Key Expectations of Indian Tech Players from Union Budget 2024-25

Key Expectations of Indian Tech Players from Union Budget 2024-25

As the much awaited Union Budget approaches, the Indian IT industry remains optimistic about the potential for substantial growth through strategic financial policies. Stakeholders in the IT industry are eagerly hoping for Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman to unveil policies that will propel the industry forward in the upcoming fiscal year. Expectations are high, with industry leaders anticipating measures that would boost industry growth. The industry envisions a budget that not only push companies ahead but also positions India as a formidable force in the ever-evolving global IT landscape. Here are the expectations from key IT players, take a look:

“As We Navigate The Evolving Cyberthreat Landscape, It Becomes Crucial For The Union Budget 2024 To Focus On Cybersecurity”

“The previous Union Budgets have shown India’s dedication to boosting its cybersecurity infrastructure. We expect the same commitment in 2024 as the local threat landscape continues to evolve. It is foreseen that India's enterprise technology sector will contribute $350-400 billion in the next few years, advancing the country toward its $1 trillion digital economy goal. This will be driven by the continuous mass adoption of digital financial tools and will be further enabled by the multi-year artificial intelligence (AI) programme recently unveiled by the government. 

Cybercriminals, on the other hand, will also ride along these trends. For instance, our advanced detection systems discovered an average of 411,000 malicious files daily last year, with an increase of nearly 3 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year. This year, we also anticipate enhanced financial threats as attackers use advanced artificial intelligence and heightened automation. As we navigate the evolving cyberthreat landscape, it becomes crucial for the Union Budget 2024 to focus on cybersecurity, which could help deploy proactive cybersecurity strategies, foster sector collaboration, and implement innovative defences against cyberattacks. Kaspersky remains dedicated to collaborating in building India’s cybersecurity capability this year and beyond.” - Jaydeep Singh, General Manager for South Asia, Kaspersky.

“We Anticipate A Budget That Not Only Aligns With But Elevates The Make In India Objectives”

“The upcoming Union Budget 2024 has the potential to shape the IT Tech sector in the next fiscal year. As we anticipate Budget 2024, our expectations revolve around fostering India's tech innovation ecosystem. We look forward to heightened investments in Research and development and Artificial Intelligence, underlining a strategic roadmap emphasizing innovation, sustainability, and accessibility within the industry. Aligned with the Make in India initiative, we expect that the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program, designed to support IT hardware and computer server manufacturers, along with the government's resolute commitment to digital skill development, will be accorded significant priority. We anticipate a budget that not only aligns with but elevates the Make in India objectives, providing a robust framework for the growth and alignment of the IT Tech sector." - Alok Dubey, Chief Finance Officer, Acer India.

“Hopefully The Upcoming Interim Union Budget 2024 Will Included A Continued Focus On Reinforcing The Nation's Cyber Defences”

"Over the past year, India has witnessed a rise in cyber-attacks of various magnitudes, placing many businesses and individuals at risk. In the wake of these attacks and the Finance Ministry's directives throughout 2023 to enhance cybersecurity measures in different industries, hopefully the upcoming interim Union Budget 2024 will included a continued focus on reinforcing the nation's cyber defences. With a heightened emphasis on prevention of data breaches, ransomware attacks and AI-powered cyber threats, increased budgetary allocations towards cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives are imperative. The Finance Minister's call for proactive cybersecurity measures augur well for a renewed focus on bridging the current cybersecurity skill gap in the industry, fostering an efficient cyber-task force within organizations. This strategic investment will not only fortify our defence against cyber threats but also contribute to job creation and economic resilience in the face of evolving digital challenges, powering the future of a secure Digital India." - Sunil Sharma, Vice President, Sales, Sophos India & SAARC.

“We Look Forward to Policies That Incentivize Technology Advancements, Product Design, And Sustainable Practices”

"As we eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the Union Budget for 2024, we applaud the government's ongoing commitment to the "Make in India" initiative, fostering the growth of indigenous manufacturing capabilities. We hope the forthcoming budget will further strengthen this program, providing incentives and support for the domestic production of high-quality electronics, including monitors. In alignment with the government's focus on Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, we anticipate continued encouragement for the electronics sector. Additionally, third-party manufacturers should receive incentives and benefits through Production Linked Incentives (PLI). Enhancements to existing schemes or the introduction of new ones specific to display technologies can significantly boost local manufacturing and make India a global hub for monitor production. To foster innovation and R&D in the electronics industry, we look forward to policies that incentivize technology advancements, product design, and sustainable practices. Support in these areas will contribute to the development of cutting-edge technologies meeting the global standards.

