How startup ecosystem and India Inc responded to Union Budget 2022

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2022 as the pandemic-hit Indian economy continues on the path to recovery, with January 2021 GST collections being the highest ever.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2022 on Tuesday, which touched upon all aspects of the economy — from infrastructure development, education initiatives, to instituting the National Tele-Mental Health programme.

The Budget comes at a time when the Indian economy has been on the path to recovery from the pandemic slump, with Principal Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Sanjeev Sanyal, saying the economy is now performing above pre-pandemic levels.

Focusing on the same, Budget 2022 enhanced the capex expenditure by 35 percent aimed at strengthening seamless multimodal connectivity and logistics efficiency by expanding the scope of PM Gati Shakti master plan for developing 'holistic infrastructure'.

The Budget has also proposed measures for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which contribute over 30 percent to the country's GDP, to help them recover from the pandemic. Apart from this, ECLGS (Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme) has been extended up to March 2023, and Rs 50,000 crore has been set aside for tourism and related sectors.

The Budget also talked about financial support for the digital payment ecosystem and promoting the use of payment platforms. FM Nirmala Sitharaman also proposed to set up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts.

Sunrise sectors like electric vehicles have been gaining steam, with around 168 percent increase in sales in 2021 as compared to the previous year, according to consulting firm EVreporter. The FM proposed a Battery Swapping Policy and said interoperability standards will be formulated.

Union Budget 2022 also announced the capping of the Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) taxes arising on transfer of any form of assets at 15 percent, while also introducing taxing 'virtual digital assets' as well as the launch of Digital Rupee.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting Union Budget 2022. Source: PIB

Here's a look at how Indian business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders across the Indian startup ecosystem and India Inc reacted to Union Budget 2022.

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO

The Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is progressive and growth-oriented. It will help in India’s progress towards its aspiration of a $5 trillion economy. The focus on startups, which have emerged as drivers of growth for our economy, was evident. The extension of the incorporation period for eligible startups will certainly give a boost to this segment. Hospitality services by the small and medium sector are yet to bounce back, and the Finance Minister’s decision to extend the ECGL service for this sector up to March 2023 expanding the cover by Rs 50,000 crore is a welcome move.

The budget also puts a huge focus on infrastructure and logistics which is a welcome development and ensures that the economy continues to witness not only revival but also show robust growth in the long run. Steps such as e-passport issuance will strengthen overseas travel and expansion of highway network by 25,000 km and contracts of eight ropeways under PM Gati Shakti to develop seven engines will also benefit domestic travel. 

Relief to the small businesses and startups through the recent future (Amrit Kaal) is reassuring and these, coupled with steps taken towards digitalisation (Drone Shakti, Digital University, Digital Banking and Payments, EVs, Launch of 5G) and Web3.0 (Digital Rupee) will provide new opportunities for young emerging India.

Ravish Naresh, CEO and Co-founder, Khatabook

The Union Budget 2022 is a well-balanced and progressive effort towards growing India’s economy, especially with regards to, startups, MSMEs, fintech, and digital infrastructure. Meeting working capital requirements during the initial years of operation is often tough for startups. Hence, tax exemption for startups being extended by one more year is a welcome move, and it is likely to further encourage innovations and growth that the startup ecosystem is delivering.

The announcement of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) extension until March 2023 is much-needed support for the MSME ecosystem’s recovery. Aiding the MSME segment’s cashflows and finances will be crucial in 2022 as it will be a year of transitioning to growth from recovery for this segment. The Budget has also shown great support towards expanding the digital Finance infrastructure in the country with the issuance of Digital Rupee and continuing the financial support for digital payments and initiatives such as setting up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks. Overall, Budget 2022 has successfully addressed the need of the hour by bringing in policies and reforms crucial for the growth of the country.

Shankar Prasad, Founder and CEO, Plum

Two things stand out in this year's budget: one is its focus on digital, with initiatives like digital rupee & e-passport - this is generally going to digitize lives around us. This will only help in improving productivity in time to come. The second initiative is the "greening" of the budget with initiatives like chemical-free farming; although these are pilot measures, I am positive that the direction has been set and we will see a lot more action on both these fronts in time to come.

Subodh Garg, CFO and Growth Leader, Pickrr

We welcome the announcements of Finance Minister pertaining to logistics sector. GatiShakti Scheme will help in boosting the logistics sector. Along with the logistics sector, the Budget also has an impetus on technology and IT usage.

Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU'S

There is a significant jump of 12 percent in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Education. The government continues to approach education reforms with a digital-first mindset. Programmes such as 'One class One TV channel' for supplementary education in school, DESH-stack for upskilling India's youth and virtual labs for developing critical thinking skills will go a long way in fulfilling the liberating vision of NEP 2020. I have always maintained that the digital learning gap is easier to bridge than the physical learning gap. The plan to connect all villages and their residents with optical fibre by 2025 is a welcome step in this regard. The proposed digital university with a personalized learning experience will make higher education more accessible and equitable.

Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU’S

Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO INSEA

As the pandemic panic gives in to sober reflection, the economy is poised to take off during fiscal 2023. This budget by the honourable finance minister is just the shot it needed to dash forward. The past couple of pandemic-induced years has had their run. The next fiscal promises to be an uninterrupted galloping time for the Indian economy. This budget has clearly laid out the track. The finance minister has focused more on growth rather than driving consumption. The government’s plans to increase capex on infrastructure and other projects will clearly have a multiplier effect. Transit-oriented development of urban centres looks very promising for us at OYO. Hopefully, this will create a very conducive environment to grow an app-based hospitality company like ours exponentially.

The tourism and hospitality sector employing at least 40 million people is integral to the Indian economy, contributing to its GDP, its foreign exchange and driving socio-economic growth. However, lending institutions have remained averse to credit and risk exposure on hospitality projects. A priority sector lending status to this sector would have helped lower costs of funds for hospitality projects. However, the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 2023 augurs well for this sector. Its guarantee cover has also been expanded by Rs 50,000 crore to total cover of Rs 5 lakh crore. We welcome this move. This will help many small players cope.

It is obvious the budget has focused on high growth areas. Acknowledging start-ups as drivers for the Indian economy’s growth, the finance minister has also extended the existing tax benefits for such businesses by one more year till March 31, 2023. Some other steps announced in the budget also point towards infusing a never-before dynamism in the Indian economy. Rolling out E-Passports embedded with chips will make the Indian passport a powerful force in the world. The announcement of blockchain digital rupee to be introduced by the Reserve Bank of India is another very progressive move. The ball is now with India Inc. It remains to be seen if 2023 will prove to be a slam dunk year, as it promises to be.

Padmaja Ruparel Co-founder of Indian Angel Network & Founding Partner, IAN Fund

IAN is glad that our demand for an expert committee to look at regulatory frameworks for the VC industry is addressed in the Union Budget 2022. This budget opens up a huge opportunity for start-ups across Defence, Agriculture, Drone, Fintech, and mobility sectors. The focus on digitisation across sectors will lead the way towards innovation for start-ups. The introduction of digital rupee using blockchain and other technology will further boost opportunities for start-ups in India. We appreciate the FM’s empathy, in light of covid, by extending the period by a year for startups to avail tax incentives.

Tanmay Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, Shiprocket

We appreciate Government’s empathy towards the start-ups by extending the period by a year for startups to avail tax incentives around the tough times of Covid. The announcement of 'One station, one product' under the PM Gati Shakti plan will help the supply chain of local products. The budget has focused on the development of infra projects which will boost the logistics system in India and will help us to become enablers of effective logistic systems.

Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce

The budget’s elaborate focus on building digital economy and technology-enabled development is extremely encouraging. As mentioned during the budget that start-ups have emerged as growth drivers for our economy showcases the immense potential of India's startup ecosystem. It's evident that the government’s push on 5G, connectivity and logistics will help the ecommerce industry to develop and grow further. Technology will be a key enabler here leading to improve logistics and ensure faster deliveries.

Ananth Narayanan, Founder, Mensa Brands

We were delighted to watch the Finance Minister acknowledging the contribution of start-ups to the growing Indian economy, followed by the roll-out of well thought through sops to encourage more entrepreneurs to set up shop, while incentivising existing businesses with the startup tax holiday being extended by one more year. Overall, the government seems determined to support the growth machinery - evident from the decision to form an expert panel to encourage more venture capital and private equity, following massive investments to the tune of 5.5 lakh crore in the sector in 2021.

Going forward, I would love to see three additions to the agenda - 

1) Rationalisation of ESOPs to the global standard and the benefit of deferment of tax on ESOPs being extended to all registered start-ups and their employees 

2) Set up a sovereign wealth fund from India to be an active participant in the next-gen entrepreneurial wave across the world

3) Setting up SEZ like entrepreneurship zones to incentivise setting up businesses outside the key metro areas - providing equal opportunities to people across the country and uplifting our economy.

Vamsi Krishna, CEO and Co-founder at Vedantu

The COVID-induced gap in learning needs to be addressed on priority and edtech platforms should continue to ensure that students receive uninterrupted learning in such challenging times. By providing students easy access to quality learning, this year’s budget lays a clear emphasis to reduce the gap between students in remote areas and education. Initiatives such as the 'One Class One TV Channel' and the E-Vidya scheme is a welcome move that will drive impact at scale and bridge the language divide amongst students from small-town India.

Viswanath PS, MD & CEO, Randstad India

What excites us is the much-needed boost and purposeful focus that has been given for employment generation and skilling. Specifically, the productivity-linked incentive schemes in 14 sectors with the potential to create 60 lakh new jobs will be a definite game-changer. The setting up of a world-class Digital University and the DESH-Stack e-portal for upskilling, reskilling and cross-skilling will place India as a global hub for talent.

Akash Gehani, COO and Co-founder, Instamojo

It is heartening to see that the Union Budget 2022 focused on addressing the long-standing challenge of access to credit for MSMEs, along with enabling skilling of the MSME sector. The extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) comes as a relief to several MSMEs who faced testing times post the pandemic, which made them financially fragile. With better access to credit, there is hope for the revival of existing businesses, and the creation of new businesses. The ECLGS has by far provided credit for lakhs of MSMEs preventing the sector from moving into the NPA (non-performing loan) category.

Today, with digitisation defining the business landscape, digital literacy for small businesses and entrepreneurs is the need of the hour. The introduction of an integrated platform to offer skilling, access to credit, and enhanced entrepreneurial opportunities is a much-needed requirement for the sustenance and growth of the sector. This way, MSMEs can upskill to be at par with industry requirements, have free access to online resources and infrastructure, and in the long run help in the further establishment and wider reach of these businesses digitally. Additionally, the government’s plan to roll out the five-year growth program for MSMEs will further strengthen these newly rolled out initiatives.

Akash Gehani, COO and Co-founder, Instamojo

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Co-Founder, Zeta

“It is encouraging to see the government’s support for the startup sector in the Union Budget for 2022 through tax incentives and easing of regulatory frictions in venture capital investments. Additionally, the impetus towards the rollout of 5G and broadband services in 2022 will catalyze an entrepreneurial culture and expand India’s presence on the global map of technology innovation.”

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Co-Founder, Zeta on the Union Budget 2022-23 

“It is encouraging to see the government’s support for the startup sector in the Union Budget for 2022 through tax incentives and easing of regulatory frictions in venture capital investments. Additionally, the impetus towards the rollout of 5G and broadband services in 2022 will catalyze an entrepreneurial culture and expand India’s presence on the global map of technology innovation.”

Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder and CEO, Zeta

Rikant Pittie, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip

International travel has been severely impacted by the pandemic, which is why we are pleased with the introduction of e-passports with embedded chips. This will provide a big boost to travel and add a level of convenience for international travellers. Additionally, the expansion of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 5 lakh crore will enable the small travel operators and stakeholders within the travel and tourism industry to reel back from the disruptive impact of the pandemic.

Saurabh Soni, Co-founder, Digisparsh

I welcome the government’s decision to set up 75 banking units in 75 districts. This is a strong move to penetrate digital financial services in our rural market which has 40 cr+ Jan Dhan customers. This will not just help to bring the unbanked population under the financial ecosystem, but also enable them to receive timely financial aid to fulfil their education, business and health needs. Especially post-pandemic when out of pocket expenses to meet medical emergencies have shot up drastically, forcing people to resort to unorganised debt markets consisting of loan sharks. So while more details are awaited, I hope this also paves way for PPP (Private Public Partnerships) to emerge and provide specialised, low cost, targeted financial services, because rural banking needs are starkly different from urban needs.

Ashok Patel, CEO and Founder, Max Ventilator

While the government’s announcement in the budget 2022 to accelerate the country's general infrastructure building including connectivity and logistics through Gati Shakti would certainly catalyse the broader domestic manufacturing, it must also have positive spillover effects on the medical device segment. The continued policy support to MSMEs by way of extension of the ECLGS scheme would also be beneficial to a large number of medical device makers who fall under the MSME category. At the same time, the budget highlighting the PLI scheme, in general, should also hold value for the medical device sector. The creation of a national digital health ecosystem with a focus on mental health would also lead to enhanced business activities.

