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Budget 2022: What’s the Tech Industry Wish List?


Budget 2022 will be presented on February 1 in the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic that has profoundly changed the economic landscape not only in India, but globally. While the government is likely to incentivize each sector, as the global epicentre for IT,  the Indian tech industry’s performance is likely to be crucial. Technology has been one of the few sectors to show resilience, and the Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for technology and digital adoption across sectors. With companies looking towards recovery from an overall economic slump, ensuring stability and impetus for growth should be the key highlight in this Budget.

CXOToday speaks to some experts in the IT industry on their expectations from the Union Budget 2022:

 “CY21 has been challenging yet remarkable in many ways. The pandemic led to an irreversible shift where digital technologies took the center stage and India’s journey to become the digital talent hub began. We witnessed recovery and revival as a developing economy. Now, the need of the hour is a well-designed, pragmatic budget, which will help sustain the signs of recovery. With the government strengthening its commitment towards introducing reforms leading to ease of doing business and making India ‘Atmanirbhar’ by promoting ‘Make in India’ initiatives aggressively, we believe, India will be able to maintain its growth momentum. We look forward to seeing focused initiatives to boost consumer sentiment, accelerate infrastructure development including smart grids, and increase investments in key areas including healthcare, network modernization, financial inclusion, and skilling. We think that developing manufacturing, infrastructure, and e-commerce sectors, which are large employment generators and have a trickle-down effect on many industries including SME and MSME, should remain a priority. Reforms supporting exports, technology adoption, and putting India on Net Zero Path are on the wish list as well. Further, we expect the government to double its initiatives that propel technology adoption, R&D, and innovation. This would not only have a multiplier effect on job creation but also enrich the innovation landscape vastly. We think the budget should be the clarion call to make India the highest growing economy in the year 2022.” Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra


 “The Indian Government is strongly focused on growth and development, and this trend has continued even during the pandemic. Given the hybrid normal we at Barco, are creating solutions aimed at promoting seamless remote work and bolstering the economy. We look forward to a budget which offers a roadmap for heightened economic revival, with greater spending on infrastructure and enhanced incentives for corporate capex. We believe that the country is still on track to achieve the $5-trillion vision by 2025 and expect a host of reforms aimed at empowering the start-up and entrepreneurial culture while augmenting healthcare and allied sectors. Technology, manufacturing, and R&D comprise the future of India and we look forward to initiatives aimed at making India a global super-power in these frontiers.” Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India


“The IT segment – especially the software and services, witnessed a major surge in the SMB segment after the global pandemic hit the world. The demand for endpoint protection tools (basic as well as advanced) has dramatically gained momentum after more users started relying online to meet their business as well as personal requirements. Furthermore, mature and advanced technologies in the ENT segment such as AI, ML, Anti-Apt solutions and predictive technologies like Threat Intel have made headway in many segments and are redefining the patterns as to how cyber defence is looked at more from a business perspective than ever before. While the Information technology segment in India is fast maturing, it looks towards the budget and the government for favorable guidelines and reliefs. Due to the positive and progressive steps adopted by the government towards creating a more adaptable and functional digital economy, we very clearly see a surge in the services segment, wherein critical and strategic cyber defence services like Incident response, breach assessment, etc would become the need of the hour for the businesses across the length and breadth of the country. We look forward to the FM to announce favorable policies and guidelines that encourage the attention and adoption of businesses to pro-actively invest in cyber defence mechanisms and ensure safe and secure Digital India for the years ahead.” Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia)


“India’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 is ambitious and prudent. However, to achieve this, we must make some important policy interventions today. Conversations on diversifying the renewables portfolio are gaining pace. Along with solar, we need policy paradigms to promote wind power, hydro power, nuclear power, green grid corridors, etc., to ultimately transition to round-the-clock hybrid power. Funding remains another critical need where government intervention would enable fast and smoother actualization of renewable energy projects in the country. I am hopeful that the upcoming Budget will directly address these specific challenges and ease the way for climate change financing to help the country transition to a net-zero emissions economy.” – Mahesh Palashikar, President, GE, South Asia

