FM says Social justice is no more a political slogan,  but an effective and necessary governance model,

NEW DELNHI, Feb 1 The CINNECT) – The Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Interim Union Budget for 2024-2025 in Parliament today announced that the capital expenditure outlay for the next year is being increased by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11,11,111 crore, which would be  3.4 per cent of the GDP.

She said, this is in the wake of building on the massive tripling of the capital expenditure outlay in the past 4 years resulting in huge multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation.

As per the First Advance Estimates of National Income of FY 2023-24, presented along with the Finance Minister’s speech, India’s Real GDP is projected to grow at 7.3 per cent. This is also in line with the upward revision in growth projections for FY2023-24 by the RBI (in its December 2023 Monetary Policy Committee meeting) from 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent, prompted by strong growth in Q2 of FY2023-24.

Indian economy has demonstrated resilience and maintained healthy macro-economic fundamentals, despite global economic challenges. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its World Economic Outlook (WEO), October 2023, has revised its growth projection for India for FY2023-24 upwards to 6.3 per cent from 6.1 per cent projected in July 2023. This reflects increasing global confidence in India’s economic prowess at a time when global growth projection for 2023 remains unchanged at 3 per cent.

As per the IMF, India is likely to become the third-largest economy in 2027 (in USD at market exchange rate) and it also estimated that India’s contribution to global growth will rise by 200 basis points in 5 years. Moreover, various international agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, OECD and ADB project India to grow between 6.4 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 6.1 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively in 2024-25.

The Finance Minister stated that strong growth in economic activity has imparted buoyancy to revenue collections and pointed out that GST collection stood at ₹1.65 lakh crore in December 2023.This is the seventh-time that gross GST revenues have crossed ₹1.6 lakh crore benchmark.

She said, coming to 2024-25, the total receipts other than borrowings and the total expenditure are estimated at Rs 30.80 and 47.66 lakh crore respectively. The tax receipts are estimated at Rs 26.02 lakh crore.

In a major announcement, the Finance Minister said, the scheme of fifty-year interest free loan for capital expenditure to states will be continued this year with total outlay of Rs1.3 lakh crore. A provision of seventy-five thousand crore rupees as fifty-year interest free loan is proposed this year to support the milestone-linked reforms of Viksit Bharat by the State Governments.

Referring to the fiscal consolidation, as announced in her Budget Speech for 2021-22, to reduce fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26, Sitharaman said, the fiscal deficit in
2024-25 is estimated to be 5.1 per cent of GDP, adhering to that path.

Similarly, the gross and net market borrowings through dated securities during 2024-25 are estimated at Rs 14.13 and 11.75 lakh crore respectively and both will be less than that in 2023-24.

Pointing out at some of the bright spots of the economy, the Finance Minister informed that the  Revised Estimate of the total receipts other than borrowings is Rs 27.56 lakh crore, of which the tax receipts are Rs 23.24 lakh crore. The Revised Estimate of the total expenditure is Rs 44.90 lakh crore.  The revenue receipts at Rs 30.03 lakh crore are expected to be higher than the Budget Estimate, reflecting strong growth momentum and formalization in the economy.

Sitharaman also stated that the gross and net market borrowings through dated securities during 2024-25 are estimated at Rs14.13 and 11.75 lakh crore respectively and both will be less than that in 2023-24.

She announced that the FDI inflow during 2014-23 was USD 596 billion marking a golden era and this is twice the inflow during 2005-14.
For encouraging sustained foreign investment, we are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with our foreign partners, in the spirit of ‘first develop India’, the Finance Minister added

Nirmala Sithraman said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi firmly believes and focused  on four major castes. They are, ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and  ‘Annadata’(Farmer). She said, their needs, their aspirations, and their welfare are government’s highest priority, because the country progresses, when they progress.

Nirmala Sitharaman elaborated that this government’s humane and inclusive approach to development is a marked and deliberate departure from the earlier approach of ‘provisioning up-to-village level’. Development programmes, in the last ten years, have targeted each and every household and individual, through ‘housing for all’, ‘hargharjal’, electricity for all, cooking gas for all, bank accounts and financial services for all, in record time, she added.

The Finance Minister stressed that this Government is working with an approach to development that is all-round, all-pervasive and all-inclusive (सर्वांगीण, सर्वस्पर्शी और सर्वसमावेशी). It covers all castes and people at all levels. She said, “We are working to make India a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. For achieving that goal, we need to improve people’s capability and empower them”.

She also pointed out, “Previously, social justice was mostly a political slogan. For our Government, social justice is an effective and necessary governance model”.

The Finance Minister announced amidst thumping of desks that the Indian economy has witnessed profound positive transformation in the last ten years and the people of India are looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism. She added, “Conditions were created for more opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. The economy got a new vigour. The fruits of development started reaching the people at scale. The country got a new sense of purpose and hope”.

The Finance Minister informed that with the pursuit of ‘SabkakaSaath’ in these 10 years, the Government has assisted 25 crore people to get freedom from multi-dimensional poverty and the  Government’s efforts are now getting synergized with energy and passion of such empowered people.

She informed that PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned 43 crore loans aggregating to Rs 22.5 lakh crore for entrepreneurial aspirations. It may be mentioned that thirty crore Mudra Yojana loans have been given to women entrepreneurs.

The Interim Budget contains a number of announcements and strategies indicating directions and development approach for making India Viksit Bharat by 2047.

Making a slew of announcements, Nirmala Sitharaman said, the Government will pay utmost attention to make the eastern region and its people a powerful driver of India’s growth, PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) is close to achieving the target of three crore houses and two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the requirement arising from increase in the number of families.  Similarly, through rooftop solarization, one crore households will be enabled to obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated 10 lakh employment. Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs and sixty thousand individuals with credit linkages.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced that for our tech savvy youth, this will be a golden era, as a corpus of rupees one lakh crore will be established with
fifty-year interest free loan. She said, the corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. This will also encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains, she added

For Railways, three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented-energy, mineral and cement corridors, port connectivity corridors, and high traffic density corridors. Moreover, forty thousand normal rail bogies will be converted to the Vande Bharat standards to enhance safety, convenience and comfort of passengers.

