How Top CEOs of India Inc Reacted to Union Budget 2023-24!

#Union Budget #Budget #NirmalaSitharaman #FinanceMinister

Source: Niranjan Mudholkar

Here’s what leaders from various industry sectors said about the Union Budget 2023-23. Pro MFG brings the views of close to 40 CEOs for you in one place!

February 2023: They have called it ‘pro-growth’ and ‘pro-development’! They have said that it ‘emphasises comprehensive national infrastructure development and expands on the digitization of the economy’. They have said that they are ‘happy to see the government’s transition towards ‘Green Growth’. They have also called it ‘a visionary approach to long-term growth’. Overall, CEOs of India Inc. have hailed Union Budget 2023-24 as progressive and well balanced! Read on to find out what captains from various industry sectors had to say about it specifically.

“Priorities of this year’s budget clearly resonate with the Government’s vision for overall development of our country in an inclusive, environmentally responsible manner towards a technology driven and knowledge-based economy. The added reforms announced towards the ease of doing business, as well as simplifying the direct tax administration, as well as introducing new tax slabs, are bound to lead to greater disposable income, which will generate demand and are supportive for the growth of the economy.” - Vikram Gulati, Country Head and Executive Vice-President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor

“Union Budget 2023-24 is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of building a competitive and resilient India, with inclusive growth. The budget emphasises comprehensive national infrastructure development and expands on the digitization of the economy. The road transportation sector plays an important role in national development and would have an even more impactful role, going forward, in supporting the Government's vision.” - Dheeraj Hinduja, Executive Chairman, Ashok Leyland

“As India transitions towards sustainable mobility, there needs to be a strong impetus on building the sustainable mobility ecosystem with clean technologies. This will require upskilling the existing human resources to green technologies. From using clean power in component and vehicle manufacturing to charging of vehicles to battery repurposing and recycling, there is a great opportunity to build requisite cleantech infrastructure for EVs. The investments in ‘Made in India’ EV components, besides product and innovations with give us better control of the entire carbon chain.” - Nagesh Basavanhalli, Executive Vice Chairman, Greaves Cotton Ltd.

“The increase in capex on infrastructure and the emphasis on green growth will help the mobility sector. This budget gives something to everyone - from rural India, start-up India, middle class India, to digital India - it is about inclusive growth and building on the recovery we are seeing after the pandemic. It strikes a fine balance between growth and fiscal prudence.” - Sudarshan Venu, MD, TVS Motor Company

“The FM has presented a Budget for 2023-24 that is pro-growth and pro-development, with a focus on sustainable development, energy transition for a cleaner tomorrow, and inclusive growth through a tech-enabled economy. The budget further reinforces our nation’s ambition to make India "Atmanirbhar." The entire budget for this year addresses a wide range of topics to support the economy, including health, education, infrastructure, and agriculture.” - Shenu Agarwal, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland

“The Government’s proposal to increase the capital expenditure outlay by 33 percent is a welcome move as this will directly impact the logistics and mobility sectors. These sectors would also grow as they expand to serve the enhanced demand for goods generated by new infrastructure projects. The Finance Minister’s statement on replacing old government vehicles will increase the demand for new vehicles and we are committed to supporting the OEMs to meet this demand.”- Stefano Sanchini, MD, Bridgestone India

“I can confidently say that the overall budget for the auto sector stands well managed and good. There have been several initiatives by the government to utilise a portion of their funds on the scrappage policy. Now, the main challenge that lies ahead is to successfully implement the policy on a large scale, which will directly depend on the involvement of the public at large. If the people take active initiative regarding the same, the sector should see significant progress in the coming days.” - Lalit Khetan, Executive Director & CFO, Ramkrishna Forgings

“The 2023 Union Budget, overall, has been a very positive and progressive one with a promise of accelerated growth in the EV sector. Announcing some much-needed relief for the EV sector in the form of a Customs Duty reduction from 21 percent to 13 percent on Lithium Batteries and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year, the Government has reiterated its commitment to creating a sustainable economy. This move holds the promise to decrease the overall cost of EVs and boost the demand in the country.” - Amitabh Mathur, President and MD Aptiv India & ASEAN



