Piyush Goyal, who has been appointed as the interim finance minister presented his maiden Union Budget in the Lok Sabha today. While a full-fledged budget will be presented once the new Central government is formed after the general elections due in March-April, this interim budget, as has been the custom, will seek the Parliament’s nod for meeting the expenditure for the next few months of the new fiscal.
In his speech, while taking the opportunity to throw some light on the various schemes introduced by the Modi Government in the past years, Goyal claimed that India is poised to become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years, and a 10 trillion dollar economy in the next eight years.
On inflation, Goyal commented that India has controlled double-digit inflation. “From 10.1% during 2009-14, inflation in December 2018 was just 2.1%. We have broken the back of back-breaking inflation.”
On GST, Goyal remarked that the implementation of GST has brought a relief of 80,000 crore rupees to the Indian consumers and most items of daily use now brought in the 0-5% tax bracket. Further India has become one common market through tax consolidation, inter-state movements have become faster through e-way bills and Ease of Doing Business has improved.
Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4 per cent in the Interim Budget, while Capital expenditure is pegged at 3.36,292 lakh crore. Expenditure is expected to rise by 13% from revised estimate 2018-19 to budget estimate 2019-20, Goyal said.
Goyal in his Budget speech announced the following -
* Committee under NITI Aayog to be set up to identify and denotify nomadic and semi-nomadic communities; Welfare Development Board to be set up under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for welfare of hard-to-reach communities and for tailored strategic interventions.
* Mega Pension Yojana, namely Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, fo workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age.
* Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, 6000 rupees per year for each farmer, in three installments to be transferred directly to farmer’s bank accounts, for farmers with less than 2 hectares land holding. This initiative is likely to benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore.
* Individual tax payers with income up to Rs. 5 lakh taxable income will get full tax rebate. Even those earning ₹6.5 lakh will not have to pay tax, if they invest in specified savings. The tax slabs, however, will remain unchanged and according to Goyal, an estimated three crore middle class tax payers will be benefited.
“Within almost two years, almost all assessment and verification of IT returns will be done electronically by an anonymized tax system without any intervention by tax officials,” he said.
* Further, TDS on fixed deposits and postal deposits will be exempted for interest earned up to Rs. 40,000 from Rs. 10,000 currently.
* Goyal presented the government’s proposed 10-point vision for 2030
* a next-gen infrastructure
* a Digital India
* a pollution free India that drives on electric vehicles.
* Expanding rural industrialization
* Clean Rivers with safe drinking water
* developing the coastline and harnessing the blue economy
* placing an Indian astronaut in space
* Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting food and organic farming
* Healthy India, a distress-free healthcare and comprehensive wellness system
* Maximum Governance.
Comments Dr. Deepak Kumar Sahu, President & CEO- VARINDIA, “The Interim Union budget unveiled by Piyush Goyal on 1st February, 2019 in Lok Sabha brings various reliefs as expected by general public in Income tax to increase their disposal income such as increase in basic exemption threshold limit, increase in maximum limit of deduction u/s 80C, increase in standard deduction for salaried class persons etc. Every sections of the society had been looking forward to the changes that the government has brought in.
Significant SOP for the middle class with significant reduction in direct taxes among other benefits, would put more money into hands of citizens, increasing their spending power and increasing consumer demand. Lastly, this budget provides relief to the renting house owners and exemptions raised for self-occupied house property.”
“The Union Budget appears to be a full budget and not an interim budget. The budgetary provision clearly points towards a social focus and building up of the social safety net with significant provisions for the Labour in unorganized sector, for small farmers and for rural industries such as fisheries and animal husbandry. However, it tends to ignore the landless farmers who will not be entitled to the annual support of Rs 6000. Overall a social sector focussed budget,” says Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya, President, Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research.
Says Rajesh Agarwal, Co-Founder, Micromax, “We, at Micromax, respect and welcome the government's budget reforms. This year's Budget has brought significant changes, focusing on various key aspects which are largely stressed upon our overall economic growth – Rural, Agriculture, job creation, healthcare, housing, Structural reforms and infrastructure development, which will help stimulate and strengthen the Indian economy. The emphasis on establishing a programme to bring in direct efforts towards building a holistic ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence is an impressive development. The government’s proposal of giving a full tax rebate to individual taxpayers with an income of up to 5 lakh will empower the Indian consumer. Moreover, the government’s announcement around expanding Common Service Centres and creating digital infrastructure in the villages will be a significant step in the Digital India mission and growth of the Make in India initiative. With India leading the consumption of voice calls and mobile data usage, it is fascinating to note our constant progression towards becoming a global hub for manufacturing.”
Agrees Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC - Cambium Networks, “The government’s planning to set-up 100,000 digital villages in the next five years is a huge step towards leapfrogging India’s march on critical initiatives such as Digital India. By placing wireless connectivity at the heart of India’s development particularly in rural areas, the country is poised to further consolidate its position as the global hub for disruptive innovations."
Says Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India, “The focus on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to enable a positive impact on the lives of people is an encouraging step. Further, the expansion of rural industrialization using digital technologies, development of clusters encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups, will boost rural manufacturing, job creation and strengthen the overall economy.
We appreciate the government’s budget focus on empowering the middle class and the rural population. Initiatives such as monetary support for farmers and higher exemption limit in personal income tax slab would provide higher disposable income, thereby, leading to higher spending. I believe, this will lead to consumption growth, giving impetus to overall economy.”
Prakash Mallya, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel opines, "Today’s Budget clearly showcases the importance of a digital-first India and the government’s commitment to drive innovation and technology advancement in the country. With the government setting a target to become a $5 Trillion economy in the next 5 years, Intel believes that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G will play a crucial part in this vision. Firstly, the government’s focus on the rapid adoption of AI in India by announcing initiatives like the National Center for AI and a National AI Portal, is a step in the right direction to drive technology adoption in the country. At Intel, we have been working on various AI-led initiatives with the government and will continue to collaborate with the country in its digital transformation mission. Secondly, the Budget also pointed out the growth in the telecom sector; this definitely provides impetus towards building a strong 5G ready ecosystem in the country. Additionally, the government has set a goal to create 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years taking technology penetration to a new level, that can help build a truly digital India.”
Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp comments, “The Government, in its Budget 2019 today has articulated a compelling vision for India, both for the medium and long term. It has provided direction, and a finite and ambitious goal for India, of becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030. I look forward to the details and to the Government marking progress against it. For the short term, this is a budget that has something for everyone, but more particularly the middle class, the agricultural community and marginalized sections of society. The sense of inclusion, financial as well as welfare is welcome and much needed to build the force for a stronger nation that can march towards what I call Vision 2030.”
