Updated February 1st, 2024 at 13:28 IST

From EVs to skill development: Industry welcomes Interim Budget

Partners from Deloitte and leaders across fintech and venture funds place faith in the continuous momentum of the Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister

Reported by: Business Desk
Budget 2024 Political Reactions LIVE | Image:ANI
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Focused steps to improve the charging infrastructure will aid in the driving consumption, leaders opine after the Interim Budget was presented in the Lok Sabha today.

Presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as a vote-on-account, the Budget was aimed at maintaining continuum in growth.

Deloitte Asia Pacific Partner Rajeev Singh welcomed the government's reassurance and commitment to electric vehicles in the Budget, adding that the sector has seen a significant growth over the last couple of years. 

“Lack of charging Infrastructure has been perceived by many consumers who intend to buy EV's as a major hindrance. And hence focused steps to improve the charging infrastructure will aid in the driving consumption,” he added.

The Finance Minister had outlined support for the EV infrastructure, including manufacturing and charging facilities as part of the Interim Budget.

Kartik Narayan, CEO at Staffing, TeamLease Services said the recent budget announcement concerning government support for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and charging infrastructure represents a significant and welcome development. 

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"With India's current tally of around 7,000 charging stations starkly contrasted against China's 1.1 million, this government initiative, in tandem with the FAME scheme, is poised to not only catalyse the adoption of electric vehicles but also to stimulate job creation within the entire ecosystem of charging infrastructure," he added.

Consumer Sector

Anand Ramanathan, Partner and Consumer, Products and Retail sector Leader, Deloitte India noted that the budget continues to support growth and productivity in agriculture.

Outlining areas of focus, he said, “Through interventions in crop insurance, encouraging use of nano fertilisers, promoting self-sufficiency in oilseed production and increasing investments in micro food processing. Also, from a protein stand point - boosting dairy productivity and supporting sea food exports are some of the big areas of focus.”

These announcements will provide employment opportunities for the rural economy, he added.

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Fintech

Rishabh Goel, co-Founder and CEO of Credgenics welcomed the government's move to empower startups and tech-savvy youth with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore with 50-year interest-free loans.

 “The key initiatives outlined will promote healthy growth across industry sectors and encourage businesses to innovate. In a bid to sustain the growth momentum of existing startups, the government has extended tax benefits by an additional year,” he said.

 The announcement of the sanctioning of 43 crore loans under the PM Mudra Yojana at a total of Rs. 22.5 lakh crore, is a noteworthy step, Goel outlined, adding that the “substantial” financial support is expected to fuel the entrepreneurial aspirations of the Indian youth, fostering a culture of innovation and self-reliance.

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Speaking on behalf of the industry, he said, "The entrepreneurial community is delighted by the progressive approach and sustained support from the government. As stakeholders, we eagerly anticipate contributing to the ‘Make In India’ initiative, aligning with the vision of creating a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047."

Startups and venture funds

Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures said the interim budget was inline with expectations. 

“However, startups and sunrise sectors continue to find a special mention even in the interim Budget,” he said, as he also welcomed the provision for Rs 1 lakh crore and tax exemptions for startups.

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“(The announcements)n toward sunrise segment at nominal or zero interest rate will certainly help small business. The focus on boosting EV charging stations will drive sale of both vehicles and charging infrastructure,” he added.

In terms of changes to direct and indirect tax, he said no change was expected, but “we may see new rates in the full budget to be proposed in July 2024.”

Siba Panda, Founder and Managing Partner, ValuAble said the Interim Budget was promising, adding that the Finance Minister has provided a balanced outlook towards growth and promoting sustainability.

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“The invaluable focus on “Garib, Mahilayen, Yuva and Annadata” is a testimony to the government’s focus on protecting, uplifting, and promoting at the grassroots. Prima facie the tax rates have remained constant but the initiative to support tech-led youth and startup economy is remarkable. The PM Mudra Yojana that has sanctioned as many as 43 crore loans amounting to a whopping Rs. 22.5 lakh crore will build consensus with the ideology that is at the core of Viksit Bharat @2047. Although this budget has only earmarked major fund allocations, it is sure to boost confidence in the market and the market’s trust in the economy,” Panda added.

Yagnesh Sanjharka, Founder and CFO 100X.VC said the Budget speech left him “wanting more” for the forthcoming year. 

"The emphasis on macro measures such as EV adoption in public transport, increased focus on tourism, rooftop solarization, and infrastructure development is appreciated, as it indirectly benefits startups in these sectors. However, there was a missed opportunity to outline specific initiatives and incentives to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Looking ahead, we hope for a more targeted and supportive approach to fuel the growth of the startup ecosystem in the coming year," he added.

Upskilling

Kartik Narayan,CEO, staffing at TeamLease Services said the Skill India Mission's initiative to train 1.4 crore young individuals, along with the upskilling and re-skilling of 54 lakh youth, coupled with the establishment of 3,000 new Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), is a vital step towards bolstering Production Linked Incentive (PLI) and Make in India programs. 

“This comprehensive approach is essential in enhancing the manufacturing sector's contribution to the GDP from 17 per cent to 25 per cent by 2047, thereby creating numerous job opportunities,” he added.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 13:20 IST