A rationalized customs and import duty structure would play a crucial role in making raw materials and components more accessible and affordable to the companies, boosting the economy and new innovation. A suggestion would be to put anti-dumping duties on refurbished products imported from China to ensure fair market competition. Furthermore, the government must establish comprehensive rules and regulations to regulate the domestic sales of refurbished products as well effectively." - Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Director Sales & Marketing, IT Business, ViewSonic India.  

“The Union Budget Should Accelerate Electronic Manufacturing, And Drive Widespread Tech Adoption”

“As we anticipate the upcoming Union Budget, we're hopeful for strategic initiatives that will redefine the technology landscape in the fiscal year 2024-25. The Union Budget should accelerate electronic manufacturing, and drive widespread tech adoption to position India as a global powerhouse in tech manufacturing, fintech, and AI-led advancements. Government initiatives focused on streamlining the setup process of component-level manufacturing facilities and providing specialized insights for electronic manufacturers will catalyze advancements in the technology manufacturing sector. The emphasis on fintech, and spearheading AI-driven development to spur employment is also critical imperative for this fiscal year. Concurrently, prioritizing R&D and skill development is non-negotiable, as it shapes a comprehensive budget that charts the course for sustained growth and innovation. A visionary approach centered around technology is not just vital; it's the key to realizing the government's ambitious $5 trillion economy goal and propelling our nation's economic prosperity.” - Pawan Kumar, CEO, Elista.

“The Tech Industry Anticipates A Budget That Champions Cybersecurity, AI Innovation, And Youth Skill Development”

“In 2023, the cybersecurity landscape in India raises significant concerns due to the rising tide of ransomware attacks and an ever-expanding attack surface of organisations, which have had a substantial impact on key sectors of our economy. The evolving techniques of hackers, particularly in the realm of Generative AI (Gen-AI), have turned the past year into a crucial learning experience. Therefore, for the upcoming union budget, it is imperative to prioritize increased expenditures in AI research, strengthen the focus on cybersecurity, data privacy, and digital infrastructure.

Furthermore, directing heightened investments towards skill development for the youth is pivotal to address existing gaps and foster a future-ready workforce. Additionally, a crucial aspect that demands urgent attention is the integration of cybersecurity into the Indian education system. It is crucial to impart comprehensive knowledge about various cyber threats, securing devices, and understanding hacker techniques. This proactive educational approach is essential to empower individuals with the skills needed to navigate and mitigate evolving threats. The tech industry anticipates a budget that champions cybersecurity, AI innovation, and youth skill development, aiming to fortify not only our digital infrastructure but also pave the way for a resilient and secure future for India.” – Vijendra Katiyar, Country Manager for India & SAARC, Trend Micro.

“We Are Hopeful That The Interim Budget Makes Provisions For Investments In Data Infrastructure, Skill Development, And Data Accessibility”

“In light of India’s rapid strides in the field of Generative Artificial Intelligence throughout 2023, the upcoming interim Union Budget could hold the key to unlocking the full potential of this transformative technology for enterprises across the nation. The government’s focus on initiatives such as 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI Work for India' align with the rapidly advancing AI landscape and the vision for India to lead this global AI transformation. Addressing challenges such as the shortage of AI talent, creating public-private partnerships, and fostering innovation in advancing fields like insurtech, food tech, education, and cybersecurity is a pivotal step in this direction. We are hopeful that the interim budget makes provisions for investments in data infrastructure, skill development, and data accessibility. This will ensure that India not only catches up with global AI leaders but emerges as a front-runner in responsible AI adoption. The government’s vision and its successful implementation in the form of this Union Budget is set to fuel the trajectory of yet another year of rapid digital advancement for the country.” - Rajesh Sinha, Founder and Chairman, Fulcrum Digital

“We Look Forward To Diligent Data Governance And Intelligent Data Infrastructure Driven By AI”

"The AI push by Honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in last year’s Budget was a visionary step which has helped place the country on the global AI map. We are hopeful that the upcoming Interim Union Budget 2024 will continue this momentum. The strides being made through initiatives like ‘AI for India' set the stage for the nation to lead the ongoing technology transformation. What is also equally important is to safeguard the data required for this push towards an AI-driven nation. We look forward to diligent data governance and intelligent data infrastructure driven by AI. The budget presents an opportunity to streamline data access and address concerns on ethics. An increased investment in R&D will help create the foundation for innovation in key technologies such as AI/ML, IoT, Blockchain, and Cloud Computing. It will be good to see tech startups getting the necessary tax benefits and policy support that will encourage entrepreneurship. These initiatives will unleash India’s potential to develop new technologies and help achieve the government’s goal of a Viksit Bharat by 2047, sooner.” - Puneet Gupta, Vice President & Managing Director, NetApp India/SAARC

“We Believe That The Budget Should Be A Catalyst For Nurturing Innovation, Research, And Skill Development”

"As we approach the Union Budget 2024, we at Analog Devices Inc are hopeful for a forward-looking fiscal roadmap that steers the nation towards technological prowess and sustainable growth. We believe the upcoming budget will play a crucial role in shaping India's economic development, particularly in emerging sectors like semiconductor, e-mobility, green hydrogen, and renewable energy. Recent commitments observed at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 underscore the industry's collective dedication to Indian Government’s vision of a 'Developed India @2047.'

In this dynamic landscape, we encourage policies that bolster indigenous semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. The announcements by global players to invest in Gujarat highlight the sector's potential and the need for a conducive policy environment. We believe that the budget should be a catalyst for nurturing innovation, research, and skill development, particularly in frontier technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G/6G networks and renewable energy.

As the world embraces the integration of 5G technologies, AI-enabled solutions and sustainable practices, we look to the budget to provide a strategic framework that not only navigates current challenges but also sets the stage for India's emergence as a global technology and innovation hub. In essence, the forthcoming budget represents a pivotal opportunity for India to fortify its position on the global stage, and Analog Devices Inc remains committed to contributing to this transformative journey." - Vivek Tyagi, Managing Director, Analog Devices Inc India

“As India Prepares For The Interim Budget, I Hope The Government Continues Its Push Towards Technology-Led Growth”

"As India prepares for the Interim Budget, I hope the government continues its push towards technology-led growth. The PLI scheme, which has catalysed domestic manufacturing and exports in sectors like electronics, automobile, and pharma, can further propel India's self-reliance and competitiveness.

The Smart Cities Mission has also shown tangible progress, with projects improving urban mobility, infrastructure, and governance. However, further amendments making technology deployment integral across all facets of the Mission will maximise its impact. Regulations around emerging technologies like AI, drones, and EVs also need to evolve with the industry.

Additionally, policies encouraging R&D and innovation, tax incentives for tech startups and global collaboration are crucial. The budget must balance short-term growth needs with long-term technological capacity building. I look forward to the Interim Budget with optimism and believe the Government will present a growth-oriented Budget to propel the industry towards becoming a global technology leader and a $5 trillion economy." - Chandrika Behl, Managing Director, Exhibition India Group

“We Anticipate Cutting The GST On LED TVs Larger Than 32 Inches From 28% To 18% In Budget 2024”

"Union Budget 2024 is very crucial to maintain India's standing as the 3rd largest economy in the world. India contributes $3.7 trillion to the $100 trillion global economy and has the highest young population. To fully realize this potential, the government ought to support consumption. In line with the strong GST trend, we anticipate cutting the GST on LED TVs larger than 32 inches from 28% to 18% in Budget 2024. For the market to flourish, PLI schemes must be expanded to include smart TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines. Income tax slabs might be reevaluated to improve disposable income, which will promote spending and raise consumption in general." - Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee

“It Is Very Important to Scale The Existing PLI Scheme For Electronics To Encourage Indian Manufacturers”

“A low corporate tax rate will incentivize both global and domestic businesses to establish manufacturing facilities in India by reducing the early startup costs and enabling them to maintain price competitiveness. This would further advance the "Made in India" campaign and encourage businesses to introduce cutting-edge and technological know-how to India, improving productivity and quality. Additionally, it is very important to scale the existing PLI scheme for electronics to encourage Indian manufacturers.” - Pallavi Singh, Senior Vice President, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a brand licensee of White Westinghouse.

“We Anticipate Policies That Empower Businesses And Individuals To Harness The Full Potential Of Technology”

"The government is steadfast in its commitment to economic deregulation and the initiation of systemic reforms. Recognising the imperative role of Information Technology, it is dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across all sectors. Aligned with our Prime Minister's visionary outlook for India, there is a potential era of heightened digitisation on the horizon, propelled by Artificial Intelligence and regular technological disruptions. As a technology-driven entity in the dynamic tapestry of India, we perceive innovation as the pulsating force behind progress. In the anticipation of the upcoming budget, we envisage a future where strategic investments in technology become the cornerstone of our nation's growth.

Embracing the 'Make in India' initiative, we aspire to witness a robust ecosystem that not only fosters innovation but also encourages indigenous production and technological self-sufficiency. We anticipate policies that empower businesses and individuals to harness the full potential of technology, propelling India into a new era of economic resilience and technological excellence. This collaborative effort between government initiatives and tech-driven enterprises will undoubtedly steer us towards a future where 'Made in India' resonates with global technological prowess." - Sonit Jain, CEO, GajShield Infotech.