Comments Deepak Maheshwari, Director - Government Affairs, India, Symantec, "The Budget acknowledges the pivotal role of digital technology in India’s evolution to a five-trillion dollar economy over the next five years. Budget proposals such as those on artificial intelligence, one lakh digital villages and the thrust on RFID usage will not only fuel entrepreneurship, but also unleash enormous job opportunities.In addition, with the continued momentum on digitizing transactions using Aadhaar and the need for real-time monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of various government schemes, the critical role of cyber security resilience and data protection towards fostering and inculcating trust cannot be over-emphasized.”
Souma Das, Managing Director, Teradata India says, “The finance Minister today once again underscored the ‘Digital India’ impacting lives of every Indian. The investment proposed by the government in the field of Artificial intelligence and allied technologies will pave a strong foundation for making revolutionary transformation in the scope of governance and the opportunity to provide seamless and improved citizen services experience. We welcome the government’s decision to establish National Centre for Artificial Intelligence.”
Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India says, “We laud the budget presented by Mr Piyush Goel today and believe it is a populist budget overall. Piyush Goel announced 9 top dimensions to this budget and Make in India and Digital India were central to it. Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment is the Fourth Dimension of the vision. This will be built upon the Make in India approach to developing grass-roots level clusters, structures and mechanisms encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups spread in every nook and corner of the country. India is now on the way to becoming a global manufacturing hub in various sectors including automobiles and electronics, defence and medical devices.
Says J K Gupta, CFO - Tata Technologies, “This is a forward-thinking, growth-oriented budget with a special focus for all, bridging the rural urban divide, while embracing modern digital technologies for the holistic development of the nation. The initiative to create one lakh digital villages in the next five years shows its commitment to bridging the digital divide. The government’s recognition of the importance of clean energy to build a pollution-free India is evident through its Vision 2030 roadmap. The initiative envisions India driving on Electric Vehicles with renewables becoming a major source of energy.”
Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director - Apollo Hospitals Group says, “The interim budget threw light on the Government’s dedication to a healthy India with a distress-free healthcare system. The budget mentioned the Government’s aim to bridge the urban rural divide and provide benefits that people in a city have to those staying in villages. Healthcare should be a critical component of these efforts. We must not lose this opportunity to address the urban-rural imbalance in health infrastructure and ensure specific policies to encourage private sector to invest in the same. The announcement of a National Centre on Artificial Intelligence is also a big positive. AI today has great potential in transforming and designing new tools which will equip doctors in the fight against non-communicable diseases. At Apollo, we have already taken the first step with an Intelligent Platform designed to predict cardiovascular disease risk score for Indians.”
Rajnish Kumar, CTO & co-founder - ixigo says, "The new national scheme announced by the government on Artificial intelligence is a futuristic scheme which will promote the use of technology and digitisation. The government’s efforts in providing the necessary AI support required by start-ups, further emphasises the role that new technologies will play in the development of the economy. Efforts to establish 1 lakh digital villages is also a positive step towards strengthening digital penetration in rural India and will significantly increase the adoption of digital platforms across the masses."
Says L C Singh, Vice Chairman - Nihilent Limited, “The impetus provided by the government in propagating the advancements in Artificial Intelligence for building nation’s assets is indeed heartening to know. The plan to set up a National Centre for AI augers well for positioning India at the centre of global innovations.”
Aakrit Vaish, CEO and Co-founder - Haptik says, "With the announcement of National Artificial Intelligence portal, we expect India to be propelled on the path of leveraging advanced and disruptive technologies for economic prosperity and growth. We congratulate the government for this forward-looking budget."
Arun Gupta, Founder and CEO - MoMAGIC Technologies says, "The national program on AI by the Indian government is the right direction to create grass root level interest among Indian techies. With big data and analytics, AI will play a key role in several areas including retail, logistics, pharma, e-commerce and security etc. We also foresee AI tech to push the AdTech Setor and in turn the digital marketing and mobile marketing."
Atul Rai, CEO and Co-Founder - Staqu commends, “The government has been banking on digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. Thus, in the interim budget we had expected a significant boost by the government. We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures in the field of Artificial Intelligence.”
Siddharth Jain, Co-Founder - Vaahika says, “Minimum pension and pay scheme to unskilled workers and farmers is a strong first step towards commitment of allaying poverty. It's a welcome move by PM towards commitment of removing poverty. Increase threshold for tax free gratuity will definitely benefit salaries middle class of India. It definitely strengthens the safety net for salaried class.”
Siddharth Angrish, Founder - Jiyyo.com states, “The Government’s focus on Ayushman Bharat is giving results. However, a lot more can be achieved. Local players in online healthcare can be roped in for increasing outreach and awareness about such govt. initiatives. For example, it should be really easy for any patient to find out the hospitals & services covered under the scheme. Being able to show pricing details to patients will also increase their confidence. Such data can be shared with startups so they have apply their creativity and create more value added services.”
Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Co-Founder - Agrahyah Technologies says, “A ‘no harm budget’ for both India and Bharat. With interest subvention for farmers and high rebates on income tax, this a well-balanced interim budget for both urban and rural Indians. The budget puts more money in the hands of people, a welcome move."
He further adds, "With the election around the corner, the budget aims to focus on increasing consumption and expedite revival of an economy which faced headwinds from the previous initiatives such as DeMo, RERA, and GST. A revival of demand in real estate, auto, and consumer goods are obvious which also increases the number of loans disbursed by a bank, thus blowing tailwinds for all major sectors driving the consumer economy.”
Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Co-Founder - LeverageEdu says, "It was good to have Piyush Ji talk about India's growing start-up ecosystem, reflecting it is something that the government takes pride in. The GST reforms are a welcome step too. Hoping different departments in the government will work with each other, for example the DIPP and Income Tax authorities, which will really make growth seamless for start-ups, so that they are able to better serve the New India."
Jigar Zatakia, Founder & CEO – FirstEconomy says, "The Modi Govt has donned the avatar of a dream merchant in this budget. It is rife with populist measures aimed directly at the heart of the biggest vote bank i.e. farmers and Middle class. Target to digitize 5 lakh villages over the next 5 years should provide added impetus to the present Govt’s vision of "minimum government maximum governance". This will give us the digital marketers to reach the untapped markets and customer base who has been difficult to reach to; and help us deliver better ROI’s on the investment done by brands. The Start-up India Program continues to motivate the youth to become job providers rather than job seekers which has made India the second largest hub for start-ups. While the macro picture does look very attractive, on the micro front, while we are happy with the 5% relief in the income tax to MSME's we were expecting some relief on the 6% equalization levy that we need to pay on all payments done to foreign publishers which hasn't come in. All in all the present Govt in its Robinhood avatar seems to have belied public expectation of a vote on account budget by transforming it into a surgical strike on high tax rates that our country has been struggling with for years."
