Tuesday, February 1, 2022

India Inc CEOs Embrace Impetus On Leveraging Digital Technologies To Further India’s Growth And March Ahead

Digital Engineering is the future and steps taken today will shape the country’s journey ahead on this. And the announcements under Union Budget appear to precisely embrace this proactive approach as the fundamental impetus has been on leveraging digital technologies to further the nation’s growth and march ahead says Amit Chadha, CEO and MD, L&T Technology Services on the Union Budget announced today. As a pure-play ER&D services provider, our belief is that such a mass scale enablement of the digital ecosystem will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its strong hold as a global preferred destination for engineering services.

Venkatraman Narayanan, Managing Director & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies on the Union Budget announced today. remarks that a capex heavy, investment push and demand generating budget.  I expect the private sector to more than match the capital spend of the Government thus supporting GDP growth of 9% plus, leaving enough headroom for expenditure on farms, health, education and other social sectors.  The theme of continued ease of doing business, consistency and stability in tax rates, rebates, push to further digitise the economy, issue of RBI backed digital currency, legitimising digital assets, etc. seem to aid and support the all and in specific the IT Industry which is expected by NASSCOM to grow to become $350 billion in size in 5 years.  In all sounds like a ‘financial budget’ of the Country.

As a leading player in the cloud industry, NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Technologies, welcomes the budget 2022, Ritesh Khandelwal, Chief Finance Officer, NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Technologies, says,I believe the budget 2022 is a fantastic take and the government has made it simple and effective. They have directly targeted the apex areas, keeping health and infrastructure in focus considering the effects of pandemic. With rapid digitalization, the taxation of crypto currency is another landmark achievement in this year’s budget, as previously digital currency has always been in the grey area.

Digital Rupee using Block chain would also be interesting change in way transaction would take place going forward. As leaders in the cloud infrastructure space, we at NxtGen Datacenters and Cloud Technologies, are very pleased with the declaration of Datacenters as part of harmonized list of infrastructure. This listing gives us the benefit of working with bank centered facilities. Earlier data centers were under IT/ ITES (IT Enabled Services), but by having them listed as infrastructure providers, we now have access to low-rate loans which is a straight forward benefit to the industry.

The only thing that lacked in this budget was the clarity on government stand and expenditure towards Smart Cities. The government has spent a lot of money and time on this project previously, therefore we were looking forward to get insights on it. Similarly, we were also expecting some clarity in the data localization policy.

DROOM CEO Mr Sandeep Aggarwal's quote on Budget 2022 indicates that will impact the automobile sector in terms of Battery swapping policies for EVs, retail, job creation, road infrastructure & the way forward.

Mr Aggarwal, says,"In terms of the overall budget, I think the budget was very balanced for the masses. India talking about close to Rs 11 lakh crore going for capital expenditure and this is a very exceptional policy and hopefully will not only improve the infrastructure for the country but also create a significant amount of jobs. There were many announcements like putting a limit to the surcharge on a capital gain coming from the sale of stocks. There was a lot of mention of acknowledging the contribution of Startup companies. For automobile companies, the battery swapping policy for the electric vehicle once they are used for public transportation. This will indeed increase the adaption of an electric vehicle for the transportation industry. Finally, this is consistent with the prior announcement of vehicle scrappage and now on EV and focus on developing a 25,000 km of road infrastructure in the fiscal yr 2022-23 that will ultimately contribute to the higher adoption of automobiles in the country.”

Mr. Vikas Bajaj, President, AIFI (Association of Indian Forging Industry) said “This Union budget focuses on investing more on infrastructure and renewable energy, which will indirectly support employment generation. Apart from that, the government has focused on strengthening the logistics sector, digital education, health infrastructure etc. which is a welcome move. Apart from encouraging EV by creating a battery swapping strategy to overcome EV charging infrastructure, I believe there isn't much in the budget to support the auto sector as was expected. Also, not much changed in the Direct Tax rates for Corporates as well as individuals except incentives for start-ups by extension of timeline for start of production u/s 115BAB. Some industries, such as jewellery, have benefited from reduced customs duties on precious stones and other commodities. Finally, to assist the MSME sector, the ECLGC scheme has been extended for MSE’s till 31st March 2023”. 

Mr Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director – Renault India - “We welcome the Union Budget 2022, which spells seamless growth for the Auto & Auto Ancillary industry in India. The government’s focus on ‘Aatmanirbharta’ will continue to provide impetus to build domestic capacities and push the agenda of ‘Vocal for Local’. The government’s focus on Battery Swapping policy to be brought with inter-operability standards and push for clean tech and electric vehicles will create the right ambient environment for EV introduction and overall harmonisation of the electric mobility aspiration of the nation. This move will prove to a giant leap for the nation in advocating introduction of cleaner propulsion technologies and will improve air quality and reduce consumption of conventional fossil fuels. The government has laid emphasis for the development of the infrastructure within the country that will further help build capacities for the resurgence of the automotive sector in India and envisages Rs 20K Crore investment outlay in infrastructure projects, under the auspices of PM’s Gati Shakti that focuses on 7 engines of growth, including building the road transport network in the country. The National Highways network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23. Better roads will have a certain positive impact on the automotive sector. Finally, the government’s decision of strengthening the rural economy through a MSP payment of Rs 2.73 lakh crore along with other benefits with an objective of aiding the farming sector, will help increase the disposable income, improving the sentiment in rural areas and further improving the demand & aspirations of rural and semi-urban markets of India for personal mobility.”  

