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Post- Budget Reaction 2019

Living without a budget is similar to traveling across the country without a roadmap. While both can be accomplished, the result is usually expensive and wasteful. A budget lists every anticipated expense in major categories that can be directly tied to actual expenditures. Many people view the use of a budget as restraining and remedial, but most wealthy people have grown their financial wealth through the use of a strict budget. Budgeting activities provide substantial benefits to personal and financial health. It is a vital part for the country acts as a roadmap, reveals waste, aligns priorities, builds new habits, transforms money into a tool, creates margin and accelerates financial goals.

Modi 2.0 seizes India’s attention by presenting the budget today. Budget 2019 offers more relief to the common man as compared to Budget 2018. India’s first full-time woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the budget on behalf of the NDA Governement. To catch the gist of it, she talks about unleashing faster development in transportation and releasing a National transport card for universal travel, tax changes in the country, women empowerment, deficits in GDP, pension for informal sector workers, banking reform, divestment, new educational programmes and policies in India, site developing for Tourism, investment policies, development policies for Rural India and much more.

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Vivek Jalan, Co-Founder, Tax Connect Advisory Services

“The First Budget by The New FM Ms Sitaraman under the new Govt. has reaffirmed the aim set by the economic survey yesterday by stress on an Investment lead growth in GDP, Jobs, Exports and demand. In fact this budget has something for all industries including a mega roadmap to boost transportation, focus on engineering industry, Real Estate, rural industry and SMEs. A great boost to FDI is expected with 100% FDI in Insurance intermediaries.  Creation of a SOCIAL STOCK EXCHANGE is an out of box thought to boost social welfare. Again a new Tenancy Law as proposed may give a boost to real estate”

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Suresh Pansari, Co-founder and Director of RP tech India

“The Government should reduce Tax compliances and support ease of doing business at faster pace. This will reduce transection cost. Newly drafted GST Laws are highly complicated for Business entities, hence, it should be simplified. The Government should reduce scope for same product for multiple classification to avoid confusion. Only Central Government should give advance ruling, which should be acceptable across India.

The Government should focus on specialization of Industries in different States, to increase productivity and reduce production cost. The Government should also introduce Honest Tax Payers policy in order to increase faith in Tax Payers. It should also remove arresting Power unless it related to national security.”
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Anand Ramachandran, CFO, Ingenico ePayments India Private Limited

“This budget is a good synthesis of continuing the Digital India mission with improving efficiency. The proposal to set up a payment platform for MSMEs for online presentation and payment of invoices will not only help cash flow but also give a huge boost to Digital Payments, as the entire supply chain will now be incentivized to go Digital. Also the platform opens up possibilities for accessing lower cost funding. The other two moves for no MDR for businesses above 50 crores turnover and 2% TDS on cash withdrawals more than 1 crore per annum are a further nudge to industry to lower the entry barrier to Digital Payments and disincentivize use of cash. Overall, a positive budget for the payments industry.”

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Pranav Roach, President, Hughes Network System:

“It is encouraging to see Budget 2019 taking cognizance of the growing opportunities in the space domain and also talking about increasing India’s global footprint in this sector. This is important because the Indian satellite communications sector is perhaps the only industry still stuck in the 2G era and suffers chronic capacity shortage resulting in users continuing to pay much higher than global rates. There is a surge of investment and innovation in the space sector globally driven by private sector but in India the private sector is locked out and a huge investment and employment opportunity is being lost.”

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Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-Founder, Razorpay:

“This budget brought in some good news for Startups and FinTech. It solved one of the industry’s major concerns that going forward, the startups do not have the trouble of angel taxes. Next, the announcement about launching an e-verification portal for investors will help startups worry less about the verification of their investors. On the digital payments front, the government has demonstrated their interest in promoting digital payments in a great way – a) any business will be charged a TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal of above 1 crore in a year, b) any business which has an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore and above must opt for certain modes of payments, with no charges or merchant discount rates. I believe this will discourage businesses from making cash transactions and encourage them to make payments through digital channels.