“We Hope That The Budget Will Continue To Prioritize The Growth Of The Electronics Industry”

"We appreciate the government's efforts to promote innovation and growth in the electronics sector through the introduction of favorable policies and recent amendments. We hope that the budget will continue to prioritize the growth of the electronics industry, particularly MSMEs, and introduce measures to support domestic design and expand the PLI program. We also look forward to initiatives that will strengthen the supply chain and promote research and development in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things.

We are confident that the government's policies and initiatives will continue to create a favorable business environment and drive economic growth in the sector. We also look forward to the development of policies that encourage production within domestic borders, allowing small enterprises to create devices that can help reduce the digital divide in the country." -  Chitranshu Mahant, CEO and Co-Founder, Primebook

“The Union Budget 2024–25 Would Be Crucial To The Consumer Electronics Industry”

“Hearables are becoming more and more popular in today's world, so it's critical to provide incentives for them in consumer gadget categories. At the moment, there are no government incentives or subsidies specifically for hearables. The government should encourage firms to produce Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi Knocked Down (SKD) goods by providing subsidies, while also highlighting the need of encouraging research and development (R&D) and designing in India and new supply systems. This tactic increases the possibility of higher returns while expanding a company's sphere of influence in developed regions.

Tax benefits, reduced tax rates, and an extension of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) tax reforms for startups are further anticipated developments. Considering the current state of the Indian economy's recovery, the Union Budget 2024–25 would be crucial to the Consumer Electronics industry, acting as a possible impetus for its successful rebirth. Large manufacturing companies and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs and SMEs) are looking forward to the upcoming budget because they believe it will help them continue on their current growth trajectory.” - Mandeep Arora, Managing Director & Co-founder, UBON

“The Government May Play A Key Role In Reviving The Durables Industry And Guiding It Towards A More Sustainable And Resilient Future”

“To encourage growth in the durable goods industry, the government has recently enacted a number of policies, such as lowering corporation tax rates and introducing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) programmes that target particular categories. The demand for some finished white goods is nonetheless affected despite these efforts, mostly as a result of rising GST rates. Reducing present tax rates is essential to addressing this issue and encouraging more demand. This is a calculated strategy that may lessen pricing pressures and encourage consumers to make more purchases.

Apart from modifying tax rates, there exists a chance to provide incentives for the production of durable goods that are energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable. The government may stimulate economic activity and contribute to a more sustainable and greener future by implementing policies that encourage sustainable practices within the sector. The forthcoming budget offers a venue for instituting regulations and inducements that promote the manufacturing and uptake of durable goods that are energy- and environmentally-efficient. The government may play a key role in reviving the durables industry and guiding it towards a more sustainable and resilient future by finding a balance between tax reforms and environmental concerns.” - Lalit Arora, Co-founder, UBON

“We're Optimistic About A Budget That Will Position India Prominently In The Global E-Commerce Exports Arena”

“At eBay, we eagerly anticipate the Union Budget 2024–2025, foreseeing a transformative era for India's e-commerce sector, particularly in enhancing eCommerce exports. We're looking forward to a budget that streamlines business operations, promotes innovation in digital payments, and strengthens the logistics infrastructure, all while keeping a focus on supporting MSMEs through tax benefits and regulatory ease. Building on the success of the previous year's impactful Foreign Trade Policy, we're optimistic about a budget that will position India prominently in the global e-commerce exports arena. Envisioning the budget as a catalyst, we aim for export-oriented policies to propel India's e-commerce onto the global stage, fostering sustainable growth and international competitiveness.” - Ashish Gupta, Head of Legal & Government Relations, eBay

"Despite Last Year's Commendable 33% Surge in EV Registrations, Our Industry Encounters Persistent Challenges”

"Despite last year's commendable 33% surge in EV registrations, our industry encounters persistent challenges. Chief among these hurdles is the imperative need for robust charging infrastructure, pivotal in inspiring confidence among potential buyers and propelling the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as a sustainable mode of transportation. Another barrier remains the relatively higher initial cost of EVs, often deterring consumers. However, the promise of life tax subsidies for electric vehicles and the availability of accessible EV financing options hold immense potential to mitigate this challenge. The integration of EV infrastructure into Priority Sector Lending (PSL) is poised to bolster credit flow into the sector by mandating financial institutions to provide support, thus promising a significant boon.

