Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the maiden budget of the 17th Lok Sabha on Friday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the maiden budget of the 17th Lok Sabha on Friday and people from all segments of the industry were equivocal about it. The budget speech ran for about two hours, in an attempt to cover all the agendas with which the BJP government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi reinstated with a second term.

Here are the reactions of the industry on the Union Budget 2019:

Debajit Roy, Country Director, QAD India said, “The government’s move to lower the GST  on Electric Vehicles has opened new avenues for the industry. Reducing the GST on EVs from 12 per cent to 5 per cent can be seen as a big step in favour of sales of EV cars in India. The deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the loan interest to purchase an electric vehicle in India will not just benefit the industry but also for consumers who are looking to switch to electric vehicles. There is a pool of the companies emerging in this space to evolve the entire ecosystem and the opportunities created by the government will enable these companies to penetrate fast. Moreover, with the liquidity gap being addressed in this budget, the industry will even move forward towards the economy’s growth”

Amit Gossain, Managing Director, KONE India Pvt. Ltd. and Chairman, CII Real Estate & Building Technology said, “From a Real Estate perspective, I find the Budget affirmative! Budgetary outlays will encourage the buyers with an investible surplus to purchase houses and make a comeback in the market. I expect the Real Estate and Construction Sector to rise in response to the changes such as, grant of INR 100 lakh cr investment for infrastructure over the next 5 years, housing finance companies regulated by RBI, over 81 Lakh houses with investment of about INR 4.83 Lakh Cr sanctioned under PMAY (Urban) and Public Sector Banks proposed to be further provided INR 70,000 cr of capital to boost credit. From Tax initiatives to Incentivise affordable housing, increasing the carpet area, arranging GST cuts, credit linked subsidy and re-defining income definitions, the Government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing to achieve the PM’s mission of ‘Housing for All by 2022. To say the least, Budget 2019 seems to be a positive and populist budget, and should be an encouraging contributor to grow the Indian Economy with the Government’s mantra for the new India to ‘Reform, Perform and Transform”

Neel Juriasingani, CEO & Co-founder, Datacultr said, “Startups in the technology industry can take clues out of the various topics touched upon in this budget, to understand the direction and focus.  The vision of the government to train 10 million industry-relevant skills such as Artifical Intelligence, Big Data, and IoT opens up great avenues for companies & start-ups like us in the space, as well as for those working on building digital infrastructure of a connected India. Besides, other measures announced such as ease of angel tax will make it smoother for investors to put in their money in startups.”

Ashutosh Harbola, CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka said, “The budget looks to be a Truly Digital one in nature and strong steps are seen for the upcoming fiscal year. From new channels to be started under the Doordarshan bouquet to provide a platform for startups to disseminate information in the industry to Bharat Net which is targeting internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat in the country are all welcome steps. Also, training of 10 million in industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, and Big Data will help address the severe skill-shortage of technology and IT. We are really optimistic that the digital path taken by the government is surely matching the $3 Trillion vision.”

Rashi Gupta, Chief Data Scientist & Co-founder, Rezo (dot) AI said, “Training support for supporting advanced technical jobs in the space of AI, IoT is a welcome move. We welcome the government’s vision to train 10 million in industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT, and Big Data because these industries will be a much larger industry for India in the next 3-5 years as compared to what we have seen in IT over last 2 decades. Startups will have an integral role to play towards this growth, so trained resources availability shall help India gain the next leap in the future.”

Dr Yajulu Medury, Director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale, Hyderabad said, “We welcome the budget and look forward to the continued focus on ensuring that we reap the demographic dividend. The FM has rightly focused on the youth of the country and education is the tool for development. The commitment to bringing in the new education policy and make sweeping changes in how education is imparted with the focus on learning outcomes will play a big role in bettering the education level. The focus on research and innovation and the setting up of a National Research Foundation with access to research funds from all Government schemes will help fund and promote research in the country. Bringing in legislation for finally setting up the Higher Education Commission of India is a step in the right direction. With all the sweeping changes in the education system, I will not be surprised to see the roaring success of the proposed Study in India programme.”

