojna will provide a major boost to urban housing and infrastructure development, in turn creating new growth opportunities for both real estate and infrastructure companies.”

Mr. Ankit Alok Bagaria, Co-Founder, Loopworm

Ankit Alok Bagaria, termed the Union Budget 2023-24 “short and crisp” saying that the budget would help farmers, established businesses, and Startups in the Agri & Allied Agriculture space.

“The 6000 Cr infusion to promote fisheries would help Shrimp farming the most. Decreasing import duties on feed ingredients are going to help the feed manufacturers and help formalise animal agriculture but would lead to reduced margins for domestic feed ingredient manufacturers. For young startups, the agri accelerator fund is a good initiative but there was less focus to promote Agri-Startups at the growth stage. Funds to support Bio-based products to promote natural farming should boost the plant Bio-stimulant & Bio-fertiliser industry,” stated Bagaria, while welcoming the budget.

“Significant agricultural credit support and significant fund infusion in allied agri sectors should promote existing farmers and people looking for secondary income streams to set up livestock/ poultry/ fish/ insect farms which would lead to a growth in non-arable land agriculture,”

Mr. Aashit Shah, Partner at JSA

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“The government’s focus on capex and infrastructure development is evident from the current budget. This will provide several lending and investment opportunities. For example, an allocation of 75,000 crores towards transport infrastructure projects will aid in transformation of this sector and attract more investments. Upgrading and bettering transportation infrastructure will ease trade and promote growth of business within the country. The proposed voluntary settlement scheme for awards against government entities may help infrastructure companies, who are the beneficiaries of such awards. Further, the deployment of Rs. 10,000 crore in an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund for creating urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will create more opportunities for investment in these cities. The extension of the 50-year interest free loans to states is also subject to a caveat that the amount must be used for capex and therefore, will enhance capex at the state level.

The proposed renewable energy transmission line from Ladakh, viability gap funding for batteries, and a proposed green credit program demonstrates the Government’s emphasis on green growth and will accelerate the renewable energy sector. Another positive move in the budget is to permit acquisition financing from IFSC branches. This will provide more opportunities to banks to fund M&A transactions.”

Visakh Sasikumar, CEO & Co-founder, Fyn mobility

This is undoubtedly a future looking announcement which will help India to become one of the prominent players in green hydrogen space and thus reducing the dependency on lithium. With the budget allocated to energy transition we will see a lot of businesses turning to EV fleets. Green credit system will ensure that the startups and MNC’s who is working for making the planet a sustainable place to live are incentivized.

The viability gap funding will ensure that new battery tech will get supported in the early days before it attains economies of scale.

Customs exemption on capital goods and machineries for lithium batteries will reduce the per kilowatt-hour cost of batteries and thus accelerate EV adoption in both personal and commercial segments.

Ashish Agarwal, CEO and MD, Seros

“The Union Budget 2023 ticks all the boxes needed for an increased emphasis in transforming the logistics scenario of our country. Investments in infra will have a massive impact in accelerating the economic growth of the country. It is also encouraging for the sector to see government’s increasing focus on coastal shipping and in boosting last mile connectivity. In addition, hiking the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24 which will be at 3.3 per cent of the GDP is certainly a welcome move and in tune with the overall development of the sector.”

Kiran Raju, Founder & CEO of Grene Robotics

The Union Budget 2023 is positioned to take India towards Amrit Kaal – the golden centenary of independence and propel India into the league of developed countries in the next 25 years. The vision to support the advancement of indigenous technologies will benefit companies like us who are working on creating some disruptive AI-based solutions for the betterment of mankind, the environment, industrial growth, and society as a whole.

This budget aligns with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, coupled with measures that will drive sustainable development at scale and modernize the country. It is also encouraging to see the Finance Minister share her vision of ‘Making AI in India and Making AI Work for India’. It would be beneficial to create a high-powered committee of leaders from the AI and Robotics space to consult the government on the next decade of AI to understand the implications of AI and manage resources better.

Furthermore, we welcome the government’s plans to establish three AI excellence centres and 100 5G labs, as well as the introduction of the National Data Governance Policy that will create opportunities for research and innovation by providing startups and academia access to anonymized data.

Sujit Patel, Founder and CEO, SCS Tech

“Centre’s focus on AI: Threecentres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’and ‘Make AI work for India’, says FMAs the nation advancesto the next level of technology and with the introduction of 5G, the governmenthas expansive plans to establish a Centre of Excellence in ArtificialIntelligence. India will transition to a digital society and for that, itbecomes important to focus on digital transformation and cyber securitysolutions.The budget report evaluateshow AI will be used to boost India’s economy, along with proposals for numerousfields where AI can be deployed. Not only this will increase the effectivenessand productivity of the industry but also optimize the process to complete thetasks.Additionally, thiswill create new jobs and avenues for numerous start-ups and businesses toprovide solutions in industries like utilities, education, health, agriculture,and smart cities.”

Nitin Varma, Managing Director, India & SAARC, CrowdStrike

The 2023 Union Budget holds immense promise for technology development and skilling. Today, developing new skills is essential for various industries with new and emerging technologies. In particular, cybersecurity is a field that is constantly evolving and requires regular upskilling through advanced training programs. In recent years, we have seen a significant rise in cyberattacks, however, many organizations are struggling with skill gaps and resource crunch. It is encouraging to see that infrastructure and investment as well as youth power are main priorities as these are closely aligned with dynamic industry needs. Investments in infrastructure will have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment, leading to ramping up the virtuous cycle of investment and job creation.

