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Industry Reactions On Union Budget 2023-24

Honorable Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has presented the Union Budget 2023-24 yesterday February 1, 2023 in parliament.

Here are key highlights of the Budget 2023.

– Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman upped the rebate limit for paying income taxes to Rs 7 lakh/annum.

– The tax exemption limit has been increased to Rs 3 lakh. 

– The new applicable tax rates hold zero taxes for those earning upto Rs. 3 lahks, 5% for Rs. 3-6 lakhs, 10% for Rs. 6-9 lakhs, 15% for Rs. 9-12 lakhs, 20% for Rs. 12-15 lakhs and 30% for Rs. 15 lahks and beyond.  

– Railways accorded its highest-ever capital outlay: highest ever at Rs. 2.40 lakh crore. 

– The agriculture credit target would be raised to Rs. 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry and fisheries. 

– Setting up an Agriculture Accelerator Fund to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas.  

– The agriculture credit target would be raised to Rs. 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry and fisheries. 

– The budget provided Rs. 35,000 crores for priority capital investments towards achieving energy transition and net-zero objectives as well as energy security by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas.

Industry Reactions

Arun Kumar Gupta, CFO, Newgen Software said, The Union Budget 2023-24 showcases the government’s focus on developing both the physical and digital infrastructure. The boost in proposed capital expenditure by 33% is a clear step towards ensuring the nation’s long-term economic development. Also, it was heartening to find that the government has allocated INR 35,000 crore towards reaching net zero emissions and achieving energy transition. Green growth has also been listed among the seven priorities.”

“In continuation to the previous trends, there are some other initiatives that will further improve the ease of doing business, provide digital thrust, and simplify regulations and compliance. The increase in personal income tax rebate limit and raise in exemption will be a relief for the salaried class. However, no direct benefits were provided to the information technology sector.” He added.

Puneet Khurana, Group Head – Human Resources, Policybazaar and Paisabazaar said, “This year’s budget is commendable as it recognizes that the power of our country lies with the youth. It infuses new energy into India’s youth power by including it in the seven priority focus areas. Employers also understand that the future of the workforce lies in upskilling and reskilling their employees for overall organizational success and enhanced workforce management. The budget focuses on creating more job opportunities and skilling & training the youth of the country.”

“Under the PMKVY 4.0 scheme, the country’s youth will learn new-age courses such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Data Analytics, and many more. This will open a myriad of opportunities to augment their professional career and add value to businesses worldwide. The role of MSMEs has been instrumental in providing employment opportunities and contributing to the overall growth of the Indian economy. Today, the role of Human Resources (HR) has evolved to be more strategic in attaining the country’s economic development.” He added

Partha Patnaik, Global Head of Human Resources at Profilics said, “The announcement of opening up three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI), at top educational institutions, addresses the need for AI-led skill-development, which is crucial for a future-ready India and will provide a further boost to the already growing tech talent pool of the country. This would encourage businesses to invest in core R&D on AI and Robotics, unlocking India’s technological potential and accelerating our Prime Minister’s ambitious goal of a $5 trillion GDP by FY2025.”

Sudhakar Raja – Founder and CEO – of TRST Score said, “The two new slabs that have been formed for income tax reasons would benefit salaried professionals. For all salaried professionals, the increase in the income tax rebate from 5 lakhs to 7 lakhs is a pleasant change. A new tax band at the 20% tax rate is being implemented, and it ranges from 12 lakhs to 15 lakhs. Students will have the opportunity to learn and find employment based on the new skill centres, AI-driven hubs, and data being provided for analysis by start-ups. The new national data governance policy will open up new opportunities and insights that can drive businesses.”

“Numerous people will find work as a result of the new nursing schools, and the pharmaceutical sector will benefit from incentives to support R&D by having more options for employment and skill development. The government’s effort to improve R&D in the pharmaceutical industry ought to be applauded. The boost in capital spending will create jobs for many people and help tide the downturn brought about by the western economies. Another intriguing project that has the potential to revolutionise the IT sector is artificial intelligence.” He added

He further said, “The removal of 3400 legislative requirements and 39,000 compliances will make doing business in India easier. Green growth has been given sectoral importance which is a welcome move.”

Nupoor Pradhan, Head – People Operations, SoCheers said, “With the introduction of some crucial initiatives, the 2023 budget has indeed highlighted some significant and impactful provisions for salaried employees which will definitely enhance the financial growth, especially the younger generation. This will open up more prospects for them to plan their investments.”

“Today we see a lot of our team members moving from their hometowns to metro cities for bigger and better opportunities, hence the revision of tax slabs to tax exemption up to 7 Lakhs as well as the introduction of initiatives that empower salaried employees will further strengthen their decisions in the age of high cost of livings. Therefore, this bold step shows the government’s interest in securing the financial future of their people.” She added.

Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-founder, QuoDeck said, “We at QuoDeck believe that the increase of 33% in the capital expenditure in this year’s Union Budget will boost infrastructure development in the country, which ultimately leads to long-term job creation. Particularly in light of what many say is an approaching global recession, this kind of cushion is extremely important to sustain employment in the country. It’s also a good thing that the government is continuing its focus on skilling and on-job training, particularly in new-age areas such as AI, robotics, drones and soft skills.”