The government’s focus on infrastructure with enhanced capex of Rs. 2.7 lakh crore for roads and highways and the budgetary allocation for vehicle scrappage, will certainly accelerate the growth of the CV market in India. Meanwhile, in the EV sector, the government’s move to provide customs duty exemption for import of specified capital goods and machinery required for manufacture of lithium-ion cells for batteries is a welcome move that will play a vital role in making local cell manufacturing cost competitive in the long run. Additionally, green growth being one of the top 7 priorities, with an allocation of Rs. 35,000 crore, is a step in the right direction. This will not just aid economic growth but will also accelerate the growth of the auto industry, especially EVs, as the country transitions towards net zero by 2070.” - Mahesh Babu - Chief Executive Officer, Switch Mobility Ltd.

“The Union Budget 2023-24 is pro-development, with sustainable planning; energy transition for a cleaner tomorrow and inclusive growth through a tech-enabled economy at its core. Moreover, the impetus on the EV sector in the budget is quite encouraging for all Industry players. Drawing from its core, the decision to exempt Lithium-ion cells of custom duties for another year is a welcome move, as it majorly impacts the affordability of EVs in India. Furthermore, the viability gap funding announced to support the Battery Energy Storage Systems, along with a framework of Pumped Storage Projects, is designed to reduce the revenue required to recover costs and offer better returns, especially for the Private sector.” Anshul Gupta, Managing Director, Okaya Electric Vehicles

“The changes in the Income tax slab structure have enhanced the purchasing power of the populace. This move will encourage the adoption of cleaner, cost effective means of travel for their daily commute and the availability of FAME-II subsidy will further boost the sales of electric vehicles in the coming fiscal. Additionally, the extension on customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery for developing lithium-ion cells would also enable EV manufacturers to localise their products in the long term, leading towards reduction in the cost of an electric vehicle for the consumer in the years to come, particularly for a brand like ours that are 95 percent indigenously manufactured in India.” - Kapil Shelke, Founder & CEO, TORK Motors

“One of the key focus areas is Green Growth and the schemes announced are promising and we welcome the optimism ignited by the Finance Ministry in this space. These progressive schemes will surely enable rapid electrification in the country and encourage consumers to transition seamlessly towards green mobility which will help OEMs to script a robust growth story in the domestic market.” - Suhas Rajkumar, Founder and CEO, Simple Energy.

“Budget 2023 had no big surprises for EV manufacturers. We expect that the FAME subsidy will expire once the fund is consumed. Overall, it's a sign that the EV industry's crutches are coming off - the end of an era for the industry. Fortunately, we are prepared for it and have been anticipating this future, so we applaud the Government’s stance.” - Anirudh Ravi Narayanan, CEO, BNC

“We at RACE, design and manufacture our batteries in-house and are delighted to see the government's proposal to exempt customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery required for the production of lithium-ion batteries. This move will fuel the development of the country's EV sector, allowing for the establishment of battery production facilities within India and, in turn, contributing to sustainable mobility.” - Arun Sreyas, CEO & Co-Founder, RACEnergy

“The Green credit program that will incentivise companies, individuals, and local bodies to use sustainable methods will have a positive impact not only in the EV sector but across various sectors, thereby helping the nation move towards a greener and circular economy.” - Avinash Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder, ElectricPe

“It is also encouraging to see the government’s decision to announce viability gap funding for battery storage solutions and continuation of lower customs duty on lithium-ion cells. The scrappage of old government vehicles and budgetary allocation towards the same, is a positive step in the direction of the zero carbon emission goal. While this budget is impactful, I feel that release of the Battery Swapping Policy covering subsidies and GST rate rationalization from 18 percent to 5 percent on EV batteries would have added further to the green growth agenda.” Chetan Maini, Co-founder & Chairman, SUN Mobility.

