Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday unveiled the Indian Government’s last budget before national elections this year. Here we bring to you the several reactions to the budget that have been pouring in from industry experts from different sectors. Below are reactions to the 2024 Union Budget from industry experts-
Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money
“At Spice Money, we’re heartened by the Budget 2024’s multifaceted approach to empowering individuals and businesses. Initiatives like the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) promoting formalization and financial inclusion, coupled with a strengthened financial sector paint a promising picture for inclusive growth. We’re particularly encouraged by the government’s focus on MSMEs, the backbone of our economy.
Schemes like PM Mudra Yojana’s Rs 22.5 lakh crore sanctions and credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors under PM-SVANidhi, Fund of Funds, Startup India and Startup Credit Guarantee are commendable steps towards fostering entrepreneurial aspirations. We’re further encouraged by the government’s priority to adequately finance technology for MSMEs and provide them with global competitiveness training. This aligns perfectly with Spice Money’s commitment to equip businesses with digital tools and financial services.
However, skilling and access to capital are just two pieces of the puzzle. We believe real-time data insights are crucial for informed decision-making and growth. Our 12 lakh Adhikari touch points across 600 districts can play a vital role in gathering and analyzing such data, empowering MSMEs and individuals across remote regions. By collaborating with fintech players like Spice Money, the government can ensure these initiatives have a tangible impact on millions, propelling them towards financial inclusion and global competitiveness.
We eagerly await the July budget roadmap, hoping it outlines clear, measurable outcomes for both financial inclusion, MSME growth, and strengthening the financial sector. Together, we can truly create a #ViksitBharat where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO, Akasa Air
“We welcome the government’s enhanced focus on women empowerment and inclusive growth in the Interim Budget presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister of India. As India progresses further as a nation by 2047, such initiatives will foster societal growth and fuel the dreams of millions of Indian women. At Akasa Air, gender parity has been one of the key aspects of our growth strategy with 36% of the company’s workforce already comprising of women.”
Manu Saigal, Director, General Staffing, Adecco India
“The interim budget reflects a robust commitment to job creation, skill development, and talent growth. Notable achievements include the Skill India Mission’s training of 1.4 crore youth and the establishment of 3000 new ITIs. The expansion of higher education institutions, such as IITs, IIITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and universities, underscores a focus on diverse talent development.
Women’s empowerment through initiatives like Mudra Yojana loans and increased enrollment in STEM courses signals a move towards gender-inclusive workforce participation. The allocation of a significant corpus for research and innovation, coupled with a tech-focused fund, promises a golden era in employment for tech-savvy youth. The introduction of a scheme for deep-tech technologies in defense aligns with self-reliance objectives, fostering innovation and skill development in cutting-edge sectors. As AI and human partnerships become more prevalent, there will be a need to upskill the labour force, especially as AI becomes more sophisticated and takes over more tasks. This comprehensive approach aims to position India as a global leader in talent, innovation, and economic growth.
Although the postponement of enforcing labor codes since 2019 impedes the development of regulations to address the present demands of the workforce. Urgent measures are required to narrow the gap between obsolete regulations and contemporary challenges, and automation is recognized as a crucial mechanism for effectively complying with labor laws.”
Mahesh Viswanathan, CFO, Finolex Cables
“The Union Budget 2024 strategically addresses key aspects with its focus on rooftop solarization through the Muft Bijli initiative. This move not only aligns with the global trend towards sustainable energy but also marks a significant stride in empowering one crore households with up to 300 units of complimentary electricity monthly. As a prominent player in the electrical cables industry, Finolex Cables is enthusiastic about contributing to this transformative initiative by delivering top-notch products that bolster and elevate solar infrastructure. The government’s commitment to fostering inclusive and sustainable development, encapsulated in the ‘Reform, Perform, and Transform’ mantra, deeply resonates with our business principles. We eagerly anticipate engaging with the government and collaborating with stakeholders to build consensus, steering the nation toward the implementation of next-generation reforms that foster robust growth.