“2021 was a challenging year with COVID related disruption but technology as a sector has shown a lot of resilience and digital adoption has increased many fold. India is now among the fastest growing digital markets and we expect further rapid expansion. In my opinion, the budget should focus on three things. Firstly, accelerate investments in digital infrastructure and the ecosystem to support innovation with special focus on increasing data security infrastructure and sustainability. With digital adoption at all-time high, there cannot be a better time to take digital India initiative to the next level. Secondly Reduce excessive regulations in critical sectors, including telecom, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. The Government’s PLI schemes and other initiatives have been fabulous. As we move ahead this year, the razor-sharp focus on executing the newly announced PLI schemes and existing PLI schemes will be critical to address the changing demands of key industries and establish India as a major export hub for manufactured goods. Thirdly, an unwavering focus on ease of doing business, simplifying policies, and making processes frictionless is imperative to fuel the country’s economic growth. Removing barriers with concentrated efforts will boost the interest of domestic investors and revolutionize the perception of global investors towards the Indian market. Furthermore, India’s positive geopolitical sentiment, increasing youth population, booming start up sector and developing smart cities, etc., will transform core sectors, yielding accelerated benefits to citizens.” – Mayank Khandelwal, EVP & CFO, NEC Corporation India


“Over the last few years, the Government of India has made great strides to foster the growth and development of the Indian IT and telecommunication sector, strengthening the economic and digital transformation in the country. In particular, we are pleased to note India’s huge rise in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report. As India sits on the cusp of a sustained period of economic recovery and growth, one of the keys to success lies in continuing to make the necessary reforms in the relaxing of tax structures that have played an integral role in developing the country’s economic prowess. The recently announced telecom reforms by the Department of Telecommunications is a welcome start. To this point, we strongly believe that the continued promotion of legal certainty, predictability and global consistency will further foster Innovation and Investments, particularly in the vital areas of Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence and 5G.” Priya Mahajan, Head of ASPAC Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Business Group


“With restrictions in place amidst the third wave of Covid, large enterprises as well as small businesses are seeing a dip in their business activities. Both corporates and taxpayers expect relief in the form of rebates in direct and indirect taxes in the upcoming budget. We also expect the introduction of simplified compliances to facilitate the ease of doing business. The Finance Ministry could also introduce special stimulus packages to the MSME sector which is vital for economic revival. There may also be a positive surprise in the form of a relaxation of GST regulation and relief for sectors that have particularly suffered during the pandemic. The Government, to provide further impetus to business growth, could also introduce fiscal policy initiatives to build a strong digital infrastructure for MSMEs and enterprises. While India has one of the most dynamic technology ecosystems globally, we hope that the government will reaffirm its commitment to ‘Digital India’ through appropriate allocations and policies in this Union budget.”Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, India, Pure Storage


Today, the government has quite a lot of proactive policies for server manufacturing, like PLI and other initiatives. Our take is that the budget should focus on a few important things for demand generation. We need to see how the local buying of made in India products is encouraged. The government should fund a scheme for tech adoption, and government purchases of high-end IT products should be encouraged/prioritized to help create more demand. Data Centre Operators should be incentivised to use more “Made in India” products. This will help the country to achieve the PMO’s objective of achieving atamnirbhar bharat. Local server technology development will help to bring cutting-edge technology to the country while also addressing the nation’s security concerns. Another thing I am looking forward to is the R&D side. There has to be special incentive for companies investing in R&D, there must be government incentivised and facilitated collaborations between the companies and premium Education and R&D facilities. This will be a major game changer as the R&D and education systems will become more aligned with the real world of commercially valid products, and the industry will benefit from innovation and local enhancement of technology to create global competence.” Sandeep Lodha, Co-founder at Netweb Technologies


“Due to the ‘Great Resignation’ and consequent inflation of wages, talent shortages are already visible. This problem would only compound further as borders open and Indian talent is pursued by more developed countries. The Indian government must also begin benchmarking individual income tax rates to neighboring countries, especially as income tax rates on individuals in South East Asia hovers near the 15-22% mark in comparison to Indian rates at 30%+ cess. The government can also look at doing away with the various cesses as the economy recovers, and other tax revenues remaining buoyant, allowing more money in the hands of individuals to enhance consumption. Moving stimulus to the consumption side is critical. A one year moratorium on taxes on new car / new housing purchases can be provided via one time Section 80C. This would provide downstream benefits to the economy. The implementation of the PLI scheme will be the key, and there should be annual targets for each ministry in place under which the scheme falls. There is tremendous opportunity with the PLI scheme, which encompasses reduced interest rates, lower tax rates on new manufacturing companies, etc. If the implementation of the labour codes can be timed with start of new financial year, we would be able to attract more FDI into manufacturing at this time.” Lohit Bhatia, President- Workforce Management, Quess Corp