On Aviation Sector, the number of airports have doubled to 149 and today five hundred and seventeen new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers. Indian carriers have pro-actively placed orders for over 1000 new aircrafts.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Government will form a high-powered committee for an extensive consideration of the challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes and the committee will be mandated to make recommendations for addressing these challenges comprehensively in relation to the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’.

The Finance Minister pointed out that Prime Minister in his Independence Day address to the nation, in the 75th year of our Republic said, “we commit ourselves to national development, with new inspirations, new consciousness, new resolutions, as the country opens up immense possibilities and opportunities”. It is our ‘KartavyaKaal’. She said, “Every challenge of the pre-2014 era was overcome through our economic management and our governance and these have placed the country on a resolute path of sustained high growth”.

Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized, “This has been possible through our right policies, true intentions, and appropriate decisions. In the full budget in July, our Government will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit of ‘Viksit Bharat’.

Murty LVLN, CEO, Dvara KGFS:  “The Interim Budget 2024-2025 has highlighted the importance of empowering 4 major castes – ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). We are happy to notice the significance given to farmers and women SHGs. The continuous focus of the budget on the MSME sector, to compete globally, will result in a positive incentive for the rural parts of the country, thereby, increasing the rural GDP. Sufficient importance is also given to ensure timely and adequate finances, relevant technologies and appropriate training is provided to MSMEs. The boost given to ‘Annadata’ through the various farmer schemes and e-mandis will also be in favor of many Fintech and Agritech companies.”

Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, Avtar Group: “The tabled interim Budget has set the tone for the next phase of growth and development of the nation. By way of acknowledging the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunities for all, the government is reiterating the potential that increased women’s workforce participation will contribute to overall GDP of the nation. The continuous allowances to entrepreneurship for women and youth, skilling or simply put towards the GYAN (Garib, Yuva, Annadatha and Nari) Bharath do promise growth and stability for the country. However, MSMEs and Start-ups – the key sectors that have the potential to boost women’s workforce participation, have not seen much push in the last two years, particularly by way of tax rebate in SEZs for companies operating in the STEM industry. While 43% of STEM graduates are women, they make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM. Moreover, women drop out of the workplace due to childbirth, childcare and elder care. Consequently, only 3 percent of women hold CEO posts in the STEM Industry. To fast-track the growth, the new government will have to usher initiatives and policy measures such as incentivizing targeted women-talent hiring and retention especially in the MSMEs and Start-ups sectors that will provide the much-required fillip towards women’s workforce participation.”

Umesh Singh, Founder & Director, Tara Candles: “As a proud founder in the vibrant landscape of MSMEs and retail, I commend the visionary step of increasing the threshold for presumptive taxation to Rs 3 crore. This pragmatic policy shift not only empowers small businesses but also fosters a conducive environment for growth. Furthermore, placing a policy priority on providing training for MSMEs underscores a commitment to global competitiveness. By investing in the skills and knowledge of our entrepreneurs, we pave the way for a resilient and globally competitive MSME sector. Together, these initiatives propel us towards a future where our businesses thrive, contributing substantially to the nation’s economic tapestry ”

Anish Srikrishna, CEO, TimesPro: The government has laid the groundwork to usher in next-generation reforms, steering the growth of India by providing a significant boost to infrastructure development and bridging the accessibility gap to fulfil the aspirations of its citizens. The commitment to education and skill development through successful initiatives like Skill India has offered training, skilling, and reskilling to millions, enabling them to acquire cutting-edge skills and secure employment opportunities. This will undoubtedly contribute to our collective economic resilience and competitiveness on the global stage. The government’s emphasis on technology, including the provision of 50-year interest-free loans, underscores its dedication to investing in Deep Tech, requiring substantial investment and highly skilled human capital. Enhancing the Girl Enrolment Ratio will empower females to enter aspirational fields and make significant contributions to various emerging sectors. Although the EdTech sector anticipated some tax incentives that could have benefited our learners, we remain highly optimistic about the upcoming full budget, expected to announce next-generation reforms, will address these concerns. We look forward to actively participating in providing excellence in education, transforming the Indian ecosystem, and contributing to holistic national development.

Dhawal Dalal, President & Chief Investment Officer- Fixed Income, Edelweiss MF: A very pragmatic & growth-oriented interim budget with continued focus on conservative revenue estimation and fiscal consolidation. The FM believes in under-promise and over-delivering on fiscal front. Lower borrowing in FY25 is expected to decline bond yields. This will be positive for the economy and will support in reaching our goal of $5T economy by end of 2027, in our view.

Aditya Modak, Co-founder, Gargi by P N Gadgil & Sons: “Overall, the comments made by FM are very optimistic about new businesses and MSMEs. This will help Indian businesses to have a core strength while competing with old Indian and international brands. More investments in ecosystem creation for new-gen businesses will facilitate and aid quicker growth.

The fiscal deficit has been revised to 5.8%, which indicates that our economy is performing exceptionally well. Moreover, the new target is set lower than the current achievement, which is a positive sign that the economy is on a growth trajectory. Additionally, our finance minister has projected an extraordinary growth rate for the next five years, offering a lot of hope and promise to MSMEs and entrepreneurs.
Controlling inflation proactively can be very beneficial for startups. It ensures that expenses are not constantly increasing, which leads to more savings and helps businesses achieve profitability.”

Deepak Jalan, Managing Director, Linc Ltd.: “We applaud the Interim Budget 2024’s welcoming focus on manufacturing and retail industry growth and innovation. The continued support for MSMEs, streamlined regulations, and overall infrastructure development aligns seamlessly with our vision to revolutionize retail through technology. The commitment to the National Education Policy 2020 resonates with our mission to provide educational support through writing instrument and stationery. The emphasis on economic corridors and reduced logistics costs is quite promising for manufacturing divisions. The stability in tax rates, fiscal deficit management, and increased infrastructure outlay exhibit a positive and conducive economic environment. We appreciate the government’s proactive approach towards sustained foreign investments and the facilitation of international trade through Customs reforms. This budget instills opportunities of growth, confidence for a vibrant and resilient economic future.”

Karthik Kondepudi, Partner – Herbochem: “As we navigate this era of change and progress, let us seize the opportunities presented by this budget to drive innovation, promote sustainability, and contribute to the overall well-being of our nation.

