The Budget 2021 is a step in the right direction, with the tech industry being particularly impressed with the government’s ‘pro-growth’ vision to be self-sustaining and self-reliant in the days to come.
The tech industry has welcomed the Modi government’s Union Budget 2021-22 which was presented in the Parliament on Monday, February 1, by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. It was a historic budget, the Union Budget 2021, in more ways than one. One, because it was completely paperless. Same reason why the FM ditched the traditional ‘bahi khata’ for a tablet. Two, various stakeholders can—for the first time—access all relevant budget information straight through NIC’s Union Budget mobile app this year. ‘Digital’ is clearly the big buzzword here.
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But most importantly, the Budget 2021 is a step in the right direction, with the tech industry being particularly impressed with the government’s ‘pro-growth’ vision to be self-sustaining and self-reliant in the days to come. After introducing schemes like PLI to boost India’s manufacturing prowess, and expanding on the said schemes in this budget, the government’s next big focus on innovation and R&D, is being widely appreciated. Here is what India’s tech industry is saying.
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Hari Om Rai, CMD, Lava International Limited
It is a historic budget making a mark of the beginning of a new India. Government has given a clarion call to the industry with the announcement of creating global champions from India and backing this strategy with a new, “development finance institution”. Now the responsibility shifts to the industry to not only dream but dream big and stand together with the government to make the country progress from poverty to wealth over the next three decades.
Leo Joseph, Managing Director, Xerox India
The budget focuses on the D in India, standing for both development and digitization. The progressive budget lays the roadmap for greater digitization in governance. A budget presented and disseminated in a digital format for the first time to a digital census will pave the way for the government to serve citizens through technology and data more seamlessly. The promise of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ can only be realized through greater investments in technology and focus on greater R&D and innovation – which the budget does.
Ketan Patel, Managing Director, HP India Market
Today’s budget announcement confirms the government’s focus on developing infrastructure and skills which will have short- and long-term benefits to Indian economy and people. From a technology point of view, the incentives for creating digital infrastructure, education and skilling spells out the government’s intent on developing the country’s human capital. Steps like international collaboration to develop new skills will help Indian youth prepare for modern job requirements and make them global ready.
The announcement of the National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) is a welcome step, which will help build a Digital First mindset in the entire education system in India and help students and educators adopt new ways of learning and teaching. In addition, we welcome the doubled allocation for the MSME sector which will incentivise digital transformation of our small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.
Alok Dubey, Chief Finance Officer, Acer India
The Union Budget 2021 announcement has covered several important issues faced by the economy and is going to bring growth opportunities despite the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several areas where the honorable Finance Minister has announced allocations of funds. This year the government aims to spend Rs 1.97 lakh crore on various PLI schemes over the next 5 years, starting this fiscal. This is in addition to the Rs 40,951 crore announced for the PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes which will accelerate growth opportunities for the industry. And, we look forward to a complete policy and leveraging the same to kickstart domestic manufacturing.
CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra
This budget is a step in the direction towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, clearly providing every opportunity that is required for a sustainable economic momentum and growth. The FM has provided for ample opportunity to boost and sustain the gig economy, digital payments and research and development taking place within the country. The focus on innovation and R&D (Research & Development) as an important pillar is a critical step in increasing the export income of Indian IT sector. Along with this, the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ budget also outlines initiatives for gig economy, digital payments, human capital while also setting up fintech hub and National Natural Language Translation Missions. Therefore, with increased allocation towards infrastructure, financial inclusion and healthcare, Budget 2021 promises to provide the much-needed economic velocity to India’s growth cycle.
Manish Sharma, President & CEO, Panasonic India & SA
The Budget presented by the Honorable FM in the background of five mini budgets is a continuum of reformative measures to boost the economy to drive – Job, Demand and Spending. I believe the methodical approach of identifying six focus areas where Health and Infrastructure, with significant increase in allocations, sit on the top is in the right direction to revitalize the economy and invest in the well-being of people.
For manufacturers, Govt reiterated its commitment to reforms like introduction of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme with a budget outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crores across 13 sectors which reaffirms their intent to provide impetus to domestic manufacturing, while elevating India’s position as a global manufacturing champion. We look forward to implementation details here to participate. The increased spending on infrastructure to improve roads and public transport is also a positive move and will provide easy access to raw material.
Vivek Sharma, India MD, Lenovo Data Center Group
This is a pro-growth, pro-technology budget with a vision to disinvest where required and re-energize infrastructure, healthcare, banking, and agriculture sectors through numerous employment and capital generating reforms. There is a strong focus on Digital India be it through setting a fintech hub at GIFT city, enhancing digital payments and use of AI, ML etc in governance, or making tax appellates faceless and tech enabled – all provide a solid foundation for a forward-looking data-economy.
Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-Founder and CEO, Indus OS
The announcement of the National Language Translation Mission is a much-needed effort by the government to reach our citizens in the language they understand. At Indus App Bazaar, the usage of apps in Indian languages on our platform has increased 2.2 times last year. We believe that with an enhanced app store ecosystem we will be able to break linguistic barriers and add more value to the next half a billion Indian customers. Moreover, for Atmanirbhar Bharat to be successful, the focus should be on technology innovation as a whole. We appreciate the government’s focus on innovation and R&D in the budget 2021.
Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd
Government intends to boost local manufacturing through its announcements in various PLI scheme in the next five years. As part of consumer electronics, televisions should be considered to be included into the scheme. Also, a dedicated Freight Corridor will be a game changer for the supply chain of manufacturing. By spending on infrastructure, India will be competitive at the global stage. Like metals, the Govt should consider taking back customs duty on panels as there is an increase of prices by 300% on the raw materials.
Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India
Budget 2021 looks promising and rightly focuses on public healthcare, given the disruption caused due to the pandemic. We are particularly excited about the Finance Minister’s announcement of smooth delivery of digital services as part of the next wave of digital revolution. AI, ML, and Data Analytics are making greater inroads in India, as was observed in the budget. These are all essential elements of the modern data experience. We are looking forward to the next phase of Digital India which will be a big growth driver for businesses and individuals alike.
Rajeev Singh, Managing Director, BenQ India
A very significant budget as India is coming out fast from effects of COVID 19, government has given strong emphasis on spending on Infrastructure along with big push for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Alongside, there is no change in direct taxes largely which were moderated for companies last time. This will mean more money in the system and will act positively towards faster growth of economy. Government has also given additional push to education and skill development segment in the budget which will result in extensive use of technology which in turn will give a boost to virtual classroom and Blended and Hybrid Learning.
Mike Chen, General Manager, TCL India
We do welcome the recent PLI scheme of the government. However, we need to ease up the duty imposed on raw materials keeping in mind the make in India thought. We should also be getting added incentives so that transformative measures can be taken. The industry contributes 25% of the country’s GDP.
Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd.
On the industry front, support to SMEs, MSMEs, new economic corridors and increased spending on Infrastructure would act as a good confidence building measure for the economy.
The government’s aims to spend Rs 1.97 lakh crore on various PLI schemes over the next 5 years, starting this fiscal along with the Rs 40,951 crore announced for the PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes would act as a good motivating factor for global brands to consider India as their manufacturing destination in the years to come.