The recognition of artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as other emerging technