Union Budget Announcements Focuses on USD $5 Trillion Economy

By: DT News Network
July, 06, 2019

The much awaited ‘Union Budget’ for 2019-20 was announced last day by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. She spoke over the economic survey of the country and then announced the policies and strategies of the government for economic reform. The budget shows the vision of the Modi government to transform the nation into a well-developed country to achieve USD $5 trillion economy target in years to come. Particularly for the ICT industry, the government showed a tendency for ease of doing business for startups and SMEs. ICT market foresees that most announcements will be key in driving the growth of this Industry at an excellent pace. DT has compiled below reactions of key ICT players over the budget announcement. 

“It Is Great to See Focus On Making India a $5 Trillion Economy By 2025”

Sumeer Chandra, MD, HP Inc. India  

“It is great to see the focus on making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, through investments in infrastructure, digital economy and job creation. In the short term, the Rs. 70,000 crore capital boost for PSU banks will help improve business confidence and overall liquidity situation. The government’s intent in driving job creation across sectors by reskilling and upskilling the youth is a strong positive. Initiatives to prepare 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries through 100 new incubators under ASPIRE scheme and training 10 million youth under the Kaushal Vikas Yojana with new-age skills in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, 3-D printing, virtual reality and robotics, will help create a large pool of skilled manpower in India.”

"The Budget is Inclusive and Very Good for Economic Growth"

Suresh Pansari, Co-founder and Director, RP tech India

“The Union Budget 2019-20, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on July 5th is a progressive budget, which will bolster the growth of the Indian economy. In this budget, the Government has given a lot of thrust on the development of infrastructure and agriculture sectors. The Government has also prioritized the allocation of a large amount of funds for the betterment of marginalized section of the society. The current account deficit has been contended to have minimal effect on inflation. As far as the technology hardware industry is concerned, the Government has increased the import duty on networking products. We feel that the move will encourage local manufacturing and ultimately aid the Make in India initiative. While several provisions in the budget are pro-poor and pro-economic development, it is a bit hard hitting for the rich and super-rich category. The increase in the Income tax rates for individuals and HUF from 35+ per cent to 42+ per cent will discourage Indians from better tax compliance. These new tax rates are very high as compared to any other countries in Asia. Overall the budget is inclusive and very good for economic growth.”

“We Completely Hail The Government's Vision Of A New India”

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra

“We completely hail the government's vision of a New India that will thrive on the confluence of new age digital technologies, quality education and apt skilling. We look forward to partnering with the industry and academia to nurture the start-up ecosystem, and to fuel a culture of research and innovation that will help travel the road to India becoming a five trillion dollar economy.”

“Steps Like Exemption Of Scrutiny On Angel Taxes Will Help Bolster The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship”

Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India

“We welcome the Government of India’s Union Budget 2019 that promises an all-round and inclusive growth of the country. The reforms presented in the Budget 2019 reiterate government’s commitment to foster a friendly environment for small businesses, women-owned MSMEs and startups. While steps like exemption of scrutiny on angel taxes, e-verification of taxation and dedicated TV channel for the startup community, will help bolster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country; the government’s increased focus on providing better incentives to women entrepreneurs is a commendable initiative. The Budget also offers big slew of reforms for the MSME sector such as creation of payment platform for filing bills, easy access to loans up to INR 1 crore within 59 minutes and credit boost through INR 350 crore interest subvention - all of which will encourage more people to start their business journeys. With India poised to become a $3 trillion economy this year, we at GoDaddy, are committed to continue working with the government and our partner ecosystem, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to successfully grow their ventures online, with our easy-to-use and affordable tools and solutions.”

"The Increased Spending on High Tech Education and High Emphasis on Digital India will Increase The Demand for IT Products"

Marthesh Nagendra, Country Manager - India & SAARC, NETGEAR

“Government’s target to make India a $3 Trillion dollar economy is a welcome move as it increases the GDP and spending power. The increased spending on high tech education and high emphasis on digital India will increase the demand for IT products. We feel extremely optimistic as the budget is quite inclusive this time.”

“The Directive To Eliminate Tax Scrutiny On Funds Raised By Startups Will Make Business Operations A Bit Easier”

Kushal Nahata, CEO & Co-founder, FarEye
“The government’s focus on building a digital India is again highlighted with its willingness to train people on AI, IoT and Big Data. These are key technologies that will transform the supply chain and logistics industry. The initiative to invest 100 lakh crore in infrastructure will definitely have a positive impact on the nation’s logistics and transportation industry both from a business and connectivity perspective. Also, the directive to eliminate tax scrutiny on funds raised by startups will make business operations a bit easier.”