Embracing the transformative power of new-age technologies and data, the budget has laid a solid foundation for fostering innovation and sustainable growth. The establishment of a one-lakh crore corpus with a fifty-year interest-free loan is a commendable initiative. This financial boost aims to catalyse long-term research and innovation in sunrise domains, providing the private sector with the necessary resources to scale up and drive progress.

Furthermore, the commitment to green growth is evident through the introduction of a new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry. This forward-looking initiative supports the development of environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-Agri-inputs. This not only aligns with global sustainability goals but also signifies a shift towards regenerative manufacturing practices.

In the realm of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, these budgetary measures hold promising implications. The emphasis on bio-pharmaceuticals aligns with the growing demand for innovative and sustainable healthcare solutions. The focus on green alternatives may incentivize the pharma and Nutra industry to explore eco-friendly practices and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future.”

Manoj Tulsian, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Greenply Industries Ltd.: “We embrace the optimistic outlook presented by the interim budget 2024-25, foreseeing transformative impacts on our industry. The government’s forthcoming initiative to empower middle-income families with homeownership is truly commendable, holding the potential to stimulate demand for construction and positively influence our sector.

The budget’s emphasis on clean energy, particularly in harnessing offshore wind and promoting CBG blending, perfectly aligns with Greenply’s unwavering commitment to sustainability. The increased allocation for capital expenditure is a welcome signal, as it has undeniably acted as a catalyst for robust infrastructure development in recent years.

While the interim budget introduces promising measures, their ultimate success hinges on clear roadmaps, focused implementation, and addressing industry-specific concerns. We maintain hope that the government will engage in collaborative dialogue with stakeholders, ensuring these initiatives translate into tangible benefits for the nation’s economic prosperity and environmental well-being.”

Anant Jain, Head of Customer Success – India, GfK – An NIQ Company – “In today’s budget, the Finance Minister’s focus on uplifting the Poor, Women, Youth, and Farmers aligns with India’s aspirations. The Government’s positive trajectory envisions India’s journey to a 5 trillion-dollar economy and ‘Viksit Bharat’. Initiatives like PLI, affordable housing, and alternate energy continue to drive transformation in the consumer tech and durables sector. The 2024 outlook anticipates strategic purchases and aspirational upgrades, fueled by the young population and expanding middle class. Government innovation and purposeful investments will be pivotal for sustained success. Despite global uncertainties, India’s consumer resilience, highlighted in the November’23 RBI Survey, points to positive economic prospects. According to the GfK Consumer Life Survey 2023, nearly half of urban Indian consumers express confidence in an improved personal economic situation in the near future. Thus, the potential impact on the consumer tech and durables industry remains optimistic, leveraging India’s dynamic demographics and economic opportunities.”

Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Chairman & Founder, The Bennet & Bernard Company: “The interim budget has no changes to taxation and tax rates for direct and indirect tax rates remain unchanged. Though the homebuyers would be happier if some relief were given, I am sure they would appreciate non-increasing tax slabs for now. Moreover, I am certain that when the newly elected government presents the budget in July, taxpayers can expect some tax reductions on home loans and a tax deduction on property purchases. Needless to say, we were not expecting a lot of big announcements as it was an interim budget, and we can safely assume that the next budget announcement will be more comprehensive than the last few years and will cover more grounds for the overall benefit of taxpayers. However, the current government’s focus on encouraging people from across social strata to become homeowners is much appreciated and deserves special commendation.”

Rachit Poddar, Co-Founder & Director of IVY Growth Associates: In the recently unveiled interim budget, India’s economic progress takes center stage with a targeted focus on the Energy, Tourism, and Infrastructure sectors. Startups are poised to play a significant role, benefiting from extended tax incentives until March 2025 and heightened foreign direct investment.
Noteworthy is the government’s commitment to bolster Youth and Women Entrepreneurship, SMEs, and sustainable economic growth. The budget demonstrates a holistic approach, intertwining governance, development, and performance metrics. This foresighted economic blueprint positions India for robust and inclusive growth, emphasizing innovation and environmental sustainability.

Joby CO, CEO & Co-founder, KiVi: “The Interim Budget 2024-2025 has been positive for Agritech and AgriFintech companies. Under the various schemes for the ‘Garib’ and ‘Annadata’, many farmers belonging to small and marginal categories will be happy to receive financial assistance. The focus on Electronic National Agricultural Market and technology provisions made for mandis will benefit companies many Agri-fintech companies. The budget has also quoted value addition in the agricultural sector which will come in as a boon to farmers wherein schemes like PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana will ensure reduction in post-harvest losses. Bringing in public-private investments in post-harvest activities such as aggregation, storage, supply chains, processing, marketing and branding of the yield will promote growth, productivity and improve farmer incomes.”   

Shrinivas Rao, FRICS, CEO, Vestian: In line with India’s goal to be a developed nation by 2047, the Interim Budget 2024-25 aimed at holistic development with a focus on core areas of the economy. The budget aimed to increase revenue and decrease borrowings by keeping the fiscal deficit at 5.1% for 2024-25, adhering to the long-term target of 4.5% by 2025-26. The revised estimates of fiscal deficit also improved to 5.8% of GDP in 2023-24 compared to the last budget estimates. The budget focused on the development of agriculture & food processing, skill development, women empowerment, sustainable development, healthcare, infrastructure development, tourism, and housing sectors.

Infrastructure outlay increased by 11.1% to INR 11.11 lakh crore which would be 3.4% of the GDP. This will indirectly infuse growth in the real estate sector. Furthermore, a boost in sustainable development is expected to catalyze the momentum of green development across the country, including the real estate sector. The construction sector and hospitality industry were also in focus with several announcements in the budget.

Sanjay Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, 3F Oil Palm:  ‘The Union Budget 2024 further builds on the push for edible oils self-sufficiency through its “Atma Nirbhar” strategy and expanded adoption of nano DAP in all agro-climatic zones. Investing in our Annadata’s (farmers’) future is investing in India’s future itself. While the timely push for edible oil production of mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower oils is welcome, the scope should be extended to oil palm as well given its higher productivity. The vision for research, modern farming techniques, and infrastructure investment aligns perfectly with our company’s mission to empower farmers and unlock the sector’s potential in palm oil production and processing. We are enthusiastic to empower our farmers and be a part of the journey towards a truly self-reliant India.’