Akshay Singhal, Founder - Log 9 materials says, "Quarterly filing of GST returns for SME and start-ups is a great relief. However, not much has been offered for the energy sector. We have targets for major Electric Vehicles deployment in India by 2025, our current power generation is just not sufficient to support the same, moreover battery imports in this sector will drain our foreign exchange reserves in a big way."
Amarjeet Maurya, AVP- Mid Caps - Angel Broking says, “The budget has given a big boost to the urban incomes and rural incomes. For example, the increase in the taxable limit from Rs.2.50 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs will be a boost for urban and semi-urban purchasing power. This is likely to be positive in terms of additional spending for sectors like FMCG, consumer durable goods and for automobiles. The government decision to allocate Rs.75,000 crore to 12 crore farmers for a minimum assured income of Rs.6000 per year. This is likely to give a big boost to rural consumption again with positive implications for sectors like tractors, hybrid seeds, agri inputs, two wheelers, consumer goods etc.”
Says Simon George, President - Cargill India, “Quite a strong rural economy and agri push in the Interim Budget. We are particularly optimistic about the Central Govt. sponsored PM Kisan Yogjna, the Direct Benefit Transfers to small holder farmers. Though a lot more can be done but nevertheless a good move that will help farmers align better with market. Many more initiatives including market reforms like implementing model APMC act, Essential Commodity Act etc. is required to achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.”
Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO - Simplilearn says, “It is heartening to see Government’s continued efforts to further the digitisation agenda aligning with the vision of creating a Digital India. While the move will help India to enable millions of jobs in the next few years, but it should also address the need of getting the current talent pool global-ready for tomorrow. This will happen through a robust skilling, reskilling and upskilling model of the current workforce by government, companies and institutes. We expected the government in today’s budget to pass on few benefits for the ed-tech and skill-tech sectors by extending tax benefits and incentives for players, corporates, education institutions or even end users by giving tax exemption. Simplilearn is committed to the cause of skilling and reskilling Indian workforce and will continue to invest and collaborate with government and public-private institutions in days to come. This step goes right in our vision to position India as a digital talent capital of the world.”
Shekhar Sanyal, Director and Country Head - IET says, “The interim budget 2019 with its focus on the futuristic technology-- Artificial Intelligence is a heartening news. We are at the cusp of technological disruption, a national program with the portal on Artificial Intelligence will bring India on the global map and help build an ecosystem to fuel its ambition to become a world leader in AI in the coming years. We at The IET are particularly happy as we are aligned with government’s focus on new technologies and will extend our full support through continuous efforts from The IET IoT Panel.”
Tarun Bhalla, CEO & Founder - Avishkaar asserts, “Budget 2019 will prove to be a godsend for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector in India. With over 200 AI start-ups currently innovating AI-based solutions in the country, they’ll help serve the society and help make a marked difference in the education, healthcare, transportation, infra and agricultural sectors of India. It’s great to see the government sending out a clear signal by launching National Artificial Intelligence Portal. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay and will play a significant role in the future of the country. What's more heartening is the fact that the government is willing to invest in AI in major sectors - education, healthcare, transportation, infra and agricultural in the country.”
Vartul Jain, VP – Finance, GreyOrange says, “It is heartening to see the Government’s continued focus on its flagship programs, Digital India and Make in India, as key drivers to the nation’s economic growth, with a greater focus on digitisation in the rural economy. In line with this agenda, the announcements to set up a national centre for Artificial Intelligence and development of an AI portal through identification of nine priority areas in the segment will be critical to promote the adoption of these emerging technologies in the country and to position India as a front runner in this space across the globe. The extension of the GeM platform, with a focus on supporting domestic trade and services, retail trading and welfare of traders augur well for the development of these sectors. The continued impetus to boost MSMEs and empower traders will contribute towards the growth of small businesses, fostering innovation and employment.”
Says Raman Mittal, VP-Marketing - TO THE NEW, “The Union Budget 2019 provides a great push towards technology adoption. With the National Artificial Intelligence portal to be developed soon, it is good to see the focus increasing on leveraging best-in-class technologies to improve the overall quality of life in India. The idea of Digital Villages & Rural Industrialisation is a great impetus for companies like us building digital infrastructure for a connected India.”
Neel Juriasingani, Co-Founder & CEO - DataCultr says, "Start-ups and the industry can take clues out of the various topics touched upon in this budget, to understand the direction and focus. Start-ups will have an integral role to play towards Vision 2030, it’s a great opportunity. The concept of Digital villages and rural industrialisation opens up great avenues for companies & start-ups like us in the IOT & AI space, as well as for those working on building digital infrastructure of a connected India."
Other Industry Reactions
Kushal Nahata, CEO & Co-founder - FarEye
“We have to wait and watch how this budget ultimately impacts the country. It was a great move by the Customs authorities to introduce comprehensive digitalisation of export and import transactions. Using RFID to enhance export logistics was a much-needed initiative. This will ensure seamless movement of goods, drastically improve visibility and reduce transportation costs. Digitizing core logistics processes is a key when it comes to building a sustainable supply chain.
Developing 27 kilometres of highways every day is a great feat to achieve. It will surely enable faster long-haul deliveries and will reduce the burden on existing roadways. The aim to digitize one lakh villages and speed up road development in rural areas will go a long way when it comes to driving financial inclusion and expanding and monitoring logistics activities.”
Neeraj Sharma, Country Head – UNISOC India (formerly Spreadtrum Communications)
"The interim budget 2019 carries strong markers of the success of the digital revolution in India, further paving the way for India to emerge as the digital economy in times to come. As announced by the interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, India presently leads the world in the consumption of mobile data, which has grown 50X in the last 5 years. Owing to Make in India, the number of mobile and parts manufacturing companies have also grown from a mere 2 to 268, creating enough jobs in the economy. The government further aims to support leading technologies like AI by developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal and has set its eyes on achieving one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years. This serves as a strong growth impetus, with the next wave of digitalization belonging to the hinterlands of India. Driven to transform mobile communication, we at UNISOC look forward to supporting manufacturing products that will enable this next wave of digital revolution in India."