A supportive regulatory framework coupled with financial incentives aimed at fostering research and development within the EV sector stands as indispensable pillars. These measures not only drive innovation but also attract investments, creating an environment conducive to widespread EV adoption. Ultimately, these strategic initiatives play a pivotal role in establishing an enduringly sustainable and eco-friendly transportation ecosystem." - Manideep Katepalli, Co-Founder, BikeWo

“The Industry Is Hopeful For A Significant Reduction In The GST On Lithium-Ion Battery”

“In anticipation of the upcoming budget, the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry in India is fervently advocating for crucial measures to sustain and enhance the sector’s growth. With the imminent expiration of the FAME II subsidy program in March 2024, there is a collective call from stakeholders to extend it, ensuring ongoing efforts to enhance the affordability and accessibility of electric vehicles for consumers. Extending the program would not only solidify support for the EV industry but also align with the government’s ambitious target of achieving 30% electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2030. Complementing this extension, the industry is hopeful for a significant reduction in the GST on lithium-ion battery packs and cells from 18% to 5%. Such a revision would substantially alleviate manufacturing costs, enabling manufacturers to offer EVs at more competitive prices, further encouraging consumer adoption.

Additionally, stakeholders are seeking a standardized policy for the battery-swapping market. The current fragmentation and varied battery types across different players have led to compatibility challenges and safety concerns, including incidents of fires at swapping stations due to inferior batteries. A standardized policy specifying the type of battery pack, cell, dimensions, and connectors is expected to enhance safety and streamline charging infrastructure, fostering a more reliable and secure environment for EV users.” - Chakravarthi C, Managing Director, Quantum Energy

“Our Primary Expectation Is A Reduction In The Flat Tax Rate From 30%”

“As we eagerly anticipate the Union Budget of 2024, Cashaa is hopeful for transformative measures that will shape the future of the Indian crypto sector. Our primary expectation is a reduction in the flat tax rate from 30%, aligning crypto gains with other asset classes like debt and equity. We also advocate for a significant drop in the high TDS rate from 1% to approximately 0.01%, aiming to rekindle trading volumes crucial for a vibrant market.

Furthermore, we urge the inclusion of offshore crypto companies under the TDS mandate, fostering fair competition for Indian crypto exchanges. A decisive and supportive regulatory framework is pivotal, as it will not only encourage innovation but also attract vital investments to fuel the growth of the crypto sector in India. While our optimism runs high, we remain mindful of the interim nature of this budget, preceding the 2024 general elections.” - Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO, Cashaa

“We Expect An Emphasis On Incentives For Cybersecurity, Which Is An Urgent Necessity”

"As the India Union Budget 2024 approaches, it holds significance not just for financial allocations but for cultivating an ecosystem where startups can thrive. Tax provisions that streamline loss management and employee stock options are crucial for startups’ financial stability and talent retention. We expect an emphasis on incentives for cybersecurity, which is an urgent necessity rather than an option, to build reliability and trust in technological solutions. Moreover, the budget is expected to increase incentives for R&D initiatives, support tech-driven solutions, and aim to bridge the digital divide. These measures are crucial to navigating the rapidly evolving business landscape and enabling equal opportunities. The industry looks forward to a comprehensive policy approach that alleviates funding challenges and facilitates startups' success. 

Additionally, a fast-track dispute resolution mechanism for startups will provide timely judgment of financial disputes. Every rupee counts for a new startup, so a special arbitration cell with time-bound resolutions will aid their stability. Schemes like Make in India and PLI have positively impacted manufacturing and innovation. We hope the budget strengthens such initiatives and creates a thriving ecosystem for Indian startups to flourish." - Sandeep Kumar, Founder & CEO, Baatu Tech

“We Hope That The Upcoming Budget Boasts Inspiring Measures For Startups And Healthcare Infrastructure”

"While we hope that the upcoming budget boasts inspiring measures for startups and healthcare infrastructure, the previous budget has overlooked a critical need for many senior citizens: Making at-home care accessible and more affordable for elders. Last year's commitment to increasing public health spending and building nursing colleges is commendable, but these alone won't address the immediate challenges faced by millions of aging Indians. The current taxation on at-home elder care acts as a barrier, particularly for low-income seniors. This stands in stark contrast to the tax exemption granted to similar care services.

