Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a capex-driven budget that includes several long term investments plans and schemes, keeping the ongoing challenging circumstances in mind. From MSMEs to digital footprint, mental health and strat-ups it underlined the areas with significant announcements and allocations, to understand the Aam Admi connect, Elets News Network interacted with the industry leaders. Read their opinion below:
Umesh Revankar, VC and MD, Shriram Transport Finance
The union budget 2022 is a bold and growth oriented budget which will result into a multiplier effect on the economy and benefit the Aam Aadmi, despite no direct benefit transfers. We believe the FM has presented an investment led budget and this will propel sectors like cement, steel and construction which will lead to increased movement of goods, boost bulk transportation movement and help in the revival of the transport industry.
The government widening the ECLGS scheme & revamping CGTMSE (Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises) are steps taken to accelerate growth and reduce stress particularly in the MSME segment. Housing project allocation of Rs 48000 crore is likely to boost growth momentum for the building materials sectors and real estate activities in general. We believe the budget is a very forward looking one with emphasis on digital economy and reducing carbon footprint, which will benefit digital lending and lead to environment friendly policies going ahead for the vehicle sector. Ease of doing business has taken centre stage as the Government has committed to a long term growth of over 8% for the next 3 years. India economy is now well placed and we are optimistic on credit uptake in the economy.
Parimal Heda, Chief Investment Officer, Digit Insurance
This year’s Union Budget was more focused on offering the much-needed relaxation for MSMEs and start-ups. Extending the tax incentive for start-ups by one more year due to the pandemic will surely give a boost to the start-up ecosystem. Taking note of the pandemic-induced mental health issues, the government’s decision to launch a National Tele Mental Health Programme will immensely help people who are dealing with anxiety and stress-related issues. This will also nudge insurers to create comprehensive products which include mental health benefits, further promoting health and wellness more holistically.
The government realises that India is at the cusp of an electronic vehicle (EV) revolution and its decision to introduce Battery Swapping Policy with a focus on enhancing charging infrastructure and improving inter-operability standards will surely make EVs more attractive and in turn, accelerate growth in the segment. This will also likely aid in improving EV adoption among Indians and as a result give insurers more data for better underwriting of EV insurance products.
YS Chakravarti, MD & CEO, Shriram City Union Finance
The Union Budget 2022 is a capex driven budget with a slew of measures across sectors, leaving no stone unturned. Given the challenging circumstances, it’s a bold budget, a growth-oriented budget which will result in a multiplier effect and benefits to all.
The extension and widening of the ECLGS scheme & revamped CGTMSE will aid recovery of the hardest hit MSMEs. The battery swapping policy is a positive measure for electric vehicles (EVs) which will give a Boost to the sector and lending to the clean energy segment. Housing project allocation of Rs 48K cr will give a flip to affordable housing and to the specific affordable home loan segment. As part of the digital push, digital banking has been encouraged, this will assist the overall development of digital infrastructure and enable greater participation in digital lending. NARCL has commenced operations which will assist banks to reduce their bad loans and lead to provisioning write-back. Credit growth is likely to be propelled higher given the capex push, infra spends, higher housing allocation, urban policy and reduced carbon footprint linked policies. More direct employment measures were however missing, but it’s been a balancing act, well manoeuvred.
Ankit Himatsingka, CFO at Toffee Insurance- a Neo-Insurance Company for today’s India
The focus of the Government on improving accessibility, affordability via financial inclusions is commendable. The health of the ‘mother & child’ through Nari Shakti programs is a great initiative.
Impetus on the farm sector through finance startups focused on the rural economy will improve the self-sufficiency of the farmers. We believe it will be a huge positive on the tractor sales. Also, a push on the EV sector through policies enabling battery swapping enabled policies is a welcome move. Overall, the actions of the government machinery driven by this budget will improve the quality of life and boost the livelihood of a wider base of society.
It is the right mix of short-term growth impetus and laying down the foundation for the next decade. EV, livelihood vehicles, health are impact areas of great focus for Toffee and we welcome the budget.
For insurtech startups like ours, this is a great alignment in mission.
Aniruddha Sen, Co-Founder at Kenko Health
The rolling out of the Open Platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is a noble step. It will go a long way in digitising our data about healthcare providers and extending universal access to health facilities on a digital platform. Also, the announcement of the National Tele Mental Health Program is a progressive step towards recognising the mental health burdens that face our country in the wake of the pandemic. Besides these direct measures, the extension of household tap-water access is another big win when it comes to universal access to health and the hygiene necessities.