The focus on MSMEs aligns seamlessly with Finolex Cables’ pivotal role in supporting infrastructure development. Furthermore, the budget’s acknowledgment of the housing sector, exemplified by initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and the Housing for Middle-Class scheme, sets the stage for Finolex Cables to make substantial contributions to the nation’s infrastructure landscape. In essence, the budget appears poised to cultivate an environment conducive to Finolex Cables’ success, positioning us to play a crucial role in driving the country’s economic growth.”
Sabyasachi Goswami, CEO, Perfios
“We are delighted to witness the government’s focus and commitment to fostering the startup ecosystem in the Interim Budget 2024. This pivotal attention comes at a crucial time when the industry grapples with a funding winter, compounded by challenges such as the geopolitical crises and global slowdown. The announcement of a substantial corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore, featuring 50-year interest-free loans for Startups & MSMEs, is a commendable move that will undoubtedly provide the private sector with long-term financing opportunities at low or nil interest rates. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our vision to foster innovation and scale up research in sunrise sectors.
The extension of tax benefits for startups until March 31, 2025, further reinforces the government’s commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. This gesture not only provides financial relief but also instills confidence in the startup ecosystem.
We also express our appreciation for the government’s proactive approach in incentivizing digital transactions in the previous year. Anticipating a continuation of such initiatives for the broader financial ecosystem this year, we look forward to a collaborative effort that will drive digital transformation for Banks and NBFCs, which will also result in financial inclusion. These measures collectively pave the way for a robust and resilient startup landscape, and we at Perfios are optimistic about the positive impact they will have on the industry as a whole.”
Gaurav Balani, DGM-Marketing, Infiniti Mall
“The insights unveiled by the Union Budget 2024 indeed project a favorable growth trajectory for the economy and display the remarkable performance of the nation throughout the years. An increase in the average income of people by 50% is a significant milestone and we expect it to positively impact retail sales, leading to an increase in customer willingness to spend on shopping, recreation and leisure. Further, the presence of a dedicated freight corridor, together with the three economic corridor programmes under the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan will help us reduce logistic costs and elevate efficiency while serving customers. We further hope for the moderate inflation period to be monitored and maintained at minimal levels to ensure sustainable growth. Lastly, the introduction of an increase in threshold for presumptive taxation for retail businesses from INR 2 crore to INR 3 crore is a well-appreciated move and will assist in achieving higher revenue figures.”
Pooja Sodhi, Co-Founder and CEO at Combonation
“The budget 2024 redefines the dedication to the empowerment and welfare of the ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), and ‘Yuva’ (Youth), and stands resolute, as articulated by our Prime Minister. Financial budget underscore their needs and aspirations, acknowledging that the country’s progress is intricately related to the development in these areas. To bolster this, the budget champions Nari Shakti, spotting the momentum received in women’s empowerment over the last decade. Importantly, the budget introduces strategic tax benefits for startup ventures, aligning with the government’s dedication to fostering entrepreneurial spirit. As part of the broader initiative, the Mudra Yojana has dispensed 30 crore loans to women entrepreneurs, reflecting a tangible commitment to assisting female-led organizations. The expanded enrollment of women in higher education, mainly in STEM courses, highlights the advantageous trajectory toward gender inclusivity. Budget 2024, with its multifaceted method, now not only addresses the various desires of our society but also propels the nation closer to inclusive increase and monetary prosperity.”
Aloke Bajpai, Co-founder & Group CEO, ixigo
“The Indian air travel market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Total passengers handled across airports amounted to around 327 million passengers in FY2023. The increase in fleet by airlines and the development of new airports under the ongoing UDAN scheme has improved regional air connectivity and benefitted travelers from Tier 2 & 3 cities which in turn resulted in significant growth in demand for air travel and first-time flyers. We are pleased to see that this will remain an area of key focus for the government going forward. We are also happy to see the government taking steps to develop new tourist destinations in India that can compete on a global scale. Infrastructure development and improved connectivity for offbeat tourist destinations like Lakshadweep will help build and promote the unexplored and hidden gems of India and will help further boost the tourism sector.”
