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Budget 2023 Expectations: CXOs and marketers share expectations from the Union Budget 2023-24

The Union Budget for FY 2023-2024 is set to be presented in the Parliament by FM Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

By  Storyboard18Jan 30, 2023 10:06 AM
Budget 2023 Expectations: CXOs and marketers share expectations from the Union Budget 2023-24
The general mood is 'cautiously optimistic'. Here are CXOs and marketers' views and expectations of the 2023-2024 Union Budget.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present the Union Budget for financial year 2023-2024 in the Parliament on February 1. This is the FM's fifth straight Budget speech and like the previous two will use the digital medium to present the budget to Indians who will be tuned in on Wednesday. It is also the last full Indian Budget before the General Elections in 2024.

Inflation concerns because of a looming global economic slowdown and a potential resurgence of Covid-19, Big Tech layoffs and slowdown in US and Europe, means the general mood is 'cautiously optimistic'. Storyboard18 gathered CXOs and marketers to tell us what their views and expectations are of the 2023-2024 Union Budget.

Read on.

Rajesh Ramakrishnan, managing director, Perfetti Van Melle India

One of the key expectations from the Union Budget would be to fuel growth in the rural markets through a slew of initiatives around increased stimulus packages to boost farm income and greater number of infrastructure projects. Adequate investment in infrastructure, agriculture and social sectors will drive the pace of growth in the coming quarters. A key task for the Budget 2023 would be to develop sustainable growth models for increasing rural income so that there is a heightened demand for consumer products leading to a virtuous growth cycle.

Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India

We depend on advertisers and currently the sectors which are big drivers of advertising are going slow for many reasons, such as high input costs, rural demand being slow, funding drying up for startups and supply side issues for certain categories like auto and handsets due to chips shortage. Above all the global situation is tough with most economies under pressure and the war sees no signs of stopping leading to slump in exports Hence, the overarching ask would be any moves which change consumer sentiment and therefore consumption – especially of the middle class and the rural folks would help our cause. Finally, consumer sentiments play a big role in generating demand, and sentiments need to become upbeat.

Vidit Aatrey, founder and CEO, Meesho

A large number of Indian startups, including unicorns, are currently incorporated overseas. With scores of startups potentially looking to go public over the next few years, making domestic listing easier for foreign-incorporated entities will add to the depth of our capital markets. The room for growth is enormous — India has over $3 trillion worth of market capitalisation, of which ~1 percent can be attributed to new-age tech companies. The move will enable our market participants, including retail investors and mutual funds, to derive a larger share of the value-creation driven by these firms.

Vineet Rao, Founder and CEO, DealShare

With most start-ups shifting their priorities from expansion to profitability, if the budget can provide provisions that help start-ups in this transition, for example GST free periods, nominal terms for land lease, incentives for building warehousing infrastructure and so forth, not only will the FM help insulate Indian start-ups from the stirring global economic downturn but turn this investment winter to spring quickly.

Divya Gokulnath, co-founder, BYJU'S

The world's growth prospects have been clouded by difficult macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, but India has proven to be a resilient force by placing a strong emphasis on the digital economy, innovation, skilling, and sustainability. I look forward to a Union Budget that will advance the Digital India mandate, offer GST reduction on educational products and services to help businesses diversify their offerings, and further the cause of holistic education.

For consumers, the introduction of new tax breaks for digital-focused education and upskilling will also help boost employability. Extending the ideas behind successful initiatives like PM e-Vidya and One Nation, One Classroom into a wider range of developmental economics will be welcomed, as will the fast-tracking of the National Education Policy 2020.

Investments in the development of human capital and skilling will give momentum to a massive increase in productivity. The finance minister in the previous budget set aside a record Rs 1-trillion-plus for expenditure on education, and we hope for a continued outlay in this year's budget as well. The setting up of the National Digital University, as envisioned under NEP 2020, is a pathbreaking event that can potentially enable our youth to skill, upskill and reskill without the constraints of space and time. Along with steps to increase employment, capacity utilisation, and social infrastructure, measures to lower the cost of capital, power, and logistics would be most welcome.