I think the budget meets expectations from the industry and seems fairly positive for FinTech and startups. I see these as welcome moves for the digital payments ecosystem, which will also certainly increase adoption of B2B digital payments.” 

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Pankaj Muthe, Program Manager, Academic Program, APAC, Qlik

“The government’s continued push to improve the quality of higher education in India is extremely commendable. The allocation of INR 400 crore to create a world-class higher education ecosystem in the country will definitely improve the quality of talent that joins the workforce. The focus on the amplification of skills in new-age tech domains such as AI, IoT, Big Data, and Robotics will also help to address the severe skills shortage that businesses across India are facing at present, apart from opening newer avenues of career growth for Indian professionals. The government should also make stronger efforts to incorporate data literacy training at the grassroots level and incentivise organisations to launch data literacy training initiatives for their employees. Doing so will equip current and future Indian professionals with the required knowledge and competencies to navigate the data-driven world of tomorrow.”

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Rakesh Soni, CEO & Co-founder, LoginRadius

” We would like to congratulate the Modi govt 2.0 on Budget 2019. It captures the Government’s vision of New India accurately, promoting ease of business & living. As a startup ourselves, we welcome the move to organise a Global Investors’ Meet in India to ensure equal opportunities for startups with growth potential. It will put India on the global map as a land of business opportunities. The initiatives to train the Indian youth in technologies of the future – AI, IoT and Big Data is another welcome move by the Government. With more than 50% of population below 25, India has a significant advantage compared to the developed nations and these skills will serve as doorways to help contribute to the global workforce’s of the future.”

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Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder, Vedantu

“Digitization has given a major boost to the robust education system in India – the second largest market for e-learning after the US. Therefore, a National Education Policy to bring India’s higher education system on par with global standards will be a big leap towards bolstering the e-learning market. With the resultant demand in e-learning, Vedantu will leverage this opportunity towards improving learning outcomes for students hailing from even the remotest part of the country, this will be possible by using the pillars of technology such as AI & ML. The government’s plan to re-energize the education sector is a positive step to boost the morale of young learners. On the back of this emerging technologies such as AI & ML will help in spreading education through EdTech platform across the country. Further, the proposition to launch ‘Study in India’ that will position India as a prime destination for higher education amongst students aboard, will open doors and present opportunities for educators and e-learning sector as a whole.”

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Vineet Chaturvedi, Co-Founder, Edureka

“This union budget has given due importance to skilling and education which is a welcome move in today’s skill-driven industry. The expansion of Skill India to include AI, IoT and other futuristic technologies hits the nail on the head and the establishment of National Research Foundation is a major boost towards building India’s technical competence. Additional allocation of budget to Bharatnet will also have a deep impact on skilling rural India as it has the potential to open up online learning to students and professionals from remote villages. All in all, I am happy that Education has received 10% higher allocation in this budget which will help schools and higher education institutions in the country invest in catching up with industry requirements.”

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Rahul Sharma, Managing Director-India, LogMeIn

“We would like to congratulate India’s first female Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, for presenting an admirable budget. The Union Budget is a step in the right direction and strengthening the ICT infrastructure and the digital penetration in rural geographies. The Finance Minister has introduced the PPP model for BharatNet and has set up a committee to rationalize tax structure, review USOF, and the spectrum usage charges. This will considerably improve the industry dynamics as revenues continue to fade in the market. The Honourable Minister has further proposed several schemes to build skills, infrastructure, and conduct R&D around cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, which is another key takeaway.”

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Sanjit Chatterjee CEO of REVE Antivirus

“The proposal of extending the exemptions of investment in start up’s, from capital gains in house property is a very good proposal; India needs to create a funding opportunity for IT & general entrepreneurs and this will surely give impetus to the same – and generate employment and spur innovations. Also the corporate tax reduction for companies below Rs. 400 Crs, to 25 % is a welcome move.”

