Budget 2019: India Inc high on josh, see spike in consumption

The Interim Budget 2019 presented by Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1 has been hailed by India Inc, who expect a spur in consumption with the tax rebates given to the middle class. The proposal to set by a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence as well the greater push to digitise India has also been welcomed by the industry. 




Sunil Duggal, CEO, Dabur India Ltd:
“Finance Minister Piyush Goyal’s Interim Budget 2019 can be summed up as a series of sops for the middle class, farmers and millions of employees in the unorganised sector. Not only does he promise to put more disposal income in the pockets of Middle-Class India, he is also seeking to improve the quality of life of people at the bottom of the pyramid, particularly the small and marginal farmers, and unorganized sector workers. In short, it a great Budget for that should spur consumption. 

“The government’s decision to exempt tax on an income of up to Rs 5 lakh for individuals tax payers and an increase in standard deduction to Rs 50,000, the hike in TDS threshold for home rent and higher Capital Gains tax exemptions under Section 54 are big-ticket reliefs for the Aam Aadmi. I am confident this Budget would boost overall consumer confidence and play a catalyst for demand generation for branded consumer staples and consumer products.” 

“However, the upward revision in fiscal deficit target to 3.4 per cent of the GDP for 2018-19 and 2019-20 remains an area of concern. Also, there is not much clarity on the government vision and strategy for improving infrastructure and job creation.” 

Dr Subho Ray, President, IAMAI:
“The announcement of National Artificial Intelligence portal is expected to propel India on the path of leveraging advanced and disruptive technologies for growth and economic prosperity and growth. The Budget acknowledges the innovation taking place in the country. India is now the second-largest hub for start-ups in the world.” 

Shekhar Bajaj, CMD, Bajaj Electricals Limited:
“The Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Finance Minister will give a boost to India’s growth story, primarily focusing on middle and lower middle class segment of the Indian society. The exemption provided in the tax for individuals with salaried income of up to Rs 5 lakh, clubbed with subvention schemes for farmers who cannot afford to repay loan shall propel demand growth in both rural and urban areas thereby paving way for overall growth going forward. In addition to enhancing individual’s disposable income, initiative towards enhancing the digital penetration in the villages across the country shall have great potential of sustaining overall demand scenario for consumer durable industry in coming time.” 

Vijay Mansukhani, MD, Mirc Electronics Ltd (Onida):
“Overall, the Budget is very positive for middle class, as the Government has put in more disposable income in the hands of middle class of the country. This is much needed for a long time. On the other hand there is good balancing act done to agriculture sector, which would bring in much need relief to farmers of the country.” 

“Increase in disposable income in the hands of both middle class and rural India is definitely going to spur demand for consumer durables goods like televisions, air conditioners and washing machines. This move is definitely positive for us.” 

“Government should have worked on selective Free Trade Agreements with countries like Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia for agricultural products rather than encouraging duty free import of consumer durables from these countries. The recent move of the Government of India to reduce customs duty on goods imported from Korea from 6.9 per cent to 6.3 per cent and from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka to zero is detrimental to Make in India initiative of the company. On one side, the Government of India has been promoting make in India and on the other side entering FTAs with these countries, which will not encourage the growth of manufacturing in India.” 

Ullas Kamath, Joint Managing Director, Jyothy Laboratories Limited:
“The Budget presented by the Finance Minister comes with a holistic approach towards the upliftment and betterment of the entire Indian society. Focused on easing out processes and efforts taken in improving the lives of the farmers will help in shaping up the rural economy of the country.” 

“The decision of reducing the tax burden on the salaried individual’s will boost the consumer sentiment, thereby aiding added purchasing power. The balanced efforts taken towards the rural and the urban economy will help in boosting the demand supply chain of the country.” 

“The initiative of setting up one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years is a good move and it will provide further impetus to India’s growth story. Additionally, schemes providing bonus to the workers will help boosting their confidence. Overall, we believe it’s a well formed and a futuristic budget that will expedite the growth of the Indian economy.” 

Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, AdLift:
“The Union Budget looks very promising for start-ups/ MSMEs. Loans up to Rs 1 crore sanctioned within 59 minutes and 2 per cent rebates on interest loans for GST registered MSMEs are positive boosts to the start-up ecosystem.” 

