All eyes were on India’s Finance Minster last Saturday on Feb 1, 2020 as she presented the first budget of the new decade. We have seen mixed reactions from the industry this time. While much of it is planned to boost the manufacturing sector in India, some do feel otherwise. Here is what the Industry is saying about the budget 2020.
“It is heartening to see that the Government has time and again recognized the significance of electronics manufacturing in today’s economy. The Union Budget’s significant focus on local production of mobile phones, electronics and semiconductor packaging is going to propel the Make in India vision further. We are excited about the detailed scheme, which will follow soon.” said, Nipun Marya, Director – Brand Strategy, vivo India.
Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said, “Given the constraints that the Finance Minister was facing, this has been a comprehensive statement. The government has done a commendable job and the various measures announced will strengthen India, individuals and industry. By invoking the deviation clause in FRBM Act and relaxing the fiscal deficit to 3.8 per cent in the current year and targeting 3.5 per cent in the next year, the government has underscored its resolve to support the economy at a time when it needs a fiscal boost. This was FICCI’s key suggestion to the government and through this we expect more money will be left in the hands of the people that will spur consumption and industrial growth. Much of this money will go towards capital expenditure in infrastructure and agriculture sector – two areas that can have the maximum growth enhancing impact.”
Mr Leon Yu, Regional Head, India & South Asia, Asus, said, “At Asus, we believe that the Union Budget 2020 announcement has covered several pressing issues faced by the economy and is going to bring growth opportunities. All eyes would be on the manufacturing sector, with the FM proposing a scheme to encourage mobile phones, semiconductor packaging, and electronic equipment. The new scheme, Nirvik, is also going to offer respite for exporters, promising to settle refunds for electricity and VAT previously levied. Furthermore, the provision to bring digital connectivity to all public institutions at Gram Panchayat and allocation of INR 6,000Cr to bring fibre to home through BharatNet linking 100,000 Gram Panchayats in FY21 are also welcomed moves. With India’s rising aspirations reaching the rural locales, internet connectivity will pave the way for connected and smart consumerism. At Asus, we shall be pursuing ways to support the government in enriching India’s economy and traversing through rural India to ensure optimum growth and development. We also look forward to the policy on private players setting up data parks and shall be offering full support with our cutting-edge products and services.”
Prakash Mallya, VP, and MD – Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India, said, “The Union Budget highlights the role technology-enabled innovation can play in leapfrogging the nation. From integration in priority sectors like agriculture and healthcare to a continued focus on smart cities, the first budget of the new decade clearly outlines the significance of a digital-first India in realizing the country’s potential. I am especially encouraged by the efforts to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve disease detection and pre-emption as part of the PM Jan Arogya Yojana. Such applications of emerging technologies combined with the focus on increasing the penetration of fibre connectivity in the nation have the potential to fundamentally impact the lives of millions in the coming years. Provisions to invest in and nurture local talent and entrepreneurship will go a long way in organizing India’s workforce and equipping them with the skills and measures needed to continue to innovate for India and for the world. Policies and investments enabling data centres and quantum computing and applications will help India spur the development of new breakthroughs across sectors. With the government’s target of a $5 trillion economy by 2024, Intel believes that technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and ML will continue to play a pivotal part in this journey. We look forward to further strengthening our work with the local ecosystem and with the government in enabling technology innovation and skilling India’s workforce to power the next wave of India’s digital revolution”
Mr Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, Syska said, “We welcome the steps taken by the Government in the Union Budget towards boosting electronic manufacturing in the country. The electronic industry has huge potential both in terms of manufacturing in India and job creation and will provide a major impetus for growth. This will further enhance the exports of networked products. Another important step taken is the further push provided by the Government for its smart cities mission. It aims to create 100 cities with state-of-the-art infrastructure that includes intelligent lighting, Wi-Fi access points, leading to enhancement of the quality of life of every citizen while building efficient living spaces for future generations. As a company, Syska has been striving towards developing technology-driven, energy-efficient and affordable solutions that positively impact the lives of our customers. With India heading towards mass urbanization, we are aligned towards promoting sustainability, enhancing social development and creating new employment opportunities through rapid digital innovations.”
