Indian Budget Reaction opinions by Industry Tycoons

Prittle Prattle News polled views from Industry Tycoons.

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, India, has indicated the total expenses in Budget 2023-24 of the revised estimations.

Mr. Sudhir Pai, CEO of Magicbricks, says, “The Union Budget 2023 is a bonanza for affordable housing, with the strategic decision to increase the outlay for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by 66%! This decision provides the much-needed impetus towards the vision of “Housing for all.” Further, with a 33% increment in infrastructure outlay, the Government is facilitating economic growth through job creation and investments that directly and indirectly impact the real-estate sector. It is also heartening to see that the Government is maintaining its focus on furthering urbanization initiatives, especially with the outlay of INR 10,000 crores per annum for an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) for tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This would certainly boost the real estate markets in these cities, which have emerged as real-estate growth engines in the past few years. 2022 saw a year-on-year increase in residential demand in cities like Bhubaneswar (12%), Coimbatore (27%), Jaipur (5%), and Nagpur (66%), amongst others, and this initiative will further elevate the livability index and appeal of these cities. Overall, the Union Budget is positive and growth-oriented for the real-estate sector.”

Mr. LVLN Murty, CEO of Dvara KGFS, Chennai, says, I congratulate the Government for presenting an inclusive budget and underlining the fact that MSMEs are the growth engines of our economy. We welcome the move to enhance turnover limits to Rs 3 crores and Rs 75 lakh, for micro-enterprises and a specific category of MSME professionals to be eligible for presumptive taxation. The Finance Minister’s announcement about a revamped credit guarantee for MSMEs effective from April 1st, 2023, through the infusion of Rs 9000 Crore in the corpus is sure to help the ecosystem and open up more credit lines for MSMEs. This will also help NBFCs bring cost-effective credit underwritings, especially for small borrowers, and help conclude end-to-end digital processing efficiently with standard checks and balances and shorter turnaround times. Focus on sector-specific skilling and entrepreneurship development will help rural women gain financial independence. Rural women will stand benefitted if more awareness is created about the opportunities available and about the schemes of the Government to support them. Simplifying KYC and making PAN the single identifier for all financial transactions will also help NBFCs like ours push for financial inclusion across our rural markets.

Mr. Nirav Dalal, Executive Vice President- Business Development and Chief Investment Officer, Shapoorji Pallonji, says, We welcome the measures announced by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2023–24, which indirectly aims to boost the real estate sector’s growth while also providing relief to consumers. The proposed increase in the income tax exemption limit to Rs 7 lakh will help boost real estate investment. This tax break will encourage homebuyers to invest more while simultaneously increasing revenue. Meeting the long-standing demand of the real estate sector, the cap deduction for capital gains on residential housing investment is set at INR 10 crore, which will undoubtedly benefit the real estate industry. As one of the crucial measures to support the market, there has been a 66% increase in the allocation to 79,000 crores in the Affordable Housing Fund (PMAY). The budget also has an emphasis on developing smart cities. The budget has allocated the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), which will be managed by the National Housing Bank and used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The infrastructural development in these untapped markets will help real estate development here.”

Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder of WinZO games, says, “It’s heartening to witness TDS for Online Gaming finding significant mention in this year’s Union budget presented by the Hon’ble Minister. The proposed changes lend clarity to the Gaming companies while creating an airtight accounting system for the exchequer. Aligning it with a player’s Net Winnings in a Financial Year seems like a just provision for the 500MM online gamers in India. Recognizing and carving out a separate clause in the act for ‘Online Gaming’ as against gambling or betting is in line with Meity’s recent draft amendment to IT rules for Online Gaming and is a testimony to the Government’s genuine intent to nurture the burgeoning sector. The single most important aspect that the sector awaits clarity on and something that would decide its fate is the outcome from GoM on the GST. We are hopeful that the outcome would retain the current 18% tax slab on gross gaming commissions and promise to overachieve the $ 10 trillion economy goal by our Hon’ble Prime Minister well before 2030”.

Mr. R Jeswant, CEO of Funskool India Ltd., says, The increase in essential Duty on Toys and parts of Toys (other than parts of electronic toys) to 70% is a boost to Domestic Manufacturers and will help in India developing into a manufacturing hub for toys, as envisaged by our Prime Minister.

Mr. Vighnesh Shahane, MD & CEO of Ageas Federal Life Insurance, says, In today’s Union Budget, the Government has announced that from April 1st onwards, income from life insurance policies (other than ULIPs), with an aggregate premium amount of Rs. 5 lakh p.a. or more, which was earlier tax-free will now be taxable. However, in case of the unfortunate death of the insured person, the death benefit will remain tax-free.

This move is similar to the proposal introduced by the Government a couple of years ago, which imposed a tax on the maturity amount of ULIPs if the aggregate premium exceeded Rs. 2.5 lakh p.a. This proposal is likely to dent the sales of non-par products, which have been witnessing strong growth over the last few years, especially during the pandemic. As the cap of Rs. 5 lakhs is applicable for all life insurance policies across insurers, it may deter individuals from purchasing additional policies if they have exhausted their limit with their primary insurer.