Suhail Sameer, CEO, BharatPe

We welcome the Budget announced by our Honourable Finance Minister. This budget will fuel the next level of growth of the Indian economy. The budget has re-emphasised that digital payments and fintech innovations have grown at a rapid pace in the country. The government is continuously providing thrust to ensure digital banking reaches every new nook and corner of the country and this is extremely encouraging. We strongly appreciate the government’s decision to set up 75 digital banking units in the country. This will help promote digital payments aggressively in the country and drive financial inclusion further. The introduction of RBI approved digital rupee is another landmark move- it will disrupt the Indian payment system and add a new dimension to the financial system. 'One Nation, One Registration' is a great initiative as it will facilitate ease of living and doing business.

BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer

Sambit Chakraborty, Board of Advisor, Indigrid Technology

The policies should take a holistic approach to ensure that there is a proper and adequate supply network of swappable packs and swap stations so that it works as if someone is fuelling their vehicle and is able to “swap” in two to three minutes. Ground charging does not really work except at home (not for commercial purposes) because of the load it will exert on the grid and the time it takes. Convenience, especially for the last mile operators, gig economy players, and home tests/collections is key. Second, there is a proliferation of low-quality Chinese players who are “cheap”. There are substantial safety and dependency issues being built into the system. If the policy can build in a structure to raise the safety and “Aatmanirbhar” aspects and the Made in India aspects - that will be a boon for India in the long run. There are many Indian manufacturers of safe batteries and swap stations who would then not have to choose to lower quality and safety standards.

Saurabh Garg, Co-founder and CBO, NoBroker

I think one of the big focuses of this budget is affordable housing. Finance Minister has proposed to invest 48,000 crores in affordable housing which will give a big boost. Almost 80 lakhs houses would be completed this year itself. Another very interesting thing which we have seen this year in NoBroker's real report is that water supply is one of the key reasons for choosing locality. Finance Minister coming in and proposing 60,000 crores to provide water supply to 3.8 crore houses is the right step in this direction. Also, I think creating jobs at this moment is the need of the hour with covid impacting the jobs. So, the government creating 60 lacs jobs is going to help the economy in a big way. All the sectors would benefit from that, especially these people would also drive demand for housing. We would have expected more benefits especially for the middle class and upper class for driving the demand in real estate. I think that is missing from this budget. But overall I would say it's a budget in the right direction and it's a positive budget.

Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo Telehealth

The government in its last Union Budget had placed health and well-being as the first of its six pillars, and with India into its third year into the COVID-19 pandemic, that focus has reflected in this year's Union Budget as well. The launch of the National Tele-Mental Health Programme, which will include a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence with Nimhans being the nodal centre and IIIT Bangalore providing technology support is a welcome move by the government to augment the use of telemedicine services as well as provide support to people with mental health disorders.

Also, an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be rolled out and it'll further help in strengthening the healthcare services within the country. It will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities. The increased investment towards Health Infrastructure and focus on a holistic approach to health is seen as a testimony of the commitment to building stronger health systems in the country.

Sandeep Lodha, Co-founder, Netweb Technologies

It is heartening to see the government focus on rural areas. This can accelerate the government's earlier declared digital banks and overall enhance and enrich the rural economy. Digital banking and fintech spending by the government is going to enhance the financing and overall support the entrepreneurial spirit as well as benefit the IT sector to provide the required infrastructure. The government’s announcement of 5G spectrum auction by 22-23 was on the expected line. It is good to see the announcement of the PLI scheme for design-led manufacturing, this will help in getting ready with Make in India products and solutions. We welcome the government commitment to R&D and formalising the same by allocating 5 percent of universal service obligation to this but will need to see when this can be effective on the ground. R&D has a cycle and sooner we get in we can start rolling the products when the actual implementation starts.

Nikkhil K Masurkar, Executive Director, ENTOD Pharmaceuticals

A well-structured and a forward-looking budget encompassing all sectors and detailed steps for implementation. Healthcare and well-being has received top priority in this budget. The rollout of the National Digital Health Ecosystem that will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities along with the National Tele-Mental Health Programme shows the government's commitment towards improving and enhancing healthcare in India. As the future of manufacturing is driven by robotics and other automation technologies, we also appreciate the announcement of PLI schemes to create manufacturing global champions under Atmanirbhar Bharat. I am hopeful and happy about the changes in healthcare, which is an important area for India. The key is in its implementation.

Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder, Mudrex

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has suggested 30 percent taxation on crypto gains. The losses, if any, cannot be offset against other income. Additionally, the introduction of TDS on crypto transfers can now monitor crypto transactions. On the sale of digital assets, 1 percent TDS would be applicable. Besides taxation on digital assets, India will soon have its blockchain power digital rupee. The digital asset classification will consist of crypto, NFT, and government-issued currencies. It is undoubtedly a progressive step towards boosting crypto adoption in the coming years.

Mihir Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, Teachmint

Given the level of disruption the education ecosystem has seen over the past couple of years, it is safe to say that the Education Budget 2022 was one of the most eagerly awaited. And it is heartening to see that there is a significant provision for education in the budget and a strong focus on empowering teachers through digitization. From the expansion of PM E-Vidya to 200 channels to the setting up a digital university, the initiatives indicate that the government has put the spotlight on digitization to boost the penetration and access to education across Bharat. 

 

The need of the hour to make this vision a reality is by integrating a mobile-first, teacher-led education infrastructure, which can take digitization to the masses. Focusing on mobile will boost the reach significantly as India’s smartphone base is estimated to cross 83 crores in 2022, with rural India seeing the fastest growth.

Timely and dependable tech enablement and integration hold the key. Exploring public-private partnership (PPP) models could significantly expedite the growth, penetration and impact of the government’s vision and ensure that no child gets impacted by the loss of formal education here onwards.

Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Save the Children India

We welcome the Honorable Finance Minister laying focus on learning outcomes and combatting learning loss by providing supplementary education for children whose education has been drastically impacted by the #pandemic. Steps like "One Class One Education TV Channel” through PM e-Vidya expanding 400 channels with a dedicated focus on regional languages for classes up to 12th can make a big difference, ensuring recovery of learning loss. It is critical that supplementary support reaches the most marginalized children who have no or limited access to technology-enabled solutions. More low-tech or no-tech solutions need to be added to reach every last child.

FM’s statement to align National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) with industrial need must include a focus on skilling for social development sector that includes frontline workforce such as Anganwadi workers, healthcare workers, child protection workers, and others. This will support effective service delivery to children and uphold their rights. Skill enhancement of Anganwadi workers must include and promote foundational literacy and numeracy skills to meet the mandate of NEP (National Education Policy) 2020.

The budget speech has no citation on the allocation of budget for Early Childhood Education (ECE). We hope that there is a dedicated allocation for ECE (Early Childhood Education) ranging between 1.5 percent to 2.2 percent of GDP in alignment with the need highlighted in NEP 2020.

Shiv Sehgal, President and Deputy CEO, Head of Institutional Clients Group, Edelweiss Wealth Management

Transparency, fiscal prudence and impetus to growth through capex push sum up the Budget FY23. FY22 has seen a fiscal consolidation of a whopping ~2.3 percent of GDP in just one year, clearly a remarkable achievement. For FY23, fiscal consolidation continues but at a measured pace so as to balance the needs of supporting growth with the imperative of securing financial stability. The FM has used the available fiscal space to significantly boost allocation towards capital spending, which is very welcome. This along with a continued emphasis on flagship PLI schemes and supporting the MSMEs are clearly aimed at boosting job creation in the economy. Overall, a budget that the economy needed.

Chandan Garg, Chairman and MD, Innovana Group

The extension of ECLGS scheme is a welcome move for MSMEs. The credit and fiscal support of 5 lakh crores will give a huge boost to this sector encouraging new businesses to come to the fore. This announcement will certainly generate more than 10 lakh employment opportunities in a short span of time. However, a slight focus on easing the trade and the taxation policies for MSMEs facilitating more freedom to do business was also expected from this year’s budget announcement.

Siddharth Maurya, Resource Specialist, Fund Management

The budget session has taken some prudent initiatives for MSMEs and India INC. for startups the tax concession period has been extended by one more year, which in my opinion is a very positive move. Likewise, a 15 percent tax has been decided for the newly incorporated manufacturing unit. The period of incorporation has been increased by one more year to 31-3-2024. This will further boost manufacturing activities.

Nitesh Jain, Founder and CEO, BeSingular

This is a forward-looking budget which is both inclusive and progressive. Thrust on digitalisation of education and focus on upgrading syllabus across colleges will equip upcoming human talent with the right tools. The use of high-technology such as Kisan drones as well as battery-swapping will turn out to e growth engines for both agri-based and service-based economies. The introduction of a regulated digital currency is forward-looking and is in the spirit of harnessing blockchain and other exponential technologies.

Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO and Co-founder, Bounce

We welcome Honourable Finance Minister’s progressive vision to facilitate faster adoption of electric vehicles in the country. With the Budget 2022 -2023 announcement on bringing out a robust battery swapping policy, this is a vindication of the path that we have pioneered for Bounce. Government and policymakers have recognised battery swapping as the most effective solution to accelerate EV adoption in India by addressing range anxiety and hesitancy in adoption as well as considering the pragmatic aspects of setting up charging infrastructure – for instance, space constraints in urban areas for dedicated charging stations. We believe this move can enable affordable and clean mobility at scale. At Bounce, we are nearing a million battery swaps already and the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s announcement ties in with our vision that clean, affordable mobility is a fundamental right.

Mayank Tiwari, Founder and CEO, ReshaMandi

“The budget today was focused on tech-driven enhancement across sectors allowing for more robust growth in agriculture, MSME and manufacturing setup. The emphasis laid out on public-private partnership on tech-driven agriculture is a welcome note for most of the Agri tech startups. I am sure the budget will allow for more investments in terms of domestic investors and FDI across sectors in India to drive India@100 vision. It is also great to see the government’s continued focus on tech development, especially in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. It is truly the Amrit kaal for India.”

Dipanjan Purkayastha, CEO and Co-founder, HyperXchange

The announcement of green bonds to raise capital-focused towards carbon footprint reduction could be a significant milestone for industries that work towards sustainability. The green bonds will aid public sector projects, which in turn would support and grow ancillary private businesses that provide products and services towards this. The proposed reforms around SEZ administration and streamlining customs to only risk-based checks will significantly enhance the productivity and effectiveness of export-oriented units that manufacture and products and services exclusively for the global market.

Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO, Tide (IN)

The financial support for the digital payments ecosystem is a welcome move and further reaffirms the Government of India's digital banking push. This push on digitisation will make way for more inclusion in the ecosystem. The focus on 'Ease of doing business' is a great step, as it will further promote entrepreneurship in the economy. Fintechs will continue to play the role that we have been playing for the past couple of years now, and these policies will further strengthen our role in the ecosystem. Moreover, the decision to interlink MSME portals and added corpus is the much-needed support at this hour.

Virendra Ranawat, Co-founder, WoodenStreet

With Union Budget 2022-23, a lot of expectations have been met. Healthcare and infrastructure were the main highlights of the budget 2022 and immense investment has been allocated for the expansion of roadways and logistics networks. Just like it was expected, the youth and startups were given keen importance in the budget as well. The ECLGS credit scheme guarantee cover has been expanded by Rs 50,000 crore, which will provide collateral-free loans to stressed-out MSMEs.

The budget also announced "one station one product" programme will facilitate local supply chains, this will be a huge improvement impact on small farmers and MSMEs. The budget also revealed about 100 PM Shakti Cargo terminals, which will develop in the next three years. Overall, this year's budget will bring positive change for the MSMEs and other small industries.

Raghunandan Saraf, Founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for achieving the prime goal of 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' has received excellent response from the domestic MSMEs, who were looking for support from the government in the tough times.

The government believes that these sectors, with the help of the given scheme, have a potential to create more than 60 lakh new jobs and additional production of Rs 30 lakh crore during next five years, supporting the Indian Economy.

To aid the ailing sector, the Honorable Finance Minister has announced an Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) extended up to March 2023 in the Budget.

This scheme guarantees cover extended by Rs 50,000 crore and now total up to Rs 5 lakh crore. MSMEs such as Udyam, e-shram, NCS and Aseem portals will be inter-linked, their scope will be widened.

Madhusudan Ekambaram, Co-founder and CEO, KreditBee

Union Budget 2022-23 had special emphasis on Financial Inclusion, technology adoption and entrepreneurship in the Union Budget 2022 -23, which is highly appreciable. Initiatives like Desh stack e-portal and interlinking of Udyam, e-shram, NCS and Aseem portals will surely contribute to the Digital Infrastructure and entrepreneurial push. Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), leveraging blockchain technology will influence the digital transactions and hence its implementation process will be something to pay attention to.

