Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2022 on Tuesday, 1st February, which touched upon all aspects of the economy — from Financial institutions to infrastructure development, education initiatives, 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.
India Inc Reacts As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Present Union Budget 2022.
Akash Gehani, COO & Co-founder, Instamojo said, “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 digitization 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 rollout the 5 year growth program for MSMEs will further strengthen these newly rolled out initiatives.” He concluded.
Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach, Embassy Group said, “As the country’s collective attention is focused on the 2022 Budget, we at Embassy are eager to see some much-needed policies in the fields of education and health come into place. The finance minister began on a hopeful note by saying that India’s economic growth is estimated to be at 9.27 percent in FY22, highest among all large economies.
Considering the heightened need for more emphasis on training and skill development, we are happy to note that the government will be reorienting Skilling programs and launching a digital DESH e-portal for the skilling, upskilling and reskilling of India’s youth. With over 12 million people joining the Indian workforce annually, these measures will surely strengthen the next generation of blue and white-collar employees and contribute to the growth of the Indian economy through an upskilled workforce.
As schools shut down time and again to keep the virus at bay, children, particularly those from underprivileged communities, have lost almost two years of education – the pandemic has had an untold adverse impact on the education system. We are pleased to hear that to provide supplementary education and build a resilient mechanism for education delivery, the government will set up a digital university to provide students access to education. The ‘One class, one TV channel’ programme under PM e-Vidya will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels and allow states to provide education to students of classes 1-12 in regional languages.
The budget also includes improved access to healthcare with an open platform for the national digital health ecosystem to be rolled out, along with the launch of a National tele-medicine programme. This go a long way to improving access to healthcare for people in various communities, including those in remote areas.
At Embassy Group, we aim at creating lifelong resilience to illness and disease with end-to-end healthcare interventions for Government School students and in strengthening the existing healthcare infrastructure of our nation. We’ll see long-term growth in this crucial sector with the Government focusing on comprehensively building an ecosystem where health services are accessible for everyone.
Considering our current climate crisis, The Jal Jeevan Mission that was launched in August 2019 to provide safe drinking water to all rural households by 2024, has been allocated 60,000 crores in the 2022 Budget. The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide potable water to 3.8 crore households in 2022-23. The budget also includes funds for a Solar push; to boost domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment and subsequently benefit solar power generators. It’s heartening to see these steps taken towards a more sustainable future. We look forward to seeing our country reach greater heights with the aid of these provisions that the 2022 Budget provides.”
Jaideep Mukherji, CEO at Smart Power India said, “Budget 2022 has clearly laid a major focus on the green energy transition, reducing carbon footprint, and inclusive economic growth. As we move towards a greener economy, the role of Distributed Renewable Energy as a catalyst in the empowerment of MSMEs, job creation, and reforms in agriculture will be crucial. New initiatives to encourage productive use of clean energy in rural areas driven by DRE can be of great value to the rural as well as the national economy.”
Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE said, “The Budget of 2022 is a very balanced and continues the incremental growth-oriented approach of the last budget. In this budget the finance minister provided a springboard for an investment cycle with the highest ever share of capex, focus on development of national manufacturing capabilities and clean energy, tax rationalization with no new taxes while maintaining its continuous growth focus on “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. The Budget boosts spending towards policies that are growth oriented, create jobs, boost manufacturing, helping agri-economy and infrastructure creation. In short, a mix of short-term boost and long-term structural emphasis has been the hallmark of this Budget.”
Commenting on the Union Budget 2022, Md Sajid Khan, Head of International Development at ACCA said, “ACCA applauds the government for measures announced in the budget related to providing supplementary education in regional languages for class 1-12 students, by expanding PM eVIDYA program to over 200 TV Channels and the launch of the Digital DESH e-portal for skilling, upskilling & reskilling the youth of India. These together with the development of the digital university for world-class quality education will set a clear path for India to create an advanced digital learning infrastructure and also reach far in educating learners who lack access to the internet and other resources.”
Rajit Mehta, MD & CEO, Antara Senior Care and MD, Max India said, “The interests of the seniors have often taken a back seat under government allocation, but unlike past years, there has been an increased focus from the government on the changing needs of seniors this year.
Initiatives such as the National Tele-Mental Health Programme, National Digital Health Ecosystem, and an increase in NPS tax exemption of 14% from the existing 10% for State Govt. employees give a strong signal that the government is proactively looking at measures to create a conducive ecosystem for seniors. We welcome these steps towards emphasis on geriatric health and overall lifestyle for seniors.”
Virendra D. Mhaiskar, Chairman & Managing Director, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd. said, “One of the strongest parts of this Budget is Government’s renewed commitment with its continued investment in strengthening the country’s infrastructure. The proposal to fund infrastructure through PM Gati Shakti, Public Private Partnerships, etc. will mark the escalation of economic prosperity. Overall, the budget seems to have given a booster dose to facilitate faster economic growth of the Nation; roads is definitely one of the prominent sectors to get deserved focus through adequate funding.”
Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal, Co-founder, 21K School said, “The Finance Minister has unveiled a Budget that aims to bridge the economic gap between India and Bharat. The proposed policies are an inspiring start in what will hopefully provide stimuli for continued growth, leading us closer towards our goal of achieving sustained acceleration!
I welcome the focus on digital aspects of education and creating greater access for students with structured, high-quality content. The announcement of Digital University is most welcome and in line with the trend of online schools across the country. But, it misses the opportunity to leapfrog with more significant innovation and investment for improved access, equity and affordability. The structural flaws of the education sector and problems on the ground could have been addressed. Exciting times are ahead for Digital Education.”
YS Chakravarti, MD & CEO, Shriram City said, “The Union Budget 2022 is a CAPEX-driven budget with a slew of measures across sectors, leaving no stone unturned. Given the challenging circumstances, it’s a bold budget, a growth-oriented budget that will result in a multiplier effect and benefits to all. The extension and widening of the ECLGS scheme & revamped CGTMSE will aid recovery of the hardest hit MSMEs. The battery swapping policy is a positive measure for electric vehicles (EVs) which will give a boost to the sector and lend to the clean energy segment. Housing project allocation of Rs 48K cr will give a fillip to affordable housing and the specific affordable home loan segment. As part of the digital push, digital banking has been encouraged, this will assist the overall development of digital infrastructure and enable greater participation in digital lending. NARCL has commenced operations that will assist banks to reduce their bad loans and lead to provisioning write-back. Credit growth is likely to be propelled higher given the CAPEX push, infra spends, higher housing allocation, urban policy, and reduced carbon footprint linked policies. More direct employment measures were however missing, but it’s been a balancing act, well maneuvered.”