Budget 2024: India Inc hails Budget’s roadmap for development, hails beacon of support to infrastructure and planning – Zee Business

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Budget 2024: Corporates across sectors hailed the interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a majority of them asserting that it charts a definitive pathway for a fully developed and economically robust India by 2047. Some others head honchos echoed a sentiment of cautious optimism while reacting to the interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister.

Here is how the industry reacted to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2024 speech – 


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Abhimanyu Munjal, Jt. MD & CEO, Hero FinCorp

The interim budget focuses on boosting holistic economic growth. Allocating Rs 1 lakh crore for interest-free loans emphasize the government’s commitment to strengthening innovation and research. Additionally, highlighting the role of digital public infrastructure shows a push towards formalizing the economy. These measures support the organized financial services sector, enhancing lending, investments, and savings efficiency.

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Kartik Narayan, CEO – Staffing, TeamLease Services  

The Skill India Mission’s initiative to train 1.4 crore young individuals, along with the upskilling and re-skilling of 54 lakh youth, coupled with the establishment of 3,000 new Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), is a vital step towards bolstering the PLI and Make in India programs. This comprehensive approach is essential in enhancing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP from 17% to 25% by 2047, thereby creating numerous job opportunities.

Sandeep Shah Co-Founder & MD, Optimized Electrotech

A strategic roadmap that not only balances fiscal prudence but also seeds the ground for sustainable growth, innovation, and resilience. Investing in a future that champions progress, inclusivity, and economic vitality. Beyond numbers, it signifies a transformative shift in the defence industry, where innovation now takes center stage alongside capital. This strategic move reshapes the landscape, redefining the playbook for the next decade. The winners will be those who innovate, adapt, and champion progress. This budget is not merely a financial plan; it’s a small step towards a comprehensive modification of the defence sector, heralding an era where the game-changers are the innovators. Crucially, the increased capital expenditure is a beacon for Aatmanirbharta—self-reliance in its truest sense. It empowers the nation to forge ahead with indigenous capabilities, fostering innovation, and creating a robust ecosystem that not only meets immediate defence needs but also positions India as a global player in the defence arena.

Sachin Kothari, Director, Augmont Gold For All

Bullion Industry stakeholders had a lot of expectations from the government to simplify and reduce the duties structure of the gold trade in this budget and solve the challenges they faced. However, none of these issues and challenges were addressed in this interim budget. Bullion Market participants have forwarded these hopes and expectations for the final budget, which will be announced after the elections this year.

Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director, RiddiSiddhi Bullions Limited (RSBL)

This interim budget couldn’t gladden the bullion industry participants, as there were no major announcements related to this industry. The wishlist from the bullion industry was very long, like reducing 15% import duties on precious metals, reducing 3% GST, exempting Capital Gain Tax on gold jewelry sales, GST refunds to NRIs, simplifying TCS and TDS rates, etc. All taxes and duties remain in status quo until the next budget.

Ranjita Ravi, Co-founder, Orxa Energies 

The Interim Budget of 2024 has mentioned plans on accelerating the EV ecosystem through the expansion of charging and manufacturing infrastructure in the country. We at Orxa Energies firmly believe in India’s commitment towards growing electric mobility across the country and we look forward to collaborating with the government in achieving this aspiration.

We are also delighted with the Honourable Finance Minister’s mention of the government’s intent to bolster deep tech for defence purposes. We are optimistic that such initiatives will accelerate our work in defence technologies and widen our footprint in these realms.

Niraj Kumar, Chief Investment Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Ltd

Budget 2024 is a Holistic Budget exemplifying fiscal prudence and encompassing all the imperative sectors despite electoral compulsions. This budget gives credence to government’s unwavering resolve to adhere to the fiscal consolidation glide path, especially after having delivered robust growth-oriented budget in the last 3 years. The vision under Vikasit Bharat by 2047 and top 4 priorities laid out with respect to empowering Poor, Women, Youth and Farmers will go a long way in manifesting the long- term growth story of India. It is high on optics, low on spending impact as fiscal consolidation remains its paramount focus.

The key announcements on power sector coupled with new energy, railways, defense, affordable housing is indeed encouraging. While optically 11% capex growth seems lower than 30% average growth seen in the last 3 years, but it yet sticks to 3.4% of GDP, which is indeed credible as it would continue to give the requisite infra led push to sustain the growth momentum. Clearly the budget lacks any consumption and populus measures and is thus a departure from the previous pre-election Vote on Accounts. Fiscal consolidation focus, and low market borrowing reinstates the focus on macro-stability. With lower capex growth being the new reality, markets are likely to align to the pragmatic approach of the government and we reckon more policies being elaborated in July 2024 Budget. Bonds are likely to be in a favorable spot through 2025, thanks to the strong Fiscal prudence and lower borrowing pressures coupled with supportive FII flows with global bond inclusion. Overall, the government has dexterously done a fine balancing act between adhering to fiscal prudence and giving requisite support to growth, despite being a Pre-Election Budget.

Hari Kiran, Co-Founder and COO,eBikeGo

We, as an OEM, are thrilled with the Interim Budget announced as the government’s commitment to expand and strengthen the EV ecosystem will significantly boost manufacturing and infrastructure development. This will emerge as a notable contribution in achieving Net Zero Goals and lays a solid foundation for sustainable mobility and a greener environment. Also, as highlighted by the Honourable Finance Minister, the new age technologies and data are changing the lives of people and businesses. They are also enabling new economic opportunities as India is showing solutions through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ankur Gigras, CEO and Co-founder, HexaHealth

The interim budget was just released, and the emphasis on a comprehensive GDP, incorporating governance, development, and performance was evident. The proposed fiscal estimate reinforces a people-centric agenda and promises great enhancement in Indian healthcare. As per WHO, cervical cancer ranks as the fourth most prevalent cancer among women, posing a significant challenge for the Indian population. The budget forecast has thus put focus on prioritising precautionary healthcare by encouraging vaccination in girls of 9-14 years for cervical cancer. This initiative is a great step to help in the diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer in girls at an early age. Additionally, the finance minister mentioned extending the Ayushman Bharat scheme to include ASHA and Anganwadi workers, which reflects inclusivity by recognising their invaluable role in our health system. The finance minister expressed her futuristic expectations during the provisional budget, ensuring the necessary support. The vision for 2047 is full of commitment to providing abundant opportunities for our country. It has motivated the healthcare sector to continue contributing to holistic development and achieve great heights.

Ajay Nemani, Founder of FF21

We welcome the Finance Minister’s strategic vision for prioritising the growth of the MSME sector. The emphasis on providing training to MSMEs will not only enhance global competitiveness but also cultivate a thriving ecosystem.  Adequate funding for MSMEs is crucial for economic growth and we applaud the government’s recognition of this need. As a coliving startup, we anticipate a positive impact on the real estate industry with increased demand due to the focus on job creation. The government’s commitment to infrastructure development further enhances the potential for real estate expansion. Improved infrastructure is a catalyst for attracting investors and driving sustained growth in the real estate sector.

Radhieka Mehta, CEO and Head of Campus (Mumbai), SP Jain School of Global Management

We commend the government’s steadfast commitment to reforming the education sector. The notable surge of female enrolment in higher education by 28% over a decade underscores a significant stride towards gender inclusivity and empowerment. This trend bodes well for the future, reflecting positively on the increasing participation of women in the workforce. The establishment of prominent educational institutions and universities further underscores the government’s commitment to providing quality education and fostering innovation. These initiatives align with our mission of nurturing global leaders, and we look forward to contributing to India’s journey towards excellence in education and skill development.

Ajay Chaurasia, Vice President, RupeeRedee

It’s genuinely exciting to learn about India’s new plan outlined in this interim budget, focusing on building infrastructure and leveraging more technology. It’s like laying the foundation for the country’s growth, be it through cutting-edge tech, physical development, or improved connections. What’s particularly commendable is the government’s trust in the younger generation to bring in fresh tech ideas and innovations, recognizing the potential they hold for positive change.

