Budget Reactions | Miscellaneous
Real Estate

Budget Reactions | Miscellaneous

Dr Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas
“This is a Budget for ‘New India’; it is an aspirational Budget that will help stimulate the market. Excise duty on petroleum products has been readjusted, with some portion of it being converted to cess for road development. We have to spend a significant amount of money to expand our road, rail and other infrastructure. I am grateful to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister for reposing their faith in us. They had earlier given the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry the target of providing 5 crore LPG connections to the poorest of the poor. After taking into consideration the success of the programme, they have increased the allotment to 8 crore within the stipulated period of 2019. We have already given connections to 3.3 crore households.”

Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprises & Member Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry

“The Finance Minister has done an impressive job considering the wide canvas of areas that he has covered and complex economic situation that exists both, domestically and globally, at the moment. He has touched a wide spectrum of constituents such as the rural economy, smart cities, aviation, agricultural clusters, healthcare and education. It’s an impressive coverage, with some of it involving pretty large spends. The question will not be about what is now going to be done, but the mode of implementation so that the full benefits of some of these impressive schemes can be realised. Reduction in corporate tax to 25 per cent for MSMEs is a welcome move. All companies with less than Rs 250 crore turnover will be able to avail of a reduction in income tax. But that’s something that the whole Indian industry was hoping for as well. Therefore, a move in that direction would have been welcome. But with all of these large spends, I guess the government too has to balance its own budget.

Jobs come when consumption improves and new investments take place. Companies don’t create jobs in a steady state, they only create jobs when there is growth. Therefore, we need to focus on three dimensions. One is on new enterprises, second is on self-employment – which is a large opportunity – and third is growth in the corporate sector at all levels of small, mid-sized and large enterprises. It has to be a combination of all of these. In rural areas, there is a large dependence on agriculture. If we can create the non-agriculture rural economy, it will make it more dynamic. The opportunities are quite enormous. I think that is what the focus is on by creating higher prosperity in those areas. There’s one section that normally gets missed out. We have startups that will go to the market, that will get acquired – the standard model for more startups. And the others are the small ones, where somebody will have a small cart selling tea or something else. And then there is a third one, which comprises of companies that will run for life but they are a bit bigger than these small ones. That is a sector which has not got noticed by anybody. Somebody takes a Rs 5-6 lakh loan but has no security for that loan right now. Although the Mudra scheme is there, it is for very small amounts.

Infrastructure is a magical thing. It has been tried and tested worldwide over and over again. Large infrastructure projects, in fact, all infrastructure projects have two unique qualities. While a project is under implementation you will have direct job creation. But when the project gets completed it becomes a multiplier tool of economic activity. Since a 21 per cent increase has been announced in infrastructure spend, I would see this as a big potential multiplier.”

Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India
“We welcome the union budget’s strong focus on inclusive development, with allocations for enhancing both rural and urban infrastructure. It gives a big boost to rural infrastructure by ensuring electricity access to all rural households under the Saubhagya scheme. Additionally, the allocation of Rs 2.04 Lakh crores for developing smart cities will go a long way in creating world class urban infrastructure.”

Mehernosh Pithawalla, Vice President and Global Head-Marketing, Sales & Innovation, Godrej Security Solutions
“The Union Budget 2018 has given the much needed importance to infrastructure, safety and comfort of passengers by announcing the highest ever capital expenditure plan in the history of railways. With the redevelopment of 600 major railway stations being taken up by Indian Railways Station Development, the ‘Safety First’ policy is definitely the cornerstone of railways towards safety of passengers. The decision to provide CCTVs at all stations and on trains to enhance security of passengers is a commendable decision as it is the need of the hour. The proposal to expand the airport capacity to more than five times of the present 124 airports that the Airport Authority of India has, to handle a billion trips under the new initiative – NABH Nirman, also will call for the need for increase in the adoption of security surveillance for the security of passengers. We welcome the proposed changes in customs duty which will create more jobs in the country and incentivise domestic manufacturing and Make In India in the electronics sector.”