The government’s recognition of startups as the drivers of economic growth is heartening. Measures like setting up an expert committee to suggest measures to help attract investment and extension of tax incentives period for startups incorporation by one year, will certainly aid in creating a healthy startup ecosystem. Equally encouraging is the government’s bid to boost digital banking and financial inclusion with initiatives like bringing 100 percent of 1.5 lakh post offices into the core banking system. In a broader sense, the Finance Ministry has presented a distinctive set of measures in Union Budget 2022-23, with a streamlined focus on rapid, holistic and inclusive economic growth.

KreditBee Co-founder and CEO Madhusudan E

Ramesh Nair, CEO, India and Managing Director, Market Development, Asia, Colliers

The Union Budget 2022-23 is forward-looking and focuses on a long-term plan for the country with digitization, urban development, and sustainability at its core. For the real estate sector, the budget placed an outlay of INR48,000 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and the construction of 80 lakh homes will facilitate affordable housing. This, yet again, showcases the government’s commitment on building affordable housing stock. However, we would have liked it if there was more push on the demand side, such as the extension and expansion of the credit-linked subsidy scheme.

 

The Budget made several announcements to spur the growth of the logistics sector in the country. The government repealed about 1,490 union laws in recent years, paving the way for improving ease of doing business. 

Pawas Tyagi, Co-founder, Edustoke

A clear emphasis on digital content development and delivery and overall efforts to digitize education is applauded as is the upgradation of Anganwadi. Coupled with 5G rollout - this budget should accelerate more accessible quality education in the country.

Amit Gupta, MD and Co-founder, SAG Infotech

We have deeply realised the benefit of the latest provisions for the taxpayer community. One better scheme is for the tax deduction limit which is now hiked to 14 percent on the employer's contribution to the NPS account of the state government employees. And the updated return filing provision is much better than the previous with the time bracket of two years at maximum to the end of the assessment year. To add a delight, the tax benefits to the startups have been offered redemption of taxes to the three consecutive years is now extended to one more year.

Gaurav Kapoor, Director and Co-founder, Fincorpit Consulting

Hike to 14 percent on the employer’s contribution to the NPS account of the central & state government employees is a good step to ease the tax burden of the employees. The time limit extension to two years for return filing would alleviate the burden of the assesses and ITOs. However, we were expecting that the budget would enhance the limit of the standard deduction from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 and WFH employees were also expecting some tax relief especially for them.

Aniruddha Sen, Co-founder at Kenko Health

The rolling out of the Open Platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is a noble step. It will go a long way in digitising our data about healthcare providers and extending universal access to health facilities on a digital platform. Also, the announcement of the National Tele Mental Health Program is a progressive step towards recognising the mental health burdens that face our country in the wake of the pandemic. Besides these direct measures, the extension of household tap-water access is another big win when it comes to universal access to health and hygiene necessities.

Sakshi Vij, Founder, Myles Cars

The battery swapping policy that has been announced in the budget is a welcome effort. It will give a huge boost to the commercial adoption of EV's in a big way. So, vehicles such as taxis, last-mile delivery vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles, and light commercial vehicles will get a boost. Also, it will improve the Inter-State movement of EV's which will make tremendous sense for the EV ecosystem.

Sakshi Vij, Founder, Myles Cars

Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank

The 2022-23 budget finely balanced fiscal retreat with supporting economic recovery. The budget focussed on a familiar strategy of driving capital expenditure to drive growth, with the intention of crowding in private investment through higher public spending. Although markets could be disappointed with a higher fiscal deficit of 6.4 percent of GDP for FY23 than expected, it is perhaps prudent to not undertake aggressive fiscal consolidation at this nascent stage of recovery. While elevated market borrowings are likely to pressurise bond yields, the inclusion of green bonds in the borrowing plan are an interesting innovation.

In terms of specific policy announcements, the move towards self-reliance through protection for domestic manufacturers (change in custom and import duties) aligns with the long-term goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Moreover, there is an effort to weave in short term capital spending with the long term 25-year investment plan for India. Specific moves on education and mental health issues are critical and well-recognised in the budget. Lastly, Central Bank Digital Currency is likely to have an impact on banks, but the implications of the same will have to be thought through further.

Mughilan Thiru Ramasamy, CEO and Co-founder Skylark Drones

The Union Budget 2022 and the initiatives announced by the honourable Finance Minister continue to provide impetus to the growth of the drone industry in India. The introduction of drone shakti is a welcome move and will ensure business momentum and drive faster adoption of UAVs in the country. It is encouraging to see the government promoting Digital India and digitisation of various sectors through the integration of UAVs through varied applications and drones as a service. India with its vast natural resources spanning from agriculture, minerals, and great infrastructure is finally getting the much-required momentum to become digital.

The announcement to promote the use of ‘Kisan drones' in the agricultural sector as part of the Budget for 2022-23 will enable the drone industry to collaborate with our farmers to improve operational efficiency and maximise profitability. This is a welcoming move and will make India’s agricultural sector future-ready.

Aman Sanduja, Co-founder, Moving

Thirty percent tax on cryptocurrency is a strong step towards acceptance of the technology and recognizing it as an asset class. Soon regulatory body would be announced as well. This bold step would give confidence to the new entrants and existing investors to invest and become a part of this revolution. India is leading the show from the front, being one of the first countries to tax cryptos is an example and benchmark of democracy. We all gonna make it happen. Congratulations to the early adopters, believers, influencers, and regulators.

Vimal Singh, Founder and CEO, ReadyAssist

The government’s thought leadership level act on the policies for bringing EV battery swapping interoperability is a brilliant move. This could push the adoptability of EV to 10X and also gives opportunities of collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and battery/service technology providers to enter in the space of BaaS (Battery as a Service). While government is doing everything best possible to boost economy and bring financial inclusion to all, I think government should consider waiving off the GST for services that are below Rs 500. This would benefit the whole country in multi folds:

  • People will not be burden with taxes for essential services,
  • Prices for certain services can go down as every service provider would try to fit in the less than 500 bracket,
  • Since the services below Rs 500 are exempted from GST, every service provider would be inclined to account the transaction digitally than offline cash and hence financially included,
  • Help startup like us to bring standardisation in the ecosystem

Vikas Malpani, Co-founder and CEO, Leher App

Startups welcome the budget especially the nascent Web 3 Sector will receive a major confidence boost. digital asset taxation and cryptocurrency coming under TDS is a move towards mainstreaming crypto. This will have far-reaching opportunity for Web 3.0 builders in India.

Vaibhav Jatia, Managing Director, Rhythm ResiTel

While the government’s focus remained towards promoting affordable housing, mid and high-income housing continues to be adversely impacted by high levels of taxation, both direct and indirect. Effective 12% GST payable by the end buyer towards the purchase of a new house dampens the sale velocity of projects. In no other country, whether developed or developing is the level of taxation is this high for property transactions.

When we add to this additional stamp duty of 5-6 percent payable to state governments as well as other high premiums payable for development in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi-NCR, the government in effect & indirectly ends up becoming a significant economic partner in the project (33-40 percent) with no investment/consideration. If we want to make homes affordable for the public at large (ie not just for lower-income families), this is where the solution lies. Given that a real estate purchase is a high ticket item for any middle-income family, we hope that GST levels are rationalised in future budgets.

Nitin Misra, Co-founder, indiagold

Overall, a positive budget with clear attention to digital currencies & assets. In our opinion, income from the transfer of digital assets to be charged 30 percent tax is a better outcome that puts to rest the ambiguity around crypto-assets. Also surcharge on capital gains including unlisted shares such as ESOPs to be capped at 15 percent is positive, as earlier it was limited to listed shares.

Avinash Shekhar, CEO, ZebPay

Tax has always been applicable to gains on virtual digital currencies, but the ecosystem did not have clarity on it. The move to tax virtual digital assets gives the entire ecosystem including investors and exchanges transparency on the road ahead. 30 percent tax on income from virtual digital assets, while high, is a positive step as it legitimises crypto and hints at an optimistic sentiment towards further acceptance of crypto and NFTs across stakeholders in the country. The government has come a long way in its stance towards crypto from last February to today and we are confident that this will herald a new era of growth and innovation for India in a Web 3.0 world.

 

Additionally, the announcement on the launch of a Digital Rupee using blockchain issued by the RBI will familiarise Indians with the benefits and efficiency of virtual currency, building an appetite for crypto, blockchain and the multitudes of innovations and employment opportunities that these technologies are capable of fostering.

 

The Budget focused heavily on integrating technology across sectors, and the gradual acceptance of a digital currency, blockchain and virtual digital assets has the potential to make India a leader in this new paradigm of blockchain-enabled revolution.

Avinash Shekhar, Co-CEO, ZebPay

Ujjwal Singh, CEO and President, Infinity Learn

The Budget 2022-23 has an inclusive approach. We are pleased that the Government has recognized the importance of digital learning provided by the edtech companies in India. The extension of the PM eVIDYA initiative 12 to 200 TV channels will give the segment the requisite boost. Further, the availability of regional language educational modules from Class I to XII will enhance the literacy rates in India’s hinterlands, over and above the metro cities. This will serve as the driver of socio-economic change, enabled through technology.

Education specifically has taken a new direction that has made technology-based learning, whether online or blended, indispensable for our education systems. Digital learning holds the potential to empower the country’s grassroots level population through democratised access to education, thereby facilitating continued learning sans infrastructural challenges, pan-India.

Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP

It is disheartening to note that persons with disabilities once again find no substantive mention in the Budget Speech of the FM, 2022-23. The disability sector had been demanding an insurance scheme for all persons with disabilities and the FM’s announcement of payment of annuity/lumpsum amount to persons with disabilities during the lifetime of parent/guardian attaining 60years doesn’t add much relief to persons with disabilities.

Paavan Nanda, Co-founder, WinZO

We welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement during Budget 2022 to set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) task force with the objective of building domestic capacity to serve our markets and global demand. Gaming is a soon-to-be trillion-dollar industry, and it is heartening to see that the Government of India has acknowledged the exponential potential that this sector holds. As a giant step towards contributing to the same, WinZO launched the country’s first-ever national-level scholarship program called B.O.S.S (Battle of Super Scholars) and unveiled a $26 million Game Developer's fund with an aim to provide a platform to the best minds to disrupt this emerging global gaming industry.

Yagnesh Sanghrajka, Founder and CFO, 100X.VC

Well, I think it's a great budget in terms of the infra and the capital goods push so every startup that is probably serving these industries will get a leg up. The extension of the one-year period for new startups is a welcome move. The taxation of digital assets was anyway expected. A lot of positive announcements for Healthtech, edtech, and EV startups; The whole digital push will benefit startups overall. It was a good budget by the FM.

Prasanna Rao, MD and Co-founder, Arya.ag

The Union Budget has set the ball rolling for the agritech sector in the country. The special focus around the post-harvest considerations related to millet farming is a welcome step and will help enhance the country’s farm produce quotient. The Budget has also placed agritech in the right limelight with the Finance Minister reposing faith in the role of these new-age players to transform the agriculture sector in the country under the PPP model. Furthermore, Finance Minister’s assurance on government support to FPOs and small farmers to procure farming equipment as well as gain access to technology-led capabilities and services is also in the right direction. Overall the intent to inculcate a strong element of digitisation in form of Kisan drones for crop assessment, in the agri value chain, will leapfrog India’s place in the global agriculture landscape.

 

Pertaining to startups, the move to extend the tax incentive scheme till March 2023 is encouraging and will benefit a large set of players.

Vikesh Agrawal, CEO, AjvaFintech

There have been concentrated efforts in the budget to fill the much-needed credit gap for the stressed sector – ELCGS extension specially for the struggling hospitality sector was much needed, the sector, however, will take some more time to revive, unlike other sectors. The proposed CGTMSE revamp will help the micro sector, which could not avail ECLGS earlier because they did not have existing credit outstanding, which was the basic requirement for availing ECLGS. PLI extension to more sectors and increased fund allocation shall boost the MSME being backwards linked. Payment delays have been a big challenge for MSME for government procurement, 75 percent bill payment within 10 days is a welcome step. Also, steps on going paperless, digital acceptance of invoices are good steps in digitising the value chain.

Umesh Mohanan, Executive Director and CEO, Indel Money

By extending the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by one more year, the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has addressed the wider issue of credit flows to small businesses, which is critical for a faster pace in economic recovery and job creation. This along with the proposed introduction of digital currency by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sooner than later will not only see the credit needs of MSMEs addressed on tap and on time going forward but also keep the asset quality of lenders to the sector intact despite the Omicron wave adding to the risks. This is a big positive for the business growth of MSME focused lenders like us.

Swapnil Pawar, Founder, ASQI

The move to tax digital assets is a welcome one, since it removes the potential confusion in tax filing by crypto-investors. Taxing of gifts and TDS are also useful to reduce the abuse of anonymity in the crypto domain. We believe that the future of crypto innovation is in KYC-compliant transactions in legally recognized tokens.

Rupee in CBDC form, if not constrained by only existing banks being allowed to participate, can be a game-changer for payments, credit and capital markets. It can significantly improve financial inclusion in India - by enabling faster innovation not constrained by legacy systems.

Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder, Leap Scholar 

The 2022 budget is promising for the education sector in promoting digital learning. Initiatives announced like the PM e-Vidya programme and setting up of a digital university will strengthen the broader vision - accessibility of education for all. The proposal to roll out e-passports is a welcoming gesture as it will enable a seamless experience for the travelling population, especially the large section of students flying abroad for their studies. Extended tax benefits for startups announced in the budget will further boost the ecosystem and drive the economy’s growth.

Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO, Kinara Capital

Union Budget 2022-23 has presented a comprehensive package of policy announcements aimed at supporting the recovery of MSME. Aside from the critical announcements about the extension of the ECLGS scheme and the revamp of the CGTMSE program, along with the infusion of additional funds, the government’s focus on RAMP is also commendable, as it will define the path to sustainable and responsible development for the sector. We also look forward to the interlinking of MSMEs formalisation and compliance platforms, as this stands to facilitate operability, therefore improving entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector. The digital focus of the Budget, with support for the digital ecosystem and payment platforms, also bodes well for small businesses, as we foresee the future of the sector being tech-led.

Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO, Kinara Capital

Ramya Venkataraman, Founder and CEO, Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA)

This year's Union Budget has proposed some big thrusts on education since it was one of the most impacted sectors in the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools remaining shut for over two years. The digital university announced in the budget can help students access great teachers from anywhere. This should be done in a public-private partnership model for rapid implementation and supported by certified teachers from local communities, to provide direct inputs where needed. Such a hybrid 'hub and spoke' network can help impart world-class education to the neediest segments.

The PM eVIDYA scheme's 'one class, one TV programme' initiative is an interesting effort to deliver educational programming via radio and DTH channels to people without internet access. The quality of explanations and associated support for doubts will play a big role in making this successful. We are working on the implementation of this with a state government and exploring mechanisms like missed calls, answering questions through SMS, etc to make such programmes interactive and therefore impactful.

Vishal Mehta, Managing Director, Infibeam Avenues

The government’s thrust on digitalisation by setting up 75 digital banking units across 75 districts, has proven one thing, that this decade and the coming years will witness tremendous digitalization of the Indian economy, especially the payments and commerce/business, by paving the path for digital infrastructure boom and future-tech boon.

Now entrepreneurs — all small and big, have no options, there can be no running away, no excuses, no procrastination, no wait and watch, options for them. They have to adopt and adapt quickly to the clarion call to turn into a digital entrepreneur, whether they are traders, SMEs, MSMEs, Gruh Udhyogs or any other business.

Almost four decades ago, in the mid and the late ’80s, India was in the same situation, when computerization was implemented, and irrespective of whether people liked it or not, computerization had revolutionised entire India, moving it from papers and files system of working to computerized work culture.

Aravind Sanka, Co-founder, Rapido

Two major takeaways from the budget first are the importance of the multimodel public transportation experience with the first-mile and last-mile as well. As a two-wheeler and three-wheeler ride-sharing company Rapido will play its role encourage multimodel and connecting to public transportation as much as we can. The second one is to increase the EV adoption coming up with the policy and battery swapping I think it's a great move.

Aravind Sanka, Co-founder, Rapido

Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Co-founder and CEO, Qandle

It was imperative to control the rising hidden pandemic of mental and emotional health issues. Though a lot of companies took measures to ensure the mental wellbeing of their employees, it was visible in their productivity how people are struggling within themselves. Also, employees usually hesitate in reaching out to their HRs or counsellors for help. The launch of tele mental health service will be widely accessible and individuals will not hesitate in reaching out for counselling. This will boost the well-being and productivity of people, which will eventually lead to a healthy nation and economy. This announcement highlights how we are a forward-moving nation.

Pranay Jhaveri, MD, India and South Asia, Euronet Worldwide.

We see that the government has laid out a strong framework for a digital ecosystem to make it safer, secure and affordable for individuals and businesses. With the target to complete the laying of optical fibre in villages by 2025, settlement of 75 percent of running bills in 10 days, and setting up online eBill system are focused projects to expand digital infrastructure, improve internet access, increase payment touchpoints across hinterlands of India. The introduction of digital currency will bring in security and transparency. We also welcome the initiative of setting up 75 banking units in 75 districts. As 1.5 lack post offices come into the core banking fold, we hope that ATMs will become as ubiquitous as post boxes which will directly serve the financial inclusion narrative of India.

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-founder and MD, ProcessIT Global

The Union Budget 2022 is a forward-thinking, positive, tech-oriented, macro-budget.  A positive tone was set with India estimating a GDP growth of 9.2% for FY 2022, the highest among all economies. 

The budget is pro-young and aspirational India with emphasis on digital and technology, especially with the focus on health, education and the startup ecosystem.  There is now better clarity on the implementation of digital technologies across the sectors. Spectrum auction for 5G rollout to be conducted and completed in 2022-23 is another positive step towards growth.

Regarding promoting the growth of startups, it is encouraging to know, the tax incentives will be increased for one more year, i.e., extending the period of incorporation of the eligible start-up to, March 31, 2023 from the earlier 31st March 2022. Furthermore, the launch of the ease of doing business and ease of living in general and extending of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme up to March 2023 for MSMEs in the hospitality and related services are encouraging measures too.  The raising and accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) programme with Rs 6,000 crore outlay over the next 5 years will certainly support the sector to become more competent.

Ashish Kumar, General Partner, Fundamentum Partnership

The government’s decision on taxing digital assets is a positive development and will help in clearing the way for Crypto and NFTs to be recognised as financial assets, putting a lot of speculation and confusion to rest. While the taxation, at 30 percent, is definitely in the higher bracket, the announcement helps assuage fears over the possible ban on crypto or NFTs.

From an industry perspective, the budget promises some key reforms. A particularly positive development is the government’s decision to constitute a committee to look at demands from VC and PE Funds and that brings an impression that the committee may look at bringing parity between Indian registered Funds with overseas Funds, which has been a key demand from the industry. Additionally, the decision to reduce corporate surcharge from 12 percent to 7 percent is a welcome move.

Overall, it is a forward-looking budget in terms of intent and the key reforms proposed, will help carry forward the momentum of the last few years. At the same time, what the budget lacked is more actions to implement the intention that the government has shown. 

Sandeep Aggarwal, Chairman and CEO, Droom

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.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Droom

Kashyap Mahavadi, Founder and CEO, Dinero

Hon’ble Finance Minister’s excellent proposal to set up 75 digital banks in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks is truly the best gift to the country on the occasion of Azadi ka Amritmahotsav. The proposal not only reflects the digital-first approach of the government but will also truly shape new-age banking in India. The proposal also will boost financial inclusivity to help rural India transition into a formal economy. After JAM, UPI to now a leap forward to digital banking, India is standing as an example globally on banking revolution.

Saket Modi, Co-founder and CEO, Safe Security

As digitisation continues to become more pervasive and enters critical infrastructure such as health, education, agriculture, banking, and more, building a robust cybersecurity framework and strategy is more important than ever. Cybersecurity will be the building block to the success of this ever-expanding digital ecosystem.

Whether it is an expansion of the digital health ecosystem or the introduction of digital currency, we need to think of Security By Design, and not an afterthought. In this digitally native, inter-connected era, it is now more important than ever for governments, businesses, and individuals globally to standardize and quantify the way cyber risk is measured, managed, and mitigated across employees, processes, technology, and third parties.

Tarun Gupta, Co-founder, LISSUN

As a result of the pandemic, a lot of entrepreneurs had stepped forward to address the challenge of rising mental health issues in India. The cases of depression and anxiety disorders witnessed an increase of about 25 percent globally, and by 35 percent in India alone. The National Mental Health Programme and Health and Wellness Centres alone could not have reached every individual in the crisis that they might face struggling in a moment. Easy access was the primary point of concern for everyone trying to help with the issue. The government has recognised this, and addressed the same by launching tele mental health service. The budget inculcating the fact that focusing on mental and emotional wellness is the need of the hour, itself talks about how progressive we are becoming in our approach as a nation.

Dr Preet Pal Thakur, Co-founder GlamyoHealth

The primary challenge in delivering fine health services was the lack of awareness and access. A person sitting in Tier-II city might not even know about the presence of a probable medical facility to his current challenge. With the launch of the open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem this particular gap will be filled in a single go. As the Budget mentioned, the platform will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, which will serve the purpose of access and availability of information.

Keyur Patel, Co-founder and Chairman, GuardianLink and BeyondLife.Club 

Union Budget 2022 at this juncture is as varied as possible when it comes to its stance on crypto and NFTs. it seems there is clear indications from the external chatter, that implication of long term capital gains and short term capital gains deduction at source of sales is a possibility for crypto transactions. It is an asset class and should not be treated any different than other assets, so it would be an obvious step to tax it upon gain with inflation adjusted pricing. As far as NFTs go, they are digital assets like art, music or any other form of collectible art, and GST may be more applicable tax structure than long term or short term taxation. Yet, to be seen where this all goes, but it is clear, Taxation governance for both crypto and NFTs is imminent next step for union bill.

Aprajita Saxena, Research Analyst at Trustline Securities

The Union Budget is poised to be an engine of growth for the economy. It is expected from the Union Budget that capital outlay toward realty and infrastructure space to increase significantly. The budget is expected to provide a push to the affordable and rental housing ecosystem as well as bolster existing infrastructure development, for instance, roads, bridges, dams and other construction activities.

Riding on recovery, proposed recapitalisation, new issuance to augment capital base, improving deposits, digitalization, better asset quality mix and strong quarterly results would lead banks to manage the financials, do more lending and contain pressure on their interest margins going ahead.

Ankit Maggu, Co-founder, Geekster

The biggest challenge that our youth face is the lack of in-demand skills, the reason for this is that our higher education has not been able to adapt as per the changing Industry requirements. The new-age entrepreneurs are trying to address this gap through different models making skill-based education accessible to the masses but a lot more needs to be done. The launch of a digital university is a great step, as it will increase the penetration of quality education even in the remotest areas at affordable price points.

Additionally, Digital DESH e-portal will help further refine the skills of the youth making them more employable and will reduce the skill gap, benefiting both — jobseekers, and employers.

Himanshu Tyagi, CEO and Founder of Digikull

The long-prevailing skill gap in the market was a challenge for both- the recruiters, and youth of the nation too. With the launch of Digital DESH e-portal we can expect to fill in this gap to a certain extent. The interesting part is, that following the lockdown, the adoption of the digital medium had increased. The budget has leveraged this shift in behaviour to add to the ultimate aim of digital India. If the execution is right, we can gradually expect digital learning to become the primary education system five years down the line.

Karanvir Singh, Founder and CEO Pariksha

Digital education became the familiar way of new-age learning following the lockdown. The new trend has been well accepted by the government as the way forward for upskilling, widening access to education, and strengthening the higher education system in the country. Additionally, the budget too circumscribed the fact that in a diverse nation like India, education can only be delivered by understanding the vernacular requirements of every region. The expansion of ‘One Class One TV Channel’ to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes I-XII will boost the early and secondary education in the country. And the proposed launch of the digital university will simultaneously cater to the requirements of higher education. Thus, the budget has served, end-to-end, to raise the education system in the country in a holistic manner.

Piyush Bhartiya, Co-founder, AdmitKard

The budget has been very much in line with the latest trends and changing paradigms in the education system. We are glad that the government is promoting digital education in India. The budget mentioned the launch of a nationwide digital university, which might be the answer to the long-prevailing gaps in the higher education system. What initially started as a result of the global lockdown, has now been acknowledged as the probable solution to the difficulty of accessing higher education in the country where 65% of the population resides in the rural region. Simultaneously, stressing on Higher education will reflect in the next generation's culture and quality of skill-set in the employment market.

Ritesh Jain, Co-founder – Flexiloans.com

The budget will significantly boost digitisation, MSME growth, and infrastructure. It can turn out to be a UPI moment for healthcare and education. Additional steps could have been taken to boost direct consumption demand.

For the fintech sector, digitization initiatives and subsidization of MDR will continue to help customers adapt to digital transactions. However, this will also continue the overhang of providing these services viably by the service providers. Central Bank digital currency (CBDC) will give a big push to digital money, and in the future, many use cases will be built on top of CBDC. Announcements for the launch of 75 digital banking units and bringing Indian Post under the banking stack will bring a big push to digitization in the banking sector.

The budget acknowledges the importance of the start-up ecosystem, lays down decent initiatives on the tax front, and brings visibility to the importance of their contribution across initiatives.

Himanshu Gautam, Co-founder and CEO, Safalta Education

The 2022 budget’s approach to aligning education with employability resonates with our vision. The National skill qualification framework will be of great help for the right kind of talent creation for actual industry needs, on which Safalta contributes through its skill courses. We also aim to contribute to the government’s vision of providing supplementary education in regional languages for students of class 9-12th. Safalta provides affordable, high-quality education through vernacular pedagogy for students of semi-urban and rural India. Our commitment to creating an outcome-based learning Platform leading to employment will be magnified by the government’s push on creating a digital ecosystem through the setting up of a digital university and DESH portal. We welcome the FM’s announcement to extend the period of co-operation up to 31st March’23 for tax incentives of startups.