Moreover, the provision of interest-free loans for up to 50 years is a significant support system for individuals and businesses, allowing them to kickstart and sustain their endeavors. This move has the potential to not only create more jobs but also foster the growth of entrepreneurship, enabling people to build and sustain their own businesses. These initiatives seem to be crafting a conducive environment for growth, fostering new ideas, and empowering individuals. It’ll be fascinating to witness how these plans unfold and contribute positively to different regions of the country in the years to come.

Harkunwar Singh, Co-Founder & CEO, Novatr

Infrastructure development stands as a cornerstone for realizing the India@2047 vision. We are pleased to note the increase in the outlay for infrastructure to Rs 11.11 lakh crores in the upcoming financial year. The government’s dedicated focus on the infrastructure sector, particularly through the three economic corridor programs, is commendable. By addressing congestion issues, these initiatives will bolster logistics, reduce costs, and propel our nation towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. Additionally, we welcome efforts to bridge the urban-rural divide through projects like the Metro Rail and Namo Bharat initiatives.

Anshoo Sharma Co-Founder and CEO, magicpin

It was expected by the Government to be fiscally prudent given that it was an interim budget, but what has been a welcome suprise is the corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore that will be established with 50 years interest-free loan for tech-savvy growth, that will encourage private sectors to scale up, with most of the Startups across the country being tech-led this is surely a welcome announcement. We also appreciate the extension of tax benefits to start-ups on investments made by sovereign wealth or pension funds to 31.03.2025, this will provide much needed continuity and inflows to Indian Startup eco-system for another year and balance the global funding winter across the world, where India is an outstanding anomaly.

Nirmit Parikh, Founder & CEO, apna.co

The Interim Budget 2024 deserves a nod of appreciation for its commitment to fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. The extension of tax benefits to startups, along with a seamless continuity in taxation, reflects a tangible dedication to long-term sustainability. Kudos to key initiatives like Start-up India and the Start-up Credit Guarantee schemes, which genuinely showcase a hands-on effort to empower the start-up sector. The support for technology and innovation within start-ups isn’t just policy; it’s a true progress accelerator. These measures are concrete steps that strengthen the ‘rozgardata’ and lay a foundation for inclusive, balanced, and robust growth within the start-up landscape. Overall, the Budget presents a realistic and impactful vision for a dynamic and thriving entrepreneurial future.

Gaurav Aggarwal, CEO & Founder of CarLelo, A Capri Loans Venture

We commend the government’s commitment to bolstering the EV ecosystem and investing in crucial infrastructure for sustainable mobility. Ms. Sitharaman’s announcement of a new scheme for bio-manufacturing further emphasizes the government’s commitment to sustainability by promoting the use of biodegradable materials in manufacturing processes. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact of these initiatives on the automotive industry and the environment. This shift towards green-oriented consumption aligns with Carlelo’s values and contributes to a more environmentally conscious manufacturing landscape.

Atul Monga, CEO and Co-founder, Basic Home loan

The prospect of constructing two crore new houses within the next five years is a commendable step towards addressing India’s growing housing needs. The focus on providing solar power benefits to one crore houses aligns with sustainable development goals, promoting clean energy and reducing environmental impact. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’s impact on 70% women is a notable achievement, contributing to gender equality and empowering women through homeownership.

The budget’s emphasis on rented homes and slums indicates a targeted approach to uplift the underprivileged, addressing the housing crisis in these vulnerable communities. This initiative becomes pivotal as India strives to achieve a USD 7 trillion economy by 2030, necessitating robust urban infrastructure to accommodate the rising population. In conclusion, the proposed measures reflect a holistic approach to housing, aligning with broader economic goals and sustainable development

Pragya Goyal, CEO & Co-Founder, Vegh Automobiles

The infusion of Rs 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans into the hands of women entrepreneurs is a game-changer, providing financial backing for aspiring female leaders to venture into the dynamic field of electric vehicle manufacturing. The commendable 28 per cent surge in female enrolment in higher education, particularly in STEM courses, fortifies the talent pool for the EV sector. As a young female CEO in the EV manufacturing startup, the budget announcements resonate deeply with me. These measures not only empower women in leadership roles but will also contribute to creating a more vibrant and dynamic EV manufacturing landscape in India, presenting a transformative shift for talent acquisition and gender diversity in India’s EV manufacturing ecosystem.

The emphasis on bolstering the EV ecosystem aligns seamlessly with our vision for a sustainable and eco-friendly mobility landscape. The move towards net zero emissions by 2070 is not only a commendable environmental goal but also a strategic boost for the EV sector. The planned expansion of manufacturing will likely lead to increased production capacities, fostering innovation and competitiveness. Moreover, the focus on charging infrastructure development is pivotal, addressing a critical aspect that has often been a consideration for potential EV adopters. As a manufacturer, we anticipate these initiatives will significantly contribute to the growth of the electric vehicle market in India, making sustainable mobility more accessible and attractive to a broader consumer base.

Vanesh Naidoo, Founder and Director, SafeCams

We are thrilled to have received a positive budget through the Finance Minister’s speech today. From a macro perspective the government is keeping the deficit low while still increasing the Capex expenditure for infrastructure. The government’s recognition of the pivotal role played by the MSMEs in the economy is great. Also, their commitment to prioritizing financial assistance is a positive step forward. Acknowledging the challenges associated with credit guarantee schemes, the emphasis on simplifying and streamlining the process would help a lot of MSME’s working capital funding requirements. It’s encouraging to note that the upcoming budget aligns with the government’s vision to enhance the global competitiveness of MSMEs through training schemes. While there were no new tax benefits announced, the extension of startup tax benefits till 2025 is also welcomed.

Bhavik Vasa, Cofounder, GetVantage 

The interim budget looks promising for the startup ecosystem and new-age lenders focused on bridging the vast credit deficit for SMEs and MSMEs. The government’s bold step in establishing a Rs 1 lakh crore corpus for emerging sectors is a beacon of optimism for the growth trajectory of early-stage startups. This year, we anticipate a significant boost for Cleantech and Agritech startups, propelled by an augmented allocation that surpasses the benchmarks set in the previous year.

The increased focus on funding Solar Grids and the National Green Hydrogen Mission underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to also advancing climate tech companies. This not only signifies robust financial support but is also an acknowledgment of the pivotal role startups in these sectors will play in steering us towards a more sustainable future. The anticipation of a surge in climatetech and cleantech startups in the upcoming years creates a ripe landscape for cash flow-based financing models, presenting a greenfield opportunity for alternate-financing companies including fintechs and NBFCs.

Moreover, the spotlight on reforms for MSMEs is a commendable stride toward fostering inclusive and sustainable development. These initiatives not only strengthen the roots of our homegrown businesses but also fortify their global competitiveness, aligning with the vision of making India a Viksit Bharat by 2047. In essence, the interim budget heralds a discernible upswing in the startup ecosystem. We are optimistic that startups, armed with these transformative reforms and policies, will leverage them strategically to scale new heights on their growth journey.

Dinesh Kumar Poobalan, CEO & CTO, Greatify

The Interim budget 2024, presented by the Honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, reflects a positive outlook. We applaud the government’s dedication to upskilling millions of youths through the Skill India Mission and establishing higher learning institutions. Women’s enrollment in higher education has increased by an astounding 28 per cent over the last ten years, along with 43 per cent of enrollment in STEM courses, a rate among the highest globally. These initiatives are anticipated to elevate the quality of education in India, fostering the development of a more educated workforce. This, in turn, is poised to stimulate increased research and innovation in emerging sectors by the private sector. By harnessing the combined potential of our youth and technology, these efforts aim to propel India forward.