Faizal E Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman, KEF Holdings
“It is heartening to see the Indian Government adopt sturdier measures to benefit all sections of the population – especially small and medium-sized businesses, farmers, and much of the country’s population in need of better health, housing, education and general infrastructure provisions. The National Health Protection Scheme that is set to cover over 50 crore people is also a good initiative. With our growing business presence in India, I am especially pleased to see the reduction in corporate tax to 25 per cent. This is a significant move, and one that enables robust growth through private sector investment, which has been sluggish. Together with the impact of GST and greater opportunities for FDI, we will see India Inc. really shine in 2018.”

B Anand, CEO, Essar Oil
“This is a commendable budget from the Govt. as it has a strong focus on boosting the nation’s infrastructure, in the form of road connectivity and coverage of airports. This is expected to help in the development of a number of towns in the country, spelling good opportunities for companies in the oil retailing, bitumen and ATF space to participate in the proposed nation building initiatives. The thrust on agricultural production, optimizing farm income and the plans for Operation Green to benefit the agriculture sector will provide further avenues for diesel manufacturers to participate in the various activities related to these programs. Moreover, the upsurge in gas connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme is another positive step by the Govt. which will create the need for more LPG in the country. Some respite was expected to address the spiralling fuel prices in the country; however, the restructuring of rates and cesses on MS/HSD is tax neutral, and a marginal increase in the cess on crude has increased the cost to the refiners.”

Ashish P Dhakan, Managing Director & CEO, Prama Hikvision India
“The Union Budget 2018 is a shining example of fiscal prudence with an investment focus on Infrastructure Sector and Railways. The government’s thrust on Infrastructure Sector (Rs. 14.34 Lakh Crore) and Railways (Rs.1.31 Lakh Crore) would have a positive outcome on the economy. These initiatives will drive the security industry in a whole new growth phase. We welcome the government’s move to double the allocation on the Digital India programme to Rs. 3,073 crore — a decision that will help the research and skilling in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), among others. We also appreciate the government’s resolve to support the establishment of centres of excellence for Research, Training and Skilling in Robotics, AI, Digital Manufacturing, Big Data Analytics, Quantum Communication and IoT. Ninety-nine cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs.2.09 lakh crore under the Smart City programme. Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up. All stations with more than 25,000 footfalls will have escalators. All trains to be progressively provided with Wi-FI, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities. UDAN shall connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads in the country. A   fund of Rs.60 crore has been allocated for disaster resilient infrastructure. These initiatives will boost the prospects of security and surveillance industry in India.”

Rohit Harjani, Country Manager Indian Sub-continent, Hochiki
While the budget has laid out a clear roadmap for expansion and modernization of Indian Railways, it has also adequately emphasized on the much-needed need for passenger safety. Along with CCTVs, installation of advanced, multi-level fire detection system can go a long way in improving safety standards of Indian Railways. Early warning of a fire event can prevent panic and loss of life and damage to assets, thereby minimising disruption of services. At the same time, the budget has a clear focus on creation of infrastructure and development of smart cities. With a plan of 100 smart cities rolled out by the government, there is a need to provide greater emphasis on developing a fire safety blueprint to ensure safety of life and property, along with increased awareness and training at all levels about fire, its hazards and what to do in case of fire.

Samay Kohli, Group CEO, GreyOrange
“We are glad to see the government’s increased focus on Digital India. With the budgets for the initiative doubled this year, it is set to be one of the key drivers of India’s economic growth. The Union Budget for 2018-19 has laid a strong emphasis on emerging technologies, such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data and IoT, which we believe, is an important step towards fostering innovation in the country. This would also help in creating jobs, improving the quality of education and healthcare. The announcement of a national program directed towards research and development of AI and Machine Learning, as well as efforts towards exploring Blockchain technology, are the testimony to the fact that India is taking significant steps to gain a rightful place on the global technology map. Along with the push on technology, the new provisions for financial support, in the form of credit, financing and tax relief for MSMEs, will further boost the growth of smaller businesses in the country and help spur the Indian economy at large. With the stage set, we look forward to a great year of growth for the robotics and automation sector.”
 
Prabhakar Chaudhary, Managing Director, HAL Robotics
"Emphasising Digital India powered over AI and by allocating substantial fund, this government has seriously understood the need and capability of technology. It's great to see that government is recognising future technology for building nations future. Not only this helps in job creation but also advances the nation in competitive global space".