Murty LVLN, CEO, Dvara KGFS : “The Interim Budget 2024-2025 has highlighted the importance of empowering 4 major castes – ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). We are happy to notice the significance given to farmers and women SHGs. The continuous focus of the budget on the MSME sector, to compete globally, will result in a positive incentive for the rural parts of the country, thereby, increasing the rural GDP. Sufficient importance is also given to ensure timely and adequate finances, relevant technologies and appropriate training is provided to MSMEs. The boost given to ‘Annadata’ through the various farmer schemes and e-mandis will also be in favor of many Fintech and Agritech companies.”

Dr. Suresh Surana-Founder – RSM India: One of the far-reaching changes proposed in the Interim Budget 2024 is the Proposal of waiver of old unreconciled trivial tax outstanding in line with the Government’s vision to improve ease of living and ease of doing business. There are a large number of petty, non-verified, non-reconciled or disputed direct tax demands, many of them dating as far back as the year 1962, which continue to remain on the books, causing undue hardship, administrative difficulties and hindering refunds of subsequent years.

The proposal is to withdraw such outstanding direct tax demands up to Rs. 25,000 pertaining to the period up to financial year 2009-10 and up to Rs. 10,000 for financial years 2010-11 to 2014-15. No specific mention has been made about whether this tax proposal would be applicable for individual or corporate taxpayers. it is expected to overall benefit about a crore taxpayers and is extremely welcome.

There are no specific proposals in the Finance Bill 2024 in this respect and it is likely that a separate circular will be issued by the CBDT to provide the aforesaid relief.

Vishal Gourisaria, Founder, Straavi: Every year, the budget aids in our goal-setting and objectives for the retail market economy. In light of saree fashion, regulating GST pricing in the retail industry will maintain the long-term objective of exposing more people to clothes and sustainable culture.  As the embodiment of Nari Shakti in its purest form, Nirmalaji herself sets the standard each year by donning handcrafted sarees that are reasonably priced, supporting the Indian handloom industry and promoting Indian materials.
V. P. Nandakumar, MD & CEO at Manappuram Finance: “By giving a new meaning to GDP – governance, development and performance – the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has laid out the road map for India to become a developed nation (Vikasit Bharat) by 2047. Also commendable is the Government’s resolve to stay on the course of fiscal prudence while taking steps to ensure sustainable growth and development on a durable basis. On the whole, the interim budget has ticked most of the right boxes without straying from the fiscal glidepath, despite impending general elections.”

Pooja Sodhi, Co-Founder and CEO at Combonation: The budget 2024 redefines the dedication to the empowerment and welfare of the ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), and ‘Yuva’ (Youth), and stands resolute, as articulated by our Prime Minister. Financial budget underscore their needs and aspirations, acknowledging that the country’s progress is intricately related to the development in these areas. To bolster this, the budget champions Nari Shakti, spotting the momentum received in women’s empowerment over the last decade. Importantly, the budget introduces strategic tax benefits for startup ventures, aligning with the government’s dedication to fostering entrepreneurial spirit. As part of the broader initiative, the Mudra Yojana has dispensed 30 crore loans to women entrepreneurs, reflecting a tangible commitment to assisting female-led organizations. The expanded enrolment of women in higher education, mainly in STEM courses, highlights the advantageous trajectory toward gender inclusivity. Budget 2024, with its multi-faceted method, now not only addresses the various desires of our society but also propels the nation closer to inclusive increase and monetary prosperity.

 

 

Karan Gupta, Kaspo (MSME) : “The Union Budget 2024 marks a significant stride in advancing the educational sector and empowering women entrepreneurs in India. Key initiatives like the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam and the focus on women-led development reflect a strong commitment to gender equality and educational enhancement. The groundbreaking ‘Lakhpati Didis’ program, aimed at skill development in collaboration with women’s self-help groups, and the allocation for drone technology training, is set to open new avenues for women in technology and agriculture.

The Skill India Mission’s achievement in training over 1.1 crore youth, along with the establishment of 3000 new ITIs and expansion of higher education infrastructure, including IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and Universities, highlights our nation’s dedication to a knowledge-based economy. This focus on education, crucial for our nation’s growth, offers immense opportunities for the e-commerce sector, especially for women entrepreneurs. As an Edtech company, we are enthusiastic about contributing to this era of educational excellence and aligning with government initiatives to enhance youth learning experiences.”

Minal Anand, CEO/Founder, GuruQ: “The Union Budget 2024 marks a significant stride in advancing the educational sector and empowering women entrepreneurs in India. Key initiatives like the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam and the focus on women-led development reflect a strong commitment to gender equality and educational enhancement. The groundbreaking ‘Lakhpati Didis’ program, aimed at skill development in collaboration with women’s self-help groups, and the allocation for drone technology training, is set to open new avenues for women in technology and agriculture.

The Skill India Mission’s achievement in training over 1.1 crore youth, along with the establishment of 3000 new ITIs and expansion of higher education infrastructure, including IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and Universities, highlights our nation’s dedication to a knowledge-based economy. This focus on education, crucial for our nation’s growth, offers immense opportunities for the e-commerce sector, especially for women entrepreneurs. As an Edtech company, we are enthusiastic about contributing to this era of educational excellence and aligning with government initiatives to enhance youth learning experiences.”

Sonakshi Pratap, CEO/Founder, Leadzen.ai: “In the realm of technology and SaaS, the Union Budget 2024 emerges as a beacon of hope for women’s empowerment. The government’s unwavering commitment to gender equality and the inclusion of women in the workforce, as evident in initiatives like the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam and dedicated efforts towards women-led development, deserves commendation.

Currently, women constitute only about 20% of the tech workforce in India, highlighting a significant gender gap that needs to be addressed. Extensive research reveals that companies fostering diverse teams, including a higher representation of women, tend to outperform their counterparts, fueling innovation and unleashing creativity.

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, diversity, and inclusivity serve as catalysts for innovation. As we celebrate these initiatives, we eagerly anticipate the power of empowered women to not only bridge the gender gap but also lead the way in shaping the future of technology. Their contribution promises to elevate our industry to new heights of success.”

Rachit Poddar, Co-Founder & Director IVY Growth Associates: In the recently unveiled interim budget, India’s economic progress takes center stage with a targeted focus on the Energy, Tourism, and Infrastructure sectors. Startups are poised to play a significant role, benefiting from extended tax incentives until March 2025 and heightened foreign direct investment.

Noteworthy is the government’s commitment to bolster Youth and Women Entrepreneurship, SMEs, and sustainable economic growth. The budget demonstrates a holistic approach, intertwining governance, development, and performance metrics. This foresighted economic blueprint positions India for robust and inclusive growth, emphasizing innovation and environmental sustainability.

Prem Kumar Vislawath, Founder and CEO, Marut Drones: “It’s reassuring to hear the honorable FM prioritize agriculture as a key area of focus in her budget speech. She stressed on the push for widespread adoption of modern farming techniques. The FM also mentioned empowerment of ‘Annadatas’, our farmers, as an important goal. Agricultural drones can play a crucial role in minimizing risks while maximizing revenue for our farmers. The introduction of Nano DAP class of fertilizers in all agro-climactic zones FM mentioned is also exciting for us, as Marut drones are specially equipped for that. Farmer-centric policies with the government encouraging embrace of modern technology through start-ups will go a long way in helping rural parts of the country grow to their full potential.”

Monish Shah, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer – DreamSetGo:”As a sports experiences company, we are exceptionally pleased with the Finance Minister’s recognition of the country’s sports sector scaling new heights. This statement holds true in every aspect. Sports emerged as the first sector to rebound post-pandemic. We firmly believe that for genuine elevation, there must be a synergistic effort between the government and the private sector, accelerating Brand India’s image as a ‘Sports powerhouse’ on the global stage. The focus should be on cultivating world-class sports experiences, enhancing infrastructure, and consistently empowering Indian athletes in international competitions. We take pride in our role as the Official Travel Partner for the Indian Olympic delegation, and we are also facilitating numerous Indian sports fans to cheer for our athletes at Paris 2024 this year.”

Anil Jain, MD, Refex Group: “We are very happy with Interim Budget 2024-2025 as there is a lot of focus given to green and sustainable energy to promote Blue Economy 2.0. The government’s initiative to offer 1 cr households with solar rooftops is a step in the right direction. Their move of empowering and encouraging youth and women will act as a catalyst to the country’s GDP. To boost research and innovation in emerging sectors, various schemes will add value and enable accelerated growth for the overall economy and growth. This interim budget will open many avenues for all sectors while also ensuring every citizen’s development.”

Meenu Singhal, Regional Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions: “We welcome the focus on the Poor, Women, Youth and Farmers. Uplifting these segments will act as a catalyst to India’s aspirations to become a 5 trillion-dollar economy. All the announcements made today will lead the country to become ‘Vikshit’ Bharat. Alternate sources of energy will continue to drive transformation in consumer tech especially the power saving sector.  The commitment to research and innovation, by a one lakh crore rupees corpus with a fifty-year interest-free loan, signifies a phenomenal growth opportunity for our tech-savvy youth, aligning seamlessly with our mission for sustainable technology solutions.”

Ayanabh Debgupta, Jt. Managing Director, Medica Group of Hospitals: Government’s announcement of U-Win platform for streamlined immunization is a remarkable step and this will boost the immunization drive. The provision to set up more medical colleges is certainly the need of the hour to address the demand supply gap vis-a-vis Doctor’s to patient ratio. However, the most crucial aspect is the cervical cancer vaccination for the girls aged between 9 to 14 years. This will give the cancer screening a huge impetus and will spread the much-needed awareness. Though we know this was an interim budget we were expecting government to bring down the customs duty on general & oncology medical equipment. To provide optimal care at affordable rates, the recent increase in customs duty for general and oncology medical equipment. The customs duty for general equipment has risen from 14.57% to 22%, and for oncology equipment, it has increased from 30.48% to 36.64%. We are hopeful that Government shall address this during the final budget for 2024-25.

Satyendra Prasad Narala – Managing Director, Regency Ceramics: “The government’s initiative to facilitate homeownership for the middle class is a commendable step toward inclusive growth. Moreover, the commitment to construct another 2 lakh houses and providing over seventy percent of these houses under PM Awas Yojana to women as sole or joint owners not only enhances their dignity but also promotes gender equality in rural housing development. These two schemes is a big positive for the building materials industry.

Regency has always been a trusted supplier of tiles for most government schemes and with innovative manufacturing practices will provide natural tiles at lower prices with better durability to the beneficiaries of these two schemes. We welcome these transformative measures for a brighter, more equitable future, and a flourishing ceramic tiles sector.”

Radhika Choudary, Co-Founder, Freyr Energy: “The Budget 2024 has unveiled the Vision for Vikasit Bharat, emphasizing a harmonious relationship with nature. The government is actively promoting inclusive sustainable development through initiatives such as rooftop solar, as outlined in the Finance Minister’s speech. Anticipating new guidelines and incentives under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana,’ the industry is optimistic about India’s rooftop solar energy transition.

The commitment to rooftop solarization and providing free electricity to one crore households is expected to infuse competitiveness and innovation into the solar sector. With the potential to contribute significantly to achieving the government’s target of making India net zero by 2070, this boost is poised to generate employment opportunities for the youth engaged in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance within the solar industry. The interim budget has successfully unlocked the true economic potential of India’s rooftop sector.”

Sameer Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Jakson Group: “Aligned with the government’s strategy to ‘Reform, Perform, Transform’, to stimulate strategic growth. In parallel, Jakson aligns seamlessly with the government’s visionary initiatives, including a substantial 11.11 lakh crore infrastructure investment and the introduction of ‘Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana.’ This program aims to provide 1 crore households with 300 units of free electricity through rooftop solarization, symbolizing our shared commitment to economic growth and net zero journey. These dynamic measures not only enhance energy security and promote clean energy accessibility but also drive a tech revolution, supported by a INR 1 lakh crore corpus for R&D. Jakson is committed to this journey towards a sustainable, and inclusive future, championing synergies between innovation and economic empowerment.”