Manish Chugh, Co-founder & Director, Aponyx Electric Vehicles

We are happy by the government’s forward-thinking approach reflected in today’s announced Interim Budget. The emphasis on the Electric Vehicle (EV) ecosystem underscores a commitment to sustainable mobility and a greener environment. The recognition of EVs acts as a pivotal component that aligns with our vision for a cleaner, more efficient future. The anticipation of a substantial boost in manufacturing and infrastructure development is truly exciting. This move toward the Net Zero Goals is a big step toward a more sustainable India. The financing gap for offshore wind energy potential and the introduction of the new biomanufacturing initiative are particularly exciting for us as they represent significant milestones in the direction of green growth promotion. The commitment to supporting EV manufacturing and charging infrastructure, along with the adoption of EV buses, is admirable. Since it was an interim budget, we anticipate the detailed budget revealing more extensive measures for the electric vehicle sector. The commitment to the National Green Hydrogen Mission is evident in the increased budget allocation, rising from Rs 297 crore in 2023-24 to a remarkable Rs 600 crore in the fiscal year 2024-2025.

Abhishek Raj, Founder & CEO, Jenika Ventures 

The 2024 Interim Budget has not shed much light on the real estate sector. However, with great anticipation for substantial insights into the real estate sector, we have high expectations from the detailed 2024 union budget. India’s true potential, particularly in real estate, remains untapped, and the forthcoming budget holds the key to unlocking opportunities for growth and development. The noteworthy increase in urban infrastructure budget funds is a positive signal that could significantly impact the real estate industry. A premium on inclusive development, infrastructural growth, green initiatives, and youth empowerment aligns with our vision for a sustainable and thriving real estate landscape. The government’s strategic move to introduce a personal tax rebate is a commendable milestone, encouraging a younger demographic to invest in real estate. We anticipate this will stimulate a surge in youthful homeownership, contributing to the overall vitality of the real estate market. Looking ahead, we foresee a landscape dominated by urban and green initiatives across the nation.

Madhusudan Ekambaram, Co-founder and CEO of KreditBee 

I applaud the government’s steadfast commitment to fostering comprehensive and inclusive development. Initiatives such as PM Mudra Yojana, Fund of Funds, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee Schemes are effectively nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit nationwide. It is truly inspiring to witness a visionary approach that extends beyond mere economic growth, with a goal to transform India into a Viksit Bharat by 2047. The proposed measures, including tax reductions, specialized support for developing industries, and augmented infrastructure spending in the forthcoming Budget 2024, are encouraging signs for the future, reflecting a collective endeavor towards sustainability, growth, and innovation within India’s dynamic startup ecosystem.

The reinforcement of the financial sector has significantly enhanced the efficiency of savings, credit, and investments. Ensuring timely and ample financial support, leveraging relevant technologies, and providing appropriate training for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are pivotal policy priorities for the government. This strategy aims not only to foster their growth but also to enhance their global competitiveness. Aligning the regulatory environment to facilitate the expansion of MSMEs will be a crucial aspect of this comprehensive policy framework.

Aryaman Vir, CEO of WiseX

The FM’s interim budget is balanced from the point of view of adhering to fiscal prudence, boosting infrastructure growth, and prioritizing focus on four key sections of the economy – the poor, women, youth, and farmers.

While the silence on real estate specifics is noticeable, the increased allocation for infrastructure is a promising indicator for the economy’s overall health and an indirect boon for the real estate sector. The focus on reducing the fiscal deficit to below 4.5% by FY26 offers stability, likely to enhance investor confidence in Indian equities and bond markets. Of particular interest is the substantial Rs 1 lakh crore innovation fund, a significant stride towards fostering technological growth. This is a beacon of optimism for startups and fintech firms, signaling strong governmental support for their crucial role in shaping India’s economic future. 

Pratik Kamdar, CEO & Co-Founder, Neuron Energy

The Interim Budget focused on key sectors and one of the promising ones is Electric Vehicles (EV). The initiatives will enhance and fortify the EV ecosystem by bolstering manufacturing and charging infrastructure. Additionally, the encouragement of greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks through payment security mechanisms is a notable benefit. These investments not only pave the way for increased EV sales and adoption but also open doors for burgeoning job opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures within the sector. These efforts remain dedicated to driving India’s green mobility revolution forward. There is also an anticipated outcome in the form of economic empowerment which will equip the youth with valuable technical skills, ensuring a robust workforce for the manufacturing of EV chargers, and associated equipment. We look forward to the July budget where the focus will be on Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme and much-anticipated FAME III scheme.

Himanshu Kohli, Co-founder, Client Associates

This budget reflects a commendable focus on fiscal responsibility, with the fiscal deficit pegged at 5.1% for FY25, a move towards increased Capex spending, and a shift away from excessive subsidies. The brevity of the speech suggests either an interim measure paving the way for a comprehensive budget in July or a vote of confidence in the current state of affairs. It reaffirms the notion that significant announcements can transcend the budget, showcasing a government committed to prudent fiscal management and consistent economic growth.” 

Mayank Bhatnagar, Co-founder and COO, FinEdge

Overall a balanced budget considering it is a ‘vote on account’. Tight fiscal consolidation with a view on future growth of the economy is a big positive. All eyes will be on the main budget in July to see a more detailed plan on growth and development plan over the next 5 years.

Nupur Maheshwari, Partner at Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys

In the Interim budget, there is no change in the existing rates of customs duties. The Government, in line with its ‘make in India’ initiative and with a special focus on MSME’s has proposed to extend the customs duties exemptions which were expiring in March, 2024 till 2025. 

Shalabh Saxena, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat

The budget targets those in rented homes or slums, aiming to meet the demand for affordable housing. This initiative gains significance as India aims for a USD 7 trillion-dollar economy by 2030 amid rapid urbanisation.

Housing receives a significant boost as the government incentivises the purchase and construction of houses, encouraging individuals to own their homes rather than opting for rented living. This approach not only fosters a sense of increased security but also promotes a more stable and empowered homeownership experience.

Imran Kagalwala, Co Founder at UNIX India

As a manufacturing firm, we take note of the Budget’s visionary strategy, aiming to drive India towards ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. The emphasis on modern infrastructure development aligns with our growth objectives, and we appreciate the Budget’s targeted support for MSMEs. The dedication to inclusive growth and upliftment of weaker sections is recognized as part of a comprehensive approach to national progress and development.
 
While acknowledging these aspects, we also reflect on areas that could further contribute to the sustained growth of our industry. More pronounced incentives for innovation, R&D, and export-oriented measures would have added valuable dimensions to the Budget. As we move forward post-budget, we remain hopeful for future policy measures to address these aspects and strengthen the foundation for manufacturing excellence in India.

Kishore Lodha, Chief Financial Officer, U GRO Capital

Overall, this Union budget has been an excellent budget – it consists of something for everyone. Notably, the Government’s commitment to green growth and energy infrastructure is commendable. The announcement of 1 crore solar units by the Prime Minister marks a significant stride, alleviating financial burdens on households and addressing environmental concerns.

The overall focus on GYAN initiative, which is Garib (Poor), Yuva (Youth), Annadata (Farmer) and Nari (Woman), will benefit the most economically disadvantaged individuals. The announcement of an 11 per cent increase in capex budget sounds promising, and the best part is that the government is not leaving fiscal prudence in any way. The next year’s deficit target has been kept as 5.1 per cent, which is a pleasant surprise. Borrowing will be lesser compared to this year which is good news for the financial markets.

Extending Ayushman Bharat cover to Anganwadi and Asha workers, alongside consolidating maternal and child healthcare schemes, aims to address rural health challenges and fosters opportunities for Healthcare MSMEs who are crucial contributors to the healthcare sector’s revenue growth. To achieve the vision of a $7 trillion economy, accelerating digitalization is paramount in today’s evolving digital global fabric.