Mr Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales & Services, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “The budget exhibits a fine balance between spending to drive growth and maintain fiscal prudence. Directionally, continued thrust towards world class infrastructure will drive growth and create employment besides improving the ease of living. Especially noteworthy is the attempt to enhance infrastructure funding by encouraging the use of equity and not to rely too much on debt. The attempt to address the trust deficit by institutionalisation of taxpayers’ charter’ would exude more business confidence and trust amongst tax payers and is a welcome step. Attempt towards simplification of individual taxation will drive better compliance, increase disposable income for consumption and generally augur well stimulating growth”.
“This is positive budget overall from the technology focus point of view. We are pleased that the Government is allocating Rs 8,000 crore for the National Mission on Quantum Computing and Technology. The government’s move on encouraging manufacturing of electronic equipment in India is also a big step as this would provide much needed impetus to technology and manufacturing sector, which has been developing capacities and generating employment opportunities. Also, more focus on technology such as Machine Learning, Robotics, AI will support the industry to grow and establish India as a robust ecosystem for technology and innovation,” – Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India.
Mr. Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations, Sennheiser India, said, “For 2020-2021 Union budget, the government has made some notable announcements that are aimed towards strengthening the industry and commerce sector. It also focuses on enhancing growth of youth with skill development. The allocation of Rs 27,300 crore for development of industry and commerce will help in the overall growth of the country. Government’s plans to announced a new scheme to encourage domestic manufacturing of mobile phones, electronics and semiconductor boards, to expand rural development using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment. Furthermore, allocating Rs 3,000 crore for the Skill India programme is also set to increase the skill based jobs in India. To further improve this and provide employment, 115 higher education institutions will also start apprenticeship from March 2021 which will benefit the youth of this country. This initiative will also help people in getting the appropriate jobs basis to their skillsets. Focus on AI, Internet-of-Things (IoT), quantum computing, a policy to build data centre parks across the country will help in channelizing the explosion of digital technology in the country. With government’s emphasis to increase digital penetration and consumption of mobile, will further strengthens India’s internet potential. This allows for immense growth possibilities for the entertainment industry, further giving a push to the audio accessories industry.
“If this budget had to be known for one thing, it would be the length and breadth of technology infusion across all aspects. Technology and data are changing the world and the latest Union Budget rightly makes these its mainstay. The focus on data, digital records, connectivity and data security across key citizen services underlines the government’s faith in technology to deliver better governance, a safer society and a more competitive economy. The proposals for building data centre parks and setting up the ambitious National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application are significant announcements to put the technology intent into practice.” said, Ritesh Gandotra, Director, Xerox Business Services.
Mr Mike Chen, MD, India, TCL said, “At TCL, we believe that the Finance Minister has announced an encouraging Union Budget 2020. Proposing the scheme to encourage the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging and electronic equipment is a welcomed move and we look forward to a complete policy and leveraging the same to kickstart the domestic manufacturing through our panel factory in Tirupati. Furthermore, painting a futuristic picture in this year’s budget announcement, the FM also acknowledged advanced technologies like IoT, AI, and analytics changing the world. At TCL, we are forever committed to advancing our ‘AI x IoT’ ecosystem in India and will continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies to offer the best services to our customers in India.”
Mr Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia), said “Government’s growing interest in the use of Advanced technologies such as Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc was definitely seen as the base of the IT budget 2020 and an interesting move for Digital India. In today’s budget we saw the government allocating funds to make data centres across India which will also support their upcoming Data Protection Act. However, we do hope that this budget will be majorly focused on protecting the stored data especially of sectors like BFSI and large enterprises that consist major quantity of critical data. As it was rightly said that Data is the new oil, it becomes increasingly important for a country like India to protect and secure their data moving forward and also invest in securing other vulnerabilities that may target India’s critical infrastructures, banking and finance institutions and government bodies against the ever-evolving cyberthreat landscape.”