Sanjay Jalona, CEO & MD - LTI (L&T Infotech)
“The continued support by the government on new age concepts such as AI that has the power to emerge as not only national assets but global disruptors is a huge trigger to further advancements in these fields. The role of such exponential technologies in driving the nation’s development is immense and provides a much-needed avenue to address and overcome pertinent age-old issues. Furthermore government’s vision for 2030 to place India as a modern, technology-driven, high growth and transparent society including leading the world in transport through electric vehicles and energy storage devices further emphasizes the role of digital technologies in transforming not only businesses but overall living standards.”
Dr Ajay Data, CEO - Data Xgen Technologies
“It is promising to note that the government has included and prioritised digital drive in its 10-Point agenda for holistic development in long term roadmap -‘Vision 2030’. On the growth of digital economy in rural areas, the government plans to create one lakh digital villages in the next five years, which will impact many lives. In this process, as mentioned in the budget, millions of new jobs will be created in the ecosystem which is indeed a welcome move.
We hope in its regular budget, the government would support software product companies and offer incentives to boost innovation. The sector also expected measures which would provide a level-playing field for tech companies. To give a new momentum to Digital India campaign, there is a need to bring in a holistic policy for Data Hosting and its accountability. There is need for an authority or regulatory body that oversees the implementation and action for entire data flow and storage in India.”
Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia - Oncam
This interim Union Budget brings in great investments in Railways, Technology and infrastructure, which will certainly boost the IP surveillance industry market. With all trains to be progressively provided with the state-of-the-art amenities like surveillance and significant investment going into increasing the number of airports, this will assist the industry to broaden its horizon. At Oncam, we truly believe that the government’s aim for one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years, in addition to setting up the National Artificial Intelligence Portal, will enable the growth of advanced technologies in the country. Furthermore, these developments will also catalyse the growth of the surveillance industry.
Jaheer Abbas, Senior Regional Director - SEA & India, Limelight Network
"India today is on the forefront of digital consumption which is being driven by its burgeoning digital infrastructure and rise of advanced, tech-driven services. As also noted by the Finance Minister, the monthly data consumption in India has increased by over 50 times during the last five years. This year's budget comes with a promise to take this development a notch above by also including 1 lakh villages in India's digital bandwagon. We believe that these upcoming Digital Villages, especially considering the fact that around two-third of the Indian population dwells in rural geographies, will greatly intensify the adoption services and technologies within the country."
Sanjeev Gulati, Country Director India and SAARC - VIVOTEK
"The inclination of IP surveillance industry towards the AI technology is expected to further boost with the establishment of National Artificial Intelligence Portal. Not only this, the ongoing smart surveillance projects in railways is another positive development as Indian railways have been allocated a lion's share in this year's budget. India, on the other hand, is also fast-developing its highways with a prime focus on rural roads. Smart surveillance can tangibly increase the efficiency of authorities on keeping a track of such projects which will later also ensure safe and secure traffic management."
Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, Founder & CEO - Telebu
''The government has continued to stress upon digitalisation, as reflected in the interim budget 2019 announcement. In the words of the interim Finance Minister, digitalisation is going to play a key role in achieving sustainable growth and development. The government further aims to achieve one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years and we believe that it is going to pave the way for India to emerge as one amongst the leading digital economies, across the globe. The current plans and aspirations of the government will also boost the rural digital economy. At Telebu, we are excited to be part of this wave of change, as it helps accelerate our overall goal of proliferating into rural, as well as tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We will continue to build innovative enterprise communication products for Indian enterprises, MSMEs, start-ups, non-profit organisations and more.”
Bala Parthasarathy, Co-Founder & CEO - MoneyTap
“Since this is an interim budget, it'll be a little unfair to say that it did not meet all expectations for the Fintech industry. No major schemes were launched for the sector but we are super excited to see Government’s continued support for the adoption of new technologies.”
Dr. Keshab Panda, CEO & MD - L&T Technology Services
“We welcome the provisions announced in the interim budget 2019. The government’s focus on clean and green India enabled by a growing market for electric vehicles will provide much-needed impetus to the rapidly maturing ER&D sector leading to more disruption and jobs. The vision to position India as the global renewable energy hub will enable enterprises and smart city developers to build energy efficient infrastructure. ER&D will also help provide affordability in healthcare and medical devices using promising new technologies such as 3D printing. We believe that engineering will be the cornerstone for India’s rise to become a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years.”
Rajan S Mathews, DG - COAI
“The Interim Budget 2019-20 is truly pragmatic and we laud the government’s vision and commitment towards Digital India and the Digital economy. Amongst many welcome steps, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal expressed the Government’s intent to create 1 lakh digital villages over the next 5 years, under the ambitious Digital India initiative. The Government also stated its commitment to deploy three lakh common service centres which will be delivering digital services, especially to the rural areas.
Additionally, to take the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies to the people, a comprehensive National Programme on 'Artificial Intelligence' has been envisaged by the Government. A National Centre on Artificial Intelligence is to be established, along with other Centres of Excellence. A total of nine priority areas have also been identified and plans for building a National Artificial Intelligence portal have also been put forth.”
Ravi B. Goyal, Chairman & MD - AGS Transact Technologies
“Digital India being mentioned as one of the 10 pillars of the Government’s Vision 2030 is a welcome step for our industry. With urban India already adopting the Digital Inclusion, now the Government is penetrating deeper into semi-urban and rural India. The Government’s target to reach 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years is indeed encouraging and this will help in increasing the penetration levels of channels such as PoS, QR code and UPI and augur well for acquirers like us. The Government’s new initiatives for farmers namely PM Kisaan Samman Nidhi will result in more Direct Benefit Transfers for the banking system. The Government’s intent to deploy AI (Artificial Intelligence) in various priority areas will also help if leveraged in end-to-end cash and digital payment solutions and automation technology.”
Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director - Axis Communications India & SAARC
“The Budget 2019 depicts the milestone set towards the rise in GDP growth in last five years. It brings us one step closer towards the economic growth as part of the five years plan with key focus on infrastructure development allocating budgets for Roads, Ports, Transport and Infrastructure. We welcome the government’s focus on the construction and development of railways, airports, highways by announcing 100 more operational airports and doubling the passenger traffic.
Also applaud the continued focus and investments towards Rail infrastructure helping Indian Railways attain highest safety recognition last year. This impetus is not only around Make in India but increasing speed, service and citizen safety with the upcoming Vande Bharat Express train announcement."
Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO - CtrlS Datacenters Ltd
“Must congratulate the Indian Government for its success on many initiatives taken earlier, including ‘Digital India’, ‘Startup India’, Financial Inclusion and e-filing of income tax returns where 99.54% of income tax returns have been filed and accepted online, while GST filing is fully online, while 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts help direct and the plan to converting 1 lakh villages into digital villages to ensure technology is leveraged at the grass roots including telemedicine, distance education etc, this will help encourage start-ups and foster growth. Glad to note that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has helped MSMEs transact over 17,500 crores.”
Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder & CEO, Engineer.ai
"Being a global entrepreneur highly invested in the technology industry, with a zeal for AI, it’s excellent to hear the announcement from Finance Minister Piyush Goyal that India will create a National Centre for AI. Considering the global market for AI is expected at around $190 billion by 2025, this puts Indian companies and organizations at the forefront of capturing the AI market. Well done.
Alongside a 2% interest subvention for loans to MSMEs, these actions can boost entrepreneurial development across India, which can continue to enhance the Indian economy. The idea of a strong, stable, entrepreneurial Indian economy will help retain and expand global investment capital, as well as increasing global operations across the country. Additionally, the idea of transforming 1 lakh digital villages can have numerous benefits. This includes creating and managing the IT infrastructure to make digital villages possible, and increasing education around technology, thus having the potential to expand the workforce (to operate said global operations)."
Satyam Kumar, co-founder and CEO - LoanTap
"Interest subsidy extended to GST Registered MSMEs will help smooth some of the pain faced by small promoters in the last 3 years. This will also reduce resistance towards formally adopting GST Practices, and expand formal credit market. LoanTap believes this will benefit a very important segment of economy, which has been ailing for quite sometime."
Suresh Pansari, Director, RP tech India
“The Union budget 2019 has certainly brought a smile on the face of people. On the backdrop of the upcoming General elections, the Government has cautiously attempted to present a balanced budget, where it has given equal preference to all segments of the society. However, from the IT hardware industry perspective, we do not see any major announcements in terms of present taxation policies and ease of doing business. Continuing its efforts to boost Digital India and Make in India initiatives, the Government has announced to develop 100,000 digital villages and set up over 260 mobile manufacturing and assembly units. This will indirectly benefit the industry by generating demand for hardware. The announcement to set up a national center for Artificial Intelligence is a welcome move and reflects Government’s thrust on and digital economy. Overall it is a progressive budget and we expect positive outcomes in the coming years.”
Varun Rathi, COO and Co-Founder, Happay
“This is certainly a budget with full of long term vision and the government is undoubtedly poised towards building India into a stronger economy which is modern and technology-driven. Digitization and automation has clearly become the new mantra of the government- the 10 dimensions for Vision 2030 reinforces the importance of technology in transforming India. Additionally, the step to create a portal on artificial intelligence will help the common man to understand the importance of AI. Data is the backbone of AI. Currently, there is a lack of structured data availability in India. Having said that, this doesn't look infeasible at all and timing couldn't be better than this to launch a nationwide AI center. UIDAI, NPCI and GST council has laid the foundation of the most important piece of the puzzle - getting the identity, demographic, financial and skills data recorded in a structured manner. An AI council can now start laying some ground rules and create a regulated and open platform for anyone to innovate and create value for India.”
Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director - ITC Limited
The Interim Budget proposals should augur well for the Indian economy by providing a growth impetus through a boost in consumption as well as an inclusive framework designed to benefit agri and rural communities, unorganised sector workers as well the middle class. The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi programme, the move to set up 1,00,000 digital villages and the increase in allocation to rural infrastructural development will indeed go a long way in enabling empowerment of rural communities.
Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, Business Head - TimesJobs and TechGig
“India’s massive young working population are sure to get a boost in the arm with the tax rebates announced for those having an income of up to 5 lakhs rupees. Although these are populist measures, it provides more disposable income available for people to spend and that is a good sign for the economy overall. It is also heartening to note how the Budget has merged employment and technology in its future plans. Digitisation is the only way to move forward. The future of India’s job market will be on the peripheries of new skill sets such as data scientists, data mining, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, etc. Therefore the Vision 2030 which pushes rural industries to digitise is a welcome step. The Vision 2030’s Digital India plan too holds a promise of creating more new-age relevant jobs, high on acquiring skills. By 2020, around 600 million people are expected to get deployed in newer job roles that do not exist today.”
Anurag Avula, CEO & Co-Founder, Shopmatic
"The 2019 budget announcements certainly reaffirm the government’s commitment towards building a Digital India and creating opportunities for small scale Indian businesses for running successful e-commerce businesses. Though the decision to bring changes in the FDI policy for e-commerce platforms was to level the playing field for small scale sellers, the interim budget announcement comes bearing more favourable news.
As announced in the interim budget, the government is aiming for one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years. This is going to prove as a strong economic driver by promoting digital payments and more importantly, exposing rural businesses to the prospects of selling online.”
Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder - Turtlemint
“We are glad to see one more forward-looking budget that has addressed quite a few concerns of the industry in general. The government’s sustained focus on healthcare initiatives, evidenced through more push to the Ayushman Bharat scheme, is going to create more awareness on the criticality of health insurance in the country and boost the industry. Together with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra which has facilitated essential medicines, cardiac stents and knee implants at affordable prices to the poor and middle income groups, the scheme is set to change the direction of healthcare in India. Increased tax benefits and loan incentives for individual tax-payers is a highly welcome move, and we are hopeful that with an increase in the disposable income and increased awareness about health insurance, the industry is going to get the much-needed push that it has been waiting for.”
Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO - LatestOne.com
“India is a consumer-driven economy, and the Union Budget 2019 will ensure a rise in private consumption. Announcement of agricultural sops to farmers, and Tax exemptions to the middle-class salaried sections, will put in more money in the hands of consumer, which would lead to enhance sales of goods and commodities.
Higher Data consumption and increased mobile phones penetration are the by-products of Digital Revolution, India is witnessing for the past decade. This increased accessibility to portable/mobile technology is shaping the economy at large in these times. The steps taken by the Government in this Budget will encourage enhanced consumption of technology-based consumer products that will lead to increased scope of business for online and offline enterprises like ours.
The GST exemption benefits to traders, manufacturers and service providers, along with Government enterprises sourcing from SMEs- at least 3% of which are owned by women, is a very progressive move. ‘Make in India’ with transparency in policies will tremendously help in ease of doing business, and will be hugely beneficial to small businesses or start-up enterprises operating from a urban or a rural setting, across the country.”
Venkatraman Swaminathan, VP & Country GM, IT Division- India & SAARC, Schneider Electric
“It’s heartening to see the Government’s continued push towards digitization, as is evident from the announcements made this morning.