Vinay Singh, Executive Director and CEO, Q&I and Thomson Digital

We applaud the 2024 budget for its remarkable strides in education, with a noteworthy emphasis on EdTech in shaping a holistic and skilled education landscape, pointing towards a promising future for our nation’s educational advancement. The allocation towards education in the Union Budget 2024 is a pivotal step towards fostering a brighter future for our nation. The 28% surge in female STEM enrollment, commitment to establishing more medical colleges, and transformative reforms under the National Education Policy showcase commendable progress. The success of the Skill India Mission, training 1.4 crore youth and providing upskilling opportunities to 54 lakh, resonates with the imperative of preparing a skilled workforce.

Furthermore, the establishment of numerous institutions for higher learning, including IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and universities, showcases a commitment to excellence. We applaud these initiatives and stand ready to contribute our expertise towards realizing the vision of a progressive and inclusive education system.

Tarun Gulati, Director, Himalayan Hotels

We celebrate the success of hosting G20 meetings across sixty diverse locations, showcasing India’s allure for global business and conference tourism. Recognising the burgeoning aspirations of our middle class to explore, the budget joyfully announces strategic projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities in our islands, including Lakshadweep. This initiative not only boosts tourism but also creates employment opportunities. States are encouraged to develop iconic tourist centers, with a focus on global branding and marketing. The introduction of a quality rating framework, along with long-term interest-free loans for state development, promises a vibrant and promising future for India’s tourism sector.

Dhruv Galgotia, CEO, Galgotias University

We commend the government’s unwavering dedication to youth empowerment and education reform, exemplified by the National Education Policy 2020. The strides made through initiatives like the Skill India Mission, which has trained an impressive 1.4 crore youth, and the PM Mudra Yojana, sanctioning 43 crore loans totalling 22.5 lakh crore for entrepreneurial ventures, are pivotal in nurturing a skilled workforce and fostering entrepreneurial spirit among our youth.

The remarkable 28% increase in female enrolment in higher education over the past decade, alongside the impressive participation of women, constituting 43% of enrolment in STEM courses, deeply resonates with our ethos. These statistics not only signify progress but also highlight the importance of creating an inclusive and diverse educational landscape.

We are committed to leveraging these opportunities to further equip and empower the next generation of leaders. As we collectively strive towards making India a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047, we recognize the critical role of enhancing people’s capabilities and empowering them to drive meaningful change and create a brighter, more equitable future for all.

Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation 

Today’s interim budget announcement may not have directly addressed the needs of the gaming industry, however the clear focus on technology and the youth is one that we deeply appreciate. We believe that the annoucement proposing long term financing for the sunrise sectors to scale up on research and innovation will be beneficial for the technology and startup sector as a whole including the gaming and game-development sub-sectors. We are hopeful for more concrete and decisive measures addressing the online gaming industry in the upcoming Union Budget.

We urge progressive budgeting to empower responsible online gaming, aligning with AVGC policies and fostering self-regulation, as recommended by the I&B Ministry’s AVGC Task Force. This will unlock industry potential and benefit the economy, players, and creators.As the apex industry body, we are committed to working with policymakers to create an enabling environment for the gaming sector’s growth and innovation. Our industry has immense potential, and we look forward to constructive policies that will drive its development in the union budget.

Shailly Kedia, Senior Fellow, TERI and Curator, World Sustainable Development Summit

The government has continued to expand the mandate for green growth. It is encouraging to see allocations and green initiatives such as bio-manufacturing, bio-foundry, climate resilient blue economy, electric mobility and focus on clean energy including offshore wind energy. According to Demand No. 28, budget estimates for Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC) are INR 3265 crores. This is less than 0.07% of the total expenditure FY 2024-25. The expanding mandate for environment and climate change in India also needs to be reflected through increase in allocation the MOEFCC. Statement 12 and Statement 13 in the Union Budget are on Gender Budget and Child Budgeting respectively. To give further impetus on environmental goals and equity, Union budgeting should include Green Budgeting as the third pillar of issue-based budgeting processes. If not a dedicated statement, a green tagging process as stated in the Union Budget 2020-21 should start.

Manav Subodh- Managing Director, 1M1B (One Million for One Billion)

The interim budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today embodies the government’s vision of a ‘Developed India’ by 2047. Indeed, the National Education Policy (NEP) has played an incredible role in ushering in transformational reforms, but I see digital technologies as the true silver bullet in our education system (according to a recent survey, more than 60% of educators are already using AI tools actively).

AI skilling, I believe, can be a big equalizer and can reduce the gap between urban and rural India by providing equal opportunities. The interim budget seems to agree as well, as it has set forth a corpus of 1 Lakh crores with 50 years of interest-free loans to promote innovation in technology for youth. This will make India’s youth creators, not consumers. It is also commendable that the Skill India mission has trained over 1.8 crore youths and established 3,000 new institutions. But to fully leverage the capabilities of these institutions, we need to think more deeply about how we can invest in robust digital infrastructure and integrate AI and immersive technologies across different layers of our education system. Skills not degrees will make our youth job-ready. I look forward to seeing the comprehensive budget that is presented after the elections, and I hope it further builds on this vision.”

Sonali Chowdhry, CEO, Officenet

The Union Budget brought forth some heartening developments and notable statistics. I applaud the recognition and support extended to women entrepreneurs. The allocation of Mudra loans & Stand-up India (SUPI) initiative further exemplifies the government’s dedication to fostering women’s economic empowerment.

Evidently, the Budget showcased the government’s commitment to the country’s economic development by empowering women. Additionally, the emphasis on skilling and upskilling through the Skill India Mission, aligns seamlessly with the evolving workforce needs. This Budget lays a positive foundation for fostering women’s entrepreneurship and enhancing skill development, essential elements for cultivating a more inclusive and dynamic economy.

Rama Mahendru- Country General Manager- India, Intrepid Travel 

It is encouraging to see that the Finance Minister’s statement aligns with the strategic objective of growing the country’s infrastructure and tourism industry. The introduction of a novel system for classifying tourist locations according to amenities and infrastructure charts a revolutionary new direction and gives them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. India’s appeal to foreign tourists is enhanced by its dedication to the comprehensive development of famous tourist destinations, with a focus on captivating locations such as Lakshadweep. The budget places significant focus on advancing green growth by introducing bio manufacturing and foundry initiatives, indicating a proactive stance.

As the Finance Minister pointed out, the country’s major train infrastructure projects are expanding due to the boost in economic strength, which also drives conference and business travel. The exponential increase in airports over the last ten years is evidence of India’s dedication to accessibility and connectivity. It is heartening that this budget essentially lays out a revolutionary route that combines robust infrastructure development, sustainable tourism, and economic dynamism and will also boost adventure tourism in India.  

Davinder Juj, General Manager, Eros Hotel New Delhi

We applaud the forward-thinking measures outlined in Union Budget 2024, particularly the interest-free loans for states to enhance their tourism hubs, attract business and create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for locals. The proposed port connectivity and infrastructure improvements for island and other attractive location accessibility in the country will motivate families and young tourists to opt for domestic travel. This step will further strengthen the hospitality industry and travel and tourism sector will grow rapidly in the country. Overall, being an interim budget, Union Budget 2024 was balanced and I expect the recommendations made for direct and indirect taxes will empower the middle class to spend the money on leisure and travel more.

Ramit Sethi, Co-founder, Seclude Hotels Home Style

It is heartening to see the intent to push for tourism and regard this sector as a source of local job creation, domestic tourism, and inbound revenue. Clearly, the call is for Infra development and time will tell how this strategy unfolds. Lakshadweep and Spiritual Tourism have grabbed the fancy with the PM and FM driving focus. We expect good things will happen here. We understand this is an interim budget, however a reduction of the GST to a maximum slab of 12% for rates above Rs 7,500 per night would have been a great boost for Indian Tourism in 2024. We would have also liked for the budget to shine a light on Heritage Tourism and the promotion of Offbeat Destinations which could make use of the lovely roads, telecom/wifi connectivity, and general infra improvement to reach the remote corners of India.

