Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented an Interim Budget for 2019 in Parliament on 1st Feb., 2019. Here are reactions to the budget proposals from experts and business leaders from various sectors:
‘’Kunal Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Priority Vendor’’
''As India’s largest early payment platform, we at Priority Vendor believe that the interim budget carries some of the significant developments, especially for our SME partners. Businesses registered as SMEs will now receive a 2% loan relaxation by the government, thus easing their access to organised credit facilities. Furthermore, the announcement also gave a boost to SME suppliers, making it mandatory for the government projects to source 25% of their requirements from SMEs. The segment has also been bogged down with the GST compliance, however as per the announcement, SMEs with a turnover of less than 5 Cr need to only file GST once in three months.''
While the SME segment would be appeased, we believe the interim budget to also be forward-looking. India has already emerged as the second largest hub for start-ups and the government has vowed to support advanced technologies like AI by setting up a national centre for artificial intelligence. We believe it will propel India on the path of emerging as the key centre for growth and innovation. With artificial intelligence constituting the very fabric of our platform, we are excited about this development and look forward to being part of an innovating, enterprising, and digital India.
‘’Mr. Arun Nathani, CEO, Cybage’’
“This budget is providing major boost to real estate segment through fiscal incentives like extension of benefit Under Section 80 IBA, no tax on notional rent on unsold inventory for two years, no notional rent on two self-occupied properties instead of one. Additionally, direct benefit of INR 6,000 to small farmers will provide positive sentiments and will have positive cascading effect on GDP growth. We welcome the step to promote AI hubs in India which will help to build technical competence and have long lasting impact from technology point of view for the future of India.
This budget has populist and election oriented flavour, Government will have to balance the spending and keep the fiscal deficit under control.”
Mr. Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director – Qlik India’’
“The interim budget, the government has rightly comprehended the necessity and competence of digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures and thus allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to gain better data-driven and decision-making insights and advance the nation in competitive global space.”
''Mr. Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, Founder & CEO of Telebu.''
The government has continued to stress upon digitalisation, as reflected in the interim budget 2019 announcement. In the words of the interim Finance Minister, digitalisation is going to play a key role in achieving sustainable growth and development. The government further aims to achieve one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years and we believe that it is going to pave the way for India to emerge as one amongst the leading digital economies, across the globe. The current plans and aspirations of the government will also boost the rural digital economy. At Telebu, we are excited to be part of this wave of change, as it helps accelerate our overall goal of proliferating into rural, as well as tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We will continue to build innovative enterprise communication products for Indian enterprises, MSMEs, start-ups, non-profit organisations and more.