The commitment towards setting up of 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years is sure to benefit the small & mid-size industries that form the backbone of the Indian ecosystem. This would result in the overall expansion of rural industrialisation by harnessing digital technologies.
We have been aligned to the Government’s aim towards strengthening the MSME ecosystem by developing products and services, keeping the Indian business environment in mind. We look forward to continuing this journey and work towards ensuring greater digital inclusion and improved access for the Indian business.”
Jürgen Hase, CEO - UNLIMIT
“We welcome the Government’s plan to create digital infrastructure for 1 lakh villages in the country. The successful implementation of the Digital Village project will play a vital role in India’s digital transformation and vision to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. Cost effective and smart irrigation management system, connected gram panchayats, better education system and mobile health services which are enabled through Internet of Things, will lead to job creation, financial inclusion and provision of an economically viable village ecosystem.”
Suraj Mahtre, Business Head - WarrantyBazaar.Com.
"Mobile & parts manufacturing firms have increased from 2 to 268 which will help in supply of affordable and domestically manufactured devices in Indian market. This will increase the number of smart phone users in India which will further propel manufacturing in the country. Also, it will lead to the rise in demand for Warranty Services and Service Network for after sales support. Domestic supply of spare parts will make servicing quicker and less costly. With the budget 2019, we predict that refurbishing of phones will be cheaper adding more inventories in market with attractive prices.
With the vision of reaching every village by 2030, Union Budget 2019 has a major focus on Village industries and start-ups through digital mediums. This will increase penetration of Smart phones in India, which will further benefit our business with increasing our Universe."
Anant Raghute, MD - Innowave IT Infrastructures Ltd.
“India’s economic growth is pegged at 7.2% to 7.5% in 2019 and 2020. As per the Interim budget announcement today, India is aiming to become a $10 Tn economy in the next 8 years & $5 Tn economy in the next 5 Years.
We welcome the decision to make 1 lakh villages digital in the next 5 years. This combined with Jan Dhan, Aadhaar mobile, and direct benefit transfer will be game changers for realizing the benefit of technology in delivering better governance. Potential rolling out of NTP 2018 will further enhance telecom operated citizen services.
Emerging technologies such as AI, block chain, GIS enabled services, LIDAR will facilitate connectivity. While physical infrastructure is key, integration of technology for practical use can only be facilitated through central policy initiatives with parallel initiatives from state governments.”
Sunil Jose, Senior Area Vice President and Country Leader - Salesforce India
"We are delighted to see the Government's focus on setting up a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to bring the benefits of AI and related technologies to the common person. In a recent research commissioned by Salesforce, 65% of Indian respondents were positive about AI and its usage. Businesses using AI have the opportunity to amplify our human intelligence, better connect to consumers and impact societies like never before. We are delighted and welcome the government’s visionary step to support and democratise access to AI and related technologies. This is equally important for businesses like Salesforce is the penetration of AI skills among the workforce. Globally, all eyes will continue to be on India and we look forward to being a part of this journey."
Arun Nathani, CEO - Cybage
“This budget is providing major boost to real estate segment through fiscal incentives like extension of benefit Under Section 80 IBA, no tax on notional rent on unsold inventory for two years, no notional rent on two self-occupied properties instead of one. Additionally, direct benefit of INR 6,000 to small farmers will provide positive sentiments and will have positive cascading effect on GDP growth. We welcome the step to promote AI hubs in India which will help to build technical competence and have long lasting impact from technology point of view for the future of India.”
Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director – Qlik India
“The interim budget, the government has rightly comprehended the necessity and competence of digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures and thus allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to gain better data-driven and decision-making insights and advance the nation in competitive global space.”
Sampad Swain, Co-Founder & CEO - Instamojo
“Although an interim budget, the anticipation had been high across various sectors – thus indicating the focus areas to be covered by the government. The scenario however looks positive for the MSMEs, given the initiatives announced by the government. While ease in obtaining loans for MSMEs continues to remain the need of the hour, additionally aided by the government’s 59-minute loan portal, the hike in the GST threshold has certainly brought about a major relief for MSMEs. Additionally, the government’s aim to empower 1 Lakh villages digitally only gives us further hope to identify an addition of more MSMEs in the country, which is currently populated with 6.3 crore enterprises, given that digital adoption by small businesses has always been a challenge to fight through, for the fin-tech sector.”
Yogesh Bhatia, MD - Detel
"Budget 2019 looks really optimistic. With GOI, taking major step towards Digital Villages, it opens new opportunities for the Consumer Electronic brand especially in TV segment. This rejig will increase the TV penetration in Rural India, hence strengthening our focus of “HAR GHAR TV” under #connecting40croreindians."
Takayuki Inaba, Managing Director - NEC Technologies India Pvt ltd
“The Government’s effort towards using advanced technology like AI for masses is a welcome step. AI has been one of the biggest technological advancements in the recent past. The government’s vision of developing a national program on AI will set the implementation process in motion and help people and government immensely. Identifying priority areas for AI hubs will streamline the development work in the AI domain and give a certain direction to the start-ups working on this technology. All these efforts will promote the use of technology and digitisation and play an important role in the development of the economy”.
Soumitra Gupta, CEO - Togofogo
“Budget 2019 brings a new dimension towards Digital India. In the last few years, ecosystem in India has already witnessed the first level of growth and situation is improving. Start-ups will have a huge contribution to make towards Vision 2030, it’s a great opportunity.
The concept of digital village will open up new avenues for companies like us and will help to reach to the core India and hence accessibility to a wider audience."
Kunal Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO - Priority Vendor
''As India’s largest early payment platform, we at Priority Vendor believe that the interim budget carries some of the significant developments, especially for our SME partners. Businesses registered as SMEs will now receive a 2% loan relaxation by the government, thus easing their access to organised credit facilities. Furthermore, the announcement also gave a boost to SME suppliers, making it mandatory for the government projects to source 25% of their requirements from SMEs. The segment has also been bogged down with the GST compliance, however as per the announcement, SMEs with a turnover of less than 5 Cr need to only file GST once in three months.''
Rahul Kumar, Country Manager India and SAARC - F-Secure
“Leading the world in mobile data consumption is a big milestone for India and promises a great opportunity for development. The lower rates of 4G data are pushing the opportunities for digital growth, even in the hinterlands of India. We believe that the next crucial step will be addressing cybersecurity concerns, as a number for first-time users; and users with a lack of nuanced understanding of cybersecurity are expected to on-board the digital bandwagon. Hence, educating the new internet users about data privacy and online safety should be highly prioritized. As the world moves towards digitization and IoT connected devices, personal data is the most vulnerable commodity and must be carefully safeguarded.”
