Industry Stalwarts Laud Interim Budget 2019

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today presented the interim budget, also called Vote on account. This interim budget seeks Parliament nod for expenses for next 6 months. A full budget will be presented when a new government takes office post election which is slated for sometime around April, 2019.

Despite being an interim one, the budget 2019 looked like a full budget with allocations and vision for all round development of the country.

The budget got quite positive reaction from stalwarts across industry verticals. We could able to gather some of them.

Today’s Budget clearly showcases the importance of a digital-first India and the government’s commitment to drive innovation and technology advancement in the country. With the government setting a target to become a $5 Trillion economy in the next 5 years, Intel believes that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G will play a crucial part in this vision. Firstly, the government’s focus on the rapid adoption of AI in India by announcing initiatives like the National Center for AI and a National AI Portal, is a step in the right direction to drive technology adoption in the country. At Intel, we have been working on various AI-led initiatives with the government and will continue to collaborate with the country in its digital transformation mission. Secondly, the Budget also pointed out the growth in the telecom sector; this definitely provides impetus towards building a strong 5G ready ecosystem in the country. Additionally, the government has set a goal to create 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years taking technology penetration to a new level, that can help build a truly digital India.” – Prakash Mallya, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel.

We are delighted to see the Government’s focus on setting up a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to bring the benefits of AI and related technologies to the common person. In a recent research commissioned by Salesforce, 65% of Indian respondents were positive about AI and its usage. Businesses using AI have the opportunity to amplify our human intelligence, better connect to consumers and impact societies like never before. We are delighted and welcome the government’s visionary step to support and democratise access to AI and related technologies. This is equally important for businesses like Salesforce is the penetration of AI skills among the workforce. Globally, all eyes will continue to be on India and we look forward to being a part of this journey.” – Sunil Jose, Senior Area Vice President and Country Leader, Salesforce India.

“We hope that the government’s focus on development of port infrastructure and capacity enhancement, improvement in last mile connectivity and development of multi-modal hubs to promote EXIM while reducing logistics cost and time will prove beneficial for the Indian economy in the long run thereby making India a global power house. We believe that initiatives like installation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system at Major Ports to enhance security and remove bottlenecks for seamless movement of traffic across Port gates; DMICDC’s Logistics Databank system (LDB) deployment for tracking & tracing movement of EXIM container in the Major Ports thereby enabling the consigners and consignees to track the movement of the containers from LDB portal and Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) enabling direct movement of containers from factories / port without intermediate handling requirement, thus saving cost & time will help in fulfilling government’s vision of Ease of Doing Business in India.” – Piyush Sinha, Deputy Managing Director, NEC Technologies India.

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“The Budget 2019 is certainly pro-growth and will increase the purchasing power of the Indian Middle Class. It is heartening to see that the government recognizes the poignant role of digital technology in India’s evolution to a five-trillion dollar economy over the next five years. Announcement around national scheme on Artificial intelligence is a welcome move and will give an impetus to the technology ecosystem in India. With focus on development, it is a progressive budget and will be a next big leap in India’s growth story.  The delivery however will be contingent on effective implementation of these policies.” – Carl Ngo Co-founder and CEO of Mobiistar, India and Global.

 

For this year’s budget, the government has made some significant announcements that are aimed towards strengthening Digital India. The creation of 1 lakh Digital Villages in the next 5 years will truly set the tone for a digitally empowered country. We applaud the government’s focus on digital infrastructure and the digital economy. With India leading the consumption of mobile data usage in the world and the cost of voice and data calls being one of the lowest, there is immense potential for the growth of the entertainment industry, further giving an impetus to the audio accessories industry. The government’s Make in India initiative has also resulted in positive impact, with the mobile and parts manufacturing companies increasing from 2 to more than 268, creating huge job opportunities across. Taking that further, the aim is to expand rural industrialization using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment. Further, A National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ envisaged by our government is a welcome initiative towards putting futuristic technologies like AI in the hands of the Indian consumer. With India poised to become $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years, the government’s proposal of giving a full tax rebate to individual taxpayers with an income of up to 5 lakh will empower the Indian consumer.” – Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations, Sennheiser India.

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This indeed is a visionary budget. Digitization provides advancements and economic growth. As cities, towns, and villages grow into a more efficient and connected society, the overall economy will grow, the unemployment rate will descrease, and the overpopulation will also decrease. Investing in the development and advancement of villages pan India is a step in the right direction to improve life for their citizens”Ali Hosseini, Founder and CEO, SenRa.

The focus on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to enable a positive impact on the lives of people is an encouraging step. Further, the expansion of rural industrialization using digital technologies, development of clusters encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups, will boost rural manufacturing, job creation and strengthen the overall economy. – Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India.

The Union Budget 2019-20 has given a huge boost to middle class population of the country by providing tax rebate to individuals earning up to Rs 5 lakh per annum. This will indeed persuade people to purchase more goods and services, which in turn will boost overall digital banking transactions. The government’s proposal to connect 1 lakh villages with digital services in the next five years will definitely drive financial inclusion in the country and boost digital banking in the economy. The JAM (short for Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) trinity is already making good progress, and with this move we are at the cusp of a digital revolution that will create opportunities for Fintech companies. We are already witnessing a surge in digital payments in urban areas, the trend is likely to expand in remote parts of the country through easy availability of data services. The government has also envisaged to create a Digital India reaching every sector of the economy, every corner of the country and impacting the life of all Indians. We believe this budget has laid the foundation for the next digital uprising in the country.” – Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, Managing Director – India at FIS.

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The Union budget 2019 has touched upon critical areas such as enhancing tax exemption for salaried employees and digitising the entire tax filing process. The decision to carry all tax verifications via an anonymous digital interface and processing all tax returns within 24 hours displays the Government’s strong intention to build a digital nation, whilst putting convenience in the hands of its citizens and ensuring complete transparency. Finally, the increase in the standard deduction for salaried citizens from INR 40, 000 to INR 50, 000 is an encouraging move as more than 3 crore middle-class taxpayers will now get the tax benefit of almost 4700 cr. In addition to this, the Government of India has also exempted tax for employees earning an annual income of up to INR 5 lakh which is a welcome move as it gives more liquidity to the taxpaying citizens of the country.”Bhavin Turakhia, Co-founder and CEO, Zeta.  

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The 2019 budget looks promising for the healthcare sector; we have seen some major initiatives and announcements that will potentially change the health Index of India. One of the key highlights is the establishment of a system that ensures a stress free environment and comprehensive wellness for all. Keeping in mind that 55 per cent of India’s workforce are millennials, this is definitely need of the hour. Therefore, paving way for a stress-free India is directly proportional to its growth. The healthcare announcements made in the budget are a welcome move and will help build a strong economy. This will provide opportunities for companies like GOQii to contribute to making a stress-free India and creating a space that encourages preventive healthcare over curative. Further, Ayushmann Bharat’s vision of improving the lives of 50 crore Indians which will potentially result in cumulative savings of INR 3,000 crores by the poor, is a testimony that the Government of India is strengthening the nation’s health ground up. We support the same philosophy that is making healthcare easily accessible for all Indians and governments efforts are evident through increased focus on making medicines, healthcare services and other health related instruments more affordable.” – Vishal Gondal, CEO and founder GOQii.

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