“We are quite happy to see the government’s transition towards ‘Green Growth’. The custom duty exemptions on lithium-ion batteries in particular are quite encouraging for manufacturers. This will bring more small and medium players to the forefront with the resulting reduction in costs and stronger supply chains. Budget 2023 clearly seems to be a strong step towards a less carbon-intensive economy.” - Ranjita Ravi, Co-Founder of Orxa Energies

“The Budget 23-24 addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reinforces the excellence of the Budget introduced last year. The Union budget correctly emphasised the need for a greater accentuation on innovation, research, and development, which are vital to India’s ambitious goal of becoming a US$5 trillion economy. A special proposal to establish three AI centres will motivate entrepreneurs aiming to launch AI startups. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the planned infrastructure target is aligned with broader environmental and social goals. Like the rest of the startup community, we fully embrace the Budget 2023.” -Dhananjaya Bharadwaj, Co-founder and CEO, ParkMate



The finance minister has presented a high-quality budget that focuses on increasing capital expenditure to build infrastructure while at the same time not compromising on the fiscal discipline that is so essential in an era of rising interest rates. The finance minister has also taken multiple actions to support the agriculture sector and the rural economy. The focus on health expenditure also assuages concerns of the underprivileged sections of the society about unplanned medical expenditure. There is also a more holistic focus on logistics with significant investments in the Railways as well as proposed work on coastal shipping. The budget also assigns resources for the long-term and important transition to a greener future. The support to the tourism sector and to MSMEs were also much needed as these sectors suffered the most during covid. Overall, a very comprehensive budget which has something for everyone.” - T.V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel

“As the country embarks on its development journey, the cement industry will play a vital role. The Government’s focus on green capital expenditure will help address the industry’s energy needs. Overall, this budget is a visionary approach to long-term growth.” - Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd.

“The increased outlay of Rs 1.3 lakh crore will allow states to continue working on power distribution reforms and enhance power infrastructure including installation of smart meters. The government has allotted a higher amount of Rs 12,072 crore for the reform linked power distribution scheme as against Rs 6,000 crore spending estimated for the current 2022-23. This doubling of allocation should help in increasing the power supply situation as well as help discoms to move towards a healthier market.” - Rajiv Mishra, MD, Apraava Energy

“To reach our goal of net zero carbon emission by 2070, Green Growth has been made one of the seven priorities of this year’s budget. The government is implementing various programs for green growth which will help reduce carbon intensity and create green jobs. The Rs. 35000 crore capital investment for achieving energy transition and net zero objective and energy security by the Ministry of petroleum and natural gas will help the country’s goal of decreasing the share of fossil fuels and increasing the share of renewable energy.”? - Gautam Mohanka, Managing Director, Gautam Solar

“The budget has been comprehensive, inclusive and green. It has laid emphasis on making India self-reliant by continuing the transition towards renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. The PRANAM yojana will encourage regenerative agriculture in the country, so necessary for sustaining the food systems and the bio-economy. Further, the mandate for CBG will catalyse the creation of CBG capacity much like the mandate created capacities for ethanol to meet demand for the ethanol blending programme. In the future, the transition will add capacities in green hydrogen and other renewable technologies. All these initiatives will help India in its march towards energy and food security, mitigation of climate change and ensuring Farmer incomes.” - Samir Somaiya, Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries



“The Union Budget 2023 has taken a significant step towards green growth with its focus on green hydrogen, clean energy storage and transmission. This is a welcome move that will help India transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce its carbon footprint. We at Covestro India, are committed to supporting the Government in its efforts to promote green growth and are looking forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop innovative solutions for a sustainable future.” - Anand Srinivasan, Managing Director, Covestro

“Revamped Credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs: The scheme will take effect from 1st April, 2023, with an infusion of Rs 9000 crore into the corpus. It will enable an additional collateral-free credit guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore rupees, which will enable to lower the cost of credit by one percent for the MSMEs. Since Indian plastics processors largely comprise of MSMEs, this is a welcome announcement.”- Sribash Dasmohapatra, Executive Director, The Plastics Export Promotion Council, (PLEXCONCIL)

“The 2023-24 budget sets a positive trajectory for a greener and more sustainable future for India’s economy. The emphasis on inclusive development and green growth, highlighted by the FM, aligns with global sustainable development goals. To stay competitive in the global market, it is crucial for manufacturing companies to meet ESG standards. The Green Hydrogen Mission, Green Credit Programme, PM-PRANAM, and GOBARdhan scheme emphasized in this budget will play a crucial role in meeting these standards, reducing carbon intensity, and creating numerous green job opportunities in this sector in India. This budget marks a significant step towards a more sustainable future for India.” - Rajesh Khosla, CEO, and President, AGI Glaspac



