Budget 2024: Tech industry welcomes digital boost, but calls for more reforms

New Delhi: The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, elicited mostly positive reactions from the technology industry with CEOs and executives welcoming the increased focus on digitalisation, although some also felt it fell short on addressing a few issues.
In her 160-minute Budget speech, the shortest so far, Finance Minister Sitharaman highlighted India’s booming economy and announced an 11.1% hike in the FY25 capital expenditure outlay to Rs 11.11 lakh crore, at 3.4% of GDP, to continue the public investment momentum. However, the interim budget steered clear of major tax changes and policy announcements.
Sat Kumar Tomar, founder & CEO of Satyukt Analytics, an agritech startup, said the budget resonated positively with the agriculture sector through its focus on sustainable farming aided by technology.
“The Budget 2024 has resonated positively with the agriculture sector, aligning with our expectations for a technologically driven, sustainable farming approach. While the integration of IoT devices for precision farming wasn’t explicitly mentioned, the focus on farmers is evident,” he explained. However, Tomar felt the industry expected direct, industry-centric announcements to catalyse innovation. “We hoped for more policies to drive growth and innovation to fully harness the potential of agritech,” he added.
On a similar note, Sandeep Dutta, senior managing director and lead – India Business, Accenture said that the interim Union Budget 2024 outlines several initiatives to sustain the country’s growth trajectory. “The focus on research and development and new age technologies has the potential to not just accelerate our economic growth but also create new opportunities for talent from India at a global level,” said Dutta.
Upskilling youth
Meanwhile, Pinkesh Kotecha, MD of Ishan Technologies, lauded the budget’s emphasis on empowering youth through upskilling initiatives which he felt addressed the IT sector’s need for skilled talent. “The establishment of additional IITs, IIITs, and IIMs is a promising stride toward creating a skilled talent pool in the IT sector, addressing a critical need in the industry especially in the era of Artificial Intelligence.” he said.
Kotecha also reiterated the need for budget allocation and policies to strengthen cybersecurity as a crucial area for India’s digital future.
Government efforts in skill development and higher education access positively impact learners, but affordable digital access remains imperative for success.
“We commend the government for its efforts towards upskilling millions of youths through the Skill India Mission and establishing new ITIs and higher learning institutions. The increase in female enrollment in higher education by 28% in the last 10 years is a significant step towards gender equality in education, and we are pleased to see the government’s commitment towards this cause. These efforts will help learners in India become world-ready and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in the global workforce. However, learners need access to affordable technological tools that cater to their needs to make this a reality,” said Chitranshu Mahant, CEO and Co-Founder, Primebook.
Focus on sustainability
Electric two-wheeler maker Revamp Moto’s CEO Pritesh Mahajan termed the budget a “big step towards sustainability” with its sharp focus on developing the EV ecosystem through production assistance and charging infra funding. “In addition to being in line with our environmental objectives, the focus on promoting e-buses for public transport and the implementation of a bio-manufacturing programme open doors for creative, sustainable alternatives. Furthermore, a comprehensive strategy is shown by the actions taken to harness offshore wind energy and encourage the gradual integration of biogas into natural gas,” he analysed.
Raju Kumar, Energy Tax Leader at EY India, reinforced Mahajan’s sentiments by welcoming the budget’s green energy push through viability gap funding for offshore wind projects and solarisation of 1 crore households. “Policy proposals from today’s budget reinforce the Government’s commitment to its ambitious target of being ‘net zero’ by 2070. A clear focus on green energy can be gauged from measures such as viability gap funding for harnessing offshore wind energy potential, rooftop solarisation for 1 Cr. households,” he said.
However, Kumar pointed out the glaring absence of an FAME III scheme and green hydrogen policy which the renewable energy industry was eagerly anticipating. “While it will be unfair to pass judgement on unfinished agenda given the limitations of interim budget, especially in terms of policy announcements around FAME III and Green Hydrogen, which were highly anticipated, the Government has done well to augment its agenda towards energy transition,” he stated.
Self-reliance through major investments
The 2024 Interim Budget shows India’s increasing focus on self-reliance throgh major investments in R&D, defence tech, skilling programmes, and startup incentives to boost India’s position as a global tech leader with an industry-ready workforce.
“The Interim Budget 2024 is reflective of the India’s sustained focus on Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India). The long-term financing and re-financing scheme with a corpus of INR 1,00,000 Cr with a 50-year interest free loan to promote R&D in the private sector in sunrise domains, as well dedicated initiatives to promote Deep Tech/R&D in the defence sector underscore the commitment to position India as a global leader in the world of technology. The focus on skilling, upskilling, and reskilling of youth will ensure an industry-ready workforce to navigate the headwinds of a volatile marketplace,” said Sindhu Gangadharan, vice-chairperson of NASSCOM and MD of SAP Labs India.
A vision for long-term growth
Kaustubh Gupta, Co-Head Fixed Income at Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd., felt the budget highlighted the government’s confidence in uplifting India’s long-term growth in a non-inflationary manner. “The bedrock of this budget comes from the conservative numbers from a government that’s confident of uplifting India’s long-term growth in a non-inflationary way. It has not given in to the populism despite the upcoming election season. We expect the benchmark yield to trend towards 6.5%”
iCubesWire CEO Sahil Chopra called the budget “visionary” for its strategic focus on harnessing new-age technologies to build an innovation ecosystem. “The government’s strategic focus on harnessing new-age technologies and data underscores a transformative approach towards fostering an innovative ecosystem in India. The commitment to providing incentives and support in sunrise sectors is a significant leap forward in empowering startups and entrepreneurs across the nation. With the establishment of a substantial financial corpus for long-term, low-interest financing, startups will find a robust backbone for investing in research and innovation.”
While the Budget 2024 highlighted the government’s confidence in India’s economic growth potential, the technology industry welcomed yet critiqued its strategic focus. Increased investments in digitalisation and sustainability were praised for empowering entrepreneurs and aligning with environmental goals. However, the absence of policies strengthening cybersecurity and renewable energy left gaps in realising India’s innovative and net-zero future.

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