Mohit Poddar, CEO & Co-founder, Shoes on Loose said, “Budget 2019 has created an enabling environment for travel start-ups. We are glad that the Finance Minister has spoken about the importance of India’s tourism sector.  With the government developing 17 iconic tourism sites to improve the flow of domestic and foreign tourists and allocating Rs. 1.05 lakh crore budget for the same, the Indian Tourism Industry is bound to grow exponentially. Also, a new channel proposed for start-ups to disseminate information in the industry will provide a platform to companies like us to better understand the opportunities and gaps in the industry.”

Kartik Agarwal, CEO, Staunch said, “Budget 2019  opens new windows for the Start-up ecosystem. We welcome the government’s initiative of setting up a new channel of Start-ups to disseminate information in the industry. This will serve as a platform for companies like us to better understand the opportunities and gaps, match-making with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning. Also, the ease in Angel Taxes will help boost investment in Start-ups.”

Aniketh Jain, General Manager APAC- Enterprise Cloud Business (Startup and Tech) said, “Great initiative by the government. The government knows the potential in startups. Starts up getting so much attention it’s incredible and this sector can solve some of our country problems in health care, education and infrastructure.”

Ankit Jain, Founder, My Operator (Tech & Startup)  said, “This is a good initiative by the Government. However, the real benefit will come in terms of the kind of content which is generated. The platform must simple and easy to grasp which provides ” Startup Literacy “. Further, the platform must focus on budding entrepreneurs and help them understand Why? How? When? of starting up. Further, if the platform can also be created in multi-languages then it will help in penetrating to the rural areas across the country.”

He added, “Startups are an integral catalyst for boosting the Indian economic landscape. The proposed TV channel for supporting startups and entrepreneurs in India would certainly spread a new wave of hope in the startup community. It will benefit talented startups which dealt with challenges like exposure, branding  and may help in receiving funding from investors.”

Niddhii Kumar, Head of Internal Strategy, Knowlarity Communications Private Limited (Tech & IT) said, “Being an established startup that has been through the early startup phase, we feel that enablement from the ecosystem is essential. We try to do this for early-stage startups through their early phases, including providing our services at the lowest of costs and forging partnerships that benefit them. This is the right time for the government to step in with  innovative ideas like this to help bring the community together while creating a stronger ecosystem of support amongst all stakeholders”

Ashish Munjal, CEO & Co-founder, Sunstone Eduversity (Education)  said, “Creating visibility for Indian startups and networking for the arrangement of funds takes a considerable amount of time and efforts on the founders’ end. The inception of a TV channel dedicated to startups will ease out on these aspects and will help the founders to focus more on the execution of the idea behind the startup.”

Vivek Goyal is the Co-Founder of PlayShifu, an augmented reality technology startup said, “A dedicated TV channel managed by startups themselves is a tremendous way of spreading awareness about the innovation startups bring to Indian, and even global, economy. While startups can garner visibility through this channel, people can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the Indian startup circle. It also proves that we are not just mimicking established ecosystems and the government is going out of their way to fuel the Indian startup circle.”

Sonica Aron, Founder & Managing Partner, Marching Sheep said, “One woman in every SHG to be made eligible for a loan of Rs 1 lakh.  This is a very welcome move. Not only will this go pan India, but it will also enable women to start their own initiatives. This will lead to independence and empowerment. Good thought will need tight on ground execution. Government proposes to streamline multiple labour laws into a set of four labour codes.  This will indeed simplify things from the regulatory and compliance perspective. However, might prove to be challenging as our entire labour machinery will need to unlearn and relearn. Learning from the recent changes in the company’s act and GST implementation, giving clarity of the change, how to execute, milestones and timelines would be critical so that industries find the change smooth.”

Umesh Khatri(Cofounder, COO &CTO), Ryan – A Socio Spiritual Tech Startup said, “In the budget presented by our finance minister, it is good to see that they are focusing on the innovative skills of artificial intelligence, 3D printing and others. This will really encourage in the growth of the startups in these sectors and people will get benefits of such technologies. Also giving a dedicated TV channel to the startups will help in creating more awareness among the mass regarding new innovations, upcoming future technologies, products and more. These factors will really help the startup sector to continue with the growth.”