Mr Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “The budget 2020 overall covers a wide spectrum of areas such as health, skill, infrastructure, agriculture – as a boost to the economy. The allocation of Rs. 2.83 lakh crore for Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development will assist the rural economy and will be good for the CV industry in the long run. Further push to infrastructure of Rs.100 lakh crore over the next 5 years, including increased allocation of funds for roads and highways and the Proposal to develop five new smart cities in collaboration with states in PPP mode, will bring positive sentiments for the commercial vehicle sector by increasing demand. Overall economic activity and job creation will increase demand for goods and consumption and Increase freight movement on trucks. The provision of invoice financing by NBFCs will improve working capital financing for MSMEs and revive the current business cycle.”
Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay said, “The budget 2020 does meet some of the expectations from the FinTech industry and startups. The introduction of some sort of a tax relief on ESOPs was one of the biggest asks from the startup industry – this deferment of tax payment by five years, to me, is one of the biggest welcome moves by the government in this budget. This is a good start and I hope we see more focus on this going forward. Secondly, the reduction on corporate tax to 22% is an encouraging step. This is the lowest in the world and will be encouraging for Indian businesses. Lastly, the changed income tax slabs and rates is not only a huge income tax relief for individuals but will also lead to an increase in disposable income, thereby giving a boost to consumer spending.”
Mr Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies Ltd., said, “For cyber forensics University – One major step announced by the FM involved the proposal for establishing a national forensic university and cyber forensic university. With cyber crimes increasing at a rapid rate, the need for cyber forensics has become more important than ever for a rapidly digitising country like India. The setting up of a cyber forensics university is a welcome move from the Government. This will definitely help in improving India’s expertise to solve complex cybercrimes.”
“We congratulate the government on presenting the Union Budget 2020 for the common man and it’s encouraging to see that the government has taken the lead to deliver on its promise of excellence in healthcare. The government’s “TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” initiative to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025 is a significant step towards building a healthy Society. India being the highest recorder of TB cases in the world makes it imperative for us to understand the high risk of catching the disease. The government’s vision aligns with our mission to raise consciousness and promote advanced diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis among patients. Additionally, the government’s impetus on boosting the domestic manufacturing of electronics and medical devices in the country will reinforce the commitment towards raising awareness for early detection in India. Apart from this, the announcement to boost Artificial Intelligence is a great step to strengthen the usage of technology in the field of healthcare while intensifying the quality with accessibility and affordability. We believe that the government has put forward a progressive budget with a strong vision to take India’s social, economic and overall well-being to greater heights.” said Mr Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India.
CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, “With a thrust on talent, technology and entrepreneurship, Budget 2020-21 is a promising budget 2020 in support of making India’s $5 trillion economy dream come true. It is heartening to see initiatives that are aimed at enhancing digital penetration in the country by making Fibre to the home (FTTH) accessible to 100,000 Gram Panchayats via Bharat Net, which will go a long way in bridging the digital divide. Also, the decision to build data centre parks for the private sector is another step towards making India a data economy superpower. Furthermore, strategic initiatives aimed at leveraging new-age technologies like the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, robotics, bioinformatics, quantum computing and artificial intelligence across sectors will further help in laying the foundation of a robust, digital economy.”
Mr Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee said, “This has been a historic budget 2020, I would rate it 8/10. This is common man’s budget. From education to infrastructure, govt has ensured promising new projects. This would encourage buying and would improve market sentiments. In terms of Electronics and TVs, we were expecting reduction in GST to 18% and extent the 0% duty on open cell panel.”
Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks, said, “The Union Budget 2020 provides a major boost to the interests of broadband services enablers and aligned stakeholders as one of the major takeaways that evidently emerged was the fact of connectivity being at the core of all key pursuits planned by the government. Towards this, initiatives announced such as providing push to smart metering, setting up five new smart cities, establishing new data centres across the country and more importantly the allocation of Rs.6000 crore towards BharatNet to provide connectivity to 100,000 gram panchayats within this year itself, augers well for the telecom industry. “
KT Prasad, Country Sales Director, Zendesk India, said, “I believe the Union Budget 2020 will have a positive impact on helping further drive Indian businesses, given the current local and international market conditions. The startup sector will benefit greatly from the tax breaks, and the move to tax ESOPs on liquidation will encourage the retention of talent in the sector, poising it for continued growth on the global stage. We are happy to see the push for adopting AI and ML particularly in the healthcare sector, which will help boost access to services as well as quality of care for more people, and further infuse growth in the economy. It is also interesting to see that the government has invested Rs. 8000 crore to the National Mission on Quantum Technologies, which will ensure India remains a key global technology player. This move aligns and propels India into the future with an eye on data, communications, cybersecurity, and technology, and from Zendesk’s position as a global Saas company, this is particularly encouraging.”
Vartul Jain, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, GreyOrange, said, “It is heartening to see how this year’s Union Budget focuses on promoting India as an investment and innovation hub. Focus on entrepreneurship, skill development and supply chain economy as well as thrust on technology are important for the growth of the Government’s Digital India and Make in India programs.Measures such as an Investment Clearance Cell, early stage fund and multiple tax rebates and relaxations for startups–will help widen their scope and provide more opportunities. From a business perspective, Government continues to extend its support to MSMEs and bolster their growth by allowing for debt restricting, all of which will help boost the entrepreneur ecosystem.We also laud the Government’s focus on improving the supply chain economy. Measures such as geo-tag warehouses and establishment of efficient facilities at the block level will be key for ensuring zero wastage and optimizing resource allocation.We are now excited to witness how the industry makes the most of these initiatives for entrepreneurship and drive innovation to further the spirit of India Vision 2025.”
Mr Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI, said, “We welcome the Government’s overarching positive theme for the Budget 2020 -21, that includes enabling an aspirational India, through major fundamental structural reforms targeted at fostering healthcare, education, skill development, ensuring economic development for all and further a caring, humane and compassionate society. The Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, emphasised on country’s growth and Digital inclusion will hinge on advanced technologies such AI, Robotics, Machine Learning, analytics, among others, which essentially relies on telecom infrastructure. However, while the Union Budget laid major emphasis on boosting domestic manufacturing of network products, mobile phones, electronic equipment, semi-conductors and healthcare products and has allocated INR 27,300 crore for the development of industry and commerce by 2021, it is disappointing that there were no announcements made regarding the rationalisation of levies and taxes currently imposed on the severely distressed telecom sector and telecom infrastructure is not taken into consideration that is going to build out the country. The Budget proposed that the New India will be driven by innovations, AI and computing where data will be the new oil and other significant initiatives such as linking of 1 lakh gram panchayat to the Bharat Net program by this year and an allocation of INR 6,000 crore in this regard, none of our key recommendation appear to have been taken into consideration. A financially healthy and robust telecom sector is imperative to support all these future forward initiatives. It is also disappointing to note that telecom was not given an infrastructure status even though a slew of crucial reforms has been announced on infrastructure. The telecom sector, which is the backbone of the country’s economy, did not receive significant support.”
Mr Anjani Kommisetti, Country Manager – India & SAARC, Raritan & Servertech (brands of Legrand), said, “The government’s initiative of setting up data centers will bring in an advantage, especially in tier two cities. With internet connectivity and digitalization in smaller parts of the nation, we are sure to see an economic growth. Today, data centers are only present in tier 1 cities of India and with operational costs, it is difficult for businesses in tier 2 cities to adopt even micro data centers. Once we see more data centers being set up in smaller cities, it will mean lower costs for businesses and they will move towards cloud or web-based applications. This will further improve the supply chain as businesses even at lowest levels will generate data that will eventually improvise their business.
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