“The Indian Startup Ecosystem has had an exceptional year in 2021. In this budget, the government should support the startup community through policies and mechanisms that encourage domestic capital participation, create an investment climate friendly to rural towns and offer incentives for the establishment of incubators in every state. In recent years, the number of deep-tech start-ups and those that focus on underserved markets has grown rapidly. Startups are pursuing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, and machine learning (ML). Our expectation is that the government will make significant investments in technology hubs that will help strengthen emerging technologies and encourage upcoming entrepreneurs to innovate in this area. In addition, we hope that the budget will address measures required to accelerate the digital transformation, including skills training and the development of a talent pool with digital age skills that will help accelerate development.” Khadim Batti, CEO & Co-Founder, Whatfix


“We believe 2022 will be an incredible year for the Indian IT & ITeS industry. Despite facing the worst hit during the second pandemic wave, IT spending in India was unaffected and is forecasted to increase by 7% this year. We believe the upcoming fiscal policy will encourage technology adoption. From a macro perspective, we expect it to support innovation and drive business resilience by leveraging new-age technologies. Digital transformation should be an ongoing effort by the Indian government to pave the way for more agile and dynamic businesses. Prioritizing this effort would also result in hiring a workforce to deliver on the technological needs. Fueled by technological progress, India’s economic growth will increase exponentially.
It would be beneficial for our industry if the Budget also directs some resources on building a robust e-learning ecosystem, implementing online innovation, and scouting suitable technological tools to enhance the online learning ecosystem. We are eager for this year’s Budget announcement and what it has in store for this industry.” – Deepak Mittal, CEO and Co-Founder, To The New

“The digital payments space has proved its mettle as a stable growth avenue during the pandemic. A positive impact was seen on digital payments due to benign taxation for self-service digital customers. To ensure the same benefits reach the less-savvy citizens, our government could waive GST and TDS for financial inclusion services at Business Correspondent (BC) outlets across India. A GST and TDS waiver will help reduce the cost of offering seamless financial services and help high-end tech reach the technology-oblivious segment. We stand with the government’s intent of taking digitization to the last mile and passing the GST waiver benefit to ‌end-users as this will push for greater financial inclusion and a digital economy in the country. We also sincerely hope that TDS for income below ₹ 50,000 a year can be waived off. We are positive that this Budget will consider the grim working condition of the BC network and make the needful regulatory changes to ensure the viability of a community that has been vital in driving the cause of financial inclusion and democratization of digital payments in the country.” Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby


“The economy is projected to gradually return to its previous trajectory, with fiscal priorities in the upcoming budget invigorating it. A regulatory body to oversee payment recovery is the need of the hour. An enhanced procedural aid to the legal recovery of repayments from digital borrowers to further protect the rights of those who lend money. Such a specialized government vehicle to oversee fintech could not only help startups run more effectively, following compliance requirements, but it would eliminate possible fraudsters. Returns from investments in Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending could be exempted from tax under Section 80C of Income Tax law, or a different provision could be carved out to reduce tax rates such as tax exemption for gains below Rs 20,000. This will encourage people across geographies to invest in P2P lending, making funds accessible on multiple platforms. P2P lending plays a significant role in empowering small businesses in India. The pandemic has resulted in significant job losses, primarily due to people’s inability to keep up with evolving technology. More institutions that provide formal education and certifications are needed to create a skilled group of individuals required to grow P2P lending platforms and the Fintech industry.” Bhavin Patel, Co-founder & CEO, LenDenClub 


“We need to have a stable GST tax slab to boost Indian manufacturing and MSMEs sectors. The products should not exceed the 18% slab, as they now need to encourage consumerism to be able to improve market sentiments. With this move, India can become the world’s third-biggest market for televisions, leading to an estimated growth of 15% in the market size, increasing to up to 16 million units annually. We would like to urge the government not to change custom duties as if now, as the industry is moving towards a stable condition. We would like to congratulate the Government for introducing a $10 billion PLI scheme for display panels and semiconductor chips. We would also request Financial Minister to have timelines for these projects and this. shouldn’t be restricted till the Memorandum of Understanding. This could be a pathbreaking move for the electronics sector. – Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, Kodak brand licensee


