India’ finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled budget for fiscal year 2022-23 with an aim to boost growth amid continued disruption from Covid-19 and rising inflation. Telecom and technology sector has hailed the progressive efforts done by the government.
Here is how the industry has reacted to the budget announcements.
CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, “The budget truly echoes India’s vision towards inclusive development and building a truly ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by providing a blueprint for the economy over ‘Amrit Kal’ from India at 75 to India at 100. FM’s key announcements on blockchain and setting up e-passports with futuristic technologies are a step in the right direction to help India emerge as a global technology leader. The focus on innovation and R&D (Research and Development) with an emphasis on strengthening talent capacity through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) universities and skilling courses in IIT’s will enable India to become a global hub for skilled talent. Overall, Budget 2022 promises to provide the much-needed impetus to sustain India’s economic and digital growth.”
Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India, said, “Union Budget 2022 has announced the PM Gati Shakti program as one of the priority areas of the government. Seven engines of the PM Gati Shakti initiative are roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infra. As the Indian economy moves towards strengthening these initiatives, geospatial technology will gain more prominence in the process. As shared by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, the Gati Shakti program would involve huge investments in construction of about 25,000 Kms of highways, multimodal transport, and modernization of land records. These are welcome steps, and GIS and other geospatial technologies will facilitate efficient implementation of these schemes. With the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), the government is aiming at universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. GIS based water distribution network planning, execution and operations will go a long way in bringing these plans to fruition more quickly and efficiently.”
Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India, said, “The emphasis on growth, digitization and being future ready outlines the government’s commitment to cohesive development and ‘Make in India’. Focus on Gati Shakti masterplan, youth, women, job creation, technology and infrastructure development among others will drive India’s Amrit Kal, journey from 75 to 100 years as a democracy. India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, and the Budget has provided enough impetus to propel the same. In addition, we expect the digital ecosystem for skilling will boost human capital and empower industries significantly.”
A Gururaj, MD, Optiemus Electronics Ltd, commented, “The industry has been completely galvanized under the pioneering initiative of PLI scheme, with Hon’ble FM today stating that it has potential to create 60 Lakh new jobs and additional production of 30 lakh crores. This is also a clarion call to the industry to work much harder in the years to come to make it a reality. On a macro level, the scheme around design-led manufacturing as part of the PLI scheme would fasten the development of the ecosystem, and also changes in customs duty will drive greater domestic value addition in Electronics manufacturing in the country, which has grown rapidly in the last few years.”
Arun Pandey, Co-founder, Beyondlife.club, said, “It has been the industry’s request for some time to bring digital assets and currency in the regulatory framework and it is heartening to note that the Hon’ble FM and Hon’ble PM have recognised the sector. Taxation and TDS on Digital Assets have come as a sudden move for the industry. It might hit user sentiments in the short term; however, we shall see how the ecosystem evolves in the country and are committed to work as per the rule of the land.”
Suraj Malik, Partner, BDO India (M&A), said, “Budget has laid out foundation for the pillars of growth without too much tinkering in the tax laws. FM has focused on digital and tech enabled macro growth with micro participation backed by incentives and targeted policy reforms to support MSME, startups, innovation and domestic manufacturing. Reduction in surcharge rates and stability in tax policy will boost investor sentiment.”
Vishwadeep Bajaj, CEO, ValueFirst, commented, “Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced earlier about initiating the 5G spectrum in India next year. This development is incredible, especially for the banking sector. The spectrum will provide faster and simpler payment options, which will make mobile and digital payments even more appealing to the masses and merchants alike, further boosting usage. This is key to economic growth. Another major advantage of 5G will be its ability for banks to improve proactive fraud prevention and take informed decisions in real-time. Processing data, verifying the nature of transactions, confirming transaction amounts and funds availability, consulting multiple data instances in real-time, coupled with customer geolocation and merchant ID, will reduce fraud detection errors and false positives, thereby protecting consumers and the bank’s bottom line.”
Nitin Bansal, MD, India & Head-Networks – Southeast Asia, Oceania, and India at Ericsson, said, “We are pleased that the budget for 2022 seeks to leverage technology for enabling the next phase of sustainable socio-economic development of the nation with the use of drones for land surveys and crop assessments, the introduction of digital currency, infrastructure status to data centers, e-content delivery, and e-passports. Apart from this, the announcement of the DESL stack portal to upskill Indian youth as per industry needs will help to fill the talent and skill gap. From a telecom sector perspective, FM’s announcement around the 5G spectrum auction, 100 percent fiberisation with PPP model will provide the required impetus to build upon ubiquitous and reliable internet connectivity. Thereby, bridging the digital divide for a conducive and inclusive development of the nation in keeping with the ‘Digital India’ initiative. Further, design-led initiatives for 5G under the PLI scheme and 5% of USOF for R&D purposes will strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and contribute to making India a global manufacturing hub.”
Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and India Managing Director, NXP Semiconductors, said, “The Union Budget 2022 has recognized the digital growth of the country as a primary focus. In order to promote cleaner mobility, the battery swapping policy and interoperability standards that government plans to introduce, incorporates the concept of energy/battery as a service. This will also help in developing the charging station ecosystem which is imperative for massification of EVs. The announcement will give impetus to the private sector to develop sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service.”
He further added, “The scheme for design led manufacturing to be launched for 5G ecosystem as part of PLI will be a boost to the overall telecom and electronic sectors. It will also provide and promote research and development of technology and solutions and will enable affordable broadband and mobile communication.
The plan to roll out E- passports with embedded chip and futuristic technology, digital rupee using blockchain by RBI, Drone Shakti and Kisaan Drones and opening Defence R&D for industry, startups and academia are welcome moves that will accelerate the growth and development of the semiconductor industry in the country. As the government continues to accentuate focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat and Digital India, we are hopeful that this year’s budget will propel India towards becoming a global electronic hub.”
David Li, CEO, Huawei India, commented, “The 2022 Budget is one that has its eye set firmly on the future, with a technology-driven sustainable development at the core of its vision. The budget provides for digital enablement for all sectors from digital education, digital university, telehealth, and digital banking, among others. It also looks at boosting the economy with provisions for the start-up ecosystem, infra, clean energy. The focus on skilling, digital learning and clean mobility will create opportunities for Indian youth and will also go a great way in addressing the skill gap in various industries. It is such inclusive policies that will boost the outcome of the budget.”