We hope that the upcoming budget addresses these challenges and also consider increasing the basic income tax exemption threshold for senior citizens while exempting at-home elder care from GST altogether or significantly reducing its rate. This would make these crucial services more affordable and accessible to a wider range of seniors. By prioritizing these actions in the coming union budget, the government can truly demonstrate its commitment to a future where all senior citizens, regardless of income, can age with dignity and receive the care they deserve." - Tarun Sharma, Founder & CEO, Yodda-Eldercare

“We Can Anticipate A Heightened Emphasis On AI Integration With Research And Development In Various Sectors”

“The semiconductor industry's tenacity and dedication to innovation, indicate bright development possibilities in the rapidly changing technological world as the 2024 budget draws near. And it's absolutely critical to give priority to a few joint government-organization projects in order to promote innovation throughout India's semiconductor industry.

With green energy and sustainability taking centre stage in worldwide efforts to cut carbon emissions, policies like the National Green Hydrogen Mission will help move the economy towards low carbon intensity and lessen dependency on imported fossil fuels for ecosystem-wide sustainable growth. Furthermore, the renewable energy industry has enormous potential for cooperation with semiconductor fabrication plants by offering assistance in establishing ESG norms for the manufacturing sector by including sustainable waste management practices and recycling water techniques, among other things. Speaking of core teach, we can anticipate a heightened emphasis on AI integration with research and development in various sectors, particularly in high-tech manufacturing like semiconductors, to ensure sustained progress.

At the grassroots level, such as in high schools and colleges across the nation, the government must also continue to support skill development initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 and Skill India Digital platform, with appropriate curricula to prepare the workforce for Industry 4.0 and beyond. And last but not the least, formation of industry think-tanks, in collaboration with the government, and support for semiconductor design startups will help provide a comprehensive outlook for promoting innovation in the space of AI, hence bolstering the semiconductor sector.”- Venkat Mattela, CEO &Founder, Ceremorphic

“In The Upcoming Budget, We Anticipate Further Emphasis On Mental Health Support”

“In the upcoming budget, we anticipate further emphasis on mental health support. The government has already acknowledged its importance, introducing initiatives like tele Manas and incorporating IPD coverage for mental health through IRDA. However, there are two critical areas that require attention. First, India urgently needs a greater number of qualified mental health professionals, particularly clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers. The government should focus on increasing these numbers to meet the rising demand, a trend that has become especially pronounced in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, psychotherapy, a fundamental component of mental health treatment, remains uncovered by insurance. Ensuring OPD coverage for psychotherapy is essential; it would address affordability issues, making these vital services accessible to a broader segment of the population.” - Krishna Veer Singh, Co-Founder, Lissun

“We're Hopeful For Policies That Create An Environment Favoring Local Production”

“We urge the government to consider elevating duties and taxes on imported cell phone accessories. With the existing 20% duty already in place, the addition of anti-dumping duties on all mobile phone accessories would be a game-changer. This move can enhance production and manufacturing within India. If we see more duties on these accessories it becomes a win-win for 'Make in India.' This not only helps us thrive but also gives a big boost to the market. As we look ahead to the 2024-2025 budget, we're hopeful for policies that create an environment favoring local production, making India a powerhouse in mobile accessories manufacturing.” - Imran, Co-founder, UNIX

“We Hope For Fair Support And Conducive Policies From The Government”

"The Esports industry is growing at an impressive percentage and is only forecasted to grow. We hope for fair support and conducive policies from the government in the upcoming budget to further foster this growth." - Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8Bit Creatives and Co-Founder, S8UL

“We Hope To See A Dedicated Allocation Of Funds For The Esports Sector”

"In the past year, the government has showcased consistent support for the country's Esports industry, laying a strong foundation for the sector's growth. We expect this trend to continue this year and remain optimistic about the upcoming budget. For establishing the infrastructure necessary for the industry's development and to nurture an Esports ecosystem that positions India as a global Esports hub, we hope to see a dedicated allocation of funds for the Esports sector. Additionally, we eagerly anticipate the introduction of incentives for Indian video game development studios that will not only encourage innovation but also enable homegrown titles to prosper within the community. To ensure the long-term success of our Esports athletes and attract more aspiring players to pursue careers in Esports, we also hope for tax relief for athletes on winnings from Esports tournaments. ESFI will remain committed to working closely with the government to further elevate the status of Esports in the country." - Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President, AESF

“We Earnestly Suggest The Allocation Of Funds To Each State Government For The Organization And Promotion Of State Esports Championships”

"Recognizing the exponential growth of the video gaming industry, we hope for the government's consideration and support in encouraging educational programs by adding Esports into Educational Curriculums and skill development initiatives focused on gaming and Esports. This would contribute significantly to nurturing talent within the sector, aligning with the national agenda of promoting digital skills. In addition, we earnestly suggest the allocation of funds to each state government for the organization and promotion of State Esports Championships. This collaborative effort with prominent Esports organizations at the state level, starting from the school level to the national level, will undoubtedly contribute to the organic growth of Esports across the nation." - KR Rohith, CEO, Gods Reign