Shailendra Singh, MD & CEO, BOBCARD Limited

We commend the government’s interim budget for its focus on fostering economic growth through the empowerment of women and youth. The PM Mudra Yojna, with a budget of Rs 22.5 lakh crore, will bolster the entrepreneurial aspirations of our youth. Meanwhile, the Skill India program has been instrumental, having successfully trained 1.4 crore youth and upskilled/reskilled 54 lakhs. All such developments have played a pivotal role in achieving a remarkable 50% increase in the average income of our citizens. The swift development of nationwide infrastructure is turning every region into an active contributor to the expanding economy. The fortification of the financial sector is improving the efficiency of savings, credit, and investments, aligning seamlessly with our commitment to providing accessible and innovative credit solutions.

In general, the interim budget aligns with the upward trend in the average income of Indians, marking a positive stride towards building a self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat).

Amit Parsuramka, CEO, Bonito Designs

The budget 2024 has placed a significant emphasis on inclusive development, setting the stage for India’s transformation into a “Viksit Bharat” by 2047. This strides in the PM Awas Yojana Gramin, targeting the construction of 3 crore houses with an additional 2 crore in the next 5 years, underscore a substantial commitment to affordable housing. This approach holds immense promise for the interior designing, real estate, and infrastructure sectors, with the specific focus on uplifting the middle class. Anticipated growth in real estate demand and concurrent development in infrastructure present a myriad of opportunities in Tier II and Tier III markets as well. The announcement pertaining to boosting domestic and spiritual tourism will also give rise to real estate and related businesses in those areas. As the government proactively addresses housing needs and establishing collaborations with these sectors, there’s a tangible potential for them to play pivotal roles in the transformative vision of the country.

Naivedya Agarwal, CEO & Co-founder, Runaya

The budget’s focus on supporting young people through technology is intriguing. The plan to enhance high-tech capabilities is excellent for providing India’s talented youth with a more independent and promising future. Adding a plan for solar panels on rooftops emphasises our ongoing commitment to sustainability alongside technological advancements. It demonstrates a good balance between progress and environmental responsibility. Moreover, the government’s goal of achieving ‘net-zero’ by 2070 is a wise and forward-thinking initiative, outlining a clear path for long-term sustainability and environmental responsibility. In summary, the budget presents a detailed and promising plan for the country’s progress at the intersection of technology and sustainable development.

Venkatraman GS, Chief Financial Officer, Maveric Systems

The Interim Budget 2024 has provided a clear outline to drive economic growth and drive greater innovation within the country. We welcome the announcement of Rs.1 trillion corpus to help finance research in technology which is a clear indication that it will significantly amplify and help drive innovation and will also encourage private sectors to invest and scale up research and development. New and sunrise industries stand to significantly benefit from this. I am confident that the announcement of this corpus will emerge as a key growth driver for the economy in years to come. While we have made significant progress towards Digital Public Infrastructure, Indian tech companies providing services in the Digital Public Infrastructure space have huge opportunities to expand their offerings as the Indian Economy continues to grow among the fastest across the World. Lastly, we remain hopeful that this year’s full budget in July 2024, will focus on further enabling the technology sector that employs millions of Indians.

Sanjay Borkar, CEO & Co Founder, FarmERP 

The budget underscores a transformative vision for the AgTech sector, allocating a substantial corpus of one lakh crore rupees to fuel private sector research and innovation in emerging domains. The Finance Minister’s recognition of the sector’s potential for inclusive, balanced, and heightened growth through technology and innovation, particularly driven by startups, demonstrates a commitment to agricultural advancement. Prioritizing timely financial support, relevant technologies, and training for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) aligns with the government’s goal of global competitiveness. Moreover, the strategic investment in post-harvest activities, including aggregation, modern storage, and efficient supply chains, signals a holistic approach to enhance the agricultural sector’s resilience and sustainability.

Satyajit Hange, Cofounder Farmer, Two Brothers Organic Farms

In light of the recent Union Budget Two Brother Organic Farms, dedicated to manual labor, organic, and green farming, applauds the government's unwavering support for the agricultural sector. The provisions under PM Kisan Samman Yojana and PM Fasal Bima Yojana, benefiting 11.8 crore beneficiaries and 4 crore farmers, empower farmers, including those in sustainable farming. The integration of 1,361 mandis into the electronic national agricultural market modernizes agricultural markets, aiding organic and green farmers. The government’s focus on private and public investments in post-harvest activities is a significant step towards reducing losses and enhancing agricultural value chains. We see these initiatives as a strong foundation for a greener and more sustainable future in Indian agriculture.

Rohit Pandit, Managing Director, People’s University

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a key moment to transform our education system, and as a part of the education sector, I am excited about its potential. The initiatives of the Kaushal Bharat Mission, as well as the establishment of several institutions of higher education, reflect the commitment to developing a skilled and innovative workforce. The combination of Nidhi, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee Scheme is in line with our vision of youth empowerment as ‘Rojgar Data’. These changes speak to our core values in society, where we believe in inclusion and equal opportunity. As we strive to encourage more women in the workforce, the NEP and the expansion of health coverage in the budget are important steps toward creating an inclusive and supportive environment for ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, and assistants. On a mass scale, we are already contributing to this vision with our medical health camps and initiatives such as cervical cancer vaccination for young girls, which will ensure a brighter future for the next generation.

Pushpender Singh, MD, JMS Group

The Union Budget demonstrates a robust commitment to affordable housing with a substantial increase in funding for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The introduction of the Housing for Middle-Class scheme is poised to bring positive impacts, fostering growth and development in the Real Estate, Construction, and Plotted Development sectors.

Encouraging states to develop iconic tourist centers aligns with the goal of fostering local entrepreneurship. Long-term interest-free loans for state development projects, including housing, reflect a holistic approach. The focus on port connectivity and tourism infrastructure is a welcome boost, promising increased construction activities and significant potential for the Real Estate and Plotted Development sectors. This intensified focus on housing, tourism, and infrastructure projects is set to invigorate the Real Estate sector, driving economic growth and job creation.

Anantha Keerthi, Partner, Vector Consulting

FM Niramala Sitharaman confirmed infrastructure being built in record time during Interim Budget 2024-25. Highway projects have witnessed relatively good speed ever since the government began securing at least 80% to 90% of ROW land before awarding the project contract.

Among many challenges like ROW, the second significant hurdle that leads to unreliability in the speed of highway projects is the availability of soil and aggregate. Government, like it did with ROW, if it plays a larger role in securing sources of soil and aggregate before awarding contracts it will bring a lot of reliability to the execution speed of highway projects, rather than relying solely on the liaison skills of the construction company. This could be a small but firm step towards achieving the government’s ambition to increase the speed of National Highway construction to 50 km/day from the current 28.3 km/day.

Ravi Saxena, Founder & CEO, Wonderchef

The interim budget continues the leveraging of various economic facts to drive comprehensive development. By avoiding populist spending and keeping a tight fiscal deficit, the government has ensured controlled inflation, which will boost consumer confidence. Home appliances sector will be a direct and indirect beneficiary on many accounts. The plan to solar/power 10 million homes transforms households into net electricity producers, encouraging adoption of electrical appliances. Promoting domestic tourism, and introducing a central rating system will encourage adoption of quality cookware and appliances to meet the demands and expectations of local and global tourists.

Investments in homes, logistics, railways and airports will result in enhancing accessibility, ensuring efficiency and creating jobs to revitalize our consumption-driven economy. This holistic approach encompassing infrastructure, retail, homes, india manufacturing, employment generation and exports forms a cohesive strategy for comprehensive and sustainable development.

Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital

The budget presented was on expected lines. Being a vote-on-account, there were no major announcements, but at the same time it provided a clear overview of India’s economic trajectory and the government’s dedication to development through targeted schemes. Revenue receipts for the year exceeding budget estimates, robust growth in GST collections, and a fiscal deficit at 5.8% of GDP – lower than anticipated – all  indicate robust economic growth. This is bolstered by the formalization of the economy, which will have a positive impact on the banking system that lends to the formal economy. Further, despite the huge amount of welfare measures in place, the strong revenue figures have kept the fiscal deficit in check – estd at 5.1% in FY25 and on track for 4.5% by FY26 .

Significant capital expenditure growth of over 11% this year, accounting for 3.4% of GDP, underlines the focus on key areas like railway infrastructure and green energy. This is expected to transform the country while also ensuring employment generation to harness demographic dividend. Specific steps like viability gap funding and other financial assistance to achieve net zero by 2070 are expected to catalyze new industries and enable cleantech players to transform the landscape through innovative tech solutions. Overall, the budget aligns with India’s path towards sustainable growth and development, balancing welfare measures with economic expansion.

Vinay Maheshwari, Executive Chairman, New York Academy

The Finance Minister, highlighting the importance of youth empowerment, sheds light on the transformative reforms initiated by the National Education Policy 2020. Aligned with the vision for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047, the government reaffirms its commitment to raising India to international standards, starting with education. Particularly notable is the twenty-eight per cent increase in female enrollment in higher education over the past decade, indicating significant progress towards achieving inclusive education. The government’s developmental approach is marked by its comprehensive, inclusive nature, nurturing a generation of young leaders dedicated to shared ideals. This commitment aims to position India as a global leader in quality and excellence, contributing to the vision of a ‘Prosperous Bharat’ characterized by harmony with nature, modern infrastructure, and opportunities for all citizens.

Vishnu Manchu, Pro-Chancellor, Mohan Babu University and CEO, Sree Vidyanikethan Educational Trust

As an educational institution, we applaud the government’s focus on skill development highlighted in the budget. The Skill India Mission, having trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new ITIs, aligns with our commitment to fostering a skilled and empowered workforce.

Furthermore, the budget’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship through schemes like PM Mudra Yojana, Fund of Funds, Start-Up India and Start-Up Credit Guarantee is a testament to the government’s dedication to fostering an environment conducive to entrepreneurial aspirations. The recognition of the transformative impact of new-age technologies and data, coupled with the emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, resonates well with the educational landscape. The allocation of a one lakh crore corpus for long-term, low-interest loans to encourage private sector research and innovation in sunrise domains is a positive step towards nurturing a culture of research and development among our tech-savvy youth.

Our vision for ‘Viksit Bharat’ is of a Prosperous Bharat in harmony with nature, featuring modern infrastructure and providing opportunities for all citizens and regions to reach their potential. However, realizing this vision depends on implementing growth and development-enabling reforms at the state level. The budget underscores the need for concerted efforts and reforms in each state to transform this vision into reality. Navigating the post-budget landscape, we remain hopeful for collaborative initiatives that will propel this vision into action.

Saurabh Arora, CEO, University Living

I applaud the government for its commendable achievements over the past decade and express gratitude for the Budget’s unwavering focus on fostering inclusive growth. In this era where new-age technologies and data are transforming lives and businesses, the budget recognizes their role in creating economic opportunities and providing high-quality services at affordable prices, particularly for those at the ‘bottom of the pyramid.’ The expanding global opportunities for India are being driven by innovative solutions and entrepreneurial spirit. With Rs 73,008 crore allocated to the School Education, strategic investments and accomplishments in the education sector, this budget lays a crucial foundation for empowering India’s youth, enabling them to aspire for higher education avenues beyond boundaries and elevate India’s international standing.

Krishan Mishra, CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) India

The initiatives of the Indian Government over the last decade have laid a robust foundation, promising to reshape our economic landscape, opening avenues for growth and innovation.The emphasis on the Global Financial Hub at GIFT IFSC serves as a robust gateway for global capital and financial services, positions Indian economy on the global map. The Budget allocation of resources to Skill India Mission through 2014-23, has successfully resulted in the training of 1.4 crore youth, and aligns seamlessly with our vision for a skilled workforce in India.

The remarkable 43 crore loans sanctioned under the PM Mudra Yojana further exemplify the Government’s commitment to fostering the entrepreneurial aspirations of our youth. Extending support through various measures, we appreciate Govt.’s extension of certain tax benefits to Start-ups and investments made by sovereign wealth funds/pension funds, tax exemption of some IFSC units that was due in March this year to March 2025. We applaud the interim Budget’s foresight and looks forward to the details of the forthcoming Budget contributing to a financially resilient and empowered nation.

Akash Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, Cashfree Payments 

The budget lays out a strategic roadmap towards building ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. The emphasis on ‘innovation being the foundation of development’ is a big booster for entrepreneurs to adopt a research and innovation-led approach while building their businesses. This is an indication of how India wants to further scale up in developing and building technologies, products and services for the global economy. The focus on Digital Public Infrastructure reflects the government’s ambition towards inclusive growth and development through the process of digitisation. The strong emphasis on technology, research and innovation coupled with financial support will have a huge multiplier impact on employment and entrepreneurship leading to sustainable growth and opportunity creation for the youth.

Manisha Zaveri, Joint Managing Director, Career Mosaic

I commend the government for its achievements over the past year and appreciate the budget’s focus on inclusive growth. The remarkable increase in women’s higher education enrollment, with significant representation in STEM, is a major step towards gender equality. The budget’s alignment with modern data and technology use reflects a forward-thinking approach. The introduction of a substantial fund for interest-free loans to support private sector research and innovation is a positive development. This budget is foundational for empowering India’s youth in shaping the country’s technological advancements and international stature. We eagerly anticipate the details the full budget will unveil for the higher education sector.

Sachin Jain, Country Manager, ETS India and South Asia

The Finance Minister’s recent budget presentation reveals a strong commitment to enhancing India’s educational landscape and skill development. Highlighting an impressive milestone, over 14 million students have benefited from the Skill India Mission. This move aligns with the government’s focus on fostering a skilled workforce ready for the challenges of the modern economy. The budget prioritizes the upskilling of the youth and endorses the spirit of ‘Jai Anusandhaan,’ envisioning a future where Indian youth lead in innovation and research. This strategic investment in education and research is poised to empower the next generation, ensuring they are well-equipped to navigate a rapidly changing world. The government’s dedication to this cause is evident, and we look forward to the comprehensive budget details for the education sector.

Dr. Ram Sharma, Vice Chancellor, UPES

The government’s proposal to offer interest-free loans of around Rs.1 lakh crores to the private sector is a commendable initiative to foster entrepreneurship, research, and innovation. We are hopeful that the final budget for 2024 will entail interesting initiatives like the integration of research associations like CSIR Labs with academic institutions along with an emphasis on increasing investment in higher education and research, which will further help in enhancing the quality of education, reduce capital investments, and contribute to the overall expansion of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Niraj Kumar, Chief Investment Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Ltd

Budget 2024 is a Holistic Budget exemplifying fiscal prudence and encompassing all the imperative sectors despite electoral compulsions. This budget gives credence to government’s unwavering resolve to adhere to the fiscal consolidation glide path, especially after having delivered robust growth-oriented budget in the last 3 years. The vision under Vikasit Bharat by 2047 and top 4 priorities laid out with respect to empowering Poor, Women, Youth and Farmers will go a long way in manifesting the long- term growth story of India. It is high on optics, low on spending impact as fiscal consolidation remains its paramount focus. The key announcements on power sector coupled with new energy, railways, defense, affordable housing is indeed encouraging. While optically 11% capex growth seems lower than 30% avg growth seen in the last 3 years, but it yet sticks to 3.4% of GDP, which is indeed credible as it would continue to give the requisite infra led push to sustain the growth momentum.