Bikesh Ogra, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jakson Green: “The recently announced budget’s substantial infrastructure investment marks a significant stride in accelerating the renewable ecosystem. We anticipate dedicated allocations for crucial elements such as port infrastructure, renewable energy integration, and specialized infrastructures for green hydrogen. Notably, PM Gati Shakti’s railway corridors emerge as a game-changer for green hydrogen and its derivatives, fostering dedicated transport links between production hubs, ports, and markets. This strategic move is poised to reduce costs, enhance accessibility, and expedite India’s transition towards clean energy.

Furthermore, the government’s decision to reduce borrowing from markets is a pivotal development, unlocking opportunities for increased private investment, particularly in sectors like renewables. This shift acts as a catalyst for India’s clean energy transition, propelling us closer to a sustainable future. Additionally, the viability gap support for offshore wind and bio-based solutions holds immense promise, presenting opportunities to lower the levelised cost of green hydrogen and its derivatives. In a seemingly neutral yet strategically significant move, the budget’s stable tax and duty regime ensures a steady flow of foreign investments, particularly in critical sectors like renewable energy. This commitment to continuity prioritizes investor confidence and predictability, serving as essential pillars for fostering long-term commitments and accelerating growth in key sustainability sectors.”

Ravin Saluja, director with Sterling Agro Industries Limited (Nova Dairy Products): “At Nova Dairy, we are dedicated to helping dairy farmers across India through a comprehensive programme to improve productivity and sustainability in the dairy business. Building on the fulfillment of existing programs such as the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, the National Livestock Mission, and the Dairy and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Funds, we seek to formulate a cohesive approach that utilizes these initiatives to maximum effect.

As Nova Dairy, we believe that the current GST rate of 12% on milk products is a significant challenge for the dairy industry and the private sector. While milk is an essential part of daily nutrition for millions of people, the high GST rate adds to the financial burden on both consumers and producers. By reducing the GST rate to 5%, the government can not only alleviate the GST burden but also promote the health and well-being of the general public. This reduction would make dairy products more affordable and accessible to a larger segment of the population, especially those from lower-income backgrounds. Additionally, it would incentivize dairy companies to invest in quality and innovation, ultimately benefiting the entire dairy ecosystem. We urge policymakers to consider this adjustment to the GST rate as a crucial step towards supporting the dairy industry’s growth and ensuring the health and nutrition of the nation.”

Dr. K. Anand Kumar, MD, Indian Immunologicals: “I commend the initiatives outlined in the Interim Budget 2024, particularly those addressing women and children’s health. These measures signify a concerted effort to strengthen India’s healthcare system by prioritizing preventive care, expanding access to essential services, and leveraging innovation for better health outcomes.

The decision to provide and actively encourage cervical cancer vaccines for 9–14-year-olds reflects a proactive approach to preventing a significant health burden among young girls. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally, with millions of cases reported annually. Investing in this preventive measure is poised to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and its associated morbidity and mortality rates in the future.

The budget has also allocated INR 1 lakh crore towards establishing a corpus, offering a 50-year interest-free loan to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise industries. This allocation presents a promising advancement within the vaccine industry. It allows for the integration of new-age technologies in vaccine development processes, especially for mRNA and Adenoviral vector vaccines.”

Rahul Ranjan, Director of Mrig Sight Media: I appreciate the government’s commitment to ‘Reform, Perform, and Transform,’ foreseeing a promising trajectory. The collaborative efforts with states and stakeholders resonate with the essence of startups, emphasizing innovation and growth. The targeted support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is particularly commendable, as it provides startups with the necessary financial backing, technological empowerment, and essential training. The streamlined regulatory approach underscores a keen understanding of the pivotal role bureaucracy plays in nurturing entrepreneurship.

The alignment with ‘Panchamrit’ goals and the dedication to ensuring energy security directly addresses challenges faced by startups, showcasing a government attuned to our industry’s needs. The proactive measures to prepare the financial sector for investment needs signal a government actively supporting the intricacies of the startup ecosystem. In conclusion, this forward-looking approach fosters an environment where startups can not only survive but thrive, contributing significantly to both economic growth and innovation in the country.

Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director at Superbot: “It’s encouraging that the government recognizes the importance of addressing skill development to meet the demand for a high-quality workforce in the emerging technology sector, crucial for India’s ambitious goal of a $5 trillion economy..All the initiatives mentioned in the Interim budget speech like establishment of more IITs, IIITs, STEM courses etc., are cementing the foundation of the growing India, which is youth. Commendably, the government’s embrace of deeptech in critical sectors like defense underscores our country’s progressive stance. Given that R&D is a capital-intensive step for businesses in deeptech, blockchain, machine learning, and Generative AI, increased allocation towards MUDRA schemes and the announcement of a 1-lakh crore corpus with 50-year interest-free support will undoubtedly fuel technological growth.”

Raj Vardhan Singh, OSD Chairman Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Noida International University: We’re happy that the government has looked into the healthcare sector. We applaud the government’s proactive approach to healthcare, acknowledging the establishment of 15 AIIMS and 390 universities as a commendable achievement. Expressing satisfaction, we highlight the increased focus on child and maternal health through the launch of various schemes, including promoting the well-being of young girls, it is imperative to encourage cervical cancer vaccination for those aged 9-14 years. Additionally, expediting initiatives like Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 is crucial for enhancing nutrition delivery and fostering early childhood care and development. The introduction of the You WIN platform for Mission Indradhanush’s immunization efforts is a significant step toward efficient healthcare, ensuring broader vaccine coverage. Furthermore, extending health coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme to encompass all ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers reflects a commitment to inclusivity, prioritizing the health of those on the front lines of community well-being. Recognizing the government’s dedication to women and youth, we see these endeavors as pivotal for the country’s progress. Emphasizing the government’s focus on GDP – Governance, Development, and Performance – we anticipate heightened entrepreneurial aspirations among the youth, fostering societal development. The commitment to nurturing the “amritpidi” in this golden moment, with a vision for India’s development by 2047, is seen as a transformative reform that will bring substantial changes to the healthcare sector and the nation as a whole.

Assuming major enhancements in the healthcare sector in the July budget, we assume further advancement in the industry’s overall improvement.

So sweet of you, Nirmala! FM cooks Halwa for Team Budget!

