Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Budget 2023: What did you think of the Union Budget 2023 presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman?

CXOs, founders and finfluencers answer the big question and help us understand how the Union Budget impacts businesses, industries and people

Published: Feb 3, 2023 05:20:33 PM IST
Updated: May 17, 2023 11:06:06 AM IST

Budget 2023: What did you think of the Union Budget 2023 presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman?Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the members of the media during a post budget news conference in New Delhi on February 1, 2023. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)​

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the 2023 Union Budget on February 1 and in her post-budget press conference the minister said women empowerment, emphasis on tourism, empowerment of Vishakarmas (artisans) and green growth are the four key focus areas of this year’s budget. While taxpayers were overjoyed with the Rs7 lakh tax free income limit, businesses across sectors did a deep dive of the budget that went beyond what got cheaper and what became more expensive. Read on.

Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director, Maruti Suzuki India

What is particularly pleasing about the Budget is the increase in capex, which is Rs 10 lakh crore, that highlights 3.3 per cent of the GDP. The other aspect which is commendable is that the government will continue to provide 1.3 trillion in loans to states in order to facilitate longer-term investments.

A higher disposable income should lead to a greater propensity to spend and that should also prove to be positive for the auto industry. The third point, which is important for the auto industry, is the scrapping of nine lakh old vehicles which should fuel replacement demand and encourage biofuels in order to maintain carbon neutrality. This would help specific projects which Maruti Suzuki is doing. Overall, Budget 2023 seems very favorable and positive.

PC. Musthafa, CEO & Co-Founder, iD Fresh

After three years of battling the many pandemic-induced challenges, India’s Union Budget 2023 inspires hope for a better year ahead. Particularly for young Indian entrepreneurs. The proposal to set up the Agriculture Accelerator Fund to encourage innovative startups in rural areas, for instance, has the potential to be a huge catalyst for growth.

There’s much to rejoice for salaried individuals too. I believe that the relief provided by the government’s direct tax proposals will ultimately drive greater demand for consumer goods, as the disposable income surges. This, in turn, will provide a strong impetus for businesses across sectors.

As an entrepreneur, I have always been a fervent advocate of education and employment for all. The Finance Minister’s proposal of setting up a National Digital Library for children and adolescents is truly commendable. As is the decision to set up 30 Skill India International Centres for the youth across different states. These initiatives will, certainly, pave the way for a stronger economic outlook for our country.

Nitesh Mittersain, Founder, CEO & Jt MD, Nazara Technologies

The Union Budget 2023 has given prominence to digital infrastructure. The intent is not only on developing but building an ecosystem. The budget makes digitisation an integrated aspect of all sectors. AI is the next level in technology innovation and enterprise creation. The creation of three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI work for India' will be a game changer in streamlining AI further. The budget also emphasizes developing applications under 5G as the country makes way for it.

While focusing on new pillars of growth, the budget has also given start-ups their due credit. Establishing a National Data Governance Policy to enable access to anonymized data and extending the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups will be a game changer. In addition, removing the minimum threshold of Rs 10,000/- for TDS and clarifying taxability relating to online gaming is one of the key takeaways.

Also read: Budget 2023 shows continuity in supporting tech startups beyond big cities

The proposed Union Budget also reflects the proactive approach by the government in streamlining the tax system and promoting fairness in the industry.

Kartik Sharma, Group CEO, Omnicom Media Group India

Building upon the momentum of the year gone by, India's 2023 budget is growth-oriented, future-focused, and abundant with reforms across all aspects of the economy. At a time when all eyes are on India - poised to grow and thrive despite the looming economic slowdown, the standout for me is the strong thrust on Capex. The massive increase on this front shows the government's commitment to boost infrastructure, industry-agnostic productivity, and the overall economy.

As companies earmark their Capex, advertisers will have their eyes set on these new policies and go forth with buoyancy in their minds. As a result, AdEx too is expected to do well for the year.

Also read: The 'Goldilocks' budget for growth

In conclusion, the overall budget is a progressive one to widen the country's horizons and further strengthen India’s economic order on the global stage.