Aakrit Vaish, Founder & CEO, Haptik
“Allocation of significant fund and announcing efforts to enhance research in disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics implies that the importance of adoption of such technologies has finally been taken into consideration by the government. With NITI Aayog to establish a national programme for artificial intelligence, this will not only significantly aid job creation but will also assist the government to move towards its Digital India vision.”

Dharmesh Arora, CEO, Schaeffler India
“Finance minister Arun Jaitley has presented a balanced budget. He has stayed on the growth momentum and allowed small widening of fiscal deficit in the short term to focus on continued growth agenda. There is a huge focus on infrastructure development towards road construction railways and air travel, that bodes well for spurring economic activity in many sectors such as construction equipment, commercial vehicles in addition to the core sectors. The minimum support prices for the agriculture segment and higher budgetary allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors should generate discretionary spending that is likely to spur consumption led demand and push rural economic growth.  Relaxation of Corporate Tax on smaller industries show positive intent in line with previous announcements of reduction of corporate taxes. This also means surplus cash available for capital expenditures and growth in those sectors. All these initiatives together are expected to create a positive effect with respect to demand, generate employment and boost investments in the private sector. While the budget has refrained from providing any direction to the country’s automotive sector, we are hopeful that the impending EV policy will provide clarity. On the whole, we expect Budget 2018 to create a positive investment climate.”

Shrinivas Rao, CEO-APAC, Vestian
“The Union Budget 2018 held many expectations, primarily owing to the testing phase that the economy underwent in the past year. While the realty fraternity harboured hopes of relief measures such as lower taxes, rationalisation of the GST rates and infrastructure status, the budget decided to focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, providing healthcare to economically less privileged, care for senior citizens, infrastructure creation and working with the states to provide more resources for imparting quality education in the country. This budget, thus, is a measure aimed towards improving the rural sector, that forms 66.86% of the country’s population, which in turn shall work towards creating an equal economy in the country. The real estate sector held significant expectations from the Union Budget 2018, hoping for alleviating measures post a testing period of reforms. The budget primarily focussed on strengthening agricultural and rural economy, while laying vast emphasis on rural housing. The PMAY scheme launched in 2015 aimed at developing 51 lakhs houses during 2017-18 as well as in 2018-19, implying the construction of more than one crore houses exclusively in rural areas. In urban areas the assistance has been sanctioned to construct 37 lakh houses. This bodes well for the housing sector and the vision of ‘housing for all’ may just turn to reality in the forthcoming future.”

Puneet Chnadra, CEO and Founder, Skootr
“Welcoming the budget announcement by the government, Puneet Chandra, Founder and CEO of Skootr said, “I personally feel that the budget will give a big push to managed office spaces. With incentives to the MSME sector, considerable number of MSMEs in the country will grow and expand their footprint. The financial boost towards the MSME sector,  will also lead to a demand in the commercial real estate and managed office space for expansion. The reduction in corporate tax rate will be invariably proportional to the commercial real estate sector. Reduction in corporate tax to 25% for companies with turnover of upto 250 crore will give more financial muscle to focus towards development of their office infrastructure. We expect an increase in demand for managed office spaces from the IT sector specially, post this announcement,” he further added.”

Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder, Staqu
This year’s budget not only takes significant steps towards the Digital India vision but also towards inculcating the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence for the national development. With NITI Aayog to establish a national programme for artificial intelligence, we look forward to supporting the nation with R&D support and more programmes like ABHED which is already assisting the Polices forces with AI capabilities. With the advent of new technologies and the Indian government being equally eager to adopt them, we strongly foresee the nation to be on the road to transformation and emerge as one of the leading Digital Nations on the world map.

Suramya Nevatia, CEO, Hind Rectifiers
“This is an overall inclusive growth augmented budget with special emphasis on the backbone of the economy: Agriculture, Health, Education and Infrastructure. We welcome the finance minister’s announcement of allocating Rs 1.48 lakh crore towards capital expenditure for Indian Railways, which is the highest ever amount provided till date for this sector. The Railway’s focus on modernization of signaling and safety systems along with optimum electrification will not only enhance the efficiency but can also move a large amount of trade traffic from road to railways. Most ancillary companies affiliated with rail infrastructure should benefit on account of  this huge proposed capex allocated towards rail infrastructure.”

