Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022 on Tuesday, February 1 which was paperless. She read out her speech from a tablet. This was the second budget since the COVID-19 pandemic struck India. With the country's economy pegged to be on the path of recovery despite the impact of the pandemic, all eyes were on the government which was keenly watched on how it balances out its annual budgetary plan for the upcoming year.
We bring all the latest updates from FM Sitharaman's speech, reactions to the Budget and much more.
“As per a survey of NIMHANS, 10.2% of population has diagnosable mental health or substance use disorder,” said Pratima Murthy, Director, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) on announcement of launch of National Tele-mental Health programme in Budget 2022.
Source: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP
The Union Budget for 2022-23 has a lot for Maharashtra, including surveys for new rail lines, river connectivity and measures to boost the MSME sector, Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said.
The thrust of the budget was on basic amenities, farming, digital economy, financial inclusion and river connectivity projects, he said.
Speaking about benefits to Maharashtra, the minister said the Centre has rolled out a policy to decrease the import of oilseeds, which will help cultivators in Marathwada and Vidarbha.
He said survey of railway routes, electrification and doubling of Manmad to Parbhani, financial inclusion of Osmanabad district, connectivity of Krishna and Godavari rivers etc will help in the development of the Marathwada region.
The manufacturing sector in Aurangabad has a turnover of close to Rs 70,000 crore annually and measures like Production Linked Incentive (PLI) will help MSMEs here, Karad said.
Tata Steel CEO and Managing Director TV Narendran on Tuesday welcomed the Union Budget, describing it as yet another progressive, future focussed and inclusive budget that aimed to position the economy on an accelerated growth trajectory, especially in the backdrop of an encouraging broader economic recovery.
"It is heartening to note the government's sustained focus on infrastructure and increased public spending while staying committed to the fiscal discipline and stable policy regime. We welcome Budget 2022-23 and look forward to concerted implementation of the proposed reforms to ensure the benefits percolate across the economy," he said.
The proposal to facilitate voluntary winding up of companies in less than six months is ambitious and laudable. It reinforces the path taken by the government that digital initiatives can usher better governance and can simplify processes in a timely manner without compromising on the necessary safeguards. It is expected that the process engineering will ensure that voluntary winding up is completed in a short time frame. This will be an important step towards giving confidence to entrepreneurs that exit would be a smooth process and would also improve in ease of doing business. Lot of capital and energy can be unlocked by faster liquidation which can be recycled for new and sustainable business.
"The Finance Minister has presented a digital-first Budget that focuses on quick, holistic, and inclusive economic growth. The focus on start-ups and fintech in this year's Budget is a fantastic step that will help these sectors grow further.
The introduction of 5G and the spread of optical fiber to villages would provide a boost to the fintech industry. It encourages digital investment platforms like ours to expand their services, resulting in an increase in retail activity in tier 2, 3 cities and towns. The Central Bank Digital Money (CBDC) will help to enhance the digital economy by making currency management more efficient and less expensive. The capping of surcharge at 15 per cent on Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax for all listed and unlisted corporations responds to a long-standing demand for new-age businesses."
"This is a forward-looking Budget and reinforces the government’s commitments to indigenous and sustainable clean energy. Low carbon initiatives including a battery swapping policy, energy as a service model, production linked incentive to accelerate solar at scale and issuance of green bonds are steps in the right direction,” said Mukundan, who is also the senior vice president of bp group.
"I congratulate FM Nirmala Sitharaman for a growth- oriented and forward looking Budget for the masses. It sets the stage for rapid progress post pandemic. Compliments to Prime Minister for his long term vision, thinking ahead to India at 100 in the year in which India turns 75. I have no doubt that India will be a prosperous country in the near future. Delighted to see that the next phase of Ease of Doing Business reforms will be centered on trust-based governance. I believe the time for moving to self-certification across the board has come. We stand with the government in its exhortation for Sabka Prayas. The private sector is committed to nation building, job creation and will work with the government and the people of India to fulfill our goals.”
"This is a good sequel to last year's path-breaking budget. The biggest point is the capex spending, and it comes from a position of confidence. The other aspects are the focus on ESG, and promotion of domestic industry. The growth aspiration of 9.2 per cent is exciting.
Announcements around private equity investments are interesting, and should help removing regulatory cholesterol. Announcements on GIFT City should provide additional impetus to the existing initiatives."
"The Budget presented by the government aims to provide long run impetus for growth providing big technology push along with focus on infrastructure - digital access, road access, urban planning, which will help to boost consumption across multiple sectors including consumer appliances. Also, urban infrastructure development and completion of 80 lakh affordable houses under PM Awas Yojana in 22-23 will help entry level appliances over the next 2–3 years. An increase in the capital expenditure should also aid growth by driving up investments. Moreover, continued focus on PLI will help generate employment and boost indigenous manufacturing ecosystem.
With no change in the personal income tax, we hope that GST council will rationalise rates for air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines among others, especially the energy efficient appliances, to encourage consumer demand. And we hope consumers will pay more attention to climate impact across all choices they make in future."