Rajat Abbi, VP - Global Marketing, Schneider Electric, Greater India

The key takeaway from this year’s union budget is the strong focus on sustainable growth of the country. As a brand with sustainability at the core of its DNA, we strongly endorse and applaud this move. At the growth juncture that India is, the focus on healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure and MSMEs is commendable. This budget will usher in a new digital era with discerning focus on data governance policy.

The centres of excellence for AI will aid research, innovation and digital transformation journey of the country. As a marketer I see this a leapfrog move to accelerate the implementation of technology and digital tools by brands in the coming years. Overall, this is a pro-growth and pro-people budget, which will be instrumental towards the Digital India goal and achieving the country's net zero targets.

Also read: MSMEs, growth engines of the economy, get a major boost in Budget 2023

Rajan Navani, Founder and CEO, JetSynthesys,

and Chairman of the CII Council on Future Businesses

This is a progressive and inclusive budget, one that is especially favorable towards new-age industries like the video games industry and the esports sector. It is also a favorable budget to realize the vision of Digital India and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. Today, 1 in 10 people in the world is an Indian under the age of 25. These young guns or Gen Zs are looking at a budget that will empower them not only to be able to improve their livelihood but to also help them get skilled better and build capacity to unlock their true potential.

Today’s budget had 3 focus areas that promise a great year ahead for the video games and esports industry. The first being boosting emerging tech. The focus on new-age skills like Coding, AI, Robotics, Mechatronics, 3D, printing, Drones, IoT, and the setting up of dedicated centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions to realize the vision of “Make AI in India’ and to ‘Make AI work for India”, bodes well for video gaming and esports since the next stage of growth will be unlocked on the back of emerging tech. This is followed by infrastructural support with the boost in the production of mobile phones and the launch of 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services.

Also read: Budget 2023: Higher spending on job creation

Lastly, skilling, job creation, and boosting entrepreneurship. The PM Kaushal Vikaas Yoajna 4.0 to skill Indian youth in new-age courses for Industry 4.0 is great news, not just for our young population but also for all enterprises in the digital and emerging tech space. With the launch of the National Skill Development Mission, the National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the setting up of 30 Skill India International Centres, the future is indeed promising and bright for billions. Additionally, the launch of the unified "Skill India" platform to enable demand-based formal skilling, linking with employers (including MSMEs), and facilitating access to entrepreneurial schemes is an overall strong step forward in building and promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country

Video games and e-sports have the power to add incremental value to India’s GDP and the policies and measures announced in today’s budget will propel India towards the goal of being a USD 1 trillion digital economy as part of USD 5 Trillion economy over the next few years.

Nitin Sood, CFO, PVR Limited

The Union Budget 2023 strikes a fine balance between fiscal prudence and economic stimulus, offering a roadmap for sustainable growth in India. As a CFO, I appreciate the emphasis on boosting infrastructure investment, setting a clear target of bringing the fiscal deficit down to below 4.5 percent by 2025-26, as well as measures aimed at inclusive growth and employment generation. Overall, this budget lays the foundation for a bright financial future for our country.

Also read: Railways, airports and more roads: How Budget 2023 is gearing up for increased infrastructure spending

Samir Kumaar Modi, Managing Director, Modi Enterprises

The FMCG industry has exhibited a healthy recovery despite global inflation and economic slowdown during the past two years. With the budget estimating India’s growth at a rate of 7 per cent in FY 2023, this first budget in Amrit Kaal focuses on creating ample opportunities for Indians, especially the youth, and provides a strong impetus to the country’s growth. The proposed exemptions in personal income tax and incentives for skill development are expected to boost consumer sentiment thereby generating demand and spurring consumption. This coupled with the government’s focus on India’s green growth strategy will catalyse our journey to become a more self-reliant nation.

Sharan Hegde, finfluencer, angel investor

After Budget 2020, the new tax regime is trending again. Say, if you are earning up to Rs10 lakh, the new tax regime becomes attractive even if you are exhausting 80C deductions. However, if you are availing multiple deductions like HRA, Housing loan interest etc., then a well thought calculation should be made. Also, the reduction of surcharge slabs from 37 precent to 25 percent in the new regime is a welcome step as our tax rates were amongst the highest in the world.