“We Are Pleased To Note The Government's Initiatives In Promoting Digital Payments”

Anjali Amar, Country Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions 

“We welcome the Union Budget's focus on closing the technology skills gap in the face of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Robotics. The economic and societal benefits that these technologies are poised to deliver means that it is imperative to reskill India's IT workforce. This will ensure that tomorrow's IT executives will be armed with the necessary knowledge to future-proof India's digital future. We are also pleased to note the Government's initiatives in promoting digital payments. This is a recognition that digital payments sector is no longer considered niche and is crucial for the digital transformation of India. As India strives towards a digital and cashless economy, the Government should also continue to strengthen its cyber-security framework. A robust data protection system which is technology-neutral and based on international norms with principles of transparency, accountability will be the catalyst to fuel investment and innovation in new services.” 

"Tech Startups in Tthe Country Will Benefit from The Elimination of IT Scrutiny of Founders and Investors"

Sanjay Goyal, VP at Times Internet and Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig

"I would like to applaud the efforts of the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for delivering a well-balanced budget. Her maiden budget is a step in the right direction for India and especially the IT sector. The tech startups in the country will benefit from the elimination of IT scrutiny of founders and investors who are duly filing returns. This will also help overcome the funding crunch and boost the startup ecosystem. I am also thrilled with the announcement of the proposed expansion of the Skill India initiative to include areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D printing, Robotics, and Virtual Reality. This will help train our youth for overseas jobs. Allocation of Rs 400 crore for world-class higher education in FY20 is also the need of the hour. Formation of National Research Foundation shall go a long way in calibrating India’s talent pool.”

“Ease Of Angel Tax Will Make It Smoother For Investors To Put In Their Money In Startups”

Neel Juriasingani, CEO & Co-founder, Datacultr

"Startups in the technology industry can take clues out of the various topics touched upon in this budget, to understand the direction and focus. The vision of the government to train 10 million industry-relevant skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and IoT opens up great avenues for companies & start-ups like us in the space, as well as for those working on building digital infrastructure of a connected India. Besides, other measures announced such as ease of angel tax will make it smoother for investors to put in their money in startups."

“Training of 10 Million In Industry-Relevant Skills Will Help Address The Skill-Shortage Of Technology And IT”

Ashutosh Harbola, CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka

"The budget looks to be a Truly Digital one in nature and strong steps are seen for the upcoming fiscal year. From new channels to be started under the Doordarshan bouquet to provide a platform for startups to disseminate information in the industry to Bharat Net which is targeting internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat in the country are all welcome steps. Also, training of 10 million in industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, and Big Data will help address the severe skill-shortage of technology and IT. We are really optimistic that the digital path taken by the government is surely matching the $3 Trillion vision."

“Government Also Has A Positive View Towards The Artificial Intelligence Technology”

Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia, Oncam

“The Government has earmarked Rs. 50 lakh crore for the development of railway infrastructure. A sizeable part of it will be diverted towards avant-garde surveillance solutions for smart management across railway stations as well as various nodes in railways. The Union Government's focus is also on rural infrastructure expansion and we believe that surveillance will be an integral element in this development. Another key takeaway for the surveillance industry is that the Government also has a positive view towards the Artificial Intelligence technology and will be promoting indigenous research and development around AI, Big Data, and Robotics. Further, it has taken a slew of measures aimed at the Indian startup ecosystem, who will be looking towards the AI technology and security for development of high-end products and ensuring seamless processes. We appreciate the Finance Minister and her team for meticulously balancing all dynamics to bring about favourable market results."

“We Welcome The Government's Vision To Train 10 Million In Industry-Relevant Skills Like AI, IoT, And Big Data”

Rashi Gupta, Chief Data Scientist & Co-founder, Rezo.AI

"Training support for supporting advanced technical jobs in the space of AI, IoT is a welcome move. We welcome the government's vision to train 10 million in industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, and Big Data because these industries will be a much larger industry for India in the next 3-5 years as compared to what we have seen in IT over last 2 decades. Startups will have an integral role to play towards this growth, so trained resources availability shall help India gain the next leap in the future." 