“More Regulations In Terms Of In-Game And Tournament Winnings Are Expected To Come In”

"From budget 2024, one of the major steps I look forward to is more ‘Esports’ based activities moving to 18% slab (from 28% slab). Apart from this, I’m also looking forward to the government encouraging more state governments to assign budgets for the growth and promotion of Esports (similar to Bihar). Lastly, more regulations in terms of in-game and tournament winnings are expected to come in." - Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus

“We Hope to See The Government's Commitment To Nurturing Budding Drone Industry”

“Our expectations for the upcoming Budget 2024-25 is centered around policy measures and fiscal incentives to establish India as a global drone hub by 2030. The foundation laid by the existing Drone Rules and Production-Linked Incentive Scheme is promising, and we look forward to further enhancements in regulatory frameworks and their execution to fuel innovation and industry growth.

Continued support for research and development, along with incentives for technological collaborations, will be instrumental in propelling India's drone manufacturing capabilities to new heights. Moreover, we hope to see the Government's commitment to nurturing this budding drone industry as drones are anticipated to play a vital role in facilitating security and governance infrastructure. As we envision the transformative potential of Union Budget 2024, we see it as a catalyst for India's drone sector, propelling us to a prominent position on the global stage. The upcoming budget has the power to shape an environment conducive to innovation, growth, and international prominence in the dynamic field of drone technology." - Ankit Mehta, CEO, ideaForge

“The Government Should Support And Incentivize The Digitalization Of Kirana Stores”

"As the budget approaches, the central government must address the challenge of high unemployment rates among recent graduates. This problem is worsened by the current market situation, where big IT companies are not hiring in large numbers as they used to. To address the unemployment gap, a practical step would be for the government to actively support the growth of small and medium-sized IT enterprises to flourish under the 'Make in India' initiative. As per the project idea, a large amount of raw materials usage, technical know-how and manufacturing should happen within India. So, the government should actively encourage these manufacturing companies to give their IT projects to Indian IT enterprises. This would significantly help in generating employment as well as boosting the economic growth of the country.

Additionally, the central government should promote the development of tier-2 states, transforming them into budding IT hubs by investing in infrastructure and creating a conducive business environment. Moreover, a crucial aspect of economic growth involves the digital transformation of Kirana stores. The government should support and incentivize the digitalization of Kirana stores, ensuring proper accounting practices through the use of digital wallets. Facilitating the swift adoption of GST reporting and implementing last-mile automation for Kirana stores is paramount to ensuring timely reimbursements and overall financial prosperity.

The government is actively implementing initiatives to stimulate the economy and support local businesses, exemplified by the 'Vocal for Local' campaign, which encourages individuals to sell their homegrown products. Additionally, the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce), an e-commerce platform by the central government is there for people to sell their products. However, to further empower local sellers, the government should increase investment and enhance the visibility of the ONDC platform, ensuring that more individuals can easily and effectively sell their goods.” - Suresh VP, Co-Founder and COO, Experion Technologies.

“We Expect A Decrease In Goods And Services Tax On Resources For Offline And Online Education Providers”

"The Indian Edtech market has seen steady growth in recent years due to technological advancements, increased demand for skills in a competitive job market and improved accessibility of education. The sector is projected to continue growing in 2024. Various reforms and policies have been implemented every year, favouring the education system. However, we expect more robust system to be developed, investing in professional development and training opportunities to help us effectively implement blended learning methods in the classroom and utilize technology-enabled infrastructure. We also expect a decrease in Goods and Services Tax on resources for offline and online education providers.

The education system also needs to be modernized to attract more international students. This will require substantial investments in the education system, particularly emphasizing higher education. As per the data, higher education investment will also help improve the gross enrolment ratio (GER), which is set to reach 50% by 2035. I also feel that since many graduates are struggling with placements, earmarking funds for new initiatives that help re-invent the education sector in the 21st century through the integration of learning and working will yield a significant return on investment for learners, employers and society as a whole. These initiatives are expected to enhance the quality of education in India and contribute to developing a better-educated workforce." - Dinesh Kumar Poobalan, CEO & CTO, Greatify.