 

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Sanjay Gupta (India Head), Vice President and India country manager, NXP

“We welcome the government’s move to lower the GST rate from 12% to 5% for purchase of Electric Vehicles and the vision to make India as the global manufacturing hub. The push for FAME II by providing the right incentives can encourage a faster conversion rate. Semi-conductors and host of other components will be vital in developing the EV Ecosystem in the country and as NXP, we will play a vital role to foster this goal. Initiatives such as complete elimination of customs duty on some EV components could prove to be a gamechanger for the auto-industry. Currently, over 80% of the cars in India use NXP chip for RFID key”

“Research and Development is crucial for an advanced ecosystem of infrastructure to exist. The government’s focus on incentivizing research by forming a National Research Foundation and encouraging foreign engineers and researchers to come and collaborate is a landmark announcement for India’s electronic industry. For NXP, India is majorly the innovation hub. We run three design/ R&D centres in India which innovate technologies for the world. There are more than 2000 people in Design Centers (Noida, Bangalore and Hyderabad) who are involved in development of semiconductor hardware and software designs across various verticals – Automotive (connected cars), digital payments (NFC enabled), 5G (RF solutions) and many more.”

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KT Prasad, Country Sales Director, Zendesk India

“This is a forward-looking budget designed to accelerate commerce by encouraging foreign investment while also giving local home-grown businesses a leg up, and propelling job creation are encouraging steps towards boosting India’s long term economic growth. The impetus on improving youth skills in disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics reinforces the government’s efforts towards building a Digital India. It is also encouraging to see initiatives that will boost India’s standing on the global technology stage, such as establishing National Research Foundation (NRF) to promote research in AI, accelerating the Standup India program for budding women entrepreneurs, easing FDI rules, and proposing a host of enhancements to the digital payment systems among others. Businesses in India – large or small, new or established – are well-positioned to harness these opportunities by breaking free from outdated legacy technology and infrastructure and adopt more agile, scalable technologies that will empower them to achieve rapid growth. I would give this budget a thumbs up.”

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Sanjay Agarwal, Director, and Co-founder at Umbrella Infocare

“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the maiden budget of Narendra Modi 2.0 government. She proposes 100% FDI for insurance intermediaries that will boost investments in the sector. Government is also considering to increase FDI in aviation and media. Investment by FIIs and FDIs in debt securities in infrastructure debt funds to be allowed. It’s a welcome move to integrate PAN and Aadhar that will ease taxpayers who don’t have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhar number. Also, she proposes to allow an additional tax deduction of Rs 150,000 on interest paid on housing loans for self-occupied house owners.

-This budget of Modi 2.0 is a balanced budget and ensures the continuity of policies at ground level without offering big bang changes.

Most neglected area Gaon, Garib, and Kissan have got the maximum attention through many large scale welfare schemes. Simplifications of GST, Investments, Labour Laws simplification got covered. However there nothing to cheer for Individuals directly due to no change in IT slabs.

I am sure, the Finance Minister will announce more policies to ensure growth regularly, without waiting for the next budget. Unfortunately, there is nothing specific to promote IT products and services however few demands of Startups have been met.”

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Arijit Biswas, Co-Founder at EnrichAI

“We feel that Budget 2019 will foster the startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging different stakeholders including entrepreneurs, investors, talent and consumers to participate in a more spirited manner. While the government’s push to skill India’s youth in cognitive technologies will help startups source talent easily and big pocket global R&D teams, setting up of a dedicated TV program for and by startup founders will provide a cost-effective medium to entrepreneurs to demonstrate innovative ideas and gain mind share of the mass. The announcement to relax scrutiny of the tax returns filed by founders and investors will allow the startup ecosystem to focus wholly and solely on innovation and value creation, and not get bogged down by administrative procedures.
Overall, we feel that the budget will encourage the youth of the country to consider entrepreneurship a very serious and viable career option post their academic pursuits.”