V. Srinivasan, Chairman, eMudhra said, “The emphasis on digitizing India in the Union Budget is commendable. The vision for Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based India. The proposed National Data Governance Policy will help in boosting data-led development and encourage technological growth. The push to create Centers of Excellence for AI will help create a digital ‘Aatmanirbhar’ India and promote AI based solutions across sectors. The introduction of Entity Digi Locker for business enterprises will facilitate online storing of documents which will accelerate the digital transformation of the country.”

Sourabh Deorah, CEO & Co-Founder, Advantage Club said, “Budget 2023 was presented with an impressive people-oriented agenda to address global challenges and strengthen the economy. It’s a well-balanced budget focusing on capital formation, green energy, and R&D with an increased tax rebate for the middle class. New tax slabs announced by the government for the middle class are a big step in the right direction. Still, as the government has made the new tax regime a default regime, they should have carried deductions like 80c, HRA, and medical insurance premiums from the old regime to the new one. “

“The other sector where the government has made a big announcement is for startups. The tax holiday extension and allowing the carryover of losses from 7 to 10 years and across the change of shareholding pattern is significant on the ground level. While the primary focus was on the core sectors – Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing & Transportation, entrepreneurs were assured of transparency and support”. He added.

Vidur Gupta, Director, Spectrum Talent Management said, “Since unemployment stood at 9% as of Dec 2022, Union Budget 2023 suggested measures to focus on Sustainable Employment Generation, Self-Employment & micro-entrepreneurship to revive the job market. Youth employment and unemployment continue to be major challenges across all groups. Emphasis on MSME through the Credit Line guarantee, various reliefs scheme, and reducing credit TP by 1% infuses more strength towards growth in the MSME Sector which composes 39% of the market towards employment.

This budget focuses on job creation & upliftment of youth through various training schemes, through DBT & Jan Dhan Accounts, and also providing stipend support to 47 lakh youth through various apprenticeship programs.” He added.

Navneet Singh, CEO of Avsar said, “In the Union Budget 2023, the Financial Minister puts forward how India’s economy has moved up from 10th to 5th biggest in 9 years along with per capita income doubling up to Rs. 1.97 lakhs. This budget focuses on 7 main key points which are; Inclusive development, Reaching the last mile, Infrastructure and investment, Green Growth, Financial sector, and Digital public infrastructure for agriculture.”

“Significant importance was given to uplift the youth of the nation by upskilling them and creating jobs for them. The key focus is on education, the government aims to open a national digital library for the youth in rural areas, hire 38800 teachers and open 740 schools in tribal areas to provide them with all the necessary skills. Job training and upskilling the youth is the major concern of the budget this year as the government is looking to create jobs for the youth and make them ready for the job market.” He said.

He further added. “Other than this various skill centers are also being opened for training them in all the vital international skills which would make them ready for the international job market. Moreover, revamping the guarantee scheme for MSME with Rs. 900 cr infusion would result in insulating them from the burden of interest rates. The Union Budget 2024 opens the path for the government to use infrastructure capital expenditures to underpin the economy for yet another year. More so, the new tax regime might come out as a fresh change in the hiring industry, opening possibilities in the market”

Amit D Mishra, CEO & Founder, iMocha said, “The Union Government’s budget has rightly identified the need to ramp up skill development and upskilling among youth to make them job ready for the future. Announcements such as the setting up of 3 AI Centers of Excellence to train youth on AI skills, and the decision to set up a unified Skill India Digital platform with a focus on Coding, AI, IoT, and Robotics related skills is going to be the game changer for Indian SaaS and technology industry. Further, 30 Skill India International Centers will also be set up across states, and that will ensure that there is a uniformity of quality talent in all the states.”

“Digital skill assessment and upskilling platforms such as iMocha can be highly useful in executing these plans as we already have the world’s largest skill library of 3000+ skills across coding, technical, functional, soft skills, and communication skills. The Government can adopt a collaborative public-private partnership model to make sector-specific skill development & assessment tools available for the rural youth and ensure inclusive development for all. The ease of doing business initiatives and simplification of processes will also encourage a lot of new entrepreneurs to enter various domains and leverage cutting-edge tech to create innovative and impactful solutions in areas such as agriculture technologies, healthcare, manufacturing, etc. We expect to see such initiatives go a long way in creating democratic and easy access to advanced skills for the Indian youth in the years ahead!” He added.

Anand Dewan, Group CEO, BYLD Group said, “This year’s budget has indeed been a positive one bringing hope and happiness to the Youth of the country. The announcement of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, will give the push and boost skilling in the country. Given the current scenario, the initiative of skilling, reskilling, and upskilling in the major industry segments will contribute greatly not just to the companies but also to pushing the economy in the upward curve. Being a young country, it is imperative that the focus remains on the youth as well. Only then will we be able to reach and achieve the goals we have set.”

Note: Article was originally published on SightsInPlus featuring Vidur Gupta, Director of Spectrum Talent Management.