Dinesh Kumar Kotha, CEO, ixigo trains & Confirmtkt,
“The announcement of three new corridors under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity including the energy, mineral and cement corridors, the port connectivity corridor and the high traffic density corridors will help in resolving the current connectivity issues in the country and reduce logistic costs. As said in the Budget Speech, the decongestion of the high-traffic corridors will improve the operations of passenger trains. Additionally, the upgradation of 40,000 bogies to Vande Bharat standards will elevate safety and the overall rail passenger experience by providing a superior train travel experience to Indians. The current budget’s focus on the active development and upgradation of railway infrastructure, better connectivity, and new rail tracks will fuel train travel demand in India.”
Rohit Sharma, COO, AbhiBus (ixigo bus business),
“Electric vehicles represent the most significant opportunity for achieving a world with reduced carbon emissions. We appreciate the government’s commitment to enhancing the EV ecosystem through the expansion of charging infrastructure in India. Such ongoing efforts will increase consumer awareness driving faster EV adoption and we can successfully reach our nation’s electric vehicle targets and move towards a future powered by clean energy. Payment security mechanisms will also support the large-scale roll-out of e-buses, which will contribute to the growth of technologically advanced, environmentally friendly, and affordable alternatives to existing inter-city public transport in India.”
Vishvanathan Subramanian, CFO & Director, PayMate
“It’s a forward-looking Interim Budget that places a premium on stability and predictability which is welcome. Among the measures announced by the Finance Minister, I especially welcome the one regarding the allocation of Rs one lakh crore for a 50-year period as support for tech savvy youth at low or no interest rates. This will set the stage for a thriving startup landscape and signals a bright future for innovation, job creation, and economic dynamism. I am confident this will significantly impact the startup ecosystem, fostering innovation and growth”.
Shalya Gupta, CEO, PHF Leasing Limited
“It was good to see the Government continuing its thrust on the EV sector. The focus on supporting manufacturing of EV vehicles in India and charging infrastructure will create the right environment for the growth of the EV sector. With a robust ecosystem in place, the Financing solutions become easier to implement with risk of default decreasing. We are hoping that in the Full Budget to be presented after the Elections, the New Government will continue with its policy thrust on job creation through opportunities presented by the Electric Light Commercial Vehicle (ELCV) segment.”
Simranjeet Singh, Director, CYK Hospitalities
“As the network via road, rail, airport, and highway increases, it opens up opportunities for more travel, which creates a domino effect over the food and beverage industry as well. With developments like these and spiritual tourism coming up, the scope for established as well as new food brands has increased. The Honourable Finance Minister’s announcement to develop infrastructure across the country is a welcome step for everyone related to the F&B industry. The international and domestic brands will get a chance to penetrate more Nationwide, also giving a great employment opportunity.”
Rakshit Agarwal, Co-founder, Rupicard
“At Rupicard, we are heartened to see a budget focused towards promoting a financially inclusive India. As we witness a substantial 50% increase in the average real income of our fellow citizens, it is clear that a wave of progress is sweeping through our nation, which in turn increases the need for credit products for individuals from all walks of life. The government’s unwavering commitment to ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas’ aligns perfectly with our mission, to provide a secured credit card that is truly designed for Bharat.
The budget’s emphasis on infrastructure and development creates a ripple effect on the entire economy. As opportunities multiply, the need for smart financial tools like Rupicard’s secured credit card grows. We stand ready to partner with the government’s vision, ensuring no one is left behind in this exciting journey towards Viksit Bharat by 2047”
Ruchit Agarwal, Co-founder and CFO, CARS24
“We strongly commend the government’s focus on strengthening the EV ecosystem through manufacturing and charging infrastructure initiatives. This will undoubtedly be a significant boost to India’s sustainable transportation goals.
However, alongside this positive development, we also urge the government to consider the broader needs of the startup ecosystem. Many Indian startups, for various reasons, incorporate outside the country. While these startups contribute significantly to the global economy, many also aspire to return to India and contribute to their home nation’s progress.
We believe that introducing clear and supportive policies for returning startups, including tax breaks or relaxed regulations, would be a powerful incentive. This would attract valuable talent, innovation, and investment back to India, fostering a vibrant domestic startup ecosystem. Ultimately, such measures would benefit not only returning startups but also the Indian economy as a whole.”
