Union Budget 2020 – Reactions from experts

Union Budget 2020 Reactions
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Union Budget 2020 has seen some massive reforms and initiatives. Some of them go in sync with the expectations of people while some go in contrast. Same is the case with the reactions and feedback of people. Let’s go through our curated list of reactions.

“The government has backed its vision to turn India into one of the world’s top tourism hubs by allocating INR 2,500 crore for promoting tourism in general and setting aside a sum of INR 3100 crore for the Culture Ministry to boost regional tourism. What would be wonderful is to have an empowered nodal body comprising of the Govt / OTA / airline, hotel and other industry representatives with the objective of promoting discoverability, ease of booking and fulfilment of our cultural, natural and heritage sites.”

Indroneel Dutt, CFO, Cleartrip

The Indian Express

The Union budget takes a calibrated approach to boost the country’s growth by investing in new infrastructure and ensuring clean air and environment for the people. Avis is a strong believer in making available transportation and infrastructure of the future, to build an environment-friendly economy. The allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure and the announcement of setting up 100 new airports under UDAN, is a big booster for travel and tourism in the country. At the same time, allotment of Rs 4,400 crore for clean air policies is a step in the pursuit of sustainable development. The scheme to boost electronic manufacturing in the country will also support the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. Setting up of on-site museums at five archaeological sites will help promote tourism and on road-transport in the country. The vision of the current government is to promote the domestic industry, tourism, and entrepreneurs, and the budget lays down its foundation through focused policies in the same direction.

Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis India

The Indian Express

At Shopmatic, we are happy that aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses will benefit from the many initiatives that the finance minister has announced in today’s union budget.We believe that the announcement caters to the rising aspirations of India and is aimed at giving the startup economy a boost!. Setting up an Investment clearance cell to offer end-to-end facilitation and support to start-ups, will give a strong lift to the country’s aspiring entrepreneurs. Start-ups have more than one reason to celebrate, as entrepreneurial ventures with turnover up to 100Cr, as opposed to the previous threshold of 25Cr, can now avail 100% profit deduction in 3 out of 10 years instead of the previous limit of 7 years. This will surely allow entrepreneurs to take more risks and innovate while pursuing their aspirations. Deferring ESOP taxation in the hands of employees is another welcomed move, offering them a window of 5 years or whenever they exit the organisation, whichever is earlier. This will continue to help more startups hire the best candidates and retain them, for longer periods of time.

Anurag Avula, Co-founder & CEO, Shopmatic

The Indian Express

With technologies like AI, IoT and Data Analytics transforming the world, and cutting across streams, the Union Budget 2020 has introduced some ample changes that will certainly benefit the start-up community. The finance minister announcing that entrepreneurs from rural areas will be offered additional opportunities to learn and develop their skill sets is definitely a moment to rejoice. Stressing on digital connectivity throughout the country the INR 6000 crore allocated for the same under the BharatNet program, we are happy that aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses from suburban and rural areas will be able to scale their business outside of their towns. We will continue to offer our support to enable them to achieve their goal and own successful businesses.

Jasmeet Thind, Co-founder, Coutloot

The Indian Express

“We are happy that Govt is continuously focusing on Skill development and In the current budget has planned 3000 crores for the same. But the challenge still remains the end outcome making these skilled workforce employed, self employed or given some entrepreneurship opportunities. Govt has to be experimental in spending money for skill development. The intent of skill development is to develop ability in people do the associated job. Govt should find out some avenues where job or opportunity givers ( MSME or Enterprise ) have higher stake in driving the training programs across the country and enables people to earn money”

Dheeraj Khattar, Founder, MyMobiforce

Supplied

The Budget provides credible numbers in terms of the fiscal math, recognising the revenue shortfall faced this year. It uses up the 50bps point leeway that the FRBM act provides for both this and the next year which is a welcome step.

Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank

The Indian Express

The budget does meet some of the expectations from the FinTech industry and startups. The introduction of some sort of a tax relief on ESOPs was one of the biggest asks from the startup industry – this deferment of tax payment by five years, to me, is one of the biggest welcome moves by the government in this budget. This is a good start and I hope we see more focus on this going forward. Secondly, the reduction on corporate tax to 22% is an encouraging step. This is the lowest in the world and will be encouraging for Indian businesses. Lastly, the changed income tax slabs and rates is not only a huge income tax relief for individuals but will also lead to an increase in disposable income, thereby giving a boost to consumer spending.

Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay

The Indian Express

The Union Budget highlights the role technology-enabled innovation can play in leapfrogging the nation. From integration in priority sectors like agriculture and healthcare to a continued focus on smart cities, the first budget of the new decade clearly outlines the significance of a digital-first India in realizing the country’s potential. I am especially encouraged by the efforts to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve disease detection and pre-emption as part of the PM Jan Arogya Yojana. Such applications of emerging technologies combined with the focus on increasing the penetration of fibre connectivity in the nation have the potential to fundamentally impact the lives of millions in the coming years.

Prakash Mallya, VP, and MD – Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India

The Indian Express

This is a “ Laghe Raho” Budget as there were no quick fixes or grandiose plans but lots and lots of initiatives which will all help keep the economy on course for the 10% realistic Nominal GDP growth planned. Big spend push through National Infra Pipeline, Transport sector and 16 initiatives on Farm growth should help rural economy and growth. Fiscal deficit at 3.5% for Fy 21 is a relief as we stay the course and yet spend extra within limits. Disinvestments target of 2.1 L cr will have to be met through LIC, IDBI etc. Overall, time to switch of TV Channels and go back to the hard grind of execution to get the economy on track. So, as we chase the 5 tn GDP target, its ‘Lage Raho’ for now.

Mahesh Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Co. Ltd.

The Indian Express

Acknowledging the influence of technology in shaping new age economy is a distinct aspect of the Union budget. Focus on artificial intelligence and targets set for quantum computing is a step in the right direction to strengthen India’s position as a frontrunner in exponential technologies. From IT services perspective, it will be interesting to see if setting up more export hubs is encouraged by incentives for the industry that has been at the forefront of exports for the country.

Sanjay Jalona, CEO & MD, LTI (L&T Infotech)

The Indian Express

“We appreciate the government’s emphasis on promoting cutting-edge technologies in India. In her Union Budget 2020 announcement, the FM observed that technologies like machine learning, robotics, AI, along with number of productive age group (15-65 years) are cross-cutting streams in India, which is a special attribute for our country”.

Atul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO of Staqu

The Indian Express

“Nothing substantial seems to have changed, for the government to expect a 10 percent nominal GDP growth rate continues to sound like hubris, the situation on the ground is a lot worse, the need of the hour might be to recognize the issues at hand and transparently deal with them. Personal income taxes being cut do not make a substantial difference to consumption, the rich tax which has essentially with surcharges brought the effective tax rates to 42 percent for the highest bracket continues to be a big deterrent to consumption. This is not yielding substantial revenue gains for the government, and it might have been prudent to do away with this.”

Nikhil Kamath, Co-founder, Zerodha & True Beacon

The Indian Express

“Making policy for data center parks for digital resources like fintech, AI, aggregator platforms along with the connection of 1 lakh villages via optical fiber internet is great news for digital India. This will definitely increase digital penetration into India that was unthinkable before. Startup ESOPs taxation on vesting will be deferred for five years or till exit – whichever is earlier! This is great news as the current system collects taxes too early. This will encourage more startups to get incorporated and create jobs. It will make it easier for startups to incentivize good talent and attract more skilled talent towards working in startups”.

Harsh Jain, Co-founder and COO, Groww

The Indian Express

“Promoting and building data centre parks across India and improving connectivity through BharatNet seems like a great move forward – it would be great to leverage both to enable seamless interchange of data across local government bodies and also enabling access to it to private companies to build innovative applications leveraging that data – just like the data.gov initiative by the US government; and that could also help drive data localization forward – depending on the specifics. The way they should be structured should be very similar to UPI – making technology entrepreneurs from across India lead the strategy, architecture and execution of the network and making it open so anyone can plug-in – from existing tech giants to startups.”

Pathik Shah, CEO of DB Digital

The Indian Express

“In order to reach the target of average spend of USD 173 billion a year to achieve the SDG 4 by 2030, it would be an unrealistic expectation to see that coming solely from government and pure philanthropic initiatives. In this context, we welcome the Government’s steps towards encouraging sourcing External Commercial Borrowings and FDI to boost quality education. We hope this would pave the way for opening up and formalising the sector and ensuring long term responsible and patient capital, giving the much needed confidence to potential investors to invest in the sector and expect legitimate RoI as spoken about several times in the past”.