“2021 was a transformative year for the fintech industry with significant technology adoption in financial services. While traditional lending still accounts as a major credit provider in India, digital lending has picked up pace with the ease of process, less paperwork and use of alternate data sources, making it a key enabler for the MSME sector. Fintech players have already shown willingness to work with the government to curb the menace of the illegal digital lending apps. Budget 2022 should introduce regulations that will help in greater credit access to MSMEs and curbing illegal activities while building trust in the digital lending process for the last mile. In line with the government’s goal of creating a digital economy, introducing credit schemes will incentivise the sector and help in providing timely credit to MSMEs that have struggled due to the lack of credit accessibility through traditional means of lending which has directly affected their business opportunity. We have also seen a rise in the number of start-ups who have turned unicorns in the last year that showcases the potential of the startup ecosystem in India. We expect the government to introduce regulatory changes that would create an easy line of access for start-ups & MSMEs to secure credit from online lending players. This will further help in boosting our economy.” – Lalit Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Decimal Technologies


“As we enter the third year under the pandemic, the Union Budget 2022-23 will be key in building further economic resilience even as we work towards more robust growth across different sectors. The NEP 2020 lays down the foundations for this goal through far-reaching initiatives on skill-building. The Finance Minister can take this opportunity to take it forward by enhancing budget spending on new-age skills and promoting lifelong learning to ensure our workforce remains competitive in a rapidly changing skill landscape. Other than tax benefits on education loans, private participation can be ensured by mandating continual training and development of employees in large enterprises. Such measures can help augment India’s position as a talent powerhouse even as it addresses unwanted layoffs and attrition within industries. As the pandemic exposed the lack of risk preparedness within the education sector, the government must take immediate action to ensure the long-term sustainability of higher educational institutions, especially in the face of increased competition by edtech companies. It can start by creating a viable structure for raising low-cost capital, similar to MSME financing schemes, thereby allowing legacy institutions to upgrade their teaching-learning methodologies and outcomes.” – Hersh Shah, CEO, Institute of Risk Management (IRM) – India Affiliate

“The last budget focused mainly on healthcare, stimulus packages, and rural infrastructure development. With Omicron getting bigger by the day, the focus will continue to be on healthcare again this year. It would be ideal to address availability of funds and compliance related obstacles facing the industry. Moreover, access to funds for MSME and the service sector should be addressed on a war footing as it can accelerate economy recovery. On the other hand, a straightforward GST rate structure and simplification of GST compliances would be beneficial for players. I believe this budget would do well to reduce the penalties imposed on non-compliance to Advanced Tax and GST payments. Considering the ongoing pandemic, tax relief for COVID patients and their families would be a welcome move. Only 1%of the patients admitted during the first wave had health insurance, which has to be considerably increased. Improve coverage by reducing GST on health insurance from 18% to say 5% so that more and more people would be covered, and there won’t be any revenue loss for the government.”Uthaman Bakthikrishnan, Executive Director of ClearTouch

“It is critical to incentivize offline SMEs to adopt and strengthen digital solutions to ensure better business prospects and speedy recovery of the overall economy. Moreover, digital infrastructure support will be important especially for MSME retailers since the future is getting more and more digitized, personalized, and connected. If we equip them from business disruption, it will contribute more to the Indian economy. Lastly, promoting sales process outsourcing (SPO) as it will provide more employment opportunities at the same time global brands can leverage India’s advantage.” – Dilli Babu Nandarapu Founder & CEO, ShopConnect

“Over the last few years, we have seen exponential growth in cyberattacks. The ongoing pandemic and work from anywhere models have further increased the attack landscape for cybercriminals. In addition to this, organizations are facing cybersecurity resource crunch and stringent budgets. Our expectation from the Union Budget is on two aspects: cybersecurity skill gap and cybersecurity awareness. We are hopeful of the Government increasing spends on cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives to empower cybersecurity resources. Eventually, this focus will help to create employment as well as good defense against cybercriminals.” –   Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales for Sophos India & SAARC


“The Union Budget in India is always eagerly awaited by everyone, from corporates to taxpayers, with all hopes attached to having simplified compliances. In the wake of the third Covid wave, there is a certain expectation in terms of rebates and relief from the Finance Ministry on Indirect and Direct taxes. Stimulus packages and tax exemption policies designed for the COVID impacted era would help revitalize the economy. Moreover, the duration of compensation cess ends in June 2022, hence it would be great if the government could look at providing an extension on this by six months or a year. The Ministry of Finance may have some surprises in their bags for the GST regime specifically from a sectoral perspective, hence as a leading industry player we are looking forward to this. In order to provide a fillip to business growth the government is also expected to introduce financial aid to build a strong digital infrastructure for MSMEs and startups. This will help further strengthen organizations, enabling them to grow and thrive in today’s remote work environment.” –   Niraj Hutheesing-Founder and Managing Director, Cygnet Infotech.