Dr Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas “This is a Budget for ‘New India’; it is an aspirational Budget that will help stimulate the market. Excise duty on petroleum products has been readjusted, with some portion of it being converted to cess for road development. We have to spend a significant amount of money to expand our road, rail and other infrastructure. I am grateful to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister for reposing their faith in us. They had earlier given the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry the target of providing 5 crore LPG connections to the poorest of the poor. After taking into consideration the success of the programme, they have increased the allotment to 8 crore within the stipulated period of 2019. We have already given connections to 3.3 crore households.” Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprises & Member Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry “The Finance Minister has done an impressive job considering the wide canvas of areas that he has covered and complex economic situation that exists both, domestically and globally, at the moment. He has touched a wide spectrum of constituents such as the rural economy, smart cities, aviation, agricultural clusters, healthcare and education. It’s an impressive coverage, with some of it involving pretty large spends. The question will not be about what is now going to be done, but the mode of implementation so that the full benefits of some of these impressive schemes can be realised. Reduction in corporate tax to 25 per cent for MSMEs is a welcome move. All companies with less than Rs 250 crore turnover will be able to avail of a reduction in income tax. But that’s something that the whole Indian industry was hoping for as well. Therefore, a move in that direction would have been welcome. But with all of these large spends, I guess the government too has to balance its own budget. Jobs come when consumption improves and new investments take place. Companies don’t create jobs in a steady state, they only create jobs when there is growth. Therefore, we need to focus on three dimensions. One is on new enterprises, second is on self-employment – which is a large opportunity – and third is growth in the corporate sector at all levels of small, mid-sized and large enterprises. It has to be a combination of all of these. In rural areas, there is a large dependence on agriculture. If we can create the non-agriculture rural economy, it will make it more dynamic. The opportunities are quite enormous. I think that is what the focus is on by creating higher prosperity in those areas. There’s one section that normally gets missed out. We have startups that will go to the market, that will get acquired – the standard model for more startups. And the others are the small ones, where somebody will have a small cart selling tea or something else. And then there is a third one, which comprises of companies that will run for life but they are a bit bigger than these small ones. That is a sector which has not got noticed by anybody. Somebody takes a Rs 5-6 lakh loan but has no security for that loan right now. Although the Mudra scheme is there, it is for very small amounts. Infrastructure is a magical thing. It has been tried and tested worldwide over and over again. Large infrastructure projects, in fact, all infrastructure projects have two unique qualities. While a project is under implementation you will have direct job creation. But when the project gets completed it becomes a multiplier tool of economic activity. Since a 21 per cent increase has been announced in infrastructure spend, I would see this as a big potential multiplier.” Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India “We welcome the union budget’s strong focus on inclusive development, with allocations for enhancing both rural and urban infrastructure. It gives a big boost to rural infrastructure by ensuring electricity access to all rural households under the Saubhagya scheme. Additionally, the allocation of Rs 2.04 Lakh crores for developing smart cities will go a long way in creating world class urban infrastructure.” Mehernosh Pithawalla, Vice President and Global Head-Marketing, Sales & Innovation, Godrej Security Solutions “The Union Budget 2018 has given the much needed importance to infrastructure, safety and comfort of passengers by announcing the highest ever capital expenditure plan in the history of railways. With the redevelopment of 600 major railway stations being taken up by Indian Railways Station Development, the ‘Safety First’ policy is definitely the cornerstone of railways towards safety of passengers. The decision to provide CCTVs at all stations and on trains to enhance security of passengers is a commendable decision as it is the need of the hour. The proposal to expand the airport capacity to more than five times of the present 124 airports that the Airport Authority of India has, to handle a billion trips under the new initiative – NABH Nirman, also will call for the need for increase in the adoption of security surveillance for the security of passengers. We welcome the proposed changes in customs duty which will create more jobs in the country and incentivise domestic manufacturing and Make In India in the electronics sector.” Faizal E Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman, KEF Holdings “It is heartening to see the Indian Government adopt sturdier measures to benefit all sections of the population – especially small and medium-sized businesses, farmers, and much of the country’s population in need of better health, housing, education