Manit Jain, Chairman, FICCI ARISE

The Indian Express

“Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2020-2021 acknowledged the startup ecosystem as the “strength of India,” and proposed a bunch of measures to ensure ease of doing business for Indian startups. Proposal of National Technical Textile Mission with an outlay of Rs 1,480 crore over four years to cut down imports has been a great move to boost the the textile industry. However, with regards to tax exemptions we were expecting some major moves to encourage women entrepreneurship in India.”

Anuradha Singh, CEO and founder at Indi Collage

The Indian Express

“The FM has done well in abiding by the fiscal prudence principles for FY21 and the targets set by her look achievable. But it will be crucial for her to stick to it for FY21, else the international rating agencies may have adverse views. The markets have reacted negatively to the Budget, mainly due to some disappointments on account of non-abolition of LTCG, confusion about the impact of DDT removal and taxing dividends in the hands of recipients. Also the alternative provided to individuals for lower rate of tax, provided they do not claim exemptions/deductions, did not seem too attractive. The alternative tax system discourages investments which market participants do not seem to be comfortable with. The overhang of coronavirus outbreak on our markets also got magnified in the later half of the session. Foreign investors will look for signs of revival of growth before they commit funds.”

Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC Securities

The Indian Express

It is heartening to see that the Government has time and again recognized the significance of electronics manufacturing in today’s economy. The Union Budget’s significant focus on local production of mobile phones, electronics, and semiconductor packaging is going to propel the Make in India vision further. We are excited about the detailed scheme, which will follow soon.

Nipun Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo India

The Indian Express

“We welcome the steps taken by the Government in the Union Budget towards boosting electronic manufacturing in the country. The electronic industry has huge potential both in terms of manufacturing in India and job creation and will provide a major impetus for growth. This will further enhance the exports of networked products. Another important step taken is the further push provided by the Government for its smart cities mission. It aims to create 100 cities with state-of-the-art infrastructure that includes intelligent lighting, Wi-Fi access points, leading to enhancement of the quality of life of every citizen while building efficient living spaces for future generations. As a company, Syska has been striving towards developing technology-driven, energy-efficient and affordable solutions that positively impact the lives of our customers. With India heading towards mass urbanization, we are aligned towards promoting sustainability, enhancing social development and creating new employment opportunities through rapid digital innovations.”

Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, Syska

The Indian Express

“The Union Budget 2020, is extremely encouraging and would ensure the necessary boost to the economy. For the first time Data centres have been given due importance. As technology leads the next level of growth for the country, the government’s move to focus on building the necessary back end infrastructure (via construction of new Data centre parks through the country) will ensure the GDP gets the necessary shot in the arm that the country is looking forward too. The impetus planned by the government will ensure long term sustainable growth not only for the sector but also the country. Development of smart cities will need smart data centres, which is a huge opportunity for the sector, this move will also ensure jobs creation and boost to local consumption. This will act as a catalyst in the development of individual states”

Rasanna Sarambale, CEO, Sterling & Wilson, Data Centre Business

The Indian Express

“Startups are being recognised as a strong force behind the aspirational India in todays Budget 2020. As quoted by the finance minister ‘Entrepreneurship is strength of India’. Setting up a portal based investment clearance cell by the government will uplift the startup ecosystem and will further strengthen India’s position Globally. Given the Entrepreneurial spirit in India, backed by governments support, the startup ecosystem across sectors especially Agriculture & Health care will generate lot of employment opportunities. Recognition of AI & ML as cutting streams, proposal to have full-fledged online degree programmes showcases the vision to position India as a digital nation. The budget also focusses on boosting the tourism sector by developing of 5 archaeological sites as Iconic Sites with museums that will indirectly help startup like ours in the travel technology space to expand our business.”

Sumita Tulsiani, Co-founder, TravelDilSe

Supplied

“We see this budget as a good step in direction to become a $5 trillion dollars economy. As a technology player embedded in India’s technology ecosystem, we welcome the government’s vision to build Data Centre Parks in the country. The government’s focus on enhanced digital connectivity, and focus on emerging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, along with the allocation towards quantum computing are sure to provide a fillip to India’s economy”

Vikas Garg, Deputy CFO, Paytm

The Indian Express

“The Union Budget has tried to balance higher expenditure and still maintain a prudent Fiscal Deficit target of 3.5% for FY21. Removal of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) will lead to higher cash flows in the hands of cash-starved India Inc. If individual tax payers opt for the new tax regime then it will result in higher cash in the hands of the individuals. This in turn would lead to increased spending or higher investments, both being good for the country. Nominal GDP growth estimates of 10% for FY21 looks realistic on the back of lower base of FY20. Listing of LIC would help bridge a gap in the Fiscal Deficit for FY21. Market expectations were high on capital market reforms which have not materialised and to that extent there could be some near term disappointment. As earnings recover in the course of next fiscal year, markets will also follow a similar path.”