Dr. K. Anand Kumar, MD, Indian Immunological: “I commend the initiatives outlined in the Interim Budget 2024, particularly those addressing women and children’s health. These measures signify a concerted effort to strengthen India’s healthcare system by prioritizing preventive care, expanding access to essential services, and leveraging innovation for better health outcomes.

The decision to provide and actively encourage cervical cancer vaccines for 9–14-year-olds reflects a proactive approach to preventing a significant health burden among young girls. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally, with millions of cases reported annually. Investing in this preventive measure is poised to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and its associated morbidity and mortality rates in the future.

The budget has also allocated INR 1 lakh crore towards establishing a corpus, offering a 50-year interest-free loan to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise industries. This allocation presents a promising advancement within the vaccine industry. It allows for the integration of new-age technologies in vaccine development processes, especially for mRNA and Adenoviral vector vaccines.”

Prem Kumar Vislawath, Founder and CEO, Marut Drones: “It’s reassuring to hear the honorable FM prioritize agriculture as a key area of focus in her budget speech. She stressed on the push for widespread adoption of modern farming techniques. The FM also mentioned empowerment of ‘Annadatas’, our farmers, as an important goal. Agricultural drones can play a crucial role in minimizing risks while maximizing revenue for our farmers. The introduction of Nano DAP class of fertilizers in all agro-climactic zones FM mentioned is also exciting for us, as Marut drones are specially equipped for that. Farmer-centric policies with the government encouraging embrace of modern technology through start-ups will go a long way in helping rural parts of the country grow to their full potential.”

Radhika Choudary, Co-Founder, Freyr Energy: “The Budget 2024 has unveiled the Vision for Vikasit Bharat, emphasizing a harmonious relationship with nature. The government is actively promoting inclusive sustainable development through initiatives such as rooftop solar, as outlined in the Finance Minister’s speech. Anticipating new guidelines and incentives under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana,’ the industry is optimistic about India’s rooftop solar energy transition.

The commitment to rooftop solarization and providing free electricity to one crore households is expected to infuse competitiveness and innovation into the solar sector. With the potential to contribute significantly to achieving the government’s target of making India net zero by 2070, this boost is poised to generate employment opportunities for the youth engaged in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance within the solar industry. The interim budget has successfully unlocked the true economic potential of India’s rooftop sector.”

Daaji (Kamlesh D. Patel) – Guide of Heartfulness and President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission: “It is heartening to see that spiritual and conference tourism has been on a rise since the last year and that the focus is very much there on this area in this year’s budget too. The Indian Government is making provisions towards spiritual pilgrimage through Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive or PRASAD Scheme and I think it is a great milestone. People from around the world are flocking to centres in India like Kanha Shanti Vanam that enable inner transformation. Last year alone Kanha Shanti Vanam had half a million footfalls. There are new airports in the pipeline, better connectivity and accessibility by road, rail or air, better infrastructure and technology connecting cities through tier 1, 2, 3 and 4. It can help generate more livelihoods and create an ecosystem as an economic booster. This is a remarkable time for tourism sector with visitors globally who want to come to India to explore and benefit from spiritual tourism here.”

Satyendra Prasad Narala – Managing Director, Regency Ceramics: “The government’s initiative to facilitate homeownership for the middle class is a commendable step toward inclusive growth. Moreover, the commitment to construct another 2 lakh houses and providing over seventy percent of these houses under PM Awas Yojana to women as sole or joint owners not only enhances their dignity but also promotes gender equality in rural housing development. These two schemes is a big positive for the building materials industry.

Regency has always been a trusted supplier of tiles for most government schemes and with innovative manufacturing practices will provide natural tiles at lower prices with better durability to the beneficiaries of these two schemes. We welcome these transformative measures for a brighter, more equitable future, and a flourishing ceramic tiles sector.”

Karun Tadepalli – CEO and Co-Founder, byteXL: “We commend the government’s efforts in improving the education sector under the National Education Policy. This forward-thinking approach has led to increase in the female enrollment in higher education by 28 percent and in the STEM courses by 43 percent. As the government is also aiming to promote medical education with new medical colleges, they might bring in more enrollments from the female candidates.

It is encouraging to see that under the Skill India Mission, the government has trained more than 1.4 cr people and 54 lac more are undergoing the upskilling and reskilling programs. This will not only help in the overall technological knowledge growth of the country but also will lead to key innovations and developments. This will assist in increasing the digital literacy and help in reducing the digital divide”

Binu Jacob – MD and CEO, Experion Technologies: “As we assess the Union Budget for 2024, it’s crucial to acknowledge certain aspects that merit attention. While the government’s recognition of the importance of education and skill development in the youth is commendable, sustaining and expanding these efforts is imperative, especially considering the prediction that 20% of the global labor force will be supplied by India by 2047. The continuation of educational investments is a necessary step, and we hope to see tangible outcomes.

The expansion of airports and railway corridors, particularly in tier II and III cities, has potential benefits for accelerating the growth of Global Capacity Centres in states like Kerala. However, the impact of such infrastructure initiatives needs to be monitored closely, considering the challenges associated with execution and long-term sustainability.

The promise of interest-free loans for research and development in sunrise sectors is a positive note. It holds the potential to stimulate innovation and drive the startup ecosystem – I am particularly excited to see how the youth will make use of this opportunity to set up and grow startups in emerging tech like AI. Yet, the execution and accessibility of these opportunities will be critical in determining their actual impact on the ground.

The focus on ensuring the welfare of farmers and the agriculture sector is a step in the right direction. It remains to be seen how effectively these measures will address the complex challenges faced by the agricultural sector and whether they will lead to tangible improvements for farmers – what would make a real difference is bringing about policy changes that will enable the export of our produce. Export controls need to be unblocked and we need to work on an inter-governmental level to have our produce accepted internationally.

In our march to becoming a 7 trillion dollar economy by 2030, we need to focus on continuance in policies for infrastructure development, which will in turn improve supply chains and thereby lower costs for global competency”

Manish Rastogi, Chief Executive Officer, Zee Learn Ltd commented, “The Budget has been on expected lines, considering it was a vote-on-account budget. As per the FM, female enrollment in higher education has increased by twenty-eight per cent in ten years. as also a 43 per cent rate of female enrolment in STEM courses, which is heartening. The Budget’s focus on the poor, women, youth and farmers will go a long way to ensure a developed India. The additional funds for the infrastructure sector will surely benefit the overall economy. Another important highlight is that 1.4 crore youth were trained under the Skill India Mission.”