Sanjay Tripathy, CEO, BRISKPE
“Budget 2024 reaffirmed the government’s commitment towards economic growth through strategic investments in capital expenditure, digital infrastructure, and innovation. With a dedicated focus on facilitating ease of doing business for MSMEs, the emphasis on timely finances, relevant technology, and global competitiveness signals a positive trajectory. Extending tax benefits for startups and fostering investments aligns with the evolving global landscape. The Viksit Bharat roadmap, along with initiatives like the PM Matsaya Sampada Scheme, will set the stage for unprecedented growth in MSMEs, exporters, and startups. Also, the government’s vision to double seafood exports and extend support through schemes like RoSCTL showcases a forward-looking approach, paving the way for a resilient and globally competitive India. As the world witnesses a redefined globalisation, the India-Middle East-Europe trade corridor project will strategically position India as a global leader in cross-border trade.”
Abhijit Patil, COO, AjnaLens
“Last year’s budget gave a good, progressive start to the ecosystem – especially the deep tech sector – with schemes like the iDEX initiative as well as a few more schemes for healthcare start-ups. This year’s budget is surely in favour of innovations and the deep tech sector. The Rs. 1L Crore initiative will help budding entrepreneurs kick start their ideas into reality, because that’s where start-ups need the most support.
The process of allocating these loans should be simple and should take into account the balance sheets of early stage start-ups in my opinion. In the early stages it’s difficult for them to show a positive balance sheet, as well as many other issues, so they need to be more lenient. Additionally, I feel more equity based funds and grants need to be arranged for start-ups and innovations. This will increase the Government’s involvement and they’ll have more sweat in the game.”
Anil Agarwal, CEO, and Co-Founder of InCruiter
“While we appreciate the focus of the Skill India Mission on training and upskilling millions of youths, the emphasis should be on bridging the gap between skilling initiatives and industry needs. Hiring skilled talent for the right opportunities remains a challenge for HR professionals, and a more targeted approach could be the adoption of AI tech-driven HR software to make the process faster and more efficient. Fostering a culture of continuous learning to align skill development with emerging sectors and specific job profiles is crucial. The new institutions of higher learning are commendable, but ensuring quality education and industry exposure is key. We also need to see stronger industry-academia partnerships to equip graduates with the practical skills that businesses demand.
Furthermore, for the startup ecosystem, access to skilled talent can make or break their ventures, and schemes like PM Mudra Yojana and Start-Up India are positive steps for budding entrepreneurs. We stand ready to collaborate with the government and skill development bodies to bridge this gap, ensuring that India’s startup ecosystem can hire skilled talent for the evolving economy.”
Anshuman Das, CEO and Co-founder, Careernet
“As we witness the unprecedented pace of infrastructure development in all facets—be it digital, social, or physical—it is evident that the government’s commitment to progress is unwavering. The financial provisions outlined by the Finance Minister signal a paradigm shift, especially in the empowerment of women. With 300 million Mudra Yojana loans, the nation is fostering entrepreneurial spirit, while the remarkable 28% surge in female enrolment in higher education speaks volumes about the strides in education equality. Notably, our optimism is further fuelled by the impressive 43% representation of girls and women in STEM courses, showcasing a commitment to diversity and inclusivity. At Careernet, we embrace this forward momentum, recognising the correlation between education, empowerment, and the rising participation of women in the workforce. This budget sets the stage for a more inclusive and vibrant employment landscape.”
Rahul Malodia, Founder & CEO of Malodia Business Coaching
“The budget’s focus on global competitiveness for MSMEs through training is a positive step towards Viksit Bharat and the commitment to sustainable economic policies and next-gen reforms, in collaboration with states and stakeholders, signals a positive trajectory. The vision for India’s development by 2047 aligns with the positive transformation witnessed in the last decade. The dedicated emphasis on all-round, all-inclusive development resonates with our mission. The priority to train MSMEs for global competition is a crucial step. This budget sets a promising tone for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we eagerly contribute to India’s journey towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.”
Sourabh Deorah, CEO & Founder, Advantage Club
“We welcome the government’s decision to extend tax benefits for startups until March 2025 and allocate 1 lakh crore loans for tech-savvy youth. The support provided by Fund of Funds, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee Schemes exemplifies a comprehensive approach to fueling growth. Overall, the budget presents a positive outlook for the future of India Inc.”