Jaideep Hansraj, MD & CEO, Kotak Securities

The Indian Express

“The focus on the rural economy will be an integral factor for the auto industry as more income in the rural areas will translate to a spurt in demand for two-wheelers, Agri related auto products like tractors, cars such as entry-level cars and utility vehicles. I was glad that the government addressed the liquidity crisis of the NBFCs which would mean more inflow of capital for the auto segment. The government allocating over 1.7 lakh cr for infrastructural development is a positive step towards ensuring more connectivity between key industrial corridors which should augur well for the automobile industry”

Sunny Kataria, VP, OLX Auto India

The Indian Express

“The government’s plans to promote entrepreneurship through Investment Clearance Cell is an interesting move that should be brought into effect at the earliest in order to boost employment and self-reliance. Easy accessibility along with a fair and transparent implementation will decide its success. Likewise, the proposal to provide early life funding including a seed fund, should help in promoting ideation and creativity. I also look forward to the new education policy and hope that it includes special initiatives to increase digital literacy. Digital education needs to start at the grassroots level in order to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are well-equipped to secure better prospects.”

Neeraj Roy, Founder & CEO, Hungama Digital Media

The Indian Express

“Another step targeted to make India an attractive destination of investment – the government has proposed to remove DDT paid by indian companies on dividend and replace it with traditional withholding mechanism. The abolition of this tax can boost market sentiment and make Indian equity more attractive,”

Amit Bablani, Director, Deloitte India

The Indian Express

“Personal income tax deduction is a big plus given by the FM, this will help in growth revival. The increasing turnover threshold limit to 100 Cr and tax benefit time period to 10 years is another big push for startups. Also, Deferring tax on ESOP’s for startups is a big positive move that will help small startups in retaining talent. The increasing tax audit minimum turnover limit from the current 1 Cr limit to 5 Cr will benefit a large number of small and medium enterprises.”

Siddharth Jain, Co- founder, Vaahika

The Indian Express

“The Union Budget 2020, is extremely encouraging and would ensure the necessary boost to the economy. For the first time Data centres have been given due importance. As technology leads the next level of growth for the country, the government’s move to focus on building the necessary back end infrastructure (via construction of new Data centre parks through the country) will ensure the GDP gets the necessary shot in the arm that the country is looking forward too. The impetus planned by the government will ensure long term sustainable growth not only for the sector but also the country. Development of smart cities will need smart data centres, which is a huge opportunity for the sector, this move will also ensure jobs creation and boost to local consumption. This will act as a catalyst in the development of individual states”

Prasanna Sarambale, CEO, Sterling & Wilson – Data Centre Business

The Indian Express

The Budget 2020, is a step in the right direction for a more promising time to come for India’s startup environment. It is very encouraging to see that the Government has perceived startup as a key job creator as well as an engine of growth which form the backbone of our economy. Tax reforms on ESOPs, and increase the turnover limit for start-ups from Rs 25 crores to 100 crores will boost the start-up system and will lessen the burden from complying with complex red tapism. This year, the budget also focussed towards fuelling growth of early- stage start-ups by introducing initiatives such as setting up portal- based investment clearance cell for offering end-to-end facilitation services at the Central as well as State level in funding and a portal will be set up thereby creating more opportunities for startup owners.

Nakul Kumar, Co-Founder and COO, Cashify

The Indian Express

“The allocation of Rs. 27,300 crore will lead to a setup of a better environment for industry and commerce. As the electronic sector is in focus of Government, new startups based on the manufacturing of electronic equipment and semiconductors will also see a rise. New investment in this sector and change in export norms will also give a boost to this industry. The subordinated debt for MSME’s and overall debt restructuring will also benefit the entrepreneurs and small businesses greatly.”

Loknedra Ranawat, Founder & CEO, WoodenStreet

The Indian Express

“The budget is disappointing for startups as we do not see any moves to keep the promises of NDA from their manifesto.”

Mohandas Pai, Partner, Aarin Capital (Former Infosys CFO)

Inc42


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About the author

Pradeep Singh

Co-founder & CTO of LAFFAZ. A full-stack developer, possessing 6+ years of experience in working closely with tech startups in India and UAE.

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