Rohan Mehta, CEO, Kinnect

The government should reduce the tax burden on the lower-income group – this would result in more disposable income, which is required in the current inflation period. They should speed up the infra development projects – for India to achieve a 5 trillion economy and to counter China in terms of attracting manufacturing infra is critical. We should also have ease of doing business. Along with infra, we need to work more towards ease of business to help the startup ecosystem and foreign investment into India. Digital economy – India has quickly adopted a digital payment system during the pandemic, and the Govt needs to continue with its effort on digitisation.

Samriddh Dasgupta, CMO, Heads Up For Tails

The pain of capital gain has to be removed in order to build an ‘atmanirbhar bharat’

The 2023 Union Budget has to nurture indigenous growth by addressing the ‘pain-of-capital-gain’ and change it to ‘gain-from-capital-risk‘. The glorification of ‘employment’ is coming to an end, and a wave of ‘entrepreneurship’ is taking India on a strong diversified growth journey. This is creating opportunities for more democratised investments by the middle and upper-middle classes, leading to more robust growth in manufacturing, consumer products, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and the energy sector in India. More people are working for stock options, with the ambition to create wealth beyond the salary. This ambitious investment (private and institutionalised) needs to be met with a far more relaxed, pragmatic and liquidity friendly taxation programme.

The Indian economy has gone through only a few decades of liberalisation, multi-sector global capital infusion and creation of an aspirational middle-class. This is on the back of a younger demographic that has redefined the market demands, and is steadily creating more consumer depth. We need to be able to gather capital width to nurture this growing market depth.

Mayank Shah, senior category head, Parle Products

Broadly we have two expectations from Budget 2023. First, the Government should put higher disposable income in the hands of consumers which will generate demand for FMCG goods. This can happen in two ways. Either by reducing tax rates or by increasing the tax slabs. It would be ideal to do the latter given the recent high rate of inflation. The second expectation we have is the generation of jobs and employment opportunities.

This can happen by increased spending or higher allocation to infrastructure development. Spending on infrastructure, both urban as well as rural, which the government has been doing since the last two years is yielding good results. Rural economy has been facing concerns lately, The government should spend on building the infrastructure of the rural areas, especially on better road connectivity which would open the gateway for trade and commerce. This would further generate employment opportunities for the rural population. If the government comes up with infrastructure initiatives, it will improve the financial condition of the economy.

Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, CoinDCX

We hope the Union Budget 2023 provides relief to Indian crypto investors, who are currently reeling under the dual impact of the 30 percent flat tax on crypto income and the one percent TDS on crypto transactions. Reducing the TDS to 0.01 percent and allowing investors to offset losses against crypto gains will not only revive sentiment, but also improve tax revenues in the long run. From an industry perspective, expectations are high that the government will introduce a progressive regulatory framework, one which will facilitate innovation and safeguard against any potential risks.

Ashish Singhal, Co-founder and CEO, CoinSwitch

While last year’s Union Budget was about recognising cryptos, this year should be around refinement. We support the government’s intention to trace and tax cryptos. However, it is essential to implement progressive taxation policies. The absence of comprehensive regulations, which are at the intersection of user protection, supports legitimate Indian startups, and serves the requirements of the regulators, makes the mechanism counter-productive.

That is what we are seeing in India right now. Implementing a 30 percent tax, one percent TDS and no provision to offset losses have decreased trading volumes. It is making the markets illiquid, and investor sentiment is running low. Such circumstances push consumers’ money offshore into the grey markets, exposing them to regulatory issues.

India should incentivise users to stay within national jurisdiction by reducing the burden of taxes. If the TDS aims to establish a trail of crypto transactions, it can be achieved by a lower TDS rate of 0.1 percent. Similar to listed securities, existing provisions of capital assets should be made applicable for VDAs. Thirdly, to make India a competitive country in the growing crypto industry, tax authorities should allow carrying forward and setting off losses incurred from the sale of VDAs, similar to how it is done for capital gains.

Doing the above will not only increase customer adoption and generate healthy revenue pipelines for the government but also enable India to take the lead in the upcoming technology revolution powered by cryptos and its underlying technology.

First Published on Jan 30, 2023 9:04 AM