“We Welcome The Government's Initiative Of Setting Up A New Channel Of Start-Ups”

Kartik Agarwal, CEO, Staunch

“Budget 2019 opens new windows for the Start-up ecosystem. We welcome the government's initiative of setting up a new channel of Start-ups to disseminate information in the industry. This will serve as a platform for companies like us to better understand the opportunities and gaps, match-making with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning. Also, the ease in Angel Taxes will help boost investment in Start-ups”  

“We Welcome The Move To Organise A Global Investors’ Meet In India”

Rakesh Soni, CEO & Co-founder, LoginRadius 

"We would like to congratulate the Modi Govt 2.0 on Budget 2019. It captures the Government’s vision of New India accurately, promoting ease of business & living. As a startup ourselves, we welcome the move to organise a Global Investors’ Meet in India to ensure equal opportunities for startups with growth potential. It will put India on the global map as a land of business opportunities. The initiatives to train the Indian youth in technologies of the future - AI, IoT and Big Data is another welcome move by the Government. With more than 50% of population below 25, India has a significant advantage compared to the developed nations and these skills will serve as doorways to help contribute to the global workforce's of the future."

“We Welcome The Initiatives Announced To Boost The Start-Up Ecosystem”

Yogesh Bhatia, Founder, PreLoved Device

“We welcome the initiatives announced by the honorable Finance Minister to boost the start-up ecosystem. The measures made by government will encourage fresh investment in the sector because of the set off of losses and increase in the period of exemptions of capital gains. The proposed TV Channel will be useful to prospective startups and rationalization of requisite declaration filling will make it easier for startups to operate and focus on their core activities.”

“25% Corporate Tax For Business Up To INR 400 Cr Is A Great Relief”

Sriram S, Co-Founder, iValue InfoSolutions Pvt Ltd

“Interim budget stole the limelight on popular front being just before the elections. Hence the scope for more SOPs were limited with challenges to lower tax collections and lower growth issues. With limited options the government did try to send positive signals for reviving business growth and enhance consumer spending. Good to see focus and thrust on basic needs like water, electricity, clean cooking medium in rural areas. 25% corporate tax for business up to INR 400 Cr is a great relief to all growing entities providing employment.  INR 70,000 Cr capital infusion into government owned banks this year to boost credit along with boosting capex on Digital initiatives Pension benefits to INR 3 Cr retail traders and shopkeepers whose annual turnover is upto Rs. 1.5 Cr is a good move. The MSMEs, an integral part of India's economy, has witnessed a better allotment of funds. Loans up to INR 1 Cr for GST registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans @2% interest will help in growing business at affordable costs. 1.5L deduction on affordable homes and EV should help in boosting domestic real estate sentiments along with promoting green commute.”

“The Move To Lower The GST On Electric Vehicles Has Opened New Avenues For The Industry”

Debajit Roy, Country Director, QAD India

"The government's move to lower the GST on Electric Vehicles has opened new avenues for the industry. Reducing the GST on EVs from 12 per cent to 5 per cent can be seen as a big step in favour of sales of EV cars in India. The deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the loan interest to purchase an electric vehicle in India will not just benefit the industry but also for consumers who are looking to switch to electric vehicles. There is pool of the companies emerging in this space to evolve the entire ecosystem and the opportunities created by government will enable these companies to penetrate fast. Moreover with the liquidity gap being addressed in this budget, the industry will even move forward towards economy's growth"

“We Welcome The Government’s Impetus In Making India A Digital Economy”

Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales, Sophos India & SAARC

“With India poised to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years, we welcome the Government’s impetus in making India a digital economy. The proposal of ensuring the growth of SMEs through various initiatives including establishment of an online portal for MSMEs for filing of bills or the government’s efforts at improving the cybersecurity skills of our youth in next generation technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Robotics, aims at meeting the huge demand of skills required in IT and cybersecurity while we look at strengthening the digital transformation wave. With cyber threats being detected on servers (39%), network (35%), endpoints (8%) and mobile (18%) and 89% of IT managers believing cybersecurity recruitment is a challenge, there still remains a pressing need for further investment in technologies for data protection and IT Security, both from the Government and organization’s standpoint.” 

“Credit Of Up To Rs. 1 Crore Within An Hour For SMEs Will Enable Businesses To Increase Investment In R&D”

Somesh Misra, VP Operations, Deskera

“With India having more than 50 million SMEs, the 2019 budget seems incredibly promising for further augmenting their growth and development. Also, with the Government announcing the establishment of an online portal to enable filling of bills for MSMEs, this has the potential to materially impact the SME landscape in India. Additionally, by offering credit of up to Rs. 1 crore within an hour for SMEs, will enable businesses to increase investment in R&D, upskilling and bringing in technological innovations to work. Government’s efforts to improve the skills of our youth in newer areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Robotics will definitely help the Indian IT services sector to ride on the digital transformation wave. Lastly, the announcement of easing angel tax on start-ups has also given relief to the startup community. All of these initiatives will truly be a game changer for the Indian economy and ensure the country achieves its target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.”