“Going forward, reduction in education loan rates will go a long way in turning the idea of Vikshit Bharat into a reality. Steps should be taken to integrate more technology into education to bridge the digital divide. A lowered GST rate would also be better. It seems the FM has kept that for the full Budget to be presented later in the year.”

Manoj Kumar Sharma, the Founder of Ashnam Home: “The interim budget seems overall good, and it is good to see we are on a good growth trajectory. As an MSME, I feel the government is looking at the sector proactively, making provisions, and developing policies that would benefit them. The training for the MSME sector is a good move, and this will help us compete globally and make Bharat Atma Nirbhar.”

Winny Patro, CEO and Co-Founder- Recordent India: “Culturally, we have got habituated to tremendous, transformative announcements during budget sessions. But I strongly believe the budgets are not always about transformation, it should always be in the frame of looking at how financially we have done, take notes and plan measures from it. Budget means plan financially better, see where we stand in terms of deficit and look at bridging gaps. From the interim budget that our honourable Finance Minister has announced today, it is quite a balanced and hopeful one. Specially, about the highlights for businesses particularly MSMEs, I’ll like to take note of schemes extended for garment manufacturers which I have been anticipating and “Loan for 50 years” initiative. These would provide quite an impetus for the sector and also a lot of relief for entrepreneurs in the garment manufacturing industry. The struggle of cash-flows for small and medium businesses has been perennial and has troubled entrepreneurs across the country post Co-VID, Loan for 50 years scheme is a welcoming one”.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green: “Today’s announcements on the interim budget for Viksit Bharat illustrate the government’s steadfast commitment to creating a developed India by 2047. The significant progress gained in all aspects of infrastructure physical, digital, and social over the last decade demonstrates our multifaceted economic management, which effortlessly aligns focus on infrastructure building with aggressive capital expenditure; with inclusive and people-centric development.

The allocation of 2.78 lakh crores to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is a clear indication of strides toward progress, particularly in fortifying the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. The government’s commitment to the expansion and fortification of the e-vehicle ecosystem, promote deployment of EVs for the masses, coupled with support for manufacturing and charging infrastructure, marks a pivotal moment.

The government remains resolute in its commitment to expanding and sustaining this ecosystem, fostering entrepreneurial opportunities for vendors engaged in the supply and installation of charging infrastructure. Simultaneously, it aims to create employment opportunities for the youth equipped with technical skills in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of these vehicles.

The EV sector was expecting an announcement in the interim budget regarding the continuation of the Fame scheme for demand generation. We are hopeful to have this coming in the weeks ahead.

We receive this budget with great enthusiasm, confidence and hope for the coming Amrit Kaal.”

Dr. Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group: The Union Interim Budget 2024 intends to be accessible and inclusive for all. It prioritizes the education sector among several others and is a step forward from last year’s focus on job creation. It promotes skill development, boosts employment, and encourages entrepreneurship – all towards the Government’s larger vision of “Viksit Bharat”. We welcome the well-rounded approach of bolstering the startup ecosystem, investments in progressive technologies like AI integrating with education and emphasis on digital literacy as well as STEM education, especially for women. If these policies are delivered to their full potential and spirit, we will not be far from Bharat attaining global leadership.

Empowering our youth is a critical success factor towards our nation’s prosperity, therefore, 43 Crore loans sanctioned in this Budget will go a long way to encourage entrepreneurship among them. Moreover, reforms under NEP 2020 such as PM Shri will that deliver top-quality teaching, and nurture holistic and well-rounded individuals is much much-needed intervention that will impact at the grassroots level.

The Government’s strong focus on sports has already generated a new civilizational confidence in our sportspersons. Our highest-ever medal tally in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games in 2023 stands as a testimony of this.

Karthik Kondepudi, Partner – Herbochem: “As we navigate this era of change and progress, let us seize the opportunities presented by this budget to drive innovation, promote sustainability, and contribute to the overall well-being of our nation.

Embracing the transformative power of new-age technologies and data, the budget has laid a solid foundation for fostering innovation and sustainable growth. The establishment of a one-lakh crore corpus with a fifty-year interest-free loan is a commendable initiative. This financial boost aims to catalyse long-term research and innovation in sunrise domains, providing the private sector with the necessary resources to scale up and drive progress.

Furthermore, the commitment to green growth is evident through the introduction of a new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry. This forward-looking initiative supports the development of environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-Agri-inputs. This not only aligns with global sustainability goals but also signifies a shift towards regenerative manufacturing practices.

In the realm of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, these budgetary measures hold promising implications. The emphasis on bio-pharmaceuticals aligns with the growing demand for innovative and sustainable healthcare solutions. The focus on green alternatives may incentivize the pharma and Nutra industry to explore eco-friendly practices and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future.

Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC: Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) welcomes Union Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement to make our country Viksit Bharat by FY2047. Exporters will agree with Hon. FM that globalization is being redefined and a new world order is emerging after the pandemic. For gem & jewellery exporters, the recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor is a strategic and economic game changer for India and others. Just as the CEPA trade agreement has increased jewellery exports to the Middle East, we welcome bilateral trade agreements with European countries and others to boost gem & jewellery exports. We welcome FM coining real G.D.P. growth as well as her emphasis on Governance, Development & Performance. Before FM presents the full budget and detailed roadmap for the pursuit of ‘Viksit Bharat’ in July, Council seeks inclusion of gem & jewellery artisans and craftsmen in the PM-Vishwakarma Yojana provides end-to-end support scheme.  Of the increase outlay of Rs. 11.11 lakh crore announced by the FM, we seek allocation towards modern infrastructure such as Jewellery Parks for boosting gem & jewellery exports from India. As 80%+ of gem & jewellery industry are MSMEs, we urge FM to include Government schemes for Gems and Jewellery.that will help the sector compete globally,  including the skilling and training for MSMEs.  We eagerly await FM’s detailed strategy for Amrit Kal and an economic export policy with Sustainable Reform, Perform and Transform earning Sabka Vishwas for the next 5 years of unprecedented development.