Chander Agarwal, MD - TCIEXPRESS
“As announced in the interim budget, India has emerged as the fastest highway developer in the entire world, by building 27 KMs of highway each day. This has served as a huge boost to the logistics sector, especially the express delivery segment. We further expect the government to continue with the aspirational work of developing India’s infrastructure. In addition, we believe that the export logistics will also improve, as the government has abolished customs duties on 36 capital goods, while also introducing full and comprehensive digitalisation of export and import transactions and leveraging RFID technology.”
Rajesh Ram Mishra, President - India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA)
“We feel this interim budget by Finance Minister is progressive and inclusive. It focuses on leveraging new technologies to build countrywide digital infrastructure, skill building, and driving growth of MSME segment.
We applaud the vision to make India a USD 5Trillion economy in the next 5years. We feel a vibrant ESDM sector will play a key role in realizing this vision. The focus on National program on AI will unleash large opportunity in intelligent electronics and automation and will create new business opportunity in nine focus areas.
Making 100,000 villages digital and 10,000 Crore investments in Telecom infrastructure will make universal broadband communication a reality and will lead to pan India deployment of new IoT based solutions.”
Ashwin Bhandari, CEO - iVOOMi
“Focus on digital India in the budget, vision of creating 1 lac digital villages will empower the real India and fuel overall growth in the economy and will bring comprehensive growth for the industries
Declaration on schemes for incentives for SMEs and start-ups is a welcome move, to enable small businesses that in turn will support services to different businesses; this should promote smaller manufacturers too to build on the ecosystem
Boost in the direct tax collections, enabling bigger capital expenditures (declared in budget), incentives to farmer, basic tax slab raised to 5 lac - are noticeable moves towards economic growth that will fuel the industrial growth in mid-term.”
Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, President-Aeris Communications & Chairman IET IoT Panel India
“Companies are deploying considerable investments in emerging technologies to match customer expectations. To support the deployment of these emerging technologies, skill development and enhancement is imperative amidst the current digital disruption scenario. According to MDSE’s annual report, 2017-18, the demand for skilled labour in 34 sectors across industries has been estimated to be over 12.8 Cr between 2017 and 2018.
Interim FM in this Interim Budget has announced the decision of making the National centre for Artificial Intelligence and building Centre of Excellence. The Government of India has opened the path for the youth in India to leverage the new state-of-the-art developments and upskill themselves to widen the jobs pool for themselves. We appreciate the GOI’s perspective of making India digitally enhanced and look forward to add value by providing the Indian talent with opportunities to grow in the IT industry.”
Sanjay Motwani, Vice President, Raritan-Asia Pacific, Raritan-a brand of Legrand
“We welcome the government budget announcement of creating 1 lakh digital villages by next 5 years which will further increase the usage of data exponentially. As announced, data consumption has already grown 50 times in last 5 years and has made data centers critical for seamless data experience. Also government of India vision of digital economy 2030 for digitisation of government processes and private transactions will require huge capacities expansion by all stakeholders going forward in data centers .including private and public sectors. Going forward India needs to invest substantially in building data centers both hybrid and distributed especially to achieve its vision of smart cities and digital India which will also aid India’s Make in India policy.”
Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO - Denave
“The budget gives much awaited technology push for the fast paced Indian economy. The CoE of Artificial Intelligence (AI) reaffirms government’s intention and interest in pushing India to develop as hub of emerging technologies. It shall also prove to play a pivotal role in massification of ground-breaking technologies as well as providing headwind to the ongoing skill development and job creation agenda. It is a huge opportunity for the tech start-ups, and the contribution of India Inc. in the initial stages of implementation shall prove to be significant.”
Nikhil Arora, MD and VP - GoDaddy India
“We welcome the Union Interim budget 2019-20 and the government’s focus towards helping small businesses, start-ups and women-owned MSMEs. With impetus on strengthening the digital infrastructure, e-marketplace, initiatives supporting rural India and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, government has reiterated its commitment to bring a holistic and sustainable technology-led development for the country. Moves to allow tax payers with income upto Rs. 5 lakh to get full tax rebate and abolish custom duty from 36 capital good are consumer friendly steps that will help put the money back in the consumers’ pocket and encourage ease of doing business. In this year’s budget, we were hoping for a solution for the current credit issue troubling MSMEs.”
Vishal Parekh Marketing Director - Kingston Technology
“This Union Budget reflects the Government's commitment to digitalisation as a right step to help India gain a rightful place on the global technology map. Being one of the leading manufacturers of storage & memory solutions, we believe this initiative of extending a strong digital infrastructure to villages will facilitate significant penetration of computing-capable devices, hence further fuelling the growth of Data centres, internet-of-things and profitability of businesses. The Government has also envisaged a national programme on 'Artificial Intelligence' which is a progressive step towards leveraging technologies in every sector of economy impacting the life of all citizens. As Kingston has already contributed towards enhancing the productivity of businesses, we are also looking forward to encouraging the Government’s vision of building an exceptional digital infrastructure for our nation till 2030. We see a great potential in the aim of achieving country’s growth by leveraging digital technologies as it will further encourage innumerable initiatives to promote digital literacy in the country, and millions of opportunities in this eco-system.”
Rahul Agarwal, CEO and Managing Director - Lenovo India
“The Government’s balanced focus on various sections of society, such as farmers, middle class and corporate houses as opposed to a sector focussed approach was a refreshing change. The increase in tax rebate for smaller income group as well as hiking the gratuity limit means the consumer will be left with more disposable income. This is very likely to drive up demand for consumer goods and services across several industries, which is heartening for the growth of our economy. At the same time, the Government’s commitment to the development of rural India through 1 lakh digital villages in terms of digital infrastructure and connectivity over the next 5 years is noteworthy. Overall, the Government’s vision to create a digital India across different sectors is the right step forward towards sustaining the phenomenal growth we have experienced as an economy in recent years.”
Manoj Kumar Pansari, Chairman and Managing Director - Astrum
“From tax-break for middle class to schemes for farmers, even unorganized sector employees and small business got benefitted in this interim budget. What this budget is missing is the mention of manufacturing plants which is coming in full fledges to India. Hopefully we will see something on manufacturing plants in the actual budget but overall this budget is praiseworthy.”
Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC - Fortinet
“The short-term plan to make one lakh digital villages in the next five years clearly outlines that digital transformation and economic transformation have to go hand in hand for all round development. The Interim budget unfolds a vision to become a Ten Trillion Dollar economy by 2030. Digitalization is the path chosen by the government to reach every sector of the economy across the country down to every single Indian.