“We Confidently Anticipate Increased Attention To Enhancing Cybersecurity Infrastructure And Capabilities”

“As we approach Budget 2024-25, we anticipate pivotal changes in the industry, emphasizing the need for India to realize its USD 5 trillion economy vision. We expect to see a significant increase in allocation for cybersecurity, with strategic implementation through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) models. We confidently anticipate increased attention to enhancing cybersecurity infrastructure and capabilities. Additionally, incentives for Indian companies setting up data centers, particularly with the surge in GCC hubs in India, are crucial to propel the growth of the country under the Make in India initiative. These initiatives will contribute significantly to the growth of the IT industry, aligning with the government's vision for a digitally empowered and secure nation. We also expect government to invest in skilling and reskilling programs aligned with industry needs is equally crucial to equip the workforce with the skills necessary to thrive in the evolving IT landscape.

Amidst the exhilarating rollout of 5G and the ongoing mission to connect rural communities through BharatNet, the industry yearns for critical government support to build a robust and inclusive infrastructure. Firstly, the focus must be on bridging the digital divide by expanding high-speed connectivity beyond metros and mini-metros. Involvement of regional ISP in Bharatnet phase 2, Enabling Regional ISPs with VGF for FTTH rollout enables faster last mile rollout.  The revamped BharatNet, supported by Viability Gap Funding, recognizes the integral role of private companies in fostering connectivity and economic growth. This empowers not just tier-1 cities, but propels growth in tier-2 and tier-3 towns, enabling businesses to flourish and communities to access vital information and services. Additionally, for Indian MSMEs like Ishan to flourish in the Telecom sector, we expect government to have a streamlined licensing procedures and single-window clearances. By reducing unnecessary hurdles, the government can unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of MSMEs like Ishan and make us global telecom champions.” - Pinkesh Kotecha, MD & Chairman, Ishan Technologies.

“We Anticipate Policies That Support Environmentally Friendly Retail And Online Sales Methods”

“As a proud member of the sustainable fashion community, we look forward to seeing a strong commitment to promoting ethical production and eco-friendly techniques in the future union budget. In order to continue our transition to a more environmentally conscious and socially conscious fashion industry, we wish to see greater encouragement and incentives for the expansion of sustainable firms. Furthermore, we anticipate policies that support environmentally friendly retail and online sales methods, building a whole ecosystem that amplifies the benefits of our efforts to the consumer. A forward-looking budget that recognises the critical role of sustainable MSMEs, along with supportive policies for retail and e-commerce, will definitely boost our sector to new heights, promoting innovation, job creation, and a good influence on both the environment and society at large." - Kapil Bhatia, CEO & Founder, UNIREC

“We Look Forward To Greater Emphasis On The DLI Scheme, Providing A Vital Boost To In-Country Intellectual Property Creation”

“Our commitment to 'Design in India' is reflected in our increasing investment here in operations and technologies critical to our differentiation and growth. These investments in end-to-end design are key to Synaptics’ ability to address global semiconductor trends and opportunities in the IoT. Looking ahead to Budget 2024, we look forward to greater emphasis on the DLI scheme, providing a vital boost to in-country intellectual property creation. We remain optimistic that the government will introduce ground-breaking and transformative initiatives, elevating technology use cases and fostering growth in semiconductors, fabless design, and the electronics startup ecosystem essential to dynamic markets such as AI, IoT, consumer electronics, automotive, telecoms, and computing.

Such endeavors are poised to accelerate innovation, drive research and development, and position India as a global powerhouse in electronics and semiconductors. With India embarking on its electric vehicle (EV) journey, we eagerly anticipate additional budgetary support to develop the requisite technologies for sustainable vehicles. Together, we have the opportunity to shape a future where India leads in technological advancements and innovation on the global stage." - Sanjay Saha, India Country Manager, Synaptics

“The Upcoming Budget Holds A Pivotal Role In Steering India Towards A Sustainable Future By Fostering The Growth Of Battery Recycling”

“The upcoming budget holds a pivotal role in steering India towards a sustainable future by fostering the growth of battery recycling. The circular economy's cornerstone, battery recycling, addresses mineral scarcity and reinforces our supply chains, paving the way for self-sufficiency in battery materials. While regulations like the Electronics Waste Management Rule and Batteries Management Rule have strengthened the recycling industry, persistent challenges call for solutions. To further empower this sector, streamlined recycling policies and incentives for pioneering waste management solutions are imperative.

The rapidly growing adoption of electric vehicles is a catalyst for the EV battery recycling industry. Initiatives such as FAME, PLI, and other incentives should be amplified to fuel this momentum. A tailored PLI scheme dedicated to lithium-ion battery recycling will be a game-changer, amplifying the sector's growth while advancing India's sustainability goals. As we approach the budget, investing in these strategic measures will not only invigorate the recycling industry but also cement India's position as a global leader in sustainable practices.” - Rajesh Gupta, Founder & Director, Recyclekaro

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