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Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India

“We welcome the Government’s move in promoting Digital India, Startup India and other initiatives which are positive steps for the economy. It is evident that with focus being put on skilling the youth in technologies such as AI, Robotics & Big Data, the Government is reinforcing the importance of digital innovation. The upcoming generation will be a driving force of the economy, knowledge of deep technologies will help make them employable and bridge the gap between demand and supply of talent. Open source companies like SUSE can be benefited from this talent pool, and be encouraged to work and support the nation and enterprises towards becoming globally competitive.”
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Geetansh Bamania, CEO & Founder, RentoMojo

“This is perhaps the most startup-friendly budget we have had in a long time. The decision to allow 100% FDI in insurance intermediation and removal of 30% local sourcing norms for retail with FDI would help specific set of start-ups in these industries/sectors. It is a huge relief that the scrutiny for share premium and valuation is being done away with. The decision to streamline and simplify labour laws is long pending and definitely helpful for the startups. We will wait to see the actual implementation on the measures related to additional incubators and an increase in allocation for stand-up India scheme.”

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Sunny Nandwani, Founder and Managing Partner, Acuver Consulting

“The Union Budget 2019 pointed towards ease of doing business and scale up SMBs through ASPIRE (an initiative to develop skilled entrepreneurs in agro rural industries) and SFURTI (an initiative to enable artisans to join the economic value chain). The government has also given a massive push to infrastructure through all forms of physical connectivity via PMGSY, Industrial corridors, Dedicated freight corridors, etc, which will facilitate last-mile fulfillment of the retail industry.

With FM, Nirmala Sitharaman, aspiring to lead India to a 5 trillion USD economy, looking forward for policies that will increase purchasing powers of the citizen. Retailers, inturn will require to go digital to meet this increasing demand in consumption. IT organization will help the retailers with the digitization process.

This budget also allocates Rs.400 crore towards higher-education institutions, which will help improve skills of our youth in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics. This will further result in reduction in Academy-industry fitment.”

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Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder & CEO, Engineer.ai

“The budget presented encourages skill development across the country, and especially within the tech industry–it’s a well grounded approach to propel India towards a $5 trillion economy. The focus on modern technologies like big data, VR, 3D printing, AI and IoT which will not only provide job opportunities for metropolitan urbanites living in the biggest cities, but also those in rural areas, as well. The proposal of 20 tech incubators in the agro sector along with the allocation of Rs.400 cr for higher education institutes to transform them into innovation labs is a clear indication about the kind of informed, technically equipped resources India is set to enable for the coming, ever-growing technology-driven industries. The push for digital economy and training of over 2cr. individuals to bridge the urban and rural digital divide is one of the key indicators that India is positioning itself to become a hub for digital transformation in the near future.”

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Nikhil Arora, MD and VP, GoDaddy India

“We welcome the Government of India’s Union Budget 2019 that promises an all-round and inclusive growth of the country. The reforms presented in the Budget 2019 reiterate government’s commitment to foster a friendly environment for small businesses, women-owned MSMEs and startups. While steps like exemption of scrutiny on angel taxes, e-verification of taxation and dedicated TV channel for the startup community, will help bolster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country; the government’s increased focus on providing better incentives to women entrepreneurs is a commendable initiative. The Budget also offers big slew of reforms for the MSME sector such as creation of payment platform for filing bills, easy access to loans up to INR 1 crore within 59 minutes and credit boost through INR 350 crore interest subvention – all of which will encourage more people to start their business journeys. With India poised to become a $3 trillion economy this year, we at GoDaddy, are committed to continue working with the government and our partner ecosystem, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to successfully grow their ventures online, with our easy-to-use and affordable tools and solutions.”

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Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, Cambium Networks,  India & SAARC

“The Union Budget takes forward the positive momentum set by the earlier announced Interim Budget particularly on areas involving Digital Villages and taking broadband to masses. The thrust on digital economy is a welcome move as well. With the government increasing basic customs duty on optical fibre, the focus seems to now shift to Make in India. Overall,  the budget has set the right tone to enable connecting the unconnected and also scaling the country to be able to develop global best solutions for high speed wireless connectivity.”

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Sumeer Chandra, MD, HP Inc. India

“It is great to see the focus on making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, through investments in infrastructure, digital economy and job creation. In the short term, the Rs. 70,000 crore capital boost for PSU banks will help improve business confidence and overall liquidity situation. The government’s intent in driving job creation across sectors by reskilling and upskilling the youth is a strong positive. Initiatives to prepare 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries through 100 new incubators under ASPIRE scheme and training 10 million youth under the Kaushal Vikas Yojana with new-age skills in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, 3-D printing, virtual reality and robotics, will help create a large pool of skilled manpower in India.”