India saw a euphoric rise in the number of unicorns in 2021, adding 33 in a year making it one of the fastest growing technology startup ecosystems globally. This growth has been on the back of overall improvement in ease of doing business, and this should continue to remain an ongoing focus and priority. Within the logistics space, there has been a massive disruption led by a major increase in last mile deliveries. Additionally, as Make-in-India along with the national freight corridors gains momentum, this is going to further increase demand for logistics. All of this necessitates building infrastructure capabilities that are future ready. We can achieve this with the right focus on digitizing processes and making international trade easier, which would go a long way in elevating India’s position in the global technology and logistics arena.” – Dhruvil Sanghvi, Founder & CEO, LogiNext


“As the country awaits Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to present the Union Budget for 2022-23, under the ominous time of a potential third wave, we expect the budget to be a very pragmatic one. We hope additional incentives to businesses, particularly manufacturing companies, can be a part of the budget proposals.

 We hope the government will use the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ programmes to attract foreign investments, implementing cutting-edge technologies, and increasing exports in order to make India a global manufacturing powerhouse. This will also in turn help increase job prospects, which is necessary for a post-pandemic future.

 From a future perspective, we hope our government would place a greater focus on employing emerging technologies to emphasize the importance of using energy-efficient solutions. We hope the government continues to support manufacturers to expand projects on innovative lighting products and other solutions which are environment friendly. These steps may also aid in defining a route toward meeting the net-zero target by 2070.”

– Kishan Jain, Director – Goldmedal Electricals

“The e-commerce industry in India has managed to gain substantial growth owing to a rapid increase in internet user penetration, and greater demand for easy access to goods & services among consumers from all walks of life. The possibilities are endless when it comes to e-commerce. Looking at the increase in online shopping and payment gateways. The e-commerce sector should be looking for an impetus to the digitisation and incentivising digital transactions in the upcoming Union Budget. I also hope that the government cuts the corporate tax rate across the board to spur growth. To amplify the Make in India initiative now is the time for the government to encourage product companies by introducing incentives that help them become globally competitive and take product innovation to the next level. In the last year, the retail sector has shown several signs of recovery and is aiming for a complete revival on all metrics, this is driven by the rising demand from consumers. Experts believe that the increasing purchasing power has led to growing demand. the government ought to take actions, bring measures or programs for the sector that may further impact the growth in the consumption, or at least not let the consumption go down.
The Union Budget should cover certain benefits for startups, such as reduced taxes for companies with a turnover less than INR 10 Crores, and complete exemption from taxes for a duration of 3 years and on profits earned during the first 5 years, the budget should be benefitting the overall startup ecosystem. Going by this fact, I am expecting better tax benefits for startups and SMEs that can further aid the growth.
The much-awaited National Logistics Policy (India ranked 44 with a score of 3.18 in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index Global Rankings 2018) with a multimodal and tech-enabled approach as the logistics ecosystem is linked to $215 billion and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 10.5% by 2025. The proposed NLP must have room for PPP models for faster optimization of logistics and warehousing networks and the government must preserve the autonomy and independence of the private sector.” – Ajoy Thomas, VP & Business Head, TeamLease Services


“Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been one of the key revolutionary moment during the last decade akin to the UPI moment for the fintech industry. However, given the pandemic and distress in the insolvency domain, the code needs further refinements and amendments for quicker and effective resolution to re-start the economic machinery. The Insolvency Law Committee has also proposed certain critical changes to the Code such as timelines for approval of resolution plans, closure of the voluntary liquidation process, continuation of avoidance transaction proceedings, etc. However, the authorities must also focus on additional challenges that affect majority of the CIRPs such as CIRPs being cash starved leading to inordinate delays. There is also lack of clarity on the position of the Interim Financier as to what information the financier is privy to and clear cut guidelines for institutions lending in this space. In addition, a framework for fast-track disposal of litigations for timely completion of the CIRP process is also the need of the hour. Furthermore, India’s remarkable step towards setting up bad-banks and detailed guidelines for the quicker resolution and cleanup of balance sheet of financial institutions is also something we expect out of the Budget.” Kundan Shahi, Founder & CEO of LegalPay

