Kshitij Patel, Chairman, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Gujarat Branch
The Budget for 2023-24 kept its focus on expanding Capex showing that the Modi government’s priorities are building roads, highways, and railway lines. The middle class has been given some relief in terms of changes in the new income tax regime clearly pointing out that the government wants a shift towards the new regime from the older one.
Further incentives for International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to make it a global hub of financial services sector; Proposes to rationalise double taxation on distribution of income to NR ODI holders by providing for exemption to any income distributed on the offshore derivative instruments, entered into with an offshore banking unit of an IFSC (subject to the conditions prescribed); Exempted income shall include only that amount which has been charged to tax in the hands of the IFSC Banking Unit under section 115AD; Also proposes to amend the definition of “Specified Fund”, “Resultant Fund” and “Investment Fund” to include the reference of IFSCA (Fund Management) Regulations, 2022.
Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO, Great Place To Work® India
“The Union Budget 2023–24 has successfully addressed the majority high impact segments, like introduction of lower taxes initiatives, specific purpose investments, women empowerment promise schemes, the upskilling and reskilling of millions of our youth, and the wide usage of new-age technologies like AI, robotics, mechatronics, drones, and others. The “Saptrishi,” or seven key priorities, are intended to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable economic growth. Finance Minister’s announcement to bring a new Tax regime will bring massive relief to taxpayers. The new regime comes with a tax exemption up to Rs 7 lakh. Along with that, the Capital investment outlay was increased by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which will be 3.3 percent of the GDP.
Youth Skilling calls for the necessary funding to support the upskilling of millions of youths through the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 over the next three years. The scheme will emphasise industry partnership and alignment courses with industry needs, in addition to providing on-the-job training. This scheme has also paved the way for all new-age courses for Industry 4.0.
With this budget, the government is eyeing a wave of new opportunities in AI and robotics. Additionally, 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services in engineering institutions will be established. Start-ups have been given access to relief measures by carrying forward and offsetting losses. Currently, though this relaxation is only applicable to losses incurred within the first seven years of the start of incorporation.
The National Rural Livelihoods Mission under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana will help rural women advance to the next level of economic empowerment. They will be able to expand their operations to serve the vast consumer markets via these supporting policies, as has happened with many start-ups that went on to become “Unicorns.” The Agriculture Accelerator Fund will undoubtedly support young entrepreneurs’ agri-startups in rural areas. This was most awaited.”
Amit Saluja, Centre Head of NASSCOM CoE, Gandhinagar
India has taken rapid strides towards digitalization in recent times and the budget has sought to add pace to the trend. The skill development scheme to cover new-age courses such as coding, AI, robotics, IoT, 3D printing, etc. for Industry 4.0 has been expanded. Setting up 5G labs and three Centre of Excellence for AI, will give a boost to research and innovation in realizing the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI work for India. Public Digital Infrastructure will take open innovation to next level and accelerate tech adoption. All these initiatives will help in making Indian enterprises, especially MSMEs, more competitive. Startups and entrepreneurship are other areas that have received increased attention from the FM. On the whole, it is a very forward-looking budget that will promote the inclusive growth of industries.
Nimish Arora, President, EO Gurgaon
“2023-24 looks like an opportune year for propelling the Indian economy. India is all set to to be among the fastest-growing major economies and over the next few years. With consistent focus on the “Saptrishi” priorities, the budget is highly growth focussed with a huge capital expenditure outlay of 10 lakh crores.”
“In line with the previous budgets, it has also continued on a path of fiscal consolidation, with a target of 5.9% fiscal deficit. The budget also has extended support to start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures through income tax benefits and extending carry forward of losses to 10 years to further India’s position as the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world. It has also bolstered a Digital India outlook by focusing on AI, IoT, and a digital economy for ease of doing business and ease of living. The 2023 budget is a blueprint with a nice green touch, increasing focus on green initiatives such as e waste recycling, green hydrogen mission, vehicle scrapping and energy transition initiatives. The loudest applause, however, would be for the improved state of individual taxpayers, with the tax rebate limit increased to Rs 7 lakh which will give higher spending power to the middle class thereby supporting the entire economic growth. There was also relief for the highest tax bracket payers by reducing their effective tax rate by 3.7% approx. With these significant facets of the budget, India is undoubtedly heading towards an Amrit Kal.”
Vipul Verma, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Advantage at Wadhwani Foundation
“Additional infusion into the credit guarantee outlay will help increase the number of MSME enterprises in the formal financial ecosystem. This can further help in improvement of the MSME/s operations, growth and scale, leading to an upkick in job creation. The impact will be more notable in some geographies where the potential to grow the number of MSME/s is substantially higher.”