Nikhil Nanda, MD, JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Ltd:
“The Finance Minister has done good job by balancing welfare and growth of the country. Increase in disposable incomes in the hands of middle class and rural India is good boost for FMCG companies like us. Any saving in the taxes are generally spent on kids, which is where our focus is and this raising of income tax exemption limit and increasing standard deduction will go a long way to spur the consumption and spending power of the people.” 

Sunu Mathews, MD, LEAP India Pvt Ltd:
“Though we all know this is an Interim Budget, commendable efforts have been put up by Government to balance both growth and welfare of the people. Our clientele from FMCG, Beverages are going to benefit possibly from increasing disposable income in the hands of middle class of the country and rural India, this will in turn spur demand for our pallets.” 

Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications & Chairman IET IoT Panel India:
“Companies are deploying considerable investments in emerging technologies to match customer expectations. To support the deployment of these emerging technologies, skill development and enhancement is imperative amidst the current digital disruption scenario. According to MDSE’s annual report, 2017-18, the demand for skilled labour in 34 sectors across industries has been estimated to be over 12.8 Cr between 2017 and 2018.” 

“Interim FM in this Interim Budget has announced the decision of making the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and building Centre of Excellence. The Government of India has opened the path for the youth in India to leverage the new state-of-the-art developments and upskill themselves to widen the jobs pool for themselves. We appreciate the GOI’s perspective of making India digitally enhanced and look forward to add value by providing the Indian talent with opportunities to grow in the IT industry.” 

Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO, Denave:
“The Budget gives much awaited technology push for the fast paced Indian economy. The CoE of Artificial Intelligence (AI) reaffirms government’s intention and interest in pushing India to develop as hub of emerging technologies. It shall also prove to play a pivotal role in massification of ground-breaking technologies as well as providing headwind to the ongoing skill development and job creation agenda. It is a huge opportunity for the tech start-ups, and the contribution of India Inc. in the initial stages of implementation shall prove to be significant.” 

“The Budget overall is positive and covers the entire gamut of economic pillars in one go - farmers, youth, start-ups, women, middle-class segment, defence, green energy, industries, etc. It promises to make social security accessible to the unorganised segment. The intent with which the budget has been designed will be best experienced with an effective execution.” 

Gautam Kaushik, CEO, PAYBACK India:
“The Interim Budget has been a balancing act with primary focus on addressing the concerns of the farming community, ease of doing business for the unorganised sectors and giving out relief to tax payers across sections while maintaining the aspirations towards continued economic growth. This should help shore up confidence in the future prospects of the economy which should then manifest in strong consumer growth helping our business.” 

Rajnish Kumar, CTO & Co-founder, travel tech platform ixigo:
“The new national scheme announced by the government on Artificial Intelligence is a futuristic scheme which will promote the use of technology and digitisation. The government’s efforts in providing the necessary AI support required by start-ups, further emphasises the role that new technologies will play in the development of the economy. Efforts to establish 1 lakh digital villages is also a positive step towards strengthening digital penetration in rural India and will significantly increase the adoption of digital platforms across masses.” 

Hiren Shah, Founder and Chairman, Vertoz:
“The Interim Budget has laid out a clear vision for the country’s development in the coming decade, and Digital India plays an important role with the government stressing on the development of digital infrastructure and digital economy. It was also heartening to understand that India is now leading the world with the highest mobile data consumption and has witnessed a growth of 50 times in the last five years. The Finance Minister also mentioned that the delivery of mobile data services has seen significant growth. Coupled with the Government’s vision of converting one lakh villages into digital villages, we will see a deeper penetration of the internet not only in Tier 2 and 3 markets, but also in rural areas.” 

“Currently, we have only scratched the surface and the support from the government can help the industry reach its full potential with respect to market penetration. This will broaden the horizon for digital advertising, and consequently for programmatic advertising, in these markets, thus providing an opportunity to brands and marketers to cater to the customer needs with bespoke products and services.” 

“We are also happy to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a focal part of the budget for Digital India. This support will ensure that AI, supported by Big Data, will enable the industry to successfully analyse consumer patterns with minimized human intervention. This also brings in the benefits of automation such as more efficiency and faster processing of data for advertising, thus allowing brands to get sales faster and within an effective timeline.” 