Clearly the budget lacks any consumption and populus measures and is thus a departure from the previous pre-election Vote on Accounts. Fiscal consolidation focus, and low market borrowing reinstates the focus on macro-stability. With lower capex growth being the new reality , markets are likely to align to the pragmatic approach of the government and we reckon more policies being elaborated in July 2024 Budget. Bonds are likely to be in a favorable spot through 2025, thanks to the strong Fiscal prudence and lower borrowing pressures coupled with supportive FII flows with global bond inclusion. Overall, the government has dexterously done a fine balancing act between adhering to fiscal prudence and giving requisite support to growth, despite being a Pre-Election Budget.

Sharad Mathur, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Ltd

Ensuring the welfare of our Farmers is central to our commitment. The budget’s focus on farmers, especially through PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana and PM Fasal Bima Yojana, aligns with our dedication. The emphasis on crop insurance is crucial, providing a safety net for 4 crore farmers.The commitment to infrastructure development, including support for EV manufacturing, signifies a proactive approach towards sustainable practices. This aligns with global trends and reinforces our commitment to contributing to the nation’s progress.The broader sectoral vision resonates with our goals for inclusive, balanced, and robust growth. Farmer-centric policies, income support, and innovative risk coverage through insurance are pivotal for higher productivity. We applaud the commitment to promoting technologies and innovations, recognizing the role of start-ups in shaping agriculture’s future.

As a General Insurance company, we stand ready to contribute, ensuring a secure future for our farmers. Today’s budget reflects a comprehensive vision, with the doubling of the GST tax base and estimated tax receipts of Rs 26.02 lakh crore in FY25 indicating a robust economic trajectory. The commitment to infrastructure development, support for EV manufacturing, and a ‘Golden era for tech-savvy youth’ through interest-free loans align with global sustainability trends.

Amit Agarwal, CEO, Howden Insurance Brokers (India)

We commend the massive tripling of capital expenditure on infrastructure development in the past 4 years, resulting in a huge multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation. The outlay for the next year is being increased by 11.1 percent, which amounts to INR 11.11 lakh crore, announced the FM. This is 3.4 percent of the GDP. It is noteworthy that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised India’s FY25 GDP growth forecast to 6.5%. Substantial investment in infrastructure presents a significant opportunity for the insurance market to expand, as it plays a crucial role in mitigating the risks associated with large-scale projects. The IMF’s revised growth forecast for India and its projected economic trajectory underscore the importance of robust risk management strategies, which the insurance sector is well-equipped to provide.

Furthermore, Ayushman Bharat and Government’s mission of ‘Insurance for All by 2047’ are pivotal in driving insurance penetration across the nation. Ayushman Bharat not only enhances insurance penetration at the grassroots level but also fosters greater awareness about the importance of insurance. Health insurance, with its diverse range of coverage options, is instrumental in ensuring comprehensive protection for all segments of society.The synergies between infrastructure development and insurance penetration highlighted in the budget are indicative of a conducive environment for the insurance industry to thrive. This presents an opportunity for insurers to innovate and tailor solutions to address emerging risks effectively. By leveraging this momentum, the insurance sector can contribute significantly to India’s resilience against future uncertainties. Extending Ayushman Bharat cover to all Anganwadi and Asha workers, along with consolidating healthcare schemes, enhances accessibility and affordability. These initiatives bolster the insurance sector’s role in advancing societal welfare and economic development. In conclusion, the IMF projects that the Indian GDP will experience a growth of 6.3% in both FY2023/24 and FY2024/25, making a significant 16% contribution to global economic growth. As India progresses towards becoming a USD 4.5 trillion economy, the per capita GDP is expected to rise fostering an increase in discretionary spending. This optimistic economic outlook leads us to believe that the insurance industry will witness a positive upswing, driven by the growing discretionary spending trends in India.”

Kalyan Basu, MD & CEO of Vayana TradeXchange

We stand at a pivotal moment in history where the global economic landscape is undergoing profound changes. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, unveiled during the G20 Summit last year and the redefinition of globalization through near-shoring and friend-shoring, coupled with the disruption and fragmentation of supply chains, necessitates strategic initiatives. I am confident that the strategic vision for the GIFT IFSC will play a pivotal role in easing the flow of capital and elevating India’s position on the global economic stage. We welcome the tax exemptions extend to some IFSC units and await further details regarding the announcements made today.

Anuj Parekh, Co-founder and CEO, Bharatsure 

The government’s announcement for a Rs. 1 lakh crore corpus of low interest financing for sunrise sector is going to be a gamechanger for new innovation and development. This will indirectly benefit start-ups who have faced challenges over the last few years to secure financing. Looking forward for more details on these initiatives.

Jayant Rastogi, Global CEO, Magic Bus India Foundation

In the symphony of progress, we commend the government’s resolute dedication to nation-building through transformative initiatives. This encompasses the progress of the Skill India mission, the commendable push towards increased girl child enrollment in higher education over the past decade, Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India’s (PM-SHRI) steadfast commitment to ensuring quality teaching, and the pivotal role played by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in driving transformative changes in our education system. Additionally, the Startup India and Startup Credit Guarantee Schemes are instrumental in empowering the youth, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth. These initiatives harmonize seamlessly with our mission at Magic Bus India Foundation, where we take pride in actively contributing to the education, skilling and employment landscape, empowering adolescents, youths and budding entrepreneurs towards a brighter and more promising future.

Greaves Cotton Ltd

Reflecting on the Interim Budget 2024 presented today, Greaves Cotton Limited reaffirms its commitment to aligning strategies with the nation’s vision. The budget’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2070 and a renewed focus on sustainability align seamlessly with our goal to shape the future of sustainable last-mile green mobility. The Rs 2,671 crore allocation significantly boosts EV makers, fostering growth and innovation. We commend the emphasis on empowering youth and harnessing ‘Nari Shakti’, recognising the significant contributions of women in our workforce. The increased allocations for the National Hydrogen Mission reinforce our confidence in India’s shift towards clean energy solutions. These initiatives are poised to catalyse innovation, boost skill development and stimulate growth in crucial sectors for India’s sustainable development journey.

Gaurav Goel, CEO, Toprankers

In light of the recent Union Budget and FM’s announcements, we’re heading towards transformative changes in education. With Skill India Mission successfully upskilling 1.4 crore youth and establishing 3000 new ITIs, alongside the inauguration of prestigious institutions, the education landscape is evolving. Notably, the surge in female enrollment, particularly in STEM at 43%, highlights our dedication to inclusivity and innovation.

This shall have a profound impact on the education industry. Together, we stride towards a future where opportunity knows no bounds.”

Nitya Sharma, Founder and CEO, Checkout Network, Simpl

The Interim Union Budget 2024 aligns seamlessly with business expectations, offering a foundation of stability and predictability. Notably, the emphasis on supporting small businesses and MSMEs, particularly through initiatives such as Mudra Yojna loans, underscores a commitment to their growth. This strategic move is not merely about policy; it’s a catalyst propelling these enterprises into the digital sphere, unlocking opportunities in the expansive and evolving online market. Simultaneously, policies towards enhancing disposable incomes, bolstering air infrastructure, and promoting tourism sites signal significant advantages for the start-up ecosystem. Additionally, the budget’s emphasis on streamlining policies and offering training for MSMEs and start-ups will boost global competitiveness. Overall, the Interim Union Budget 2024 has acknowledged the intricacies of the business landscape and outlined a comprehensive framework that resonates with the real challenges and aspirations of businesses in our nation.

Davinder Sandhu, Chairman & Co-founder, Primus Partners

Identification of logistics corridors aligned to specific commodity flows is an excellent measure to bring synergy across infrastructure planning and building. This will leverage India’s Gati Shakti platform to lower costs and enhance logistics efficiency. Suryodaya Yojana will bring democratization of rooftop solar to India’s rural housing as an effective step for affordable and sustainable electric power.

Raj Ramachandran, Partner, JSA Advocates & Solicitors

The vote on account budget typically is expected to be and comes around as populist. However with the incumbent government, it has not always been the case, with the focus being on specific areas for development. Acronyms are also a regular twist; the new one being FDI – First Develop India, with the focus on bilateral trade treaties to encourage and boost investment.