Addressing the security concerns of Economic Digitalization, the government has already introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018, IT Act, Right to Information Act, Right to Privacy, Aadhaar Act as the laying ground for data protection and cyber security.
Fortinet firmly believes in the importance of collaboration and threat information-sharing to secure Digitalization. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is the way forward with leaders from the private and public sectors coming together with a shared commitment to secure the digital attack surface and related vulnerabilities that represent a very real threat to governments and growing digital economies.”
Carl Ngo Co-founder and CEO - Mobiistar, India and Global
“The Budget 2019 is certainly pro-growth and will increase the purchasing power of the Indian Middle Class. It is heartening to see that the government recognizes the poignant role of digital technology in India’s evolution to a five-trillion dollar economy over the next five years. Announcement around national scheme on Artificial intelligence is a welcome move and will give an impetus to the technology ecosystem in India. With focus on development, it is a progressive budget and will be a next big leap in India’s growth story. The delivery however will be contingent on effective implementation of these policies.”
Rajendra Chitale, CFO - Crayon Software Experts India Private Limited
"It's a budget with many sections of the society being the beneficiaries. It is specially a poor and middle class centric budget as it increases the money in these households. This can trigger consumption and lead to further growth. Phasing out human intervention in tax returns, verification and scrutiny is a good initiative which can help reduce corruption. Overall, it is a good budget."
Krishna Raj Sharma, Director & CEO - iValue InfoSolutions
"Despite being an election year, it's good to see Government allocating money where its required - farmers, middle class families, pension scheme for unorganized sector, more allocation to health, education and defense.
Despite missing out on Fiscal deficit target for current as well as next fiscal, the FM took rating agency and investors in to confidence by explaining the need for supporting farmers which was well received as seen by the market reaction. With GDP growth being upgraded, 0.1% to 0.2% slip of Fiscal deficit should be manageable. Good to see FM recognizing and rewarding honest tax paying middle class citizens with tax exemption up to 5L salary along with higher TDS.
Overall good interim budget sending the right signals."
Prashanth G J, CEO - TechnoBind
"The one thing that stood out in the Budget is the putting up of the Vision 2030. While there are no details available as yet in terms of the implementation of this vision the fact that the government is thinking long term is well appreciated.
The focus on the Digitisation will go a long way in improving the social and economic fabric of the country - be it creation of jobs, uplifting the lower end of the society reducing the income gap and many more. The announcing of the 5 Lakh Digital Villages is really welcome. It will go a long way to leverage the benefits of technology right up to the grass root level. Especially in a country like India which has always been challenged from a penetration of technology this will be a big boost.
Also, another good thing that we got from today's budget is Income Tax returns being processed within 24 hours. While one needs to wait and watch in terms of the practicality of this but it's a welcome move in the right direction.”
Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations - Sennheiser India
“For this year’s budget, the government has made some significant announcements that are aimed towards strengthening Digital India. The creation of 1 lakh Digital Villages in the next 5 years will truly set the tone for a digitally empowered country. We applaud the government’s focus on digital infrastructure and the digital economy. With India leading the consumption of mobile data usage in the world and the cost of voice and data calls being one of the lowest, there is immense potential for the growth of the entertainment industry, further giving an impetus to the audio accessories industry. The government’s Make in India initiative has also resulted in positive impact, with the mobile and parts manufacturing companies increasing from 2 to more than 268, creating huge job opportunities across. Taking that further, the aim is to expand rural industrialization using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment. Further, A National Programme on 'Artificial Intelligence' envisaged by our government is a welcome initiative towards putting futuristic technologies like AI in the hands of the Indian consumer. With India poised to become $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years, the government’s proposal of giving a full tax rebate to individual taxpayers with an income of up to 5 lakh will empower the Indian consumer.”
Nakkyun Chong (CEO & Founder) - Avenue11
“This year's budget has by far been the friendliest budget that the Indian middle class has witnessed in a long time. While the 5% GST restriction on daily use items is a respite for consumers, it also spells good news for retail businesses when it comes to increasing revenues and sales. The continued focus on developing digital infrastructure and digitizing transactions will encourage the masses to adapt to online shopping. The rising popularity of UPI aided by dirt cheap data packs and smartphones will propel a new wave of Indians to transact online. As an entrepreneur, I was hoping for a cut back on angel tax, but the new budget maintains the status quo.”
Anand Vilayannur – COE and Co-founder, Tattva Mittal Group
“The Budget 2019 has brought good news for almost everyone. A lot was expected from this budget and most of it has been covered. While representing the Budget 2019 Piyush Goyal mentioned in the beginning that RERA and Benami Transaction Act 1900 are helping to bring transparency in the sector. Total number of 1.53 cr houses have been built under PMAY scheme which shows that the sector has fared well in providing homes for the middle and lower class along with the govt. The Budget has proposed to provide the benefit of rolling over capital gains if the investment is made in not just one, but two residential houses. This benefit would be offered for an amount of up to Rs 2 crore which is a once in a lifetime benefit for any individual. With the recent GST meeting announcement and the newly announced budget we truly hope the year sees a positive uptick for the real estate sector.”
Shrenik Bhayani, General Manager - Kaspersky Lab (South Asia)
"With the growing adoption of internet and smartphone, India has emerged as one of the most favourite countries among cyber criminals. Keeping pace with the growth of digitization, the cyber threats are not far behind. With the government’s aim to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over the next five years and the huge jump in monthly consumption of mobile data over the last five years, it is important to ensure these people are aware of the potential cyber threats that tag along these developments. Just in the period of October - December 2018, more than 50% of users in India were attacked by local threats during this period, which puts India in the 66th place worldwide.
I see India’s potential to flourish as a manufacturing hub, which brings several economic and technology benefits to the nation. However, with automation systems integrated into the industrial environment, it is important for the government and manufacturing companies to consider the potential threats involving industrial systems.”
Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Head - SUSE
"We see the interim budget addresses 3Ps i.e., People, Progress and Propensity of the country. When the government has a long- term vision that supports tech-related initiatives such as Make In India, Digital India, these are going to help improve the social and economic fabric of the country - whether it is job creation, bridging the digital divide, uplifting the lower class, reducing taxes for middle class and much more. The aim of converting one lakh villages into digital villages, having a national program on artificial intelligence and even making India into a global manufacturing hub, all these are going to provide further opportunities for open source technology providers like us as we help organizations drive innovation through flexibility, freedom and openness. As such, we welcome what's been announced in the interim budget and look forward to supporting the latest digitalization project opportunities in India."
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