and general infrastructure provisions. The National Health Protection Scheme that is set to cover over 50 crore people is also a good initiative. With our growing business presence in India, I am especially pleased to see the reduction in corporate tax to 25 per cent. This is a significant move, and one that enables robust growth through private sector investment, which has been sluggish. Together with the impact of GST and greater opportunities for FDI, we will see India Inc. really shine in 2018.” B Anand, CEO, Essar Oil “This is a commendable budget from the Govt. as it has a strong focus on boosting the nation’s infrastructure, in the form of road connectivity and coverage of airports. This is expected to help in the development of a number of towns in the country, spelling good opportunities for companies in the oil retailing, bitumen and ATF space to participate in the proposed nation building initiatives. The thrust on agricultural production, optimizing farm income and the plans for Operation Green to benefit the agriculture sector will provide further avenues for diesel manufacturers to participate in the various activities related to these programs. Moreover, the upsurge in gas connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme is another positive step by the Govt. which will create the need for more LPG in the country. Some respite was expected to address the spiralling fuel prices in the country; however, the restructuring of rates and cesses on MS/HSD is tax neutral, and a marginal increase in the cess on crude has increased the cost to the refiners.” Ashish P Dhakan, Managing Director & CEO, Prama Hikvision India “The Union Budget 2018 is a shining example of fiscal prudence with an investment focus on Infrastructure Sector and Railways. The government’s thrust on Infrastructure Sector (Rs. 14.34 Lakh Crore) and Railways (Rs.1.31 Lakh Crore) would have a positive outcome on the economy. These initiatives will drive the security industry in a whole new growth phase. We welcome the government’s move to double the allocation on the Digital India programme to Rs. 3,073 crore — a decision that will help the research and skilling in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), among others. We also appreciate the government’s resolve to support the establishment of centres of excellence for Research, Training and Skilling in Robotics, AI, Digital Manufacturing, Big Data Analytics, Quantum Communication and IoT. Ninety-nine cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs.2.09 lakh crore under the Smart City programme. Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up. All stations with more than 25,000 footfalls will have escalators. All trains to be progressively provided with Wi-FI, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities. UDAN shall connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads in the country. A   fund of Rs.60 crore has been allocated for disaster resilient infrastructure. These initiatives will boost the prospects of security and surveillance industry in India.” Rohit Harjani, Country Manager Indian Sub-continent, Hochiki While the budget has laid out a clear roadmap for expansion and modernization of Indian Railways, it has also adequately emphasized on the much-needed need for passenger safety. Along with CCTVs, installation of advanced, multi-level fire detection system can go a long way in improving safety standards of Indian Railways. Early warning of a fire event can prevent panic and loss of life and damage to assets, thereby minimising disruption of services. At the same time, the budget has a clear focus on creation of infrastructure and development of smart cities. With a plan of 100 smart cities rolled out by the government, there is a need to provide greater emphasis on developing a fire safety blueprint to ensure safety of life and property, along with increased awareness and training at all levels about fire, its hazards and what to do in case of fire. Samay Kohli, Group CEO, GreyOrange “We are glad to see the government’s increased focus on Digital India. With the budgets for the initiative doubled this year, it is set to be one of the key drivers of India’s economic growth. The Union Budget for 2018-19 has laid a strong emphasis on emerging technologies, such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data and IoT, which we believe, is an important step towards fostering innovation in the country. This would also help in creating jobs, improving the quality of education and healthcare. The announcement of a national program directed towards research and development of AI and Machine Learning, as well as efforts towards exploring Blockchain technology, are the testimony to the fact that India is taking significant steps to gain a rightful place on the global technology map. Along with the push on technology, the new provisions for financial support, in the form of credit, financing and tax relief for MSMEs, will further boost the growth of smaller businesses in the country and help spur the Indian economy at large. With the stage set, we look forward to a great year of growth for the robotics and automation sector.”   