Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget 2024, with a focus on research and development, promoting e-mobility, encouraging startup culture, technology adoption, and women empowerment.
“The budget has exhibited that the government is extending full-fledged support towards adoption of technology across sectors. The special mention that deeptech in defence section indicates that the government is going to support emerging technologies in crucial sectors too. Alongside, there has been increased participation of women in STEM courses. We can expect a quality and skilled workforce in India that will keep the wheel running towards striking progress,” said Sumit Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of DashLoc.
Support for a vibrant startup ecosystem
Ankit Kedia, Founder and Lead Investor, Capital A, says that the substantial support through PM Mudra Yojana and integration of Fund of Funds, Start-Up India, and Start-Up Credit Guarantee schemes underscore a commitment to nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem. The emphasis on sustainability and clean mobility is pivotal. However, explicit focus on regulatory frameworks and incentives for sustainability-driven businesses is needed.
Way to sustainable economic growth
Viswanath PS, MD & CEO, Randstad India, says that the increased outlays in railways, focus on developing port infrastructure, and planned investments in the aviation sector are likely to boost employment. “Moreover, the budget focuses on developing the country’s private sector R&D capabilities, and all these measures will bring sustainable economic growth and open the doors of employment generation in the country in the long term.”
For KR Sekar, Partner, Deloitte India, the budget's emphasis on the growth and global competitiveness of MSMEs reflects the government's steadfast commitment to fostering a robust ecosystem. “Adequate finances, relevant technologies, and targeted training showcase a comprehensive approach towards empowering MSMEs. Notably, initiatives like the PM Mudra Yojana, Fund of Funds, Start Up India, and Start Up Credit Guarantee schemes highlight the government's proactive stance in supporting entrepreneurial aspirations and generating employment for the youth.”
Women-friendly and gender-inclusive
The interim budget 2024 has taken steady steps towards fostering an environment where women excel both professionally and academically, says Yamini Bhat, Co-Founder and CEO, Vymo. “The allocation of 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans for women entrepreneurs will strengthen women-led micro-businesses and their contribution to the economy. A 28% surge in female enrollment in higher education and stronger representation in STEM courses reflects progress in gender inclusivity. The focus on ease of living and dignity for women entrepreneurs validates the challenges they face, signaling a positive shift towards a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
The focus on women empowerment is particularly heartening for Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO of Great Place To Work®, India. “With a notable 28% increase in female enrollment and the distribution of 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans. This signals a positive momentum towards creating a more gender-inclusive economic landscape.”
Investors worldwide are increasingly drawn to Indian startups focusing on electric mobility. According to NITI Aayog, India is home to 399 electric vehicle start-ups including Ola Electric, Sun Mobility, Magenta, Numocity, SmartE, Yulu, and BluSmart.
"Certainly, particulars about the E-Mobility mission and encouragement of EV infrastructure were missing in the speech, however, the budget did point towards creating ambitious policies towards adoption of EVs in the public transportation sector. Furthermore, since the budget has circumscribed the requirement to strengthen manufacturing of EVs and infrastructure, we can be sure that it stands high on the government's agenda, and we do expect supporting policies to follow soon," said Atul Gupta- Co-founder & Director at e-Sprinto.
“The government has shown a progressive stance towards its commitment to building and strengthening the EV ecosystem. By supporting EV manufacturing, enhancing charging infrastructure, and incentivizing adoption of e-buses, coupled with robust payment security mechanisms, the government is paving the way for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable mode of transportation. This holds particular significance for corporate transport as it should help boost the corporate sector's goals of embracing green mobility and contributing to a cleaner and greener future” said, Sriram Kannan, Founder & CEO Routematic.