Shalini Warrier, Executive Director, Federal Bank

We are delighted with the key announcements made in the Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister that is designed to enhance the pace of digital transformation in the country. Setting up 75 Digital Banking Units in 75 Districts, the introduction of Digital Rupee by the Reserve Bank of India on the back of blockchain technology are just two examples of what we can expect in the coming days. Our mantra of “Digital at the fore, Human at the core” remains at the core of our customer offering and announcements such as these will go a long way, we believe, in making digital a way of life for our customers.

Ratnesh Jha, CEO, India and South East Asia, The Burlington Group of Companies

The budget has strategically allocated funds to initiatives, like the launch of the Digital DESH e-portal that will encourage skill development and promote an innovative culture by introducing high-quality e-content in all spoken languages. It will be developed for delivery via the internet, mobile phones, television, radio, and digital teachers. Giving another impetus to the pandemic-affected education sector, the PM eVIDYA scheme's 'one class, one TV channel' program will be expanded from 12 television channels to a total of 200 channels to supply radio and DTH channels to students who do not have an internet connection to decrease the widening gap in accessing education. Also, these initiatives mentioned above, proposed in the Budget, 2022, will generate more employment opportunities for individuals.

Srikanth Iyer, CEO and Co-founder, HomeLane 

One of the key highlights of this Union Budget is the consideration to extend the redemption of existing tax incentives for startups, until March 31, 2023. This will benefit the overall startup ecosystem in the country post this pandemic wave.

Furthermore, the PLI scheme to achieve the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is promising and has enormous potential to create job opportunities with additional production of 30 lakh crore during the next keycap digit five years.

The PLI scheme is highly relevant especially for the real estate and organised home interiors sector, who are dependent on other countries as the overall costs are still much higher for manufacturing in India, given the continued global crisis in the supply chain. I am confident that this will enable to further boost the organised home interiors sector in India and ensure increased dependency on the manufacturing requirements domestically.

Srikanth Iyer, Co-founder & CEO of HomeLane

Ankit Himatsingka, CFO, Toffee Insurance

The focus of the government on improving accessibility, affordability via financial inclusions is commendable. The health of the ‘mother and child’ through Nari Shakti programs is a great initiative.

Impetus on the farm sector through finance startups focused on the rural economy will improve the self-sufficiency of the farmers. We believe it will be a huge positive on the tractor sales. Also, a push on the EV sector through policies enabling battery swapping enabled policies is a welcome move. Overall, the actions of the government machinery driven by this budget will improve the quality of life and boost the livelihood of a wider base of society.

It is the right mix of short-term growth impetus and laying down the foundation for the next decade. EV, livelihood vehicles, health are impact areas of great focus for Toffee and we welcome the budget.

Siraj Dhanani, CEO and Founder, InnAccel Technologies

As a health and medical device manufacturing MSME startup, we welcome the increased focus on employability, e-skilling, employment generation in the MSME sector with an allocation of nearly Rs 2 lakh crore for the MSME sector. The fact that there is an emphasis to create nearly 60 lakh jobs.

On the health front, we welcome the announcement for an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem that will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity and universal access to health facilities.

Tax incentives for startups to be incorporated until March 31, 2023, is also another step in the right direction.

Harsh Verma, CEO, Tourventory Innovation Travel

With the expansion and the extension of ECLGS, it will definitely empower our hospitality sector especially in overcoming “easily-convertible-to-cash assets”. Cash inflow was extremely choked to death with no travel at all forcing small travel agents and tour operators to eventually shut down. Thank you to our FM for being a rescuer by announcing this monetary extension support.

Akshay Singhal, Founder, Log9 Materials

The central government's constant push for EVs and climate action is commendable, and the same outlook has been resonated in this year's Union Budget as well. The openness showed by the Government to accommodate new-age business models like battery swapping are a welcome step, and the push to encourage battery-as-a-service and energy-as-a-service business models will provide further thrust to emerging homegrown startups in these areas. At the same time, financial decoupling of batteries irrespective of swapping has the potential to enable faster adoption. Going ahead, it would be exciting to see some great climate focussed debt lines initiated from blended finance. However, bringing EVs and batteries into the priority lending sector was also expected this time, but was missed in this Budget, which is albeit disappointing to note.

Shivam Singhee, CEO and Co-founder, Awshad

The Union Budget has provided a great infrastructure and Make in India push. However, from the health and wellness sector perspective, the Budget could not really live up to the expectations. Although some positive announcements have been made by the FM, such as the rollout of the National Digital Mental Health Programme and the National Tele-Medicine programme, which is a testimony to the fact that the Government is keen to address the growing mental health issues of the pandemic-bruised population of our country. Going forward, the need for additional incentives or tax breaks for wellness and holistic healing enabling companies or startups might arise.

Krishna Kumar, Co-founder, Isthara Co-living

We welcome this growth-oriented Budget which will support our country in gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic. The allocation of Rs 48,000 crore under PMAY will boost the affordable housing market, and the identification of 80 lakh households for the affordable housing scheme will enable the country to achieve the vision of housing for all by 2022.

The ECLGS scheme extended for the MSMEs can also support key stakeholders in the real estate sector and provide much-needed support as they recover from the pandemic. The increased focus of the budget on enhancing digital infrastructure will also support faster digital adoption across the country.

Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer, Shiksha.com, Naukri FastForward

This year's Union Budget increment in the funds compared to the previous year is a good sign. The Digital University is a great initiative, especially, in this pandemic situation as there is a lot of uncertainty around it. 200 channels from 12, covering multiple regional languages under the one class - one channel program will also boost coverage of education in the remote sectors with a minimal cost.

Shriya Naheta Wadhwa, Founder of Zama Organics

We applaud Budget 2022 for bringing in a considerable focus on clean eating and sustainable farming with impactful steps announced in this direction. Incentives to farmers, MSMEs to adopt natural farming will encourage increasing numbers of stakeholders to look at entering organic farming space as a highly lucrative opportunity, giving a much-needed boost to the ecosystem in distress. The decision to involve education and training in organic farm practices is a step in the direction to set a strong foundation, with more talent right from entrepreneurs to farmers coming with advanced knowledge to further elevate the existing system. An applause-worthy step among the many positive decisions is Fund to be facilitated through NABARD to smoothen financing of startups in the ecosystem to beat agrarian distress is a great promise which will help reduce uncertainty for startups and attract sophisticated tech-based competencies. Additionally, focusing on warehousing and transportation to help the faster movement of supplies will aid in supplying fresh produce and uplift the larger goal of organic farming.

Harsh Pokharna, Co-founder and CEO, OkCredit

The government's recognition of the need for further improving the business environment and the resultant measure of Ease of Doing business 2.0 is a good move. While compliances have been reduced, we need to make it easier for small businesses to start and operate a business and I hope that will be addressed through EODB 2.0.

On the MSME front, extending the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Fund will take care of the funding woes for the MSME sector to some extent. However, the Rs 6000 crore allocated towards RAMP to enhance MSME performance is inadequate and the government might want to re-look at the allocation for 5 years.

Interlinking Udyam, e-Shram, NCS and ASEEM portals will help government, banks and small businesses get a true picture of the available workforce and will also help in mapping skill requirements based on demand in the market. On digital payments, the government has reiterated its commitment to continue with last year's measures. We will be looking forward to RBI's intent of UPI on feature phones, which will be a gamechanger. It was not in the Budget but could give a huge push to the digital payments ecosystem.

Kanika Agarrwal, Co-founder, Upside AI

This budget was great because it spoke the language of new India and looks to the future. Plenty of buzzwords - Drones, blockchain, crypto, green energy, startups. But it was more than just lip service as the FM’s speech relays the government's willingness to work with emerging sectors. Moves like addressing crypto uncertainty, digital rupee, investment in green energy, the committee for startups, limiting surcharge on LTCG are all positive not just for the policies themselves but also for the signal the government is giving us. Focus on infrastructure, the LIC IPO, updating the IBC are continuing themes from last year. We hope to see more execution on these this year. Overall, budget continued to signal intent and direction for the government which was positive. Negative was the lack of tax cuts or relief for consumers and businesses who have suffered greatly in the last two years.

Shravan Shetty, Managing Director, Primus Partners India

Creation of a blockchain-based central bank digital currency while bringing virtual digital assets under the tax net at the highest rate of 30 percent will help reduce speculative play especially in the cryptocurrency space. The central currency will help bring the benefit of a digital currency to the economy in a structured framework.

Sahil Chopra, Founder and CEO, iCubesWire

While the general trend of Union Budget 2022 has its emphasis on ease of doing business, I strongly believe, data and digital occupied the centrepiece of the budget. The plans to focus and promote the fintech and digital economy are a very strong positive move. New-age technologies, keeping data and digital at heart of it will allow the tech enablers to transform multiple industries. For MSMEs, the government has plans to outlay Rs 2 trillion which is again a welcoming move that will help in enhancing startups as well as entrepreneurial opportunities for all.

Besides, extension on tax exemption to startups and promotion of startups to facilitate ‘Drone Shakti’ through varied applications and drones as a service is also encouraging. The ambitious optical fibre to the villages under PPP in 2022-23 shall get the next 100M in the Digital Universe soon. To sum up, it’s a positive budget for the digital sector which has always vouched for a strong digital infrastructure in the country.

Siddhant Bhomia, Co-founder, Krishi Network

This year's budget is a dream budget for the agriculture sector with a focus on technology-driven solutions. The key themes that come out are tech, capital, and sustainability. The focus on financing startups for agriculture, use of Kisan drones, digitisation of land records, revision of university courses will help create an impact for a population at scale.

Digitisation of land records will also further support streamlining businesses and drive farmers and businesses at scale. Another focus on domestic production of oilseeds and chemical-free organic farming will help lakhs of farmers foray into a new era of farming.

Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures 

Drones have now become an Integral part of the implementation of schemes be it in agritech, in defence and other areas. The creation of NABARD Agritech Fund for “Kisan Drones “ shows the Government recognition of a new view on how to upgrade the farming. Recognition of digital assets and bringing them under the tax structure is an excellent initiative as this would bring these into the mainstream.

The tax on crypto/ NFTs will now make it legalised and users won’t be able to circumvent tax and other financial regularities. In addition to this, Defence, Artificial Intelligence (AI), geospatial systems, drones, space economy, genomics and pharmaceuticals and clean mobility have immense potential to achieve sustainable development and offer employment to millions.

Nikhil Sethi, Founder and MD, Zuvomo

The announcement by the union government to levy a 30 percent tax on crypto is a progressive move. This paves the way for the increased adoption of groundbreaking blockchain tech. The decision to introduce an RBI-backed CBDC by 2023 is a phenomenal decision reflecting the centre's futuristic approach.

Pratham Barot, Co-founder and CEO, Zell Education

With the constant increase in demand for such professionals, this announcement will allow Indian students to study international courses in a more centralised and efficient manner. This is a win-win for both companies and students as pursuing these courses will also allow students to have higher earning potential post-graduation to kickstart their career with the right education to make them job-ready.

Divya Tej Periera, Founder, Tutrrd

It is very promising to see that education has found a prominent place in this year's budget. The government's decision to introduce a digital university with an aim to provide quality e-content is definitely a forward-looking proposition aligned with improving learning and teaching methods during the second year of the pandemic. Also, the union budget's introduction to provide digital training for teachers while focusing on personalisation by using the hub and spoke method will definitely be a game-changer in the learning methods for students. This is a significant move for the edtech industry as it pushes it towards Edtech 3.0.

Additionally the PM’s eVidya program which is set to provide supplementary education in regional languages will sure be instrumental in contributing towards the major government priority of inclusive development of the country’s education sector.

Gunita Pahwa, Joint Managing Partner, S&A Law Offices

We welcome the government's decision to set up Int'l Arbitration Centre in Gift city in Gujarat. Arbitration is one of the foremost alternate dispute resolution mechanisms worldwide, and government's initiative is yet another step in strengthening dispute resolution through arbitration in India.

Dipika Jaikishan, Co-founder and COO, Basis

This budget looks like a consolidation budget. This is not a budget for a year, it has looked at a longer-term perspective keeping in mind the digital economy, a digital health eco-system, e-passport. This is a digital march forward. The budget started with the identification of the need for mental health services and recognising these and creating services. This is a forward-looking budget with conviction and an implementation path. Technology has been recognised as the key to India's future, paving the way for a tech-enabled and digital economy.

Jatin Bhasin, Founder, SaveIN

Union Budget 2022 is extremely progressive and forward-looking in nature. Especially for startups, the tax exemption to eligible startups, incorporated before 31st March 2023 is going to provide much-needed cash flow boost to startups in their formative years.

Setting up an Open platform under the National Digital Health Ecosystem is a welcome move and much needed with an aim to accelerate digital health push. The fintech sector has a decisive role to play in furthering the accessibility and affordability of healthcare products and services.