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Jaijit Bhattacharya, Chair, policy working group, IET FoMT Panel & President – Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research & Adjunct Professor, IIT Delhi

“Very comprehensive budget with deep structural reforms laid out, that is the need of the hour. Heartening to see continued focus on social safety net in both urban and rural areas and new focus on extending pension to small shopkeepers. The continued focus on public spending, including USD 1.5 t on infrastructure over 5 years and housing, would help get the economy on track to become a USD 5 trillion economy in 5 years. The special focus on electric mobility is most welcome and will surely give a fillip to faster electrification of transportation.”

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Deepak Maheshwari, Director of Government Affairs, India, ASEAN & China at Symantec

“Within just four years since its launch, impact of the Prime Minister Modi’s visionary program Digital India is visible everywhere, from accelerated growth in digital payments to increasing simplification of tax returns. No wonder, it is one of the ten pillars for realizing his vision of India’s evolution and development over the next decade.

Accordingly, Union Budget 2019 highlights the crucial role of interoperable and digitally enabled platforms and grids from energy and taxation to highways. In addition, the focus on fostering and supporting technological innovation is loud and clear whether one looks at Artificial Intelligence and Robotics or 3D printing and Virtual Reality.

However, if not protected well against vulnerabilities and malicious actors, crippling of digital systems or data breaches can have far-reaching and devastating impact, especially in critical information infrastructure sectors. Hence, the government must set aside ten percent of technology budgets exclusively towards cyber security. In addition, cyber safety must become part and parcel of the Digital Literacy and Financial Inclusion initiatives.”

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Anjali Amar, Country Manager at Verizon Enterprise Solutions

“We welcome the Union Budget’s focus on closing the technology skills gap in the face of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Robotics. The economic and societal benefits that these technologies are poised to deliver means that it is imperative to reskill India’s IT workforce. This will ensure that tomorrow’s IT executives will be armed with the necessary knowledge to future-proof India’s digital future.

We are also pleased to note the Government’s initiatives in promoting digital payments. This is a recognition that digital payments sector is no longer considered niche and is crucial for the digital transformation of India. As India strives towards a digital and cashless economy, the Government should also continue to strengthen its cyber-security framework. A robust data protection system which is technology-neutral and based on international norms with principles of transparency, accountability will be the catalyst to fuel investment and innovation in new services.”

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Marthesh Nagendra, Country Manager – India & SAARC, NETGEAR

“Government’s target to make India a $3 Trillion dollar economy is a welcome move as it increases the GDP and spending power. The increased spending on high tech education and high emphasis on digital India will increase the demand for IT products. We feel extremely optimistic as the budget is quite inclusive this time.”

 

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Vartul Jain, CFO and Senior Vice-President, GreyOrange

“The Government’s continued focus on building a healthy entrepreneur ecosystem, as a key aspect for economic growth, is very encouraging. Several measures have been taken for easing FDI rules in various sectors which will have a direct impact on innovation, spurring the entrepreneurial spirt. In line with this agenda, the announcement to set up national tech incubators will promote business and economy. This is further visible in the government’s efforts towards boosting investments in MSMEs.

Also, the government is actively looking to enhance skills and proliferation of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics. Overall, we believe that the Government’s thrust towards digitization to promote manufacturing and innovation are incremental steps for making India a front runner in technology, across the world.”

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Amit Mukherji, CEO, HostBooks

“The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the most –awaited Budget for 2019-20 in the Parliament. It will become a milestone budget for the rapid development of the Indian Economy. Futuristic plans, as incorporated in this budget, will play a pivotal role in making a New India. The Union Budget 2019 has come as good news for the MSMEs. It is going to stimulate the growth of this sector which accounts for a major share of industrial production and exports. This budget for sure will strengthen the economy, giving a big boost to its overall development.”

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