Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman‘s fifth budget speech, which focuses on technology-driven sustainable economic growth, has been received with great enthusiasm by senior industry leaders. The budget 2023 has been hailed as a growth-oriented and inclusive plan that lays a solid foundation for the country's future economic prosperity. The increased capital investment outlay in the budget has been seen as a major boost to employment generation, thereby leading to a better standard of living for citizens.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO, Salesforce India, said: “The 2023 budget is a growth-oriented and inclusive one that lays a solid foundation and strengthens the economic outlook for India. We have a unique opportunity of being a demand-driven economy with a rapidly digitizing population,” she said.
She explained that India's young and talented population makes it a potential “talent basket of the world”. Bhattacharya emphasised that the Skill India Digital Platform, a unified platform for skilling and employment, is a crucial step in addressing the skills gap and enabling inclusive development of talent in the country.
Promoting sustainable growth has also been a key focus of the budget and Bhattacharya said that this presents a unique opportunity for India to take the lead in this area. The focus on ‘green growth' across sectors has the potential to unlock new economic opportunities for the country. “We are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years on Digital Public Infrastructure and a significant driver to this has been the innovation in Fintech. This budget is an impetus to further accelerate this growth with investments in AI, 5G, startups and more, accelerating demand and innovation at scale,” she said.
In addition to promoting sustainable growth, the budget also places great emphasis on trust-based governance and ease of doing business. Bhattacharya said that this focus will be particularly attractive to investors, both domestic and international, and will provide businesses with a unique opportunity to shine bright. “The budget gives businesses in India an opportunity to shine bright – domestically and internationally – ensuring they act, and fast,” she said.
Several other industry leaders echoed Bhattacharya's views on the budget and its potential to transform the economic landscape of the country. Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India and Head of SAP User Enablement, said, “The Union Budget 2023-24 is a testament to India's unwavering focus on building a technology-driven economy that is both sustainable and inclusive.”
Aalok Kumar, President and CEO, NEC Corporation India, said, “With a clear focus on inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development and unlocking the nation's potential, the Union Budget 2023-24 is comprehensive to fast-track growth. From strengthening India's prowess in technology and AI and being future ready to truly unleashing the potential of 5G, the budget is holistic in its approach and will certainly pave the way for tech-enabled growth for the country in the coming years.”
According to STPI DG Arvind Kumar, India possesses vast amounts of data, and the newly announced National Data Governance policy will provide entrepreneurs and startups with access to this data, allowing them to create world-class products. He said that “the policy will play a crucial role in India's ability to become a global technology leader.”