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What some of the leading Indian CXOs have to say about the just-announced Union Budget

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By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

February 2, 2022 | 5 min read

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the country’s annual budget for the year 2022 on February 1. A keenly-anticipated event, the Union Budget is awaited by the corporate world and consumers alike as it sets the guardrails for the future of the economy and business in the country. It becomes even more important at a time when the country is trying to get back after tackling three brutal waves of the pandemic.

India’s Union Budget 2022 launched

India’s Union Budget 2022 has been announced

The Drum captures key reactions from some leading Indian corporate heads, representing a cross-section of industries, on the standouts and key highlights of the just-announced budget.

Girish Menon, partner and head, media and entertainment, KPMG India

The Budget 2022, from an M&E perspective, provides an emphasis on further strengthening India’s digital infrastructure through clarity on 5G auctions and the startup ecosystem; proposes the formation of an animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) task force to address domestic and global demands; commits to 200 TV channels to foster digital education, especially among rural areas; and envisages to foster the growth of micro-transactions through the proposed Indian digital currency.

Shailendra Katyal, managing director, Lenovo PC and smart devices business group (PCSD) India

With the increased focus on ‘skilling and providing employment in India’ in this budget, local manufacturing will be encouraged and will further bolster the Indian smartphone market, as well as IT services and IT infrastructure markets. The focus on 5G technology will help in higher peak data speeds, more reliability, increased network capacity and a more uniform user experience.

Kartik Sharma, group chief executive officer – India, Omnicom Media Group

With an increased focus on digitization, the budget recognized the current gaps and opportunities within the education sector and is advancing toward uplifting India with the creation of a digital ecosystem.

With consistency in strategic direction and focus on propelling the MSME and startup ecosystem, this is a welcoming budget for new-age businesses and a hopeful one that will ultimately lead to a boost in the A&M industry as well. We’re at the cusp of the next stage of India’s digital revolution, and although certain factors such as data privacy remain an area to be delved deeper into, as infrastructure and banking penetrate further into rural India we’re looking hopeful and strong to transform into a forward-leaning digital economy of tomorrow.

Harsh Jain, chief executive officer and co-founder, Dream11 and Dream Sports

The budget’s focus on promoting startups and giving impetus to the digital economy is welcome. The task force for promoting the AVGC sector will provide the much-needed clarity and certainty for the fantasy sports and esports sectors by providing more upskilling and career opportunities for the youth to be a part of India’s sunshine sectors.

Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director, PVR Limited

Budget 2022 is a consistent, balanced and growth-oriented budget with capex spend allocation rising by 35%, which will certainly aid economic recovery. Having said that, it is disappointing that there is no specific support provided to the movie exhibition sector, which has been the worst-impacted sector from Covid-19.

Kalpesh Parmar, country general manager, Mars Wrigley, India

The Budget-22 is setting the path for a digital economy and helping build a digitally-inclusive society. The increase in provision allocated to the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund will have a positive impact on raising rural employment and eventually consumption through higher disposable incomes.

Dr Shravan Subramanyam, managing director, Wipro GE Healthcare and president and chief executive officer, GE Healthcare – India and South Asia

The launch of the National Tele Mental Health Program represents a progressive step toward recognizing and acting on mental health issues, especially considering the emotional toll that Covid-19 has taken on people. The government’s focus on holistic health encompassing physical as well as mental wellbeing is the right step toward a strong health system.

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