“Budget 2019 Has Witnessed Giant Leaps Towards Building A Cashless Economy”

Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder & CEO, Zeta

‘’The Budget 2019 has witnessed giant leaps towards building a cashless economy. One of the biggest steps is developing the country’s first payment system (One Nation-One Card)for transport which will be a holistic card for citizens for digital payments across travel, shopping etc. The decision of not charging customers for digital payments and waiving off the MDR charges is also a push in the right direction to encourage every citizen to carry out digital transactions and make India a less cash economy. Additionally, the Government of India has made a much-needed move for working professionals by bringing in ease and convenience by proposing to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable along with making them available with pre-filled tax returns which aims to reduce the time taken to file a tax return as well as enable accurate reporting of income and taxes. The digital push also reflects in the tax filing process as with the launch of a scheme of faceless assessment in electronic mode involving no human interface. The government has introduced several measure that are in line with the ‘Digital India’ vision and we welcome the same.” 

“The Budget 2019 Is Paving The Way For A Brighter “Future For India’s Start-Up Ecosystem”

Vishal Gondal, CEO and Founder GOQii

“The Budget 2019, is paving the way for a brighter future for India’s start-up ecosystem with easing of the angel tax thereby ensuring more entrepreneurs join the start-up bandwagon. The idea to have a separate channel for start-ups under the aegis of Doordarshan will help  disseminate critical information on a real-time basis to budding entrepreneurs in the tier II and III markets particularly thus enabling them to help realise the Government of India’s vision of becoming a USD $3 trillion economy this year.”

“We Welcome The Government's Initiative Of Setting Up A New Channel Of Start-Ups”

Kartik Agarwal, CEO, Staunch

“Budget 2019 opens new windows for the Start-up ecosystem. We welcome the government's initiative of setting up a new channel of Start-ups to disseminate information in the industry. This will serve as a platform for companies like us to better understand the opportunities and gaps, match-making with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning. Also, the ease in Angel Taxes will help boost investment in Start-ups.”

“The Focus On Amplification Of Skills In New-Age Tech Domains Will Also Help To Address The Severe Skills Shortage”

Pankaj Muthe, Program Manager, Academic Program, APAC, Qlik

“The government’s continued push to improve the quality of higher education in India is extremely commendable. The allocation of INR 400 crore to create a world-class higher education ecosystem in the country will definitely improve the quality of talent that joins the workforce. The focus on the amplification of skills in new-age tech domains such as AI, IoT, Big Data, and Robotics will also help to address the severe skills shortage that businesses across India are facing at present, apart from opening newer avenues of career growth for Indian professionals. The government should also make stronger efforts to incorporate data literacy training at the grassroots level and incentivise organisations to launch data literacy training initiatives for their employees. Doing so will equip current and future Indian professionals with the required knowledge and competencies to navigate the data-driven world of tomorrow.”

“Budget 2019 Is Forward Looking With An Eye Towards Making India A $5 Trillion Economy”

Prashant Ganti, Head of Product Management - Global Tax, Accounting and Payroll Solutions at Zoho Finance

“The budget 2019 is forward looking with an eye towards making India a $5 trillion economy. It aims to create a business ecosystem characterised by easy access to funds, simplified GST compliance, and availability of payment collection infrastructure for MSMEs that can help improve their cash flow.”

“The Removal Of IT Scrutiny For Angel Funding Will Further Help In Resolving Tax Issues For The Startups”

Amit More, Founder and CEO, Finzy.

“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget for 2019 has a lot of welcome changes and initiatives to push India in direction of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy in the coming years. The proposed Budget tries to maintain a balance between growth, inclusion and fiscal prudence. The TDS of 2% to be levied on cash withdrawal over 1 crore rupees in a year is a step towards reinforcing digital payment in the country. Also, the removal of IT scrutiny for angel funding will further help in resolving tax issues for the startups.  Overall the budget comes as a support for startups by creating a specialized pool of talent and an environment for smooth business operations.”  

