The fourth straight Union Budget has been presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, February 01, 2022, the key Highlights and quotes from various industry experts on FY 22-23 Budget.

Key Highlights:-

  • Economic growth in FY22 to be pegged at 9.2%
  • Introduction of a central bank digital currency (RBI Crypto)
  • Creation of 60 lakh jobs announced: Creation of 60 lakh jobs
  • Seven engines of PM gati shakti – roads, rail, airways, ports, waterways, mass transport, logistics.
  • FM's mega push for infrastructure development under PM Gati shakti
  • Start-ups in agriculture sector encouraged with commitment to provide support for FPOs, technology including IT based support.
  • Start-ups to be promoted to create Drone-shakti. Government to promote Drone-as-a-service: Drones to be used for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides.
  • E-passports to be rolled out
  • An open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem will be rolled out.
  • A push for Electric Vehicles: A battery-swapping policy to be brought out with interoperability standards to boost EV eco system
  • Data centers to get Infra Status.
  • The government will tax income from digital asset transfers at 30% giving it a legal status in India
  • Period of incorporation for eligible start-ups to claim the tax benefit is extended by 1 year.

Quotes from Industry Experts -

Ramesh Nair, CEO, India and Managing Director, Market Development, Asia, Colliers

“The Union Budget 2022-23 is forward-looking and focuses on a long-term plan for the country with digitization, urban development, and sustainability at its core. For the real estate sector, the budget placed an outlay of INR48,000 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and the construction of 80 lakh homes will facilitate affordable housing. This, yet again, showcases the government’s commitment on building affordable housing stock. However, we would have liked if there was more push on the demand side, such as the extension and expansion of the credit-linked subsidy scheme.
The Budget made several announcements to spur the growth of the logistics sector in the country. The government repealed about 1,490 union laws in recent years, paving the way for improving ease of doing business. The government also plans to launch ‘Ease of Doing Business 2.0.’ This should include more dynamic aspects and make India a more investment-friendly destination.

The budget announced a few laudable incentives for startups. The time extension provided to claim tax benefits will provide a breather for start-ups and encourage more start-ups in India. We look forward to the announcement on the replacement of the Special Economic Zone Act with new legislation. This has the potential to make export-led parks attractive for investments. The new benefits will also trickle down to technology companies who export services and have a positive bearing on commercial office real estate”.

Vikrant  Khanna, Co-Founder / CEO of Mogi IO

"Budget sets the tone for taking India one step forward as the Startup Capital of the World. There is an overarching theme of boosting digitization & entrepreneurship via tax incentives for another year and by earmarked capital expenditure & promoting startups in sector such as defense, agriculture, drone, digital currency, data centers, animation, etc. There is no doubt it will lead to an accelerated trend of global investments and growth for the Indian start ups".

Rajat Singhania, Founder of HyLyt by SocioRAC

"I welcome this budget, which is:- keeping up with the need of the times (Data centers now counted as infrastructure, Crypto holding accepted as legal, e-passports, National Digital Health system)",
- leverages India's strength (Push to agro startups, using Drones to solve India specific problems)
- progressive (Job creation, Economic growth at more than 9%)
- innovative (PM Gati shakti, EV battery swapping policy)

Harresh Mehta, CMD, ROhan Lifescapes

"Union Budget 2022 has further given impetus to the growth of the housing sector in India. Continued emphasis on urban planning by adopting modern laws will boost the development of the segment in the near future. Also, the government planning to launch ‘Ease of doing business 2.0’ will add different flavors with more dynamic aspects to make India a lucrative destination for investment. Overall, the budget proves to be a helping hand for more or less all the sectors keeping the current disruption in mind."

Shyam Arumugam, Managing Director, Industrial and Logistics Services, Colliers India

“The budget speech places thrust on clean technology in public transport, with plans to develop special mobility zones for electric vehicles and the introduction of a new battery swapping policy. This is a welcome move to facilitate further growth of EVs, as India moves towards its sustainability goals. The EV space in India is likely to see investments of INR94,000 crore (USD12.6 billion) across the automotive value chain, over the next five years. A Much needed investment of additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore for PLI for manufacturing of high-efficiency modules with priority to fully integrate manufacturing units to solar PV modules will be made to boost the domestic manufacturing of 280 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2030. A battery swapping policy would address the key concern for the charging infra. The policy aims to address the constraints of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations. Also since battery contributes to approx. 40% of EV input cost the same would enable faster EV adoption. This is a "game-changer" for EV adoption.