Prabhakar Chaudhary, Managing Director, HAL Robotics "Emphasising Digital India powered over AI and by allocating substantial fund, this government has seriously understood the need and capability of technology. It's great to see that government is recognising future technology for building nations future. Not only this helps in job creation but also advances the nation in competitive global space". Aakrit Vaish, Founder & CEO, Haptik “Allocation of significant fund and announcing efforts to enhance research in disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics implies that the importance of adoption of such technologies has finally been taken into consideration by the government. With NITI Aayog to establish a national programme for artificial intelligence, this will not only significantly aid job creation but will also assist the government to move towards its Digital India vision.” Dharmesh Arora, CEO, Schaeffler India “Finance minister Arun Jaitley has presented a balanced budget. He has stayed on the growth momentum and allowed small widening of fiscal deficit in the short term to focus on continued growth agenda. There is a huge focus on infrastructure development towards road construction railways and air travel, that bodes well for spurring economic activity in many sectors such as construction equipment, commercial vehicles in addition to the core sectors. The minimum support prices for the agriculture segment and higher budgetary allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors should generate discretionary spending that is likely to spur consumption led demand and push rural economic growth.  Relaxation of Corporate Tax on smaller industries show positive intent in line with previous announcements of reduction of corporate taxes. This also means surplus cash available for capital expenditures and growth in those sectors. All these initiatives together are expected to create a positive effect with respect to demand, generate employment and boost investments in the private sector. While the budget has refrained from providing any direction to the country’s automotive sector, we are hopeful that the impending EV policy will provide clarity. On the whole, we expect Budget 2018 to create a positive investment climate.” Shrinivas Rao, CEO-APAC, Vestian “The Union Budget 2018 held many expectations, primarily owing to the testing phase that the economy underwent in the past year. While the realty fraternity harboured hopes of relief measures such as lower taxes, rationalisation of the GST rates and infrastructure status, the budget decided to focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, providing healthcare to economically less privileged, care for senior citizens, infrastructure creation and working with the states to provide more resources for imparting quality education in the country. This budget, thus, is a measure aimed towards improving the rural sector, that forms 66.86% of the country’s population, which in turn shall work towards creating an equal economy in the country. The real estate sector held significant expectations from the Union Budget 2018, hoping for alleviating measures post a testing period of reforms. The budget primarily focussed on strengthening agricultural and rural economy, while laying vast emphasis on rural housing. The PMAY scheme launched in 2015 aimed at developing 51 lakhs houses during 2017-18 as well as in 2018-19, implying the construction of more than one crore houses exclusively in rural areas. In urban areas the assistance has been sanctioned to construct 37 lakh houses. This bodes well for the housing sector and the vision of ‘housing for all’ may just turn to reality in the forthcoming future.” Puneet Chnadra, CEO and Founder, Skootr “Welcoming the budget announcement by the government, Puneet Chandra, Founder and CEO of Skootr said, “I personally feel that the budget will give a big push to managed office spaces. With incentives to the MSME sector, considerable number of MSMEs in the country will grow and expand their footprint. The financial boost towards the MSME sector,  will also lead to a demand in the commercial real estate and managed office space for expansion. The reduction in corporate tax rate will be invariably proportional to the commercial real estate sector. Reduction in corporate tax to 25% for companies with turnover of upto 250 crore will give more financial muscle to focus towards development of their office infrastructure. We expect an increase in demand for managed office spaces from the IT sector specially, post this announcement,” he further added.” Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder, Staqu This year’s budget not only takes significant steps towards the Digital India vision but also towards inculcating the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence for the national development. With NITI Aayog to establish a national programme for artificial intelligence, we look forward to supporting the nation with R&D support and more programmes like ABHED which is already assisting the Polices forces with AI capabilities. With the advent of new technologies and the Indian government being equally eager to adopt them, we strongly foresee the nation to be on the road to transformation and emerge as one of the leading Digital Nations on the world map. Suramya Nevatia, CEO, Hind Rectifiers “This is an overall inclusive growth augmented budget with special emphasis on the backbone of the economy: Agriculture, Health, Education and Infrastructure. We welcome the finance minister’s announcement of allocating Rs 1.48 lakh crore towards capital expenditure for Indian Railways, which is the highest ever amount provided till date for this sector. The Railway’s focus on modernization of signaling and safety systems along with optimum electrification will not only enhance the efficiency but can also move a large amount of trade traffic from road to railways. Most ancillary companies affiliated with rail infrastructure should benefit on account of  this huge proposed capex allocated towards rail infrastructure.”

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