Reactions to Union Budget 2018

Budget 2018-19
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs,  Arun Jaitley departs from North Block to Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House, along with the Minister of State for Finance and Shipping,  P. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Finance,  Shiv Pratap Shukla and the senior officials to present the General Budget 2018-19, in New Delhi on February 01, 2018.

Industry leaders have responded favourably to the budget. We bring to you their views on the Union Budget 2018-19.

The budget is on the expected lines since this was the last budget of the current tenure of Narendra Modi-led government. As Finance Minister mentioned this budget is pro people and pro farmers. The thrust on agriculture and health related schemes and provisions will have a trickledown effect on various other sectors too. Operation Greens which has been allocated a sum of Rs. 500 crore is a good start. However, use of cold chains and solar powered dryers could have been incentivized. Nonetheless, the emphasis on building a research driven economy through Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme is commendable, and is a right step in the direction of building an innovation driven economy. Policies such as imposing customs duty on electronics and electrical products will boost indigenous manufacturing and fuel more employment opportunities.”

Ajay Durrani, Managing Director, Covestro India

Government of India is strengthening its digital presence to increase efficiency and transparency in the way citizen-centric services are provided which would require huge investments in IT.  We see a lot of business opportunities in the Education and the Health sector this year as the government has increased digital intensity in education and taken healthcare to the new aspirational level with the flagship National Health Protection Scheme or Modi Care. The government has also reduced the tax rate to 25% for companies with a turnover of Rs. 250 crore, empowering medium-sized companies to make large investments in hiring and innovations and become a part of the Digital India movement. These new digital initiatives would require support from players like us to drive the vision into reality.

Niranjan Chintam, Chairman & Whole-time Director, Kellton Tech, Hyderabad

“It was a well-rounded budget. Emphasis on education, entrepreneurship & healthcare was much needed & is welcome. FM’s comments on AI & Blockchain are a step in the right direction & we look to an early implementation of these initiatives.”

Rajesh Rege, Managing Director, Red Hat, India and SAARC

“This is a budget for the masses due to several reasons. Firstly, 10 crore families will receive health insurance cover. Secondly, thrust on education by teachers’ training on a mass scale. Thirdly, agriculture has been encouraged and focus would be given to double farmer income by 2022. We also welcome the measures that the Government of India plans to undertake to hasten India’s movement to a digital economy.

There will be significant use of Aadhaar numbers even for the businesses, as all business entities will be allotted an Aadhaar like unique ID number.

The Government has also announced various benefits for students and the education sector in India. This will give focus to digital boards. Allocation of 1 lakh crore rupees in promoting learning based outcomes and research sector will give a further boost to education sector.

Overall, it is a well-thought and far-sighted budget. The masses will greatly benefit from a new ecosystem in infrastructure leveraged on the thrust of using technology as the spine for new India.”

Gagan Rai, Managing Director & CEO, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited

Reduction of corporate tax rate to 25% for companies with reported revenues of upto Rs 250 crores is a step in the right direction. However, we do hope that reduction in corporate tax rate across the board would be adopted soon. 10% Tax on LTCG On listed equity shares and equity oriented mutual funds can have negative impact on the market. Impetus to technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. will offer greater transparency and scalability to businesses and usher in a digital economy in a phased manner. Doubling the funds allocated to Digital India initiative will boost India’s growth into a digital innovation hub.”

Diwakar Nigam , MD and Chairman, Newgen Software

The Wi-Fi hotspots, New Smart Cities, internet connectivity, investments in Telecom infrastructure and Digital India expansion is going to witness proliferation of online devices, and the hyperconnectivity towards which India is heading needs to be secured with a very sound cybersecurity policy. Data Protection is a top priority, and a security approach that leverages the power of automation, integration, and strategic segmentation backed by threat intelligence are critical to the implementation of the above programs.

The collective brilliance that the digital and cybersecurity communities have amassed in our country is staggering—with each new generation poised to push us further. At one time, we were challenged not to ask what our country could do for us but what we could do for our country. It is time that the leading organizations in digital technology come together once again to ask the same ‘what we can do for our country’ to protect our new digital empire.

Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC, Fortinet

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