Interim Budget 2024: Glimpses into technological boom!

Interim Budget 2024: Glimpses into technological boom!

Industry leaders share their reactions on technological backing emphasized in the Interim Budget.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Mumbai: With the unveiling of the Interim Budget 2024 by union minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman, a wave of anticipation and excitement sweeps across industries. The budget unfolds a roadmap for India's economic trajectory, emphasising technology, innovation, and skill development.

Following are some of the key highlights and reactions from industry leaders, shedding light on the potential impacts on technological advancements.

Beyond Key founder and CEO Piyush Goel

In 2024, a transformative surge in technology is predicted, propelled by India's unwavering commitment to skill development and innovation, as articulated by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Skill India Mission has actively educated 1.4 crore youths, imparting essential skills and upskilling 54 lakh youths, alongside establishing 3,000 new ITIs. The academic arena has witnessed remarkable growth with the establishment of seven IITs, sixteen IITs, seven IIMs, 15 AIIMSs, and 390 universities, fostering a strong atmosphere for technological advancement. Furthermore, the fiscal budget 2024 allocates resources to increase the number of airports, rail infrastructure, and other infrastructure, undoubtedly impacting mass lives. Artificial Intelligence (AI) would become a pivotal force, and stronger funding to harness its benefits is poised to elevate the technological landscape. Corporate sectors also stand to benefit from the decreased corporate tax of 22 per cent, fostering a greater favorable commercial enterprise environment and selling economic growth through accelerated investments and expansion opportunities. The budget's strategic investments underscore India's steadfast determination to a dynamic and tech-driven future.

AdCounty Media CFO Abbhinav R Jain

The Interim budget marks a significant move towards India's digitisation. In the budget 2023-24, the government announced an outlay of 4795.24 crore for its Digital India program which ensured universal access to high-speed internet and digital literacy initiatives. This year, in a bid to bolster R&D in sunrise domains, Honourable FM, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced a corpus of one lakh crore with a 50-year interest-free loan. Dubbing this period as the golden era for innovation and entrepreneurship, she went on to say that the corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenures and low or nil rates. The budget, undeniably, is leaving no stone unturned to bridge the gap between youth and technology to realise the aim of a fully developed India (“Viksit Bharat”) by 2047.

Tagglabs founder Hariom Seth

An innovative landmark statement was made by Nirmala Sitharaman, who announced A corpus of 1 lakh crore rupees 50-year interest-free loan with low or nill interest rates to encourage and scale up research and innovation. This marks a landmark in the history of tech startups and companies, providing a one-of-a-kind chance to explore distant shores and leave an indelible mark on the ‘Make in India’ dream.

The provision of a corpus of 1 lakh crore rupees as 50-year interest-free loans with low or no interest rates is a significant move that can greatly benefit companies. This initiative increases liquidity, allowing companies to invest in research, development, and innovation without the burden of immediate repayment. It also mitigates financial risk associated with borrowing due to the long tenure of the loan and the low or nil interest rates. Furthermore, it encourages innovation as companies can focus more on creating innovative products and solutions with easier access to funds. The overall cost of the loan decreases due to lower interest rates, leading to savings that can be used for other business activities.

Lastly, timely repayment of such loans can enhance a company’s credit profile, making it easier to secure future funding. However, while these benefits can provide a significant boost to companies, it’s also important for them to manage these funds wisely to avoid potential financial challenges.

DashLoc CEO and co-founder Sumit Singh

The budget has clearly exhibited that the government is extending full-fledged support towards adoption of technology across sectors. The special mention that deeptech in defence section gained in the speech truly indicates that the government is going to support emerging technologies in crucial sectors too. Alongside, it is a matter of pride that STEM courses have seen aggressive enrolment from women. We can expect a quality and skilled workforce in India that will keep the wheel running towards striking progress.

Almonds AI co-founder & CEO Abhinav Jain

Government's forward-looking budget aligns remarkably well with the impetus required for the AI and technology sectors. The focus on digital infrastructure lays a robust foundation for innovation, and the commitment to skill development among youth mirrors the mission to empower the next generation with AI capabilities. The support for electric vehicles and clean energy initiatives resonate with the Green Loyalty Program, reinforcing belief in sustainable technological advancement. This budget not only catalyzes a tech-driven economy but also heralds a golden era for companies like ours at the intersection of AI and market technology. We are eager to contribute to this transformative journey and commend the government's vision for a tech-empowered, inclusive growth trajectory.

Superbot co-founder & director Sarvagya Mishra

It’s encouraging that the government recognizes the importance of addressing skill development to meet the demand for a high-quality workforce in the emerging technology sector, crucial for India’s ambitious goal of a $5 trillion economy. All the initiatives mentioned in the Interim budget speech like establishment of more IITs, IIITs, STEM courses etc., are cementing the foundation of the growing India, which is youth. Commendably, the government’s embrace of deeptech in critical sectors like defense underscores our country’s progressive stance. Given that R&D is a capital-intensive step for businesses in deeptech, blockchain, machine learning, and generative AI, increased allocation towards MUDRA schemes and the announcement of a one-lakh crore corpus with 50-year interest-free support will undoubtedly fuel technological growth.

NeuralGarage co-founder & CEO Mandar Natekar

The interim budget presented today shall provide an impetus to an ecosystem of startups, technology companies and aspirants, providing them with ample opportunities to set-up, enhance technological offerings and bolster innovation. These are positive sentiments that will further strengthen India's technology landscape through research and innovation. A corpus of Rupees One Lakh Crore will be established with a fifty-year interest-free loan. The corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. The private sector will witness a steep growth with innovation being at the forefront. Further, the government has extended tax benefits for start-ups to 31 March 2025 and withdrawn some outstanding direct tax demands. Deeptech and GenAI have the potential to revolutionize a variety of sectors. Ethical practices and its usage will lead to Indian brands and artists being recognised from local to global markets creating a seamless experience and put India on the global map for technological prowess.

Yatiken Software Solutions founder and CEO Alok Kashyap

In line with the government’s ambitious vision of technology contributing 20-25 per cent to the GDP by 2025, this forward-looking budget charts a promising course for the IT sector. The allocation for EV infrastructure development is particularly noteworthy as it opens avenues for software development in EV systems, IoT integration, and data analytics. The one-lakh crore corpus for long-term financing is another indispensable boon for the IT industry, fostering innovation and research. Moreover, the Skill India Mission’s initiatives and tax benefits for startups provide a robust foundation for skill development and entrepreneurial growth.

icogz MD Amit Tripathi

The budget allocated Rs 8,000 crore for the national mission on quantum technologies and applications, which aims to boost research and innovation in quantum computing, communication, cryptography, and artificial intelligence. This is as per expected lines and what I had predicted in my pre budget expectations.

The budget also proposed to set up a Data Centre Economic Zone to attract investments and create employment opportunities in the data centre industry, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23 per cent by 2025. Again on expected lines.

The budget increased the tax deduction at source (TDS) on e-commerce transactions from one per cent to two per cent, which may affect the profitability and cash flow of e-commerce platforms and sellers.

E-Factor Experiences Ltd MD Samit Garg

The emphasis on digital transformation across sectors could encourage the adoption of advanced technologies in event management, like virtual reality, augmented reality, and AI, enhancing the audience experience. More investment in R&D would result in more availability of local resources, thereby pushing the costs down and making the solutions more affordable.