————————————————————————————————————————————“The Union Budget should accelerate the growth of the digital economy by making it easier for businesses to invest in tools and technology that are crucial to their growth. The government can spur innovation in India by creating policies that incentivize technology product exports and encourage startups to make in India for the world.”Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Nova (Flock and Titan)


“Following two years of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and amidst the third COVID-19 wave, I am expecting that this year’s Union Budget will be a pragmatic one. There is an urgent need for the Government of India to continue its focus on infrastructure spending to boost the economy and increase employment opportunities. It will be great to see the Union Budget allocate funds toward incentivizing the use of emerging deep technologies like artificial intelligence, intelligent automation, blockchain, augmented / virtual reality etc., among businesses. Today, businesses across verticals are generating large amounts of data, which when harnessed through the use of new age technologies can be better leveraged to solve challenges faced by citizens. Promoting digitization is the need of the hour, and while we have made significant progress in this area in the last few years, we still have a long way to go. At this juncture, incentives, tax benefits, and provisions for optimization of cloud services can greatly help in building a truly ‘Digital India’.”– Puneet Gupta, Managing Director & Vice President, NetApp India


“India saw a euphoric rise in the number of unicorns in 2021, adding 33 in a year making it one of the fastest growing technology startup ecosystems globally. This growth has been on the back of overall improvement in ease of doing business, and this should continue to remain an ongoing focus and priority. Within the logistics space, there has been a massive disruption led by a major increase in last mile deliveries. Additionally, as Make-in-India along with the national freight corridors gains momentum, this is going to further increase demand for logistics. All of this necessitates building infrastructure capabilities that are future ready. We can achieve this with the right focus on digitizing processes and making international trade easier, which would go a long way in elevating India’s position in the global technology and logistics arena.” – Dhruvil Sanghvi, Founder & CEO, LogiNext


“When it comes to Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, we as a country have a huge potential in becoming a global hub. The recent semiconductor-focused Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme announced by the government has been a major boost for the ecosystem. The Design Linked Incentives (DLI) which is another element linked to the scheme has been beneficial for the design and fabless companies. From a Union Budget perspective, we are definitely hopeful of an MSME-centric budget from the Finance Ministry which will help in stabilizing growth and further boost this segment, especially during these challenging times caused by the ongoing pandemic. This will also help MSMEs working in the deep tech space to engage in product R&D and manufacturing. Further, in order to encourage the manufacturing of indigenously designed products, the government should also look at relaxing tax burdens, and provide tax exemptions in areas such as customs duty.”Vishwakumara Kayargadde, Co-Founder and COO, Saankhya Labs

“In order to make startups an equally lucrative opportunity for job seekers, we suggest the government revisit the definition of start-ups and ESOP Taxation. It might be more relevant if ESOPs are taxed only during the time of sale. In addition to this, exception of SEZ from long-term capital gains would boost the stock market, and encourage foreign investments inflow in the country.” – Sushant Gupta, Founder & CEO of SG Analytics

“India is still a developing economy, which needs technological advancements in a lot of sectors. Even if we talk about the advancements in the fields of agriculture, medicine, education, etc. technology is that one thing that is the common elements required for the advancement of all. But, we have a long way to cover in terms of technological advancements as well as compared to other countries, esp for making India a developed nation from a developing one. The budget which a country allocates, should have a fair share towards technological advancements, as then only we will be able to digitise and automate the other industries. From home automation, to advance agriculture tools, to medical equipment required for transplantation and major surgeries to save lives, all need technology. Therefore we hope that technology and start-ups working on these technologies should get support from the government to come up with new ideas, solutions to make India an advanced economy.”Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks)

“The Government should support organisations to adopt the practices of Industry 4.0 by removing major barriers, especially those delaying modernization of MSMEs and making them globally competitive.  This sector is crucial as they play a key role in the nation’s development, contributing significantly to the GDP.  Government support can provide further stimulus to the ‘Make in India’ initiative and boost up employment rates. Massive boost is required for urban and transportation infrastructure development with increase fiscal stimulus and private sector participation to meet the growing demand of industries.