The Budget made several announcements to spur growth of the logistics sector in the country. The Budget announced that about 25,000 km of new highways will be built this year. Moreover, Gati Shakti Masterplan for expressways,100 new cargo terminals for multi-nodal logistics, and development of urban metro systems will give a big boost to new warehousing and logistics facilities across the country. The government also extended the ECLGS up to March 2023. This will go a long way in supporting the MSME sector and revive industrial activity. This has immense scope to drive demand for warehousing and logistic sectors. The government repealed about 1,490 union laws, paving the way to enhance ease of doing business. The government also plans to launch ‘Ease of Doing Business 2.0.’ This should include more dynamic aspects and make India a more investment friendly destination”.

Vimal Nadar, Head of Research, Colliers India

“The budget announced a few laudable incentives for startups. The period of incorporation has been extended by a year to March 2023 to avail of tax benefits. For corporates, extension granted for new companies to set up manufacturing facilities to 2024 from earlier 2023. These will provide a breather for start-ups and encourage more start-ups in India. India is becoming the hub for entrepreneurship, with India’s start-up story growing from strength to strength. Around 14,000 start-ups were recognized during the financial year 2022, with about 555 districts in India had at least one new startup. We are already seeing ample evidence of the start-up activity in the commercial office space. During 2021, in the top three cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, start-ups leased about 2.2 million sq feet of space during 2021, a 56% rise from 2020”

Piyush Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Markets and Investment Services, Colliers India

"Government is further strengthening public Investment Vehicles such as NIIF and SIDBI reflecting a proactive role in financing in strategic sectors. This is also reflected in providing emphasis on special status to investment in Digital Infrastructure. The concept of India @ 100 introduced in the Budget has set the foundation stone for India's growth story over long term. The Gati Shakti national master plan spruced by seven engines of Infrastructure shall go long way in developing multi-modal network to create world class infrastructure with full support on planning, financing, innovation and technology. The Government spending and Private Investment shall create jobs at one end and also provide opportunities to Investors. This will provide sunrise opportunities relating to energy transition, climate action, financing of Investments".

Bhupindra Singh, Managing Director, Regional Tenant Representation & Office Services (North India), Colliers

“As an impact of the announcement from the FM today in the annual budget, Real Estate Developers must apply for additional FSI under the Transit-oriented Development (TOD) corridors. Clear title properties with good construction will have the option to create more floors in exiting assets. Re-development projects in densely populated locations with proper connectivity will have the option to increase footprint by going higher, however, keeping the structural feasibility will be the underlying criteria. The next 25 years are going to be focused on Infrastructure, make in India, start up's, EV and Real Estate”.

Ajay Sharma, Managing Director, Valuation Services, Colliers India

"Given the push the budget has provided for digitalisation of various arms of fiscal management, investment and process implementation, digital infrastructure has become important. This in turn pushes the need for data centre and data charging systems that will push the sector demand across  India".

Subhankar Mitra, Managing Director, Advisory Services, Colliers India

The total effective Capex spend by the government is about 10.7 lakh crore. There is an emphasis on PM Gati Shakti's mission which is targeted towards improving connectivity and logistics infrastructures of the country. On the Reform side most significant shift is towards City Planning. The budget emphasizes on modernization of Building Bylaws, Digitization of land records and also enabling registration of properties of any location. The budget casts its attention towards training and development of urban planning practice byways of setting up six centre of excellence with budgetary support. Since land is mostly state subject, hence a special interest-free loan for 50 years is offered to the state government who would participate in the reform process announced by the central government. It is expected to incentivise the state governments to collaborate with the centre to fast-track the reforms.

Budget is also focused on encouraging digital drive and fintech. The issuance of digital currency by the RBI and by bringing Data centre into the infrastructure category is expected to boost the fintech and digital drive of the nation. Setting up of International tribunal in GIFT city will help the corporate sector to address any disputes in cost effective manner, it will also help in promoting India as an attractive investment destination.

The Budget is focused on the futuristic technological shifts, it also attempted to ease of doing business, encouraging private sector investments and job creation. However, there is not much of focus on the consumption side. Nothing significant in the proposal to boost discretionary spend at the household level, which could boost sectors like retail, hospitality, F&B, leisure and entertainment

Amit Srivastava, Chief Catalyst, Nutrify Today

"The budget is an excellent one for digital technologies application in the healthcare ecosystem. There is a need for seamless integration of stakeholders of industry right from pharmacy to clinicians to dietary practitioners to hospitals for effective patient management and efficient healthcare.  The use of digital technologies will give birth to exponential growth of Nutraceuticals as a preventive category and also as adjuncts to optimize therapy leading to evolution of nutraceutical medicines!"