Mr. Ruchir Arora, CEO & Co-Founder, CollegeDekho, says, The Budget of 2023-24 presented by the Hon’ble FM brings some positive news for the education sector. We welcome the Government’s massive push to accelerate the education sector with an allocation of ₹1,12,898.97 crore, the highest-ever percentage of funds granted to this sector. The establishment of 157 new nursing colleges and the introduction of new programs in training in medical equipment are significant steps in bridging the skill gap in the medical and pharma sector. We expect demand for more such courses in the coming future. The Government’s announcement for Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is aligned with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 with a significant focus on advanced technology, research, and innovation-based education. This includes the establishment of 30 Skill India International Centers, offering cutting-edge programs in fields such as coding, AI, IOT, mechatronics, drones, and the enhancement of various soft skills. We feel this opens up multiple new career opportunities for students, and pursuing courses like BSc in either Agriculture or Forestry, Chartered Accountancy, and Master in Integral Logistics, to name a few, might be plausible. Also, the numerous infrastructural developments, green growth, and financial initiatives proposed in the budget will increase employment opportunities in these sectors. Overall, the budget is progressive and concentrates on enhancing the skill development of Indian youth, which will further propel their employability and lead to overall economic growth.

Vaidyanathan V, CFO of Great Lakes Institute of Management, says, We welcome the measures announced by the finance minister in the Union Budget 2023. Setting up the National Digital Library for children and adolescents will up their knowledge and prepare them for competition at a global level. Emphasis on physical libraries at panchayat and ward levels will make learning accessible to children in rural areas and open doors for their development. We laud the Government’s efforts to develop three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence which are to be set up in top educational institutions. The Government’s efforts to recruit more teachers for 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools are appreciated. However, it is disappointing that there were no specific announcements for the higher education sector. Research in the higher education sector needs the Government’s support, which can act as a catalyst for India’s growth. We hope the Government also opens channels for collaborative working with private institutions to create global managers.
Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director, Renault India, says that the budget has placed particular emphasis on the Vehicle Scrappage Policy, which will not only boost sales but also enable the achievement of a clean and green environment for overall sustainable development. Additionally, funds infusion in the scrappage policy is a significant step in the right direction to achieve India’s carbon-neutral goal by 2070. This policy would eventually help the entire automotive industry ecosystem as this will translate into growing order books of OEMs, increased output, and job creation. The Government announced the customs duty exemption being extended to capital goods and machinery required for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries used in EVs. This step is a boost for companies that are / would be manufacturing electric vehicles locally, as it will help reduce the cost of EVs. The automobile industry will witness an increase in sales with the new tax rebate limit on personal income, which has been raised from INR 5 lacs per annum to INR 7 lacs per annum. This step will likely help the sector as more disposable income with salaried customers may give an extra push to demand personal vehicles.

Mr. R. Udayan Lahiry, Co-founder & Managing Director, Medica Group of Hospitals Pvt Ltd, says, “We welcome the Government’s emphasis on establishing new nursing colleges, as this will improve the nurse-patient ratio and be a positive step toward Universal Health Coverage. Furthermore, making medical research facilities in select ICMR Labs available for research by public and private medical colleges, as well as by the private sector R&D teams for collaborative research and innovation, is also a welcome step towards the growth and development of the Indian healthcare sector. It is also encouraging for healthcare service providers to know that the Government has emphasized strengthening the multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions since we feel that this will secure the supply of skilled workforce of the future to drive technological advancements in the healthcare sector. Also, the renewed focus of the Government to eliminate Sickle Cell Anemia by 2047 through collaborative efforts of central ministries and state governments is extremely relevant today as it coincides with our country’s firm motto of eliminating infectious diseases like lymphatic filariasis by 2027,.tuberculosis by 2025 and Kala Azar by this year itself. Overall, the union budget has captured a lot of pertinent areas of the healthcare sector, and it would have been even more beneficial for the sector if the Government had addressed the mechanism to avail GST input credit.”
Shivaji Waghmare, CEO, Fuji Electric India Pvt. Ltd, says, I think Budget 2023 is growth-oriented and strikes a balance between economic growth and social welfare. It is excellent news that the budget has provided Rs 35,000 crores priority capital investment towards energy transition and net zero objectives, and energy security. We appreciate the move to extend customs duty exemption to the import of capital goods and machinery required for the manufacturing of lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells for batteries used in EVs. This would reduce the production cost and lower the cost of EVs. A manufacturing credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs is another laudable step. Youth have to be skilled to compete in Industry 4.0, and many measures are being taken to make Indian youth market-ready. More skilling centers would mean more technicians who are very important for industries like ours. Reducing the cost of compliance will help reduce the overall cost for the businesses, which is a welcome thing. India will embrace digitalization and ensure that every segment of its population is taken along in realizing its dream. The increased spends India Railways is a welcome step. I am glad that consumption is being promoted and the economy is being revived.
This article is contributed to Prittle Prattle News as opinions and curated by the editor.
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