Mr. Vinkesh Gulati – President FADA said that “Union Budget 2022 seeks to lay the foundation for the next 25 years, from India@75 to India@100. With PM's 'Gati Shakti National Master Plan', a Rs 100-lakh crore project for building comprehensive infrastructure in India, it will be a significant step towards path to development. The Budget has attempted to focus on each of the sectors and has also tried to stimulate the economy after the pandemic slowdown. FADA welcomes and supports the Government's efforts & initiatives towards Electric Mobility. There is a clear emphasis on creative, sustainable & innovative business models. Battery Swapping & Energy as a Service (EAAS) will surely help accelerate the transition towards Clean Mobility. The development of special mobility zones for electric vehicles and promoting clean technology for public transport validate government commitment to E-mobility, which would boost confidence in the EV industry in terms of manufacturing, sales, and create a sense of assurance among customers. 

The government's plans for developing 25,000 kilometers of new highways will result in a push for infrastructure spending, which will result in an increase in Commercial Vehicle sales, as well as an addition of 2,000 kilometers of road under a new scheme known as 'Kavach' will be an additional benefit to the revival of this segment. With the extension of the ECLG scheme, it is a remarkable move by the government to support the MSME sector coming out of the slowdown caused by pandemics. 

The rural India has generally been the key driver for entry level passenger vehicle segment & 2wheeler space. With government plans on 2.3 lakh crore direct payment as MSP to farmers, it will work as a booster for 2Wheeler, Tractor & entry level PV sector sales. However, an additional duty of rupees 2/ litre on unblended fuel from October 2022, could play a spoilsport for the already stressed 2W industry. 

Mr. Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.  Sat that "The General Insurance Industry has played a stellar role in the country's upliftment and its constituents over the years, particularly during the Covid Pandemic or during a dozen-odd Cyclones/floods that have been hitting our country almost on an annual basis. The industry has provided financial stability to millions of people and establishments, settling claims over Rs. 1.50 Lac Crores each year and growing. The status of the GI Industry is no less than the infrastructure industry as it leads to building many stabilizing foundations in sectors like Healthcare, Automotive, SME, Agriculture apart from risk transfers for Corporate and Individuals. As the Indian economy emerges stronger in years to come, the role of the GI Industry in taking care of unforeseen risks is almost imperative to ensure that disruptions are handled in an organized manner. The abysmal penetration of Insurance vis-à-vis global levels is a clear risk in this journey.

The Budget for the year 2022-23 has laid clear emphasis on the capital outlay, with the capital expenditure proposed to be enhanced to Rs.7.5 lakh crores at 2.9% of the GDP; over 35% increase than the last year. This is likely to result in the generation of capital assets across the country, with a focus on the infrastructure space. Such assets need to be insured, and the General Insurance industry in India is fully geared up to meet the country's rising needs. Further, such creation of assets has cascading effects on employment, income and consumption. It improves an individual's lifestyle and helps develop both the knowledge and the need to protect the assets and health of the family members through Insurance. This leads to a virtuous cycle for a secular growth of the General Insurance industry. There is also a move to use Surety Bonds, which the Insurance companies may issue under the framework of IRDA, as a substitute for Bank Guarantee in Government procurements and Gold imports. The move recognizes the ability of the Insurance industry to provide alternative products to the Banking sector, thus paving the way to reduce the cost and diversity risk." 

Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Capital Ltd : “We welcome the growth-centric Budget aimed at securing India’s long-term economic interest. The union budget 2022-23 announced by the honorable finance minister has shown a progressive and development-oriented focus for infrastructure and MSME. Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by another year to March 2023 and coverage increment of 50,000 crores will give the necessary impetus and act as a key enabler to empower the MSME businesses at the grassroots. The announced measure will have a domino effect on the sector as well as provide a cushion to create an engine of economic growth. The interlinkage of various portals for MSMEs will bring the masses who require the necessary thrust and foster an environment where India becomes integral to global demand. We believe the government will accelerate the task to implement the measures efficiently and rapidly for desired outcomes.Additionally, the allocation of Rs 48, 000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana will fuel the vision of Housing for All and de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment. The announced measure will have a force multiplier for ancillary sectors to generate more opportunities.” 

Mr Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Educational Services Ltd. said that“The Union Budget FY2022-23 is growth oriented and has put the much-needed impetus on digital education boosting the penetration of learning where online education is still not accessible. To effectively bridge the learning gap created due to the pandemic, efforts such as setting up of the digital university, providing high-quality e-content, expansion of ‘One class, one TV channel’ under the PM e-Vidya scheme, equipping teachers with digital tools, creating virtual labs, promoting critical thinking will not only improve learning outcomes but will also provide students access to world-class universal education with a personalized learning experience at their doorsteps. By developing syllabus in different languages, focusing on skilling, reskilling and upskilling youth, the Government has demonstrated its commitment towards breaking the glass ceiling and encouraging education in regional languages. Collaboration between public universities and institutions will create a network of the hub-spoke models with competitive mechanisms building a resilient mechanism for education delivery. The budget aptly addresses last-mile delivery reach with a strong focus on empowering teachers through digitization and the necessity to train students in sync with global standards. The 25-year vision will build an open, digital, connected and inclusive India.”  

Mr. Rajkiran Rai G, MD and CEO, Union Bank of India : The Budget 2022-23 is set in context of recovering economy with good macro stability. The Finance Minister takes forward growth impetus through enhanced outlays on public capex, incentives for digital, start-ups, supporting MSMEs, and targeted welfare spending in 2022-23. The cumulative Government support through ECLGS rising to Rs 5 trillion till March 2023 is welcome enabler for credit to vulnerable sectors of economy. Moreover, the absence of capital allocation for public sector banks reaffirms confidence in strength of banking sector in meeting the credit needs of economy. Overall, it is a growth oriented Budget. 

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