Raktim Chattopadhyay,  Founder & CEO, Esperer Nutrition.

"Healthcare and infrastructure were the major focus of the budget 2022 and significant investment has been allocated for the expansion of roadways and logistics networks which will definitely strengthen the nation. As we were expecting, start-ups were given keen importance in the budget. The ECLGS credit scheme guarantee cover has been expanded by Rs 50,000 crore, which will provide collateral-free loans to stressed-out MSMEs. The Govt has confirmed support for R&D expenditure, AI, genomics, etc. which is very encouraging. We shall wait for the right spirit in the implementation of all good plans in budget 2022."

Gautam Thacker, President, NAREDCO - Progressive Neral-Karjat Unit.

"The union budget for 2022 looks promising and balanced. It has more or less provided each sector with some benefits which will help the businesses to overcome certain uncertainty. Announcements such as 48,000 crores for PMAY, 80 lakh homes under PMAY will help boost the affordable housing market. Besides this, the government (Central and State) has designed various schemes, such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana  (PMAY) with the aim to build one crore homes in urban and rural India by 2022 which will further boost the boost affordable housing and achieve the vision of Housing for all by 2022 – 2023.

The Central Government in tandem with the state governments needs to align the process in order to reduce the time period required for all land and construction-related approvals. Having said that the government's move to develop urban planning with the adoption of public transportation will help the housing sector grow. The govt initiative of subsidy on housing loans through the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) is benefitting the masses opting for affordable housing.
The announcement of the extension of ECLGS to help MSMEs cope with pandemic losses is a progressive move by the government with a goal to strengthen the economy and boost employment generation"

Mitesh Thakker, CEO & Founder, MissCallPay

"This 2022 Budget is a real booster budget, As it is focused on vulnerable sections to increase adoption of technology and digital payments in Bharat.
Firstly due to the announcement of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts.. a unique initiative and digitization of 1.5 Lakh post offices to provide core banking to the nook and corner of Bharat. Secondly, there is mention of a focus to promote the use of payment platforms that are "economical and user friendly."

It seems government has heard my prayers to bring some reforms for feature phone and voice based payments as there are 97.3 Crore mobile subscribers who still not on UPI, while top UPI apps like GooglePay, PhonePe, PayTM, AmazonPay, Govt's own BHIM as well as app of other 55 Banks have only been able to enroll 20 Crore users on UPI and most of these users are from the Lower Middle-Income segment non-tech savvy, from villages and elderly who struggle to make cost-free zero MDR money transfers, while we zip through addictive UPI based apps.. that ease of UPI has led to big increase in UPI Payments, but UPI user-base has kind of hit the glass ceiling at 20 Crore / 200 Million.

This renewed focus in Budget to the marginal sections, will get channeled in the right direction and rapidly increase the users on UPI and thus bolster the growth of our economy in the coming year, Real Aacche Din for Bharat seems to have arrived at the door.

Aatish Hundia, Director, EVM India

"Union Budget 2022 proves to be an optimistic one for mostly all the sectors. It is a crisp and highly applauded budget which encompasses the pain points of businesses amidst the current uncertainty. The announcement of the extension of ECLGS to help MSMEs cope with pandemic losses is a progressive move by the government with a goal to strengthen the economy and boost employment generation.

High emphasis on indigenous manufacturing is an optimistic sign for the sector. Besides this, the duty concessions towards the electronic sector will be beneficial for the longer duration and will provide further boost towards the growth of the sector".

Mr. Rishabh Khanna, Cognitive Scientist, Co-founder, Suraasa

"Accessibility to quality learning is a huge challenge for the country, especially in the digital mode of delivery. I think that the Digital University and 'One Class One TV Channel' are very thought through ideas to ensure that no children are left behind due to language, resource, or digital barriers. Skilling and Upskilling have been the talk of the EdTech town for the longest time (for all the right reasons) and it's great to see the government working towards that too. The FM also talked about teachers being trained to be able to deliver quality learning outcomes to students. I think that is one of the most important components of the education system since a trained teacher has the potential to transform lives of many children and create impact at scale. I am excited to witness the implementation of proposed initiatives and how they impact education across the country"