Industry reactions on Union Budget (Part-1)
Shivaji Waghmare, CEO, Fuji Electric India Pvt Ltd
"I think Budget 2023 is growth-oriented and it strikes a balance between economic growth and social welfare. It is great 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 manufacturing of lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells for batteries used in EVs. This would reduce the production cost and lower the cost of EVs. Manufacturing credit guarantee scheme for MSME is another laudable step. Youth have to be skilled to compete in Industry 4.0 and a lot of measures are being taken to make Indian youth market-ready. More skilling centres would mean more technicians who are very important for industries like us. Reducing the cost of compliances will help reduce the overall cost for the businesses which is a welcome thing. India is going all out to embrace digitalization and also ensure that every segment of its population is taken along in its run towards realising its dream. The increased spends India Railways is a welcome step. I am glad that consumption is being promoted and economy is being revived.”
Ketan Kulkarni, Chief Commercial Officer, Blue Dart
“This Union Budget is an extremely balanced and progressive one with an emphasis on inclusive development. It has a focus on urbanisation and digitalisation. We are delighted to see government’s responsiveness on adoption of green energy, equipment and mobility, which will push the sustainability agenda further. The budget features investments in identified one hundred critical transport infrastructure projects, for last and first mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors, these will boost the logistics industry. The INR 75,000 crore investment, including INR 15,000 crore from private sources is a welcome move in this direction. The budget also announced an increase of 33% on Infrastructure development, and a INR 10,000 crore fund allocation to urban infrastructure development. There is also an addition of 50 new airports planned to improve regional connectivity. The Budget also features the highest ever railway outlay of INR 2.40 lakh crore along with proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) for coastal shipping and transportation needs, to enhance rural connectivity, thus addressing the needs of a rapidly growing economy.”
Dilip Sawhney, Managing Director, Rockwell Automation India Pvt. Ltd.
“Rockwell Automation India welcomes the Union Budget for FY23-24 proposed by Hon’ble Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.We are delighted to note that government is steadfast on its agenda for creating enabling environment to achieve an all-encompassing, equitable and sustainable growth path for every individual and enterprise, through the prudent use of various fiscal measures as provided under the Budget. While the overall spending thrust of the government across critical areas of education, healthcare, infrastructure, defence, and industries (particularly MSMEs and Startups) will energize the entire economic engine of the country, a conscious effort to interlace low-carbon/ green growth strategies for all sectors of the economy will create new-age green jobs for a large number of youths. This will not only help the country to progress towards its carbon-neutrality target of 2070 but also propel the nation to access emerging global opportunities in clean technologies. For a technology company like us, which specialises in areas of industrial automation and smart manufacturing, it is most heartening to know that government plans to set up 30 Skill India Centres for implementation of Industry 4.0 in areas of 3D Printing, AI, IoT and Drones. This will create an immense opportunity to enhance such advanced technical skills among people working for manufacturers and automation industry players. In addition, the creation of 3 CoEs for Artificial Intelligence will boost the futuristic vision of the government to ‘Make AI in India & Make AI Work for India’. Similarly, the government’s plan to leverage 5G technology in telecom; the creation of a National Data Governance Policy; the establishment of Central Data Processing Centres; and the creation of innovation centres for the Pharma and Medical Devices sector will go a long way. To further boost the thriving EV ecosystem in the country and make domestic manufacturing of advanced chemistry battery cells more cost-effective, the exemption of customs duties on capital goods and equipment necessary for such production lines is a welcome step forward. This will make locally manufactured EVs more affordable for end-users, as the majority of EV cost is contributed by batteries. All of this holds great promise to catapult the country into technology-driven industrial growth over coming years.”
Ajitesh Korupolu, Founder & CEO, ASBL.
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate everyone for the new income tax regime announced. With multiple initiatives aimed at infrastructural development, the government has ensured that taxpayers and businesses alike have several causes for celebration.
Among the Urban Planning initiatives, the enhanced opportunities for private investment, transit-oriented focus on development and considerations for urban sanitation will be key drivers that improve the quality of life in our cities. The proposed Artificial Intelligence-led research in Sustainable Cities will hopefully solve many complexities we face in the design, construction and planning of urban landscapes. “
Manoj Tulsian, Joint Managing Director & CEO, Greenply Industries Ltd
The announcement of a targeted push in the green growth sector in the Union Budget of 2023–24 is a significant step in India's journey toward rapidly developing sustainable, low-emission products. This initiative is likely to generate substantial economic opportunities for decarbonization and sustainable product growth. With Greenply's approach to sustainability, we have already launched an internal initiative called "ESG 360" with a three-year plan for integrating ESG factors into our strategy and daily operations. Greenply's E-0 product line, investment in research and development, and advanced toxicology studies have pioneered a shift toward environmental sustainability in the wood panel industry.
It is noteworthy that the Green Credit Program under the Environment (Protection) Act will undoubtedly encourage more large companies to invest in the research of greener product variants by incentivizing not only corporate but also individual sustainable and responsive actions.
Additionally, the increase in capital expenditure by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore in public infrastructure will be a positive boost for the entire building and construction industry. The focus on urban infrastructure will have a significant impact on the real estate sector and will push the growth trajectory in the wood panel sector.”
Aryendra Kumar, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer - IKF Home Finance
“IKF Home Finance is welcoming the Union Budget presented Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman announcing the hike by 66 percent for the PM Awas Yojana which is outlay to ₹79,000 crore in Budget 2023-24. Finance Minister has increased FY24 capital investment outlay by 33 percent to ₹10 lakh crore, establishing 3.3 percent of GDP. This will not only increase economic growth but also result in increasing employment opportunities, assisting rural India for higher consumption too. This move would certainly give a significant boost to capital goods and infra companies as well.
The PM Awas Yojana with a mission of ‘Housing for All’, IKF Home Finance recommends Government of India to consider some taxation incentives to Housing finance Companies - at least in the next budget, as they are providing support in developing housing in smaller towns Housing Finance companies has a great potential in fulfilling the mission of ‘Housing for All.”
Rama Raju, CEO, IKF Finance
“India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget 2023-24 with an equal emphasis on Investment in Infrastructure, Green Growth and Financial Sectors.
Investments in Infrastructure, Capex building will have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment. With the FM’s decision on continuing 50-year interest free loan to States for one more year will spur investment and infrastructure developments. Creation of 100 critical transport infrastructure projects, 50 new airports and heliports are appreciated moves. This will open-up financing opportunities directly in Infrastructure and Transportation Sectors and indirectly in Cement, Steel and other allied Sectors.
It’s a Green Budget for the Automobile Sector. More funds are allocated to scraping old vehicles, including ambulances of the central and state government. The new development will benefit auto manufacturers in the country with the replacement of old vehicles. The viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems is also likely to create critical infrastructure, while custom duty reduction on capital goods for Lithium batteries manufacturing will facilitate faster adoption of EVs.
For the Financial Sector, the adoption of risk based simplified KYC process of individuals maintained by various government agencies and Common business identifier for business establishments through PAN Number to bring in ease of evaluation and faster decisions by NBFC’s. Expanding of storage and sharing of KYC and critical documents in Digilocker for individuals, MSMEs, large business is a welcome move.”