“We Are Delighted To See That Government Is Putting Efforts To Improve The Skills Of Our Youth”

Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder and CEO, Haptik

“The demand for specialised skillsets in niche technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning has increased drastically. The government has recognized and addressed this schism by pledging to train 10 million youth in industry relevant skills like AI, IoT and Big Data. We, at Haptik are also constantly empowering the developers and enthusiastic engineers to build next-generation conversational AI on a daily basis. We are delighted to see that our government is also putting efforts to improve the skills of our youth in newer areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics.”

“Government’s Focus On Forming A National Research Foundation Is A Landmark Announcement”

Sanjay Gupta (India Head), Vice President and India Country Manager, NXP

“We welcome the government’s move to lower the GST rate from 12% to 5% for purchase of Electric Vehicles and the vision to make India as the global manufacturing hub. The push for FAME II by providing the right incentives can encourage a faster conversion rate. Semi-conductors and host of other components will be vital in developing the EV Ecosystem in the country and as NXP, we will play a vital role to foster this goal. Initiatives such as complete elimination of customs duty on some EV components could prove to be a game changer for the auto-industry. Currently, over 80% of the cars in India use NXP chip for RFID key. Research and Development is crucial for an advanced ecosystem of infrastructure to exist. The government’s focus on incentivizing research by forming a National Research Foundation and encouraging foreign engineers and researchers to come and collaborate is a landmark announcement for India’s electronic industry. For NXP, India is majorly the innovation hub. We run three design/ R&D centres in India which innovate technologies for the world. There are more than 2000 people in Design Centers (Noida, Bangalore and Hyderabad) who are involved in development of semiconductor hardware and software designs across various verticals – Automotive (connected cars), digital payments (NFC enabled), 5G (RF solutions) and many more.”

“The Government Has Proposed Schemes To Build Skills, Which Is Key Takeaway”

Rahul Sharma, Managing Director-India, LogMeIn

"We would like to congratulate India's first female Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, for presenting an admirable budget. The Union Budget is a step in the right direction and strengthening the ICT infrastructure and the digital penetration in rural geographies. The Finance Minister has introduced the PPP model for BharatNet and has set up a committee to rationalize tax structure, review USOF, and the spectrum usage charges. This will considerably improve the industry dynamics as revenues continue to fade in the market. The Honourable Minister has further proposed several schemes to build skills, infrastructure, and conduct R&D around cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, which is another key takeaway."

“The Budget Has Very Little To Offer For Immediate New India”

Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC

“The budget while precisely laying the foundation of the role technology has to play for distant New India, has very little to offer for immediate New India. The expectation was some out of box thoughts that could resolve some major challenges like debt in telecom, increasing domestic value addition in manufacturing or tech led job creation. But this is a budget at usual.”

“The Extension Of The Stand Up India Programme Will Be A Key Factor In Enabling Women Entrepreneurs”

Sudeshna Datta, Co-founder & Executive Vice President, Absolutdata

"We are happy with the government’s vision for a technology-driven economy that prioritizes emerging technologies as the prerequisite for future growth. From promoting digital payments to training millions of youngsters in emerging technologies such as AI, Data Analytics and Machine Learning, and soft skill such as foreign language training, the initiatives are focused on empowering the future workforce with a ‘global-first’ perspective. This will significantly strengthen India Inc.’s capabilities for the future. Moreover, the allocation of INR 400 crores to develop world-class institutions focused on research and innovation is a huge step towards transitioning India from a service-focused economy to an innovation-driven one.  Additionally, the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s focus on women empowerment, by adding not just women-centric policies but propagating women-led initiatives, both in rural and urban areas, is a huge positive. Along with its proposal to form a dedicated committee to encourage their participation, the extension of the Stand Up India programme for another 5 years will be a key factor in enabling women entrepreneurs."

“The Plan To Set Up 20 Technology Incubators To Push Rural Development Opens The Stage For New Initiatives”

Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India

“We are pleased with the government’s thrust on improving infrastructure and technology as catalysts for the economy going ahead. For India to be on the path to being the 3rd largest economy by 2030, the budget’s rightfully emphasizes that robust improvements are required in social infrastructure and education. The plan to set up 20 technology incubators to push rural development opens the stage for new initiatives that will enable India to become a $5 trillion economy in the years ahead. Additionally, the budget has emphasized on 17 ‘iconic sites’ which will be transformed into world-class destinations to provide an impetus to the tourism sector. All these initiatives, I believe, will assist in reshaping and empowering the country and will help to drive and sustain long-term growth for India.”


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