As expected therefore, there is no proposal for change in taxation rates or import duties. Tax benefits available to startups upto March 31, 2024 is proposed to be extended to March 31, 2025. Additionally, investments by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds will also continue to get the tax benefit upto March 31, 2025. Benefits may also be extended to IFSC to keep the interest continuing in the concept and the likely encouragement from the government in the long term

Ujjwal Singh, Founding CEO, Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya 

We believe the Centre’s focus on GDP (Governance, Development, and Performance), is poised to benefit our economy and nation as a whole. The shift towards empowering citizens to address poverty, rather than focusing on entitlements, is another positive step. Additionally, the increasing representation of girls in STEM courses is a notable achievement. With the establishment of additional IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and 390 universities, our nation is on track to become a genuine talent pool for skilled resources. The transformative performance of PM Schools for Rising India and the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 further underscore our commitment to delivering quality education, so as to strengthen the foundation in core subjects, and thereby nurturing holistic, well-rounded individuals. Furthermore, initiatives aimed at assisting start-ups and promoting youth entrepreneurship will undoubtedly accelerate our journey towards becoming a developed economy by 2047.”

Shams Tabrej, Founder and CEO, EzeePay

As we reflect on the interim budget, it was not that satisfactory but we expect a more comprehensive plan in July 2024. Being a player of the Fintech industry, we eagerly await the thorough roadmap that will be released following the Lok Sabha elections and the formation of the new government.

The announcement to retain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, combined with a considerable 11% increase in capex spending, offers an encouraging indication to the fintech industry. Also, the government’s emphasis on infrastructure development matches with the needs of the fintech industry, which is strongly reliant on a strong digital ecosystem. As the government focuses on supporting manufacturing and expanding capex, the fintech industry should position itself as a catalyst of financial inclusion and digital transformation. While the budget brings hope and relief to various segments of the general public, the fintech industry must actively engage with legislative bodies to ensure that regulatory frameworks correspond with the changing demands of the digital financial ecosystem. Overall, the Interim Budget 2024 sets the foundation for a government-fintech collaboration to drive economic growth and financial inclusion in a digital-first India.

Dr. Prof Anand Achari, Principal, Vivekanand Education Society’s College of Architecture

At VESCOA, we appreciate the budget’s focus on empowering the youth for a prosperous future. The significant impact of the Skill India Mission, training 1.4 crore youths and upskilling 54 lakh individuals, aligns seamlessly with our commitment to skill development. As we navigate the educational landscape, we are encouraged by the initiatives that prioritize quality teaching and nurture well-rounded individuals. The rise in female enrollment reflects positive strides towards gender inclusivity, contributing to the increasing participation of women in the workforce. Within these achievements, we also acknowledge the potential impact of a heightened focus on R&D, which could have further amplified the transformative era in education. As we look to the future, we express our anticipation for strategic initiatives that place increased emphasis on R&D, fostering innovation, improving learning outcomes, and propelling our nation’s educational advancement.

Akshat Saxena, CEO, Froker 

The Interim Budget 2024-25 offers a beacon of support to the startup ecosystem and resonates with our vision at Froker. The PM Mudra Yojana’s impressive sanction of 43 crore loans amounting to Rs 22.5 lakh crore is a game-changer, seeding countless entrepreneurial dreams. Tax benefits for startups, now extended to March 2025, and the incentivization of investments from wealth and pension funds, will significantly lower the financial hurdles for emerging businesses. Furthermore, the budget’s nod to ‘Annadata’ through MSP adjustments underlines the respect for our food providers, aligning with our mission for economic inclusivity. This financial blueprint is set to catalyze a new wave of innovation and resilience in the startup sector.

Ram Iyer, Founder & CEO, Vayana

The priority given to infrastructure development and the utilization of Digital Public Infrastructure is poised to continue to yield favourable outcomes and offer MSMEs more avenues to access formal financing. This aligns with our vision at Vayana, where the convergence of technology and finance is pivotal in enabling low-cost capital to MSMEs. The budget, characterized by continuity, upholds the government’s commitment to maintaining the consistency of existing policies. As anticipated for an interim budget, the government has laid the foundation for a more detailed financial roadmap to be unveiled in July.”

Arun Poojari, Co-Founder and CEO, Cashinvoice

The government’s commitment to timely finances, relevant technologies, and appropriate training for MSMEs signals a strategic alignment with sectoral growth and global competitiveness. The nuanced adjustment of the regulatory environment to facilitate MSME expansion emerges as a pivotal element in the comprehensive policy mix. The confluence of technology and strategic policy initiatives outlined in the interim budget reflects a concerted effort to bolster economic growth, empower MSMEs, and position India as a global economic contender. Moreover, digital financing platforms have emerged as catalysts for MSMEs, courtesy of technological advancements. These platforms facilitate swift and efficient access to capital, mitigating bureaucratic delays often hindering financial processes. Additionally, digital payment systems streamline transactions, adding a layer of efficiency to the economic landscape for these enterprises.

In the upcoming budget (in July), we can anticipate further structural reforms that aim to empower MSMEs through innovative financial solutions. The integration of technologies such as GSTN, e-Invoicing, and e-Way bill data is poised to play a pivotal role in facilitating invoice-based financing for MSMEs.

Ashok Rajpal, Managing Director, Ambrane India

The Skill India Mission has achieved commendable milestones, training 1.4 crore youth, upskilling and reskilling 54 lakh, and establishing 3000 new ITIs, marking a transformative era for our workforce. These accomplishments are promising, particularly for India’s manufacturing industry, aligning with our goal to cultivate a skilled workforce for a robust $300 million electronics sector. The Finance Minister rightly emphasizes the expansion of India’s global opportunities driven by innovation and entrepreneurship. While positive strides are acknowledged, further emphasis on incentives for innovation, R&D, and export-oriented measures would contribute to our industry’s sustained growth. Additionally, anticipated adjustments in import duty on electronics raw materials and higher dumping duty on imported electronics products could fortify our domestic market further. Addressing these considerations will be vital for ensuring a resilient and globally competitive electronics industry.

Nikhil Agarwal, Founder & CEO, Grip Invest 

Today’s budgetary allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore, offering interest-free loans for “sunrise domains,” presents a fascinating proposition for the Indian fintech landscape. The initiative addresses a critical bottleneck for early-stage ventures: access to capital. Long-term, low-interest funding can empower young minds to translate nascent ideas into impactful solutions, propelling India’s technological advancement. Furthermore, the focus on “sunrise domains” strategically aligns with national priorities, fostering innovation in areas like AI, IoT, and fintech, sectors poised to shape the future.

With this scheme, effective implementation is paramount. Streamlined application processes, robust selection criteria based on merit and impact potential, and transparent disbursement mechanisms are essential to ensure the scheme benefits genuine innovators. Additionally, fostering an ecosystem of support beyond mere capital infusion is crucial. Mentorship, skill development programs, and a collaborative environment will empower beneficiaries to navigate the complexities of research and development, maximizing the scheme’s long-term returns.

Sameer Kapadia, Research Analyst, Founder & CEO, India Index

The India-Middle East European Economic corridor is a strategic game changer. Additionally, warming ties between the U.S. and India, spearheaded by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the former’s “friendshoring” policy aimed at encouraging U.S. companies to diversify away from China have also made India an attractive alternative. The geo-political relationship has been encouraging for Indian suppliers for global trade.

The Indian government will spend a record Rs 11.11 trillion ($133.87 billion) on infrastructure creation in 2024/25 to ensure the Asian nation remains one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. This will help drive technological developments and help industries across the spectrum to grow, which in turn will boost the overall supply chain. With the ‘Make in India’ initiative gaining momentum, we are certain that India will be a front runner in shaping the global trade scenario in the years to come.

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