"Amidst the Omicron uncertainties, the Budget has given the desired push towards the productive side of the economy with a focus on employment opportunities and climate sustainability. This is a long-term, sustainable, growth-oriented Budget. The FM has rightly emphasised on infrastructure, digitisation, and climate change that will steer the economy on a sustainable growth path beyond the pandemic into the future.
It is good to see how the government has prioritised climate change and emphasised the circular economy. While this will require short-term adjustments, the commitment shows that the government has prioritised the well-being and equal endowment of future generations over short-term pains. The announcement towards green infrastructure is broad-based.
The government is going digital from agriculture to education to digital currency to MSMEs, the message is clear. Measures such as swift payments, resolution of disputes and arbitration, and improved logistical efficiencies are likely to enhance the ease of doing business and boost investors' confidence."
"The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has magnified the 'Digital India' vision and importance of technology in all focus areas like infrastructure, inclusive development, sustainability, sunrise industries, and skilling. This Budget provides many opportunities for growth for the technology industry by bringing world class solutions and best practices for railways, healthcare, education, financial services, and regulatory bodies to accelerate India's growth. The decision to introduce e-passport will further streamline the overall citizen experience, enhance security, and facilitate smoother international travel. The initiative to introduce a digital rupee in the form of a Central Bank issued Digital Currency (CBDC) is an extremely futuristic decision. It creates an opportunity for India to leapfrog in the digital currency world and be a global leader in providing a digital currency option to its citizens.”
"The Budget presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman builds on the excellent Budget last year, continuing the trend toward more productive expenditure. The Budget is consistent with our honourable PM Narendra Modi’s vision of making India Atmanirbhar: a digital superpower, a sustainability leader and a healthy nation. This statement of intent is clearly supported by a plan for the future, and backed by allocations -- specifically in the areas of infrastructure, digital transition, planet resilience, education and health -- to support Indian ambitions. Continuing down this path, it isn’t hard to imagine India becoming a digitally-forward, sustainable global superpower by the end of this decade."
Telecom minister Ashwani Vaishnaw said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's recommendation on 5G spectrum is expected to come by March, after which spectrum auction will be held expeditiously for the rollout of the next generation service. He said the government will make efforts for 5G services rollout in India in 2022. In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the required spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 by private telecom providers.
Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah termed the Union Budget as far-sighted and said that it will prove to be a scale-changing Budget for India's economy. He said the Budget will make the country self-reliant and lay the foundation for a New India for the 100th year of Independence.
Increasing the size of the Budget to Rs 39.45 lakh crore shows India's rapidly growing economy even during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Reducing the fiscal deficit target from 6.9 per cent to 6.4 per cent is a big achievement, I am confident that India will be able to bring down the fiscal deficit below 4 per cent under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Shah said.
"The Union Budget 2022-23 displays the government's continued commitment to clean energy and transportation. The policy provides several drivers to the ecosystem of mobility start-ups engaged in Battery or Energy as a service business models. It will be interesting to see what sort of interoperability standards are introduced with the thrust on battery swapping. While battery swapping can play a pragmatic solution for India’s electric mobility needs, there is also merit in introducing higher safety rated battery packs compatible with faster charging. At Amara Raja, we are developing solutions in both areas and will collaborate closely with the government and policymakers to turn this vision into reality."
"A capex heavy, investment push and demand generating budget. I expect the private sector to more than match the capital spend of the government thus supporting GDP growth of 9 per cent plus, leaving enough headroom for expenditure on farms, health, education and other social sectors. The theme of continued ease of doing business, consistency and stability in tax rates, rebates, push to further digitise the economy, issue of RBI backed digital currency, legitimising digital assets, etc. seem to aid and support the all and in specific the IT industry which is expected by NASSCOM to grow to become $350 billion in size in 5 years. In all, sounds like a 'financial budget' of the country".
"A growth boosting budget has been delivered with significantly higher capital expenditure. The budget allocation at the Central Government level has been enhanced by INR 3.5 trillion. Another Rs 1 lakh crore has been allocated as a 50-year interest-free loan to the states for CAPEX. The states have also been allowed to have a higher deficit of 4% of the GSDP. The fiscal deficit target of 6.8% has been missed marginally to 6.9%, but the actual deficits could well be below the target numbers, with revenue being buoyant as an all-time high GST collection of over Rs 1.4 lakh crore were reported in January. The fiscal deficit target for FY23 at 6.4% looks very realistic with the positive trends in tax revenue collections. The announcements on the launch of a digital currency, the Drone Shakti programme, battery swapping policy for faster adoption of EVs, and the inclusion of renewable energy infra in a harmonised list of infrastructure are some of the announcements that reflect the progressive thinking of the Government which is sensitive to the fast-paced technological developments in the economy."
"Today's budget speech was the most capitalist speech to be ever read by an FM. The word 'poor' occurs only twice in para 6 & we thank FM for remembering that there are poor people in this country; people will reject this capitalist budget," says P Chidambaram, former FM & Congress leader.
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