The budget should have policies to incentivize innovation in the banking industry by leveraging technology and digital transformation. The focus now should also be on policy reforms that will boost private investments.  More favorable policies for 100% owned and incorporated IT services and technology companies in India should be put in place as they play a key role in boosting the economy and generating employment.

With data privacy and security taking centre stage across industry verticals, government should incentivize organisations to strengthen their data security infrastructure.  A robust cybersecurity policy is required and more focus should be on Cybersecurity services and products sector to increase investments and innovation here. The Government should further support in innovation and R & D in the sector, especially in digital technology research to remain competitive.” – Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, ProcessIT Global

“While our battle with the COVID-19 pandemic continues, in the new year, the government’s focus will definitely be on devising a robust growth map to revive the economy. In my opinion, the government will look at introducing initiatives that will help boost innovation with a focus on building back the nation stronger. I expect the upcoming budget to be more growth-oriented with an emphasis on key sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, and infrastructure. Doing so will also be beneficial in promoting job creation across sectors. The budget will need to focus on investing and promoting the use of new-age technologies like IoT, 5G, AI/ML, etc. which have the potential to help India move ahead in its digital transformation journey. Additionally, keeping in mind the government’s push for the adoption of electric vehicles, we can also expect an additional boost to be provided to this segment, especially in regard to the EV charging infrastructure.” –Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications


“The country has recently overcome a challenging phase with the dreadful second wave of the pandemic. The primary expectation this year is to assuage the general public’s fears, regarding another impending wave of the pandemic. Investment in the healthcare sector is the need of the hour and is expected to continue to be an area of focus in the next Budget. Moreover, swift intervention in the Education sector will also be crucial. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that without superior healthcare and education, the economy could potentially come to a standstill. A forward-looking outlook is imperative, and we must ensure that the current and the future workforce are safe, secure, and skilled.

Allocating additional resources to foster a culture of Innovation and Inclusivity should be a priority of the budget. On a macro level, the Government should continue to identify less efficient assets and disinvest to fund more efficient sectors. In addition, to prioritize the ease of doing business, continued investment in quality infrastructure, better logistics, and a healthier business environment would be essential. Lastly, but most importantly, concrete steps should be taken to devise mechanisms that promote transparency and financial integrity. Taxpaying citizens and organizations should easily be able to ascertain the benefits they receive for the taxes paid.” – Shafaat Hussain, Finance Director & Head – Operations at Pitney Bowes India


“In comparison to Western countries, India was a little late to the digital transformation party. However, what it lacked in terms of time, it made up for in terms of speed. We now know the potential for progress and growth that digital technologies may help unlock, thanks to the pandemic-driven quick migration to digital technologies, and we are hungry for more.

The budget in 2022 will be against the backdrop of the Indian economy’s modest recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Few expectations that we have are:

  1. Establish an India-led, global 5G ecosystem – We have all that it takes to establish a robust 5G ecosystem, including  an affordable manufacturing base as well as high-end engineering and technology development capabilities
  2. Increased budget allocation on digital infrastructure – By 2025, an average Indian will consume 25 GB data per month and to enable this, India will have to witness a 4x jump in cumulative optical fibre cable footprint to 12mn ckm. To double India’s per capita data usage to 25 GB, we need to quadruple India’s fibre cable footprint by 2025. With 2021 revealing the digital appetite of India, building a digital economy should now feature in the top national priorities for 2022
  3. Investment in core research and innovation capabilities – We expect new policies promoting R&D innovations. To ensure that the economic recovery is solid and established, the government must elevate capex spending in the upcoming budget. We expect increased R&D spends in networking equipment, advanced technologies like open source and programmability, and the security aspects of 5G.
  4. Collaboration with industry experts – The implementation strategy for BharatNet in 16 states has the potential to create value but it has its own limitations. It would be great if the government can have an independent entity with expertise. This entity will use the Broadband Infrastructure Fund, build state-of-the-art digital networks and work on the business model of leasing out fibre and infrastructure to internet service providers
  5. Make-in-India players – The local players are more than capable of building an agile, scalable digital infrastructure that not only drives rural connectivity, but paves the way for future technologies. Encouraging the local players will help India make clean, robust and atmanirbhar networks
  6. Export led growth – Domestic manufacturing will benefit from PLI programmes resulting in positive development in the country’s exports. We expect the government to take steps towards ease of conducting business.”  – Mihir Modi, CFO, STL(Sterlite Technologies)

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