“As Budget 2023 focuses on promoting coastal shipping, it will play a critical role in the economy's competitiveness, expansion, and long-term sustainability, which is an under tapped sector at the moment. Also, the announcement of 100 Labs for developing applications using 5G services will bring in changes across the transport sector including increasingly smart and efficient logistics and improved urban transportation with the implementation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms.” - Nikhil Agarwal, President-CJ Darcl Logistics

“The steep investment increment in digitization and automation to develop smart warehousing, and an announcement of 100 critical transport infra projects for steel, ports, rail and road will strengthen the much-needed multimodal connectivity. Provisions like coastal shipping with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for people & freight movement will further facilitate seamless cargo movement while reducing logistics costs.” - Vineet Agarwal, MD at Transport Corporation of India

“As a part of the logistics sector, we are extremely elated at the announcement of these provisions, since they will help solve the current connectivity issues facing the industry while building a more sustainable future for logistics, where efficiency and environmental responsibility come together to form a sustainable ecosystem.” - Zaiba Sarang, Co-founder, iThink Logistics

“The Centre’s support with enhanced outlay of Rs. 1.3 lakh crore will definitely act as the accelerator toward logistics policy creation at the state level. With this in place, we are hoping to see good traction in transportation infra creation, especially related to top freight routes, logistics parks and highways development.” - Karan Shaha, Co-founder and CEO, Vahak

“The government did announce various initiatives aimed at improving the overall infrastructure of the country, which could have a positive impact on the logistics industry. These initiatives include the allocation of ₹1.97 trillion for infrastructure development, plans to build new airports and modernize existing ones, and investments in the development of the National Highways network. Additionally, the government's focus on increasing the use of technology in various sectors, including transportation, could also benefit the logistics industry. However, the industry has called for specific measures, such as tax incentives and investment in technology, to boost its growth and competitiveness.” - Mahendra Shah, Chairman, and Group Managing Director, V-Trans (India) Ltd.

“The announcement in the Union Budget 23-24 to revitalize 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones is a landmark decision. This will jumpstart the fourth industrialization by effectively utilizing drone technology for automation in logistics, transportation, infrastructure, and rural development, as well as create new-age jobs for the nation’s youngsters.” - Kishan Tiwari, Co-Founder and CEO, TSAW Drones



“The budget 2023 is oriented to economic growth of the country. I am sure that 33 percent growth in capital expenditure will result in balanced development. This is a smart move since it will help the country achieve its goal of becoming a 5 trillion-dollar economy and a global powerhouse. I believe that the announcement of setting up 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services and the vision to promote Artificial Intelligence in overall industries is a strong step by the government. This will further lead to automation in the industries which will help in propelling India’s growth and promoting smart cities. The union budget 2023 has come up with positive announcements for different sectors to support the Make in India initiative and can result in balanced growth in the near future.” - Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd

“We are pleased with the government’s sustained backing for ‘Make in India’, its flagship initiative aimed at turning the country into a manufacturing hub. To that end, the Finance Minister’s announcement slashing customs duty on machinery and components for the sector is a reflection of the government’s commitment to this vision. The reduction in duty is a step towards enabling the sector to explore the numerous possibilities that recent technological advancements have unveiled. Changes to the indirect tax regime reducing compliance burden on firms too will help the manufacturing sector in the long haul.” - Mahesh Wagle, Founder and CEO, Cybernetik

“Identification of 50 new destinations for the tourism sector with attendant airport infrastructure will in turn boost the demand for aircraft and the Aerospace Industry, in which AXISCADES is one of the key players, delivering niche engineering value to Global OEMs in Aerospace.” - Krishnamurthi, CEO and Managing Director, AXISCADES



“This Union Budget, we applaud the Government’s focus on the growth of green infrastructure that supports factors like green building, green energy, and green equipment. These sustainable practices are a step in the right direction to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emission by 2070. At RR Kabel, we support the Government in building a sustainable and safe ecosystem for the future generation.” - Shreegopal Kabra, MD & Group President, RR Global

“The overall budget gives a direction which will encourage manufacturing companies to improve backward integration & will also increase the confidence of MSMEs to try and get government projects. Overall, the measures proposed in the budget are aimed at making India a hub for global manufacturing, promoting job creation and enhancing the competitiveness of the Indian industry.” - Sukrit Bharati, MD, Virtuoso Optoelectronics Limited (VOEPL)