The Union Budget 2023-24, presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has received a positive response from the industry leaders, particularly from the technology sector. Piyush Somani, Managing Director and Chairman, ESDS Software Solutions, has welcomed the budget's focus on technology-driven industries such as agritech, fintech, and future technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and others.
Somani said that the government's emphasis on digital infrastructure through the setting up of 100 labs to facilitate the development of 5G-based apps will aid the adoption of technology and help India become a more digitally advanced nation. He also praised the government's focus on the co-operative sector, Millets, and agriculture sector, which he said will improve the livelihoods of farmers, increase food security, and boost exports through open-source digital public infrastructure.
“The emphasis on the co-operative sector, Millets, agriculture sector by facilitating Agri-based rural startups certainly will improve the livelihoods of farmers, increase food security and boost exports through open-source digital public infrastructure,” Somani said.
The budget has also received positive attention for its emphasis on innovation and research by startups and academic institutions, with the government's announcement of a national data governance policy to encourage these initiatives. According to ESDS chief, this policy will make it possible for startups and academic institutions to access anonymous data, which will drive innovation and research in the technology sector.
However, Somani also pointed out that most of the technology-related announcements in the budget did not have a budget allocation, and it remains to be seen how much funding will be allocated to these initiatives in the coming months. He said that the government's focus on capital expenditure will be a positive step in driving growth in the technology sector.
“Overall, this budget focuses more on Capex spending from the government, while most of the technology related announcements had no budget allocated at the moment. We need to wait for next couple of months to see some budget getting allocated to the technology related initiatives,” said Somani.