Mahesh Iyer, ED and CEO, Thomas Cook (India) Limited:
“While the Interim Union Budget 2019 has seen no direct mention of the travel and tourism sector, focus on tax breaks for the Middle Class (including doubling of income-tax exemption to Rs 5 lakh, raising of the threshold on bank fixed deposit interest to Rs 40,000, etc.), will result in increased disposable income and a cascading boost to consumption- offering the sector an opportunity for increased travel & tourism spends.” 


Ankur Dhawan, Chief Investment Officer, PropTiger.com:
“The Government has given sufficient reasons for real estate to rejoice in this budget. Though there were many direct announcements for sector such as extension of Section 80IBA for 1 year, no interest on notional rent till 2 year of completion of project, reinvestment of capital gain in 2 houses rather than one and no tax on notional rent for 2 self-occupied houses, yet announcement of 100% rebate for income up to Rs 5 lakh will have much stronger impact on real estate sales especially for affordable housing buyers. Not only government is giving credit link subsidy scheme for these buyers but also leaving more money in hand to pay EMIs through increased tax savings.” 

Siddharth Hegde, MD, Ethinos Digital Marketing:
“This is a positive Budget from a digital perspective and clearly the government is determined not only on delivering on its current promises, but also delivering on its promise of a complete digital revolution in India. The 10-point agenda for 2030 and the set up of digital villages is going to drive digital inclusion. The low data costs are going to drive more for the rural population online and we are likely to see an explosion in vernacular content. This is also likely to give marketers an option to have a more measurable pipe to the rural masses. This budget is a great start and we welcome the move by the Government.” 

Jigar Zatakia, Founder & CEO, FirstEconomy:
“The Modi Government has donned the avatar of a dream merchant in this budget. It is rife with populist measures aimed directly at the heart of the biggest vote bank, that is, farmers and the middle class. The target to digitise 5 lakh villages over the next 5 years should provide added impetus to the present Government’s vision of ‘minimum government maximum governance’. This will give us the digital marketers to reach the untapped markets and customer base that has been difficult to reach and help us deliver better ROI’s on the investment done by brands. The Startup India Program continues to motivate the youth to become job providers rather than job seekers, which has made India the second largest hub for start-ups. While the macro picture does look very attractive, on the micro front, while we are happy with the 5 per cent relief in the income tax to MSME’s, we were expecting some relief on the 6 per cent equalisation levy that we need to pay on all payments done to foreign publishers which hasn’t come in.” 

Rahul Garg, CEO & Founder, Moglix (Start-Up):
“The Interim Budget 2019 is quite positive with a strong focus to boost the start-up ecosystem. Upcoming Initiatives like National Artificial Intelligence portal, raising threshold for presumptive taxation are a welcome move for start-ups. Further, the digitisation of government processes and private transactions will help start-ups focus on their growth and expansion and will further lead to the creation of millions of jobs.”

Dr. Jitin Chadha, Founder and Director, Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF)

"As expected, Budget 2019 was an election-focused budget. For us in the higher education sector, it was an opportunity lost as education barely found a mention in the FM's budget speech. We believe it is a sector that should be accorded the highest priority in our country. We would have loved to see Government funds being used to promote public-private and international collaboration in higher education research, curriculum design and pedagogy." 
Ankit Tayal, Founder, Step Cables

“Decisions like reduction of tax rates for companies with turnover of more than 250 crs and 25% increment in sourcing of Government enterprises from SME's is definitely a welcome move as SME’s are the major contributor in the GDP and these decisions will give a major boost to the SME sector in terms of growth and employment generation and will also help in fulfilling governments vision of Make In India.”

Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player

The Union Budget’s provision for a single clearance window for Indian filmmakers would come as a welcome and positive step to film p roducers & movie studios across the country. The amendments in the Anti Camcording provisions would also complement the industry’s efforts to snub illegal movie recordings in theatres and encourage the consumption of original content. At MX Player, we are empowering independent film studios to produce unparalleled regional content to cater to the Indian masses, and this Budget would go a long way in helping us entertain audiences with more exciting MX Originals.”



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