The government’s decision to formulate the National Education Policy, focused on skilling will facilitate job creation at scale. The digital ecosystem for skilling will be further expanded with the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for enabling demand-based formal skilling. The proposed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 meant for skilling youth shall entail new age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, soft skills etc. It is a great incentive keeping in mind the importance of skilling, upskilling and reskilling in the present scenario. Another emerging technology today is Artificial Intelligence.

The three proposed centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence too is a good opportunity for industry players to partner in interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions. These initiatives will pave the way for building a workforce that will be skilled and ahead of the curve in their respective industry.”

Mr. Manik Anand, CEO at White Knights Realty

The budget has focused primarily on remobilizing the economy and introduced various reforms to ensure adequate liquidity in the system. Improved urban infrastructure will provide further impetus to Tier 2 & 3 cities. The unwavering focus on infrastructure will indirectly drive real estate growth over the next one year. The Indian real estate market saw a strong comeback post pandemic with the residential sector picking up demand amidst healthy economic growth. The allocation of Rs 79,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), will give a further boost to the government’s programme to provide housing to the urban poor.

The proposal to amend provisions for computing capital gains in case of joint development of property to include the amount received through cheque etc. as consideration will have lasting effect on industry stakeholders. The UB ’23 has brought with it enhancing opportunities for private investment in infrastructure and establishment of an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund through use of priority sector lending shortfall. It will catapult the involved agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Mr. Karmesh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder at WiJungle-World’s first unified network security gateway

“Well, today the Union budget was proposed by our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and I believe she did an excellent job striking a difficult balance between exercising fiscal restraint and promoting growth, particularly considering the fact that we have not yet completely emerged from the pandemic’s shadow. The budget includes a variety of solid initiatives that assist manufacturing, infrastructure, and significant cohorts that foster growth, such as MSMEs, young people, and even the startup sector. This year’s budget includes several technology-related schemes and missions, such as 5G, the National Data Governance Policy, a DigiLocker boost, the establishment of three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions, leading industry players collaborating to conduct research and develop applications, the National Digital Library, and many more. The government has increased the benefit of carrying forward losses on changes in startup shareholding to ten years from seven years of incorporation, as well as the startup tax holiday policy.

Dr. Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet

“Along with ensuring macroeconomic stability, the government has put major thrust on the social sector in the budget. This is further reflected in the seven priorities (Saptarishi module) embedded within itself, which focuses on inclusive development, reaching the last mile and youth power. The allocation for the social sector (including education, health, and social welfare) has also been increased by 15% for FY24 as against 9% in FY23.
Allocation for the social sector as a percentage of GDP has, however, improved marginally from 0.82% in FY23 to 0.85% in FY24. For the first time, the government has placed special emphasis on teacher training and developing reading habits in the new generation beyond curricula. Acknowledging the need to upskill the youth with newage courses in sync with Industry 4.0, the budget has proposed various measures for skill development, which will make youth future-ready in terms of jobs. Moreover, the three centres of excellence in Artificial Excellence would help India realize the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India.” The government has also for the first time introduced a package of assistance for artisans, which will help them improve quality, scale and reach of their products and will also facilitate their integration with MSME value change. Nonetheless, considering that the National Education Policy (NEP) is slated to be implemented in the coming years, the budget was expected to make some concrete announcements pertaining to its implementation and timelines..”

Yogita Tulsian: Director and co-founder at ixceed solutions

The year 2022 was a roller-coaster ride for the startup ecosystem as well as the HR industry. Layoffs, hiring, gig workers, and other changes had to be made throughout the ecosystem, but after watching the Union Budget 2023-24, it gives the ecosystem a spark and encouragement. India has today grown to be the third largest startup ecosystem globally, and that has helped generate employment as well. Every sector generates jobs for the youth, whether it is in Agri-tech, tourism and travel, health, or many more. With the realisation of the advancement of technology come several schemes and missions, like the establishment of 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions, leading industry players to partner to conduct research and develop applications, the National Digital Library, and many more. Overall, the budget is the correct example of a balanced budget for fiscal responsibility and a push for the startup ecosystem after COVID-19.

Sudhindra Holla, Director, India & SAARC, Axis Communications

“The Union Budget for this year focuses on inclusive economic growth in order to strengthen India’s status as a global digital powerhouse. We are optimistic about the government’s saptarishi, or seven pillars, with a renewed emphasis on green growth. We are delighted with the Centre’s focus on tourism and investment in transportation infrastructure projects as this indicates an increase in demand for safety and surveillance solutions. We are aligned to further action India’s vision to transform our cities into ‘sustainable cities of tomorrow’. This will serve as a stepping stone in revitalising Smart Cities planning and urban development. The budget 2023 has a future-ready outlook and compliments the nation’s unmatched growth for digital economy, innovation, and inclusive development.”

Mr. Ajay Gupta, the Founder of Bachpan Play Schools and Academic Heights Public Schools, and the Co-Founder at Rishihood University

“We welcome the government’s focus on building a knowledge-driven economy to provide all students with equal opportunities and foster inclusive development. Employing more teachers and support staff for the Eklavya model schools will greatly benefit tribal students. The setting up of a national digital library and the creation of other knowledge assets for children (such as new labs) will also provide them with access to quality books, enhancing their learning experience and driving our country’s progress.”


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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