Sumit Chhazed, Co-founder, OTO Capital

The Union Budget 2022 has laid down relevant policies for the faster adoption of Electric vehicles. The government’s announcement to bring Battery Swapping Policy would meet the issue of limited charging stations and hence increase EV adoption by the masses. The encouragement of private sectors to bring up new and innovative business models to enhance the efficiency in the EV ecosystem is the right start as it would lead to much-needed disruption in this space by start-ups. Allocation of funds to reduce carbon intensity in vehicles is in a way directed towards the faster adoption of EVs.

Arjun Gupta, Founder, Courseplay

The 2022 Budget saw many missed expectations for SMEs and startups. As one of the fastest-growing contributors to GDP, the SaaS sector should be promoted more by the central government. Share allocation process for start-ups to be simplified. Low-cost tech education in Tier 3 and smaller towns is a huge must, as the supply of skilled tech workers is at an all-time low compared to demand. Getting government contracts for tech start-ups is still very complicated and should be made easier. Labour Law reforms for tech companies would be appreciated too. The govt needs to stand behind Indian SaaS companies to make India the number one SaaS exporter in the world. Hopefully, we will see some of this in next year's budget.

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, MD and CEO, Bandhan Bank

The Union Budget for 2022-23 seeks to support the recent economic growth momentum India has seen, and help it sustain over the long term. The substantial rise in planned capital expenditure for creation of infrastructure, focus on affordable housing, welfare & development of MSMEs, and the farm economy will prepare India for the next phase of growth. This can lead to creation of millions of new jobs, helping India leverage its young demographic dividend. The new business opportunities and enterprises that will come up due to these projects will also benefit the banking sector.

Navneet Gupta, Founder and CEO, YPay

India’s fintech system was a silver lining in the difficult times of lockdown and the pandemic. The nation has been bullish with digital payments, and the current budget has further fueled the same by announcing 75 digital banking units in 75 districts. Inclusion of 1.5 lakh post offices under a banking system with digital infrastructure enablement will promote financial inclusion, and accelerate shifting micro-economy in the mainstream banking system. Gradually, all the efforts will strengthen credit access, and payments in the MSME system will certainly reflect the nation's economic growth at large.

Raghunandan G, Founder and CEO, Zolve

With this budget, investors at large were hoping to see an update on Crypto and other digital assets. The introduction of ‘Digital Rupee’ goes on to show the acceptance of digital currency and digital assets nationwide, and provides a pathway for India to play a more proactive role in the international financial arena. With clarity on the taxation implications on digital assets, it is now set to go mainstream. Coupled with the Government’s efforts to boost the overall fintech ecosystem in this Budget by promoting economical and user-friendly payment platforms, this will definitely provide a fillip to making India a fintech powerhouse.

Zolve Founder Raghunandan G

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO, Kinetic Green

Budget 2022 is a futuristic budget with a focus on the deployment of advanced technology like EV, green mobility and digitization.

 

The Budget 2022 announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister today is positive for the Electric Vehicle sector, which re-inforced the Indian government’s commitment to accelerating EV and green mobility eco-system in India.

 

FM has announced that to foster the creation of an electric vehicle ecosystem, battery swapping policy will be devised. In order to scale up battery stations, battery swapping policy will be brought out with inter-operability standards.

                                                                                                                                       

There is an announcement on shift to use of public transport in urban areas by cleantech, and with special e-mobility zones. Green energy and clean mobility systems have immense potential to assist sustainable development and modernise the country. This will further enhance connectivity and digitization of the auto sector and is expected to help automotive in a greater way.

Hiren Shah, Founder, Vertoz

Thirty percent taxation on digital assets, although steep, is a positive move as the government has finally accepted digital currencies. With the introduction of Digital Rupee, a lot more interesting things are expected. Looking forward to how the digital rupee would bring two different financial structures together.

Nishanth Chandran, Founder and CEO, TenderCuts

The major initiative to introduce chemical-free natural farming is sure to create a better outlook on the quality of food and essentials related to farming and poultry. The provision of funds through NABARD for agriculture and rural enterprises, especially for the farm produce value chain, would be helpful in strengthening the poultry, meat, and seafood sectors. Secondly, as drivers of growth for the economy, the announcement of tax incentives for start-ups to be incorporated until March 31, 2023, will have a good impact on nurturing the startup ecosystem. It is wonderful to note that the 2022 budget’s focus on road infrastructure will be a game-changer and help in maintaining smooth supply chain management. Moreover, the introduction of data exchange will ensure better logistics and the efficient movement of goods.

S Durgaprasad, Co-founder, Bahwan CyberTek Group

The announcement of a Digital University, a National Digital Health Ecosystem, 75 Digital Banking Units, e-passports, and the aspiration to ensure all villages have the same access to digital resources as urban areas indicate a blueprint for IT-driven comprehensive development.

 

The tax exemption for start-ups and the introduction of Digital Rupee using blockchain technology provide a stimulus for innovation and highlight the country’s appetite for emerging technologies. I’m confident that this budget will pave the way for a digitally transformed India equipped with all the resources for sustainable development at scale.

Gopal Jain, Co-founder, Gaja Capital

This will be remembered as a budget for startups and entrepreneurs. The FM has spent the last one year preparing for this budget through prudent fiscal management. This has helped the nation manage inflation and push for infra spending next year. What stands out for me are a number of strokes of pen reform moves.

 

The budget provides a level playing field for start-ups by capping LTCG to 15 percent. it aims to expand funding for startups by sponsoring more fund of funds. This path-breaking move will help onshore our offshore PE/VC industry and provide a boost to startups as Each fund of funds will in turn fund between 150-200 startups.

Siddharth Sikka, Co-founder, Battery Smart

We are glad to see Hon'ble FM announcing in her budget speech that a policy on battery swapping will be rolled out and an interoperability framework will be set up. This will give a huge boost battery swapping infrastructure in urban areas. It is also heartening to see the finance ministry realising the need to solve for financing to boost EV adoption. We hope that the policy will address the industry demand to lower GST on batteries from the current rate of 18 percent and bring swap batteries under the umbrella of FAME subsidy.

Avinash Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, ElectricPe

The government's support to allow private sector players to take the lead in setting up of necessary infrastructure required for EV adoption is very encouraging. Such proactive steps will lead to increased investments in the energy infrastructure sector, ultimately benefiting the end customer. Interoperability in battery-swapping and EV-only zones offer further incentives to switch to EVs.

Gaurav Singh, Co-founder, JPIN

We were looking forward to policies and support mechanisms for boosting the startup sector in India and the Budget has been a good indication! We welcome the forward-looking approach that the Government has shown towards the sectors such as agritech, edtech, healthtech, and fintech, as well as the support ecosystem being fostered to drive growth. The crypto-tax and the introduction of Digital Rupee based on blockchain signifies the growing interest of the government as well as the investors in this asset class. We are looking to invest over $100 billion in the startup ecosystem in India over the decade and the growth-oriented Budget has fortified our faith in the Indian economy.

Seema Arora, ResMed

The Government of India's announcement to roll out an open platform for the national digital health ecosystem will go a long way in promoting digital healthcare technologies in India. Digital registries for healthcare providers and unique health identities are pivotal in promoting research and innovation for the healthcare sector, all while easing healthcare access for Indians. The proposed digital healthcare registries will also help create a transformational course in nurturing good health and building world-class healthcare infrastructure in the country.

Kapil Mehta, Co-founder, SecureNow

There are a host of measures aimed at small businesses, ranging from credit guarantee schemes to improving the ease of doing business, that helps MSMEs navigate economic uncertainty. This benefits insurtechs for whom these businesses are primary clients. 

If the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission is effectively implemented it will have significant benefits on health care and health insurance because medical records will be seamlessly transferred across stakeholders. 

Finally, there is an improvement in annuity benefits to disabled persons which will help those that are financially needy. 

Overall, a good budget because the fiscal deficit is broadly unchanged with a clear growth imperative.

Dr Malini Saba, Founder and Chairman, Saba Group

The promotion of Usage of 'Kisan Drones' for crop assessments and protection, land records, spraying of insecticides, are expected to drive a wave of technology in the Agriculture and farming sector. It will help the farmers to inspect each area across the field effectively, stay updated with the health of crops, find areas that need immediate attention and promote chemical-free natural farming which will in turn help exports in the coming time and builds the health of the nation.

Pallavi Shrivastava, Co-founder and Director, Progcap

The Union Budget 2022 can be rightly termed as ‘The Booster Budget’, which focuses more on revival rather than survival. The budget cascades huge hope to the MSME sector. With the extension of the ECGLS scheme and unification of the Udyam, E-Shram, NCS and Aseem portals, credit facilitation will become easier and the MSME sector will truly thrive through the medium of retail financing startups. We welcome the move by the government to boost and encourage the startup ecosystem by providing tax benefits and recognizing start-ups as “the growth drivers for India”. The government’s digital push towards promoting and establishing a ‘DigiTech’ India will clearly open the doors for financial inclusion and the fintech revolution.

Prashanto Das, Founder, Hyperstate Technologies

This is the Big Tech Push budget. A recognition of breakthrough tech and all that it contributes to the growing digital consumption economy.

Further, we see many opportunities esp with the humanisation of assets that can help small businesses grow exponentially in building duniya ki apni dukan without a significant expense in infrastructure.

For a country hungry to grow quickly, the FM’s words resonate with our outlook.

Rakesh Kaul, CEO, Clix Capital

The all-time high GST collections in January 2022 at Rs 1,41,000 crore is good news and indicates a steady bounce back in economic activity despite the Omicron wave. The estimated GDP growth of 9.2 percent in FY2021-22 and the expected reduction in the fiscal deficit from 6.9 percent in FY2022 to 6.4 percent of the GDP in FY2023 also augurs well for the economy, presuming these projections hold true.

 

The other bright spots include the decision of extending the period of incorporation by a year for startups to avail of tax incentives till 31 March 2023, establishing 75 new digital banking units in 75 districts via scheduled commercial banks to help ensure a pan-India reach and allocating Rs 48,000 crore to boost urban housing, among others. These measures will benefit multiple verticals, including the BFSI segment.

Anuraag Gambhir, Head of Marketplace, ShopClues.com

An interesting set of announcements in today’s budget. Capital expenditure into infrastructure and ease of doing business should springboard the next few years of growth for the country. This will also boost the backend logistics and delivery mechanism on which the entire e-commerce sector is largely dependent. A digital currency supported by the government is truly an innovative thought – would be interesting to see how this sets up over the next few years. From our consumers’ perspective, affordable, high-speed 5G broadband and mobile communications will improve their online shopping experience a great deal, especially for online shoppers in rural India and remote areas. It will definitely bring in a much larger consumer base on e-commerce platforms.

Khadim Batti, CEO and Co-founder, Whatfix

This year’s budget has reiterated how the startup ecosystem has been one of the key drivers of growth for our economy. The extension of one more year of the current tax incentives and other measures comes as a relief for startups. India’s startup ecosystem has been witnessing tremendous growth and attracting attention from Venture Capitals and Private Equity players. 2021 saw a record of $42 billion investment from global and domestic players. 

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-founder, Dream11 and Dream Sports

We welcome the budget's focus on promoting start-ups and giving impetus to the Digital Economy.

The rollout of 5G services will further accelerate the adoption of online sports engagement platforms and promote investments, innovation, and wealth creation while contributing to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of making India a sporting superpower both in the real and digital worlds.

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream Sports

Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder and Director of BYJU'S

"The Budget announcement goes a long way in acknowledging Edtech's importance to education in India. The focus on setting up a digital university as well as the government's promise to deliver high-quality e-content in all spoken languages for delivery via internet, mobile phones, tv, radio and digital teachers will incentivize the Indian edtech sector and further consolidate its position as the world leader. The Budget also confirms that edtech will play an integral role in bridging gaps in education caused by the pandemic."

Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and Managing Director, upGrad,

…Changes like introducing digital universities, development of e-content in vernacular languages, expanding of 'one class one TV channel' programme from 12 channels to 200 channels under the PM e-Vidya scheme, and the overall increased financial allocation will not just accelerate digital learning but will improve the growth prospect for the ecosystem. Another critical aspect that has been covered in the skill gap situation - with the launch of the Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling, and reskilling for the youth, we are sure to witness a more dynamic sector with value additions like better employability and a strengthened economy.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies 

India is now becoming a global talent hub for the gaming industry. With ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’, ‘Make in India’ and Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) taskforce, Indian game developers will create huge returns and help India position itself as a market leader. Skill Based Games played for real money + Competitive multiplayer + eSports will drive the overall gaming market going forward.

Sai Srinivas, Co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL)

We welcome the Hon’ble Finance Minister's announcement to set up an AVGC Promotion Task Force to provide a much-needed boost to the sector. The announcement highlights the need to build capacity to serve both domestic and global markets and is a strong indicator of the impetus that the government is willing to provide for its growth. It is also heartening to see the government's commitment to work with the industry, allowing for a balanced approach that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders and strengthens the ecosystem holistically. A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will allow the industry to compete on the world stage and fulfil the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for the Indian digital gaming sector to be a global powerhouse.

Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX

The budget is forward-looking and inspirational. It has touched key points that'll help us create modern, powerful, digital, and sustained growth.

Neeraj and Sumit, founders of CoinDCX

Varun Chopra, CEO, Eduvanz

The unprecedented times during the past year led to online gateways becoming a channel to take brands, institutions, universities, products and businesses to a wider audience faster than ever before. However, lack of resources left numerous children at a loss. The introduction of digital universities and high-quality e-learning content platforms in multiple languages now, is a good initiative by the government to make quality education accessible to all. Further, the introduction of Desh E-Portal is yet another great initiative to provide more skilling and upskilling opportunities to our youth, in turn helping them with better employment opportunities in the future.

Tanmay Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, Shiprocket

We appreciate Government’s empathy towards the startups by extending the period by a year for start-ups to avail tax incentives around the tough times of COVID-19. The announcement of 'One station, one product' under the PM Gati Shakti plan will help the supply chain of local products. The budget has focused on the development of infra projects which will boost the logistics system in India and will help us to become enablers of an effective logistic system. The government has emphasised on digitisation of payments and it’s good news for small businesses and entrepreneurs who wants to start their business. 

Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, Cashfree Payments

Budget 2022 is a reflection of consumers' trust in the digital-first approach to banking & finance. Economic Survey 2022 highlighted that UPI is currently the single most extensive retail payment system by volume, reiterating its wide acceptance. This has contributed immensely towards driving digital transformation in the country. Additionally, the idea of setting up digital banking units in multiple districts will help in the homogenisation of the financial services in rural and semi-urban geographies. The launch of digital currency by RBI is both encouraging and critical in empowering the digital native youth to take a transformational leap from the conventional currency tools. We have witnessed an increasing use of blockchain technology to simplify and secure the consumer’s journey, and this push was required to encourage innovation in this domain. Fintechs and startups must help stakeholders establish connections with remote locations and provide value-added services to the underserved and unbanked segments. 

Dr Harshit Jain, Founder and Global CEO, Doceree

The high point of the budget is its focus on mental health. It shows the government’s commitment towards creating a holistic health environment. The pandemic has had a visibly damaging impact on the mental well-being of people. The situation got compounded as there was another epidemic we were facing simultaneously – the mental health epidemic which was global in nature. The proposed national tele-mental health programme will create a supportive environment for people to talk about emotional issues they counter on a day-to-day basis and help remove the stigma that we have around mental and emotional problems. Also, the decision to create an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is yet another move to digitise healthcare in the country which surely has a far-reaching impact on making quality healthcare accessible to all.

Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay

The government’s aim to push India towards 100 percent financial inclusion and enhance India’s status as a digital economy is evident in Budget 2022. A strong focus on financial inclusion by setting up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts and their plan to connect 1.5 lakh post offices to the core banking systems reiterates this. The introduction of CBDC will also be a step towards boosting India’s digital economy owing to its world-class digital payments system. Budget 2022  finally focused on digital currency with the introduction of the digital rupee using blockchain technology in 2023 which I believe will help in reducing financial and physical efforts required for money management. 

To bolster the startup and fintech ecosystem, we welcome the government’s decision to establish thematic funds to promote and encourage sunrise sectors in India. With the introduction of thematic funds, where the share of the government would be limited to 20 percent, the Government of India has established a constant flow of capital for the sector, enabling it to innovate and grow, while at the same time generating wealth for investors.

Razorpay co-founder Harshil Mathur

Dr Pratap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals

This year, the Budget has truly put the spotlight n key issues facing the nation as it emerges from two years of the pandemic. The Union Budget 2022 moves to address the pressing needs with announcements that will act as an emollient not just for the economy but also the people. The Budget, with its digital push in education and skilling for all, shows that it has its heart in the right place.

 

The budget keeps us on track on enabling universal health accessibility with the proposed National Digital Health Ecosystem. With digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity for each individual will help in providing universal access to health facilities. Along with the national tele-mental health programme, this shows the enhanced focus on health. At Apollo Hospitals, we look forward to contributing to the success of these path-breaking initiatives along with the rest of the private sector healthcare.

Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip

“The sector which generates almost 8% of overall employment in the country, and has borne the brunt of two consecutive years of down cycle during the pandemic was expecting more immediate relief to stimulate demand and to prevent further job losses. It is disappointing to note that no special relief has been announced for the sector.

 

However, on the brighter side, apart from the extension of ECLGS scheme, sustained focus on building infrastructure through PM Gati Shakti Program,e will have a positive impact on connectivity across different modes of transport. The introduction of 400 new generation Vande Bharat trains and initiatives such as developing eight ropeways projects of 60 KM length under the National Ropeway Development program will further help in boosting tourism in the long-run. Further, launch of e-passports is a welcome move too, which will help in further improving passenger safety and making the process smoother and efficient at immigration posts for Indian travellers.” 

Ajay Lakhotia, Founder, StockGro

The government of India and the Finance Ministry has taken the exemplary initiative to launch digital currencies, making India truly digital. This will reduce the cost of physical currency management and build accountability and traceability. The much talked about 30 percent tax on income from digital assets, i.e. cryptocurrency resolves the sector's regulatory overhang to quite an extent through plugging tax leakage.

Padma Shri recipient Sanjeev Kapoor

The extension of the ECLGS scheme by Rs 5,000 crore for the hospitality and related sectors, announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is a welcoming move. It’s good to see the mention of the hospitality and related sector in this year’s budget. The past few years have been tumultuous for the hospitality segment and I am hopeful that this initiative gives the industry a much-needed boost. It would be right to say, that it’s a good start and I look forward to a seamless allocation of the sanctioned amount to the people and segments who need it the most.

Kavitha Subramanian, Co-founder, Upstox

The Hon'ble Finance Minister has presented a digital-first Budget that focuses on quick, holistic, and inclusive economic growth. The focus on startups and fintech in this year's Budget is a fantastic step that will help these sectors grow further.

The introduction of 5G and the spread of optical fibre to villages would provide a boost to the Fintech industry. It encourages digital investment platforms like ours to expand their services, resulting in an increase in retail activity in Tier-II and Tier-III cities and towns. The Central Bank Digital Money (CBDC) will help to enhance the digital economy by making currency management more efficient and less expensive. The capping of surcharge at 15 percent on Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax for all listed and unlisted corporations responds to a long-standing demand for new-age businesses.

Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO, Snapdeal

This is the Digital Revolution Budget. We welcome the government's emphasis on creating new digital touchpoints to empower multiple aspects of our society and supercharge the startup ecosystem. New initiatives across currency, banking, education, skilling, health, passports, and logistics will enable a large part of the country to benefit from India's growing digital revolution. The government's focus on augmenting India's road, rail, and telecom infrastructure will help further accelerate growth opportunities across Bharat.

Taran Chhabra, Founder and CEO, Neeman’s

The Union Budget 2022-23 looks promising for the start-up ecosystem especially, with the extension of tax benefits for one more year and promoting ease of business. This is a welcome move as it will help in the industry's fast-paced growth. Also, focusing on an efficient logistic system will reduce logistics costs and time. Furthermore, another area of significance is enhancing the digital ecosystem for skilling and livelihood through online training programs. This step will allow more people to be upskilled and employable ready—however, a slight focus on offering concessions for companies committed to promoting eco-friendly products would have helped as by going green, we are saving natural resources and helping in reducing pollution.

Debashis Chatterjee, CEO and MD, Mindtree

Notwithstanding a challenging macro environment, the Finance Minister has presented a forward-looking budget with a strong focus on physical as well as digital infrastructure.  

 

While the move to grant infrastructure status to data centres will be a game-changer for India, initiatives such as Digital Rupee and e-passports based on futuristic technologies are positive for the tech industry.

 

The digital push in various sectors is aimed at catalysing growth, efficiency, and inclusiveness in the new normal. This can be seen in the expanded scope of key labour and employment portals, the launch of a national digital health platform, the addition of all post offices to the country’s core banking system, and the support for digital payments, fintech innovations and affordable broadband.

Farman Beig, Co-founder and CEO, Wat-a-Burger

The government has been supportive towards the F & B sector and did announce some steps to help the sector bounce back by shifting the GST compliance onto online food delivery partners on behalf of the restaurants. However, some relief in terms of ITC (Input tax credit) would have further catalysed the recovery of the sector which otherwise is on the bleeding end. Currently, when the industry is struggling to manage the fixed cost with GST, it requires immediate boost, and cutting down ITC would have worked wonders.

Ketan Patel, CEO, Mswipe

Measures to boost skill development through public-private partnerships, and by incentivising courses on fintech through world-class education institutions will definitely help the workforce and the ecosystem. The government’s outlay on capital expenditure, includes the proliferation of digital payments, and technology infrastructure expansion for MSMEs, both of which brings much cheer to the ecosystem players as they make efforts to drive digital penetration across India. Not just fintech, the government’s shout out to startups across Agritech, HRtech, EdTech is a clear sign that the technology ecosystem is going to play a major role in achieving not just near term GDP targets but in the long-run elevate India as a technology-driven economy.

Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME

As the union government hinted earlier to bring cryptocurrencies under the tax net, the government has imposed a 30 percent tax rate on the transfer of virtual digital assets, regardless of the holding period. There would be no tax relief available to offset the loss of the virtual digital asset against any other income. Gift of cryptocurrencies to be taxed at receiver's end. Now, the gains from virtual digital assets like cryptocurrency will be reported by the taxpayers as this announcement gives them a sense of clarity from the government. FM announces central bank digital currency, which will be a digital rupee using blockchain and other technologies. It will be issued by the RBI in 2022-23. With an increased digitalisation in the country, this move by the government can act as fuel to the country’s growth by making the systems more transparent and efficient. In fact, the government has proposed to set up 75 digital banking units in 75 different districts by Scheduled commercial banks which will enable users to actively participate in banking transactions. A new provision to allow taxpayers to file an updated return has been announced. Updated returns can be filed within 2 years from the end of the relevant assessment year in case they miss to report any income when the returns were being filed. This will provide convenience to the taxpayer.

Priti Rathi Gupta

Ashish Singhal, Founder and CEO, CoinSwitch

We welcome the government's decision to introduce central bank digital currency (CBDC) to accelerate digitization. We also believe that various budget measures to improve digital payments adoption will induct more digital-savvy Indians into the financial ecosystem willing to explore newer forms of investing and wealth creation. The regulatory guidance on tax from the government furthers the mainstreaming excitement of this emerging asset class with over $6bn worth of investments in India. It is also the gateway to the future decentralized world, aka Web3.0. Today’s digital-savvy Indians are willing to experiment with this emerging asset class. The budget provides clarity on taxation and shows the government’s intent to take a business-friendly approach while protecting the interest of consumers and the exchequer. We hope to work with the government to help bring crypto-asset taxation at par with other asset classes and participate in the central government’s vision to promote economic growth.

Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money

The government’s continuous focus on the digital payments ecosystem has paved the way for digital adoption amongst the unbanked and underbanked population of the country especially post the outbreak of the pandemic. We are hoping to see a much higher traction this year that will address the current challenges faced by the citizens and create a #AtmaNirbharBharat.

Additionally, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement on the allotment of funds through NABARD to finance start-ups for agriculture & rural enterprises along with the plans to launch delivery of hi-tech services for farmers including the use of Kisan Drones is a great move towards the development of the agri sector as well as for supporting nanopreneurs.

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and CEO, Salesforce India

Overall, this is a budget with a long-term vision supported by growth-oriented policies driving job creation, digital inclusion, climate action and infrastructure development and therefore, is very timely for our country. As we continue to digitally transform, the focus on bolstering digital payments with a consumer-friendly lens, will continue to augment digital adoption across regional India. As a knowledge economy, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of skilling to lead the digital disruption. Initiatives to drive skilling, reskilling and upskilling, digitally, will ensure we are ready for the digital future much ahead of the curve. Lastly, climate change is the most pressing global crisis that humanity is facing today impacting every individual, institution, government, community, and business. Investments in energy transition and climate action will take us on our path to sustainable development.

Varun Goenka, CEO and Co-founder, Chargeup

One of the most pressing needs of the day is to establish a network of battery charging and swapping stations across India that can eliminate the range anxiety and encourage people to adopt EVs with greater confidence. The government’s announcement to encourage private sector players to develop sustainable and innovative business models in this arena, is a welcome move. Further, the support for interoperability would lead to battery standardization. The push towards public transit usage by establishing more EV exclusive zones wherein private or non-electric vehicles will be barred is something we had been anticipating. Holistically, the various measures announced are highly encouraging for the EV sector as well as the overall environmental sustainability, and this seems to be a budget that focuses on the right areas.

Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder, Leap Scholar

The 2022 budget is promising for the education sector in promoting digital learning. Initiatives announced like the PM e-Vidya programme and setting up of a digital university will strengthen the broader vision - accessibility of education for all. The proposal to roll out e-passports is a welcoming gesture as it will enable a seamless experience for the travelling population, especially the large section of students flying abroad for their studies. Extended tax benefits for startups announced in the budget will further boost the ecosystem and drive the economy’s growth.

Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, LEAD

Overall, this has been a progressive budget as it accelerates the government’s efforts towards inclusive and sustainable development. As an educator, I welcome the emphasis on creating digital and free-to-air channels of education. However, at the same time, the budget appears to circumvent physical schooling. I sincerely hope that is not the case. While online learning was inevitable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would never be as effective as offline learning, which brings out the best in students in terms of learning outcome and performance. Online education can at best only play a supplementary role in education. I would have also loved to see a greater focus on improving the teaching and learning processes in our schools vis-a-vis infrastructure and tech-enabled curriculum. Going forward, I hope there will be policy changes in that direction.

Sumit Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO, Chingari

The much-awaited welcome by the Indian government to the use of Digital Currency and Crypto transactions will soon lead India to be one of the top economies of the world. Investing in and utilising advanced technologies like blockchain is what helps the nation grow at par with the other countries globally.

Anup Jain, Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners: 

The Union Budget has been very positive in recognising the role being played by tech startups in India's present and future. The biggest step towards removing an anomaly between taxation on capital gains from unlisted and listed shares has been taken with LTCG surcharge being capped at 15%. An expert committee being set up to examine ways to attract investments is the right step as India cannot grow to 5 Trillion economy without more capital. The government has also pushed the digital agenda further during its tenure with multiple initiatives on payments and even e-passport issuance. Policy for driving clean energy with battery swapping interoperability is a big boost to the EV sector. Rolling out a national health system ala Medicare/NHS in developed markets is a firm foot forward to aggregate data to improve productivity in this sector. All in all, it is a positive budget aimed at a single objective- driving growth, driving digitisation and driving investments to enable both.

Rohit Manglik, CEO, EduGorilla

The Union Budget prioritises economic growth, as the Indian economy inches towards normalcy after surviving the recent Omicron wave. Continued emphasis on mobile connectivity and broadband for economic development, ahead of the 5G rollout, will have a cascading effect on the growth of edtech in India. The proposal of the digital university is a pathbreaking initiative that is in line with the requirements of the post-pandemic world. Moreover, expansion of PM eVIDYA using the Internet, mobile phones, TV and radio mediums and emphasis on the newer technologies like blockchain, drones, etc., will pave the way for harnessing these technologies in the education sector. Reorientation of skilling schemes is a welcome step if we were to realise the advantage of the demographic dividend. 

Nischal Shetty, CEO, WazirX

India is finally on the path to legitimising the crypto sector in India. It's phenomenal news that India launching a blockchain-powered Digital Rupee is phenomenal news. This move will pave the way for crypto adoption and put India in the front seat of innovation.

It's also interesting to note how our government is beginning to recognise crypto as an emerging asset class given how our FM was referring to it as a virtual digital asset. The biggest development today, however, was clarity on crypto taxation. This will add much-needed recognition to the crypto ecosystem of India. We also hope this development removes any ambiguity for banks, and they can provide financial services to the crypto industry.

The tax clarity is a welcome move. Overall, it’s a huge relief to see that our government is adopting the progressive stance of going ahead in the direction of innovation. By bringing in taxation, the government legitimises the industry to a large extent.

Nischal Shetty, Co-Founder and CEO WazirX

Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Clear

1. Cryptocurrency - Government has brought in 30 percent tax on cryptos income, where no deduction for any expenses except the cost of acquisition shall be allowed. The gift of virtual assets shall also be taxed for the recipient. This clears the air on taxes for cryptos, however, there are several types of incomes people earn from cryptos and hopefully, more clarity will be available in the Budget documents.

2. ITR - If the time for revising ITR has passed or it has already been assessed, a taxpayer could no longer amend and pay additional taxes. (Earlier time period was the end of AY). If the taxpayer wants to pay addl taxes and amend an already-filed return, it can be done now, within two years from the end of the relevant assessment year. The intention is to allow taxpayers an opportunity to pay any unpaid taxes without severe consequences, in case they have made a mistake at the time of filing and return is already processed.

Akash Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Zypp Electric

The formulation of battery swapping standards and interoperability is a much-needed step in the right direction. There's been a lot of confusion in the swapping companies, which has dampened EV adoption. Seamless and widespread charging infrastructure is the need of the hour to accelerate the EV revolution in the country. The focus and thought towards the EV sector by the honorable finance minister reflects the government's poise towards accelerating EV adoption. This will also help us achieve our vision of expanding our battery-swapping network across 100 cities in the next three years I would have loved if GST in battery and spare parts had also been reduced to 5 percent like it's there for e-vehicles purchases; this would also help the entire electric vehicle ecosystem.

Achin Bhattacharyya, Founder and CEO, Notebook 

Expansion of the "One class, one TV channel" program of PM eVIDYA from 12 to 200 TV channels is a welcome step as encouraging supplementary education in regional languages is the need of the hour as language cannot act as a barrier to receiving a quality education, especially for first-generation learners. Encouraging PPP projects which will help in a centralised build-up of quality content in regional languages and ensure their easy access through mass mediums will help the country reap the demographic dividend in the years to come.

Jitendra Chouksey, Founder and CEO, Fittr

The startup ecosystem in the country is on an uptick with increasing job opportunities, tax benefits and investments. The extension of tax benefits in the Union Budget 2022-23 for the startup industry will further strengthen the business ecosystem of the country. The tax relaxation of 5.5 per cent for angel investors will develop a favourable investment climate in the country. Additionally, the continued focus on youth upskilling will pivot the Indian business trajectory. According to the Economic Survey 2022, India is progressing to be a hub for aspiring unicorns with a record number of 44 unicorns in 2021.

As a provider and facilitator of fitness and overall wellbeing solutions, we applaud the Central Government’s decision to establish a platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem, which will enhance mental health awareness.

Jitendra Chouksey, Founder and CEO, SQUATS & FITTR

Aloke Bajpai, Group CEO and Co-founder, ixigo

International travel is likely to recover soon despite the progress being slowed by the current variant. The introduction of innovative initiatives like e-passports will boost security and will enhance the convenience of international travellers by cutting down long queues at immigration counters. This will help support a faster revival of international travel in a pandemic-driven environment. Extension of ECLGS will also provide additional support to the hospitality industry which has borne the maximum brunt of the pandemic. The current budget’s focus on modernising infrastructure and expansion of highways under PM Gati Shakti will give impetus to intercity mobility by connecting major economic hubs and saving travel time for people.

Ankit Ratan, Co-founder, Signzy

The introduction of a 30 percent tax on income from virtual digital assets has made holding and transacting in cryptocurrencies and NFTs quasi-legal. Further, this tax will go a long way in making cryptocurrencies a much safer ecosystem, and would necessitate the crypto exchanges to improve and enhance their KYC and compliance rules.

We also applaud the government’s move for creating a single window for accessing land records pan India. A single land portal will make mortgages much easier and more accessible in India and boost mortgage loans.

Amit Ratanpal, Founder and MD, BLinC Invest

With Budget 2022, the government has clearly taken a stride in the right direction to support inclusion of technology in the education and financial services sectors. With initiatives like digital DESH e-portal, digital university, digital currency, and credit extension to MSMEs coupled with ease of doing business, increasing the penetration of edtech and fintech products to the masses will be the key area of focus for the coming years. However, a closer alignment with the budget allocation as per the New Education Policy would have added significantly to the current momentum in the edtech sector.

Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner, Omnivore

The Union Budget for 2022 is steering the country into a greener future. Acknowledging the impact of global warming, the rising cost of cultivation and concerns around human and planetary health, sustainable agriculture has been pushed to the centre stage. It is an important step towards climate-proofing Indian agriculture and securing the livelihoods of millions of smallholders in the country. A blended capital fund under NABARD is also interesting as it can provide the FPOs with much-needed assistance. Keeping up with the times, the government's support for drone use in agriculture and stressing the role of startups in facilitating 'drone shakti' is a great leap forward for driving precision farming at scale.

Rahul Garg, CEO and Founder, Moglix

The union budget for FY 2022-23 captures the government’s long-term blueprint to grow Indian manufacturing into a reliable partner for the global supply chain through digitally integrated processes and physically connected infra assets that talk to one another. The continuation of infrastructure development; both physical and digital, the PLI scheme and the extended run of the ECLG scheme to aid the capacity building of MSMEs, along with tax incentives for startups are steps taken in the right direction while staying within the range of fiscal prudence. The 35 percent hike in CAPEX spending on infra will boost demand across core sectors of the economy, create jobs, and boost private consumption.

Nirav Choksi, Co-founder and CEO, CredAble

The government has done a commendable job in rolling out a well-balanced Budget that is designed to propel the Indian economy on a high growth trajectory. We appreciate the government’s focus on digital adoption in this budget. The news about the digital currency rollout comes as a pleasant surprise. We’re happy to know that the RBI will be issuing the ‘Digital Rupee’ in Fiscal 2022-23 using Blockchain technology. This is a momentous step in leveraging technology to fuel the economy’s growth. By aiming to create 40 Lakhs new jobs, Budget 2022-23 checks all boxes for generating employment opportunities as well. The ECLGS scheme has also been extended till March 2023. Moreover, the decision to extend the tax incentives for startups for one more year along with the move to set up an expert committee to suggest measures to help attract investment — brings in much-needed relief to this budding sector.

Anil Nagar, CEO and Founder, Adda247

After a tumultuous two years in the education sector, the government is increasing support through the Union Budget 2022. We welcome the path-breaking initiatives of the government to revive the education sector:

1. Building a digital university will overcome the barriers in classroom teaching, especially during the pandemic, and provide universal learning to students across the country.

2. “One Class One TV Channel” scheme will act as a supplementary medium for education in rural areas. This will surely help to cover the loss of learning due to covid in the last two years.

Ankur Bansal, Co-founder and Director, BlackSoil

Certain important sectors like telecom, EV battery, solar energy, and digital finance will benefit from the budget announcements. The launch of 5G spectrum auctions in 2022 will help boost the telco sector and the classification of data storage as infrastructure spending will benefit all the leading companies in this space. Battery makers will gain from a new swapping policy for electric vehicles as they are crucial for plans to expand India’s ambitions to promote clean transport technology. Production-linked incentives worth Rs 195 billion for solar modules to boost local manufacturing will turn the focus on growth at leading panel manufacturers. Taxation of virtual digital assets and the introduction of India’s own digital currency using blockchain is a welcome move and a huge step for the crypto industry.

Vivek Gupta, Co-founder, Licious

This has been one of the inclusive budgets of recent times. The FM announced a few tax structure changes, which is bound to bring relief to various sectors. The D2C sector gets a boost from the focus on fintech and digitization. Bringing 100 percent of 1.5 lakh post offices under the core banking system is a step towards improved financial inclusion. I am also hopeful that the co-investment model, facilitated through NABARD to finance start-ups for agriculture and rural enterprise will unlock more opportunities there. The capping of the surcharge on the long-term capital gains payable on financial assets, at 15 percent is good news for investors in equity shares of start-ups. In 2021 we saw a lot of activity from family offices and retail investors in the Indian market; this move will further boost the confidence of this set of investors in the public and private sectors.

Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital

Initiatives announced around Public digital infrastructure assets and initiatives will help democratize access to digitisation, which will in turn help achieve India’s digital transformation. This includes the setting up of the National Health Registry, which will transform the healthcare sector, and the PM Gati Shakti program which will help improve access through logistics and data. The linking of e-shram, Aseem and NCS will help skilling and upskilling towards jobs for India’s large MSME sector.

Initiatives announced for the innovation ecosystem, will aid the ease of doing business for funds and start-ups alike, including the extension of tax exemption for start-ups till 2023, and the setting up of the Expert committee to continue the development of AIF ecosystem. Similarly, the International Arbitration Centre being set up at GIFT City will facilitate speedier dispute resolution, an important step towards reducing friction for companies operating here.

Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-founder, We Founder Circle

Indian startup industry has earned itself acknowledgement globally with funding on an all-time high, and unicorns shining on the stage. Now that the Budget has announced the establishment of an expert committee for VC/PE funding, it is clear that the government has adopted a progressive inclination towards further boosting the growth of the startup industry. The expert panel will analyse the industry and guide the government to accordingly scale up the funding, form favourable policies, and nurture the segment at the national level. We can expect a healthier credit line for budding entrepreneurs, and better penetration in Tier-II and III cities reaching innovative businesses.

Avinash Godkhindi, MD and CEO, Zaggle

As one of the very few profitable SaaS fintech players, we believe the biggest news is the issuance of the digital currency by RBI which will open a wide range of options and opportunities. Additionally, the endorsement that digital payments are user friendly and economical is a big boost to the morale of FinTechs and all digital payments ecosystem players, the continued support is most welcome. The aim to take digital banking to every citizen is an extremely heartening, positive and bold statement. The plan to create 75 digital banking units in 75 districts is great. Possibly the best way to execute this would be for scheduled banks to partner with fintechs to roll out these effectively.

Edited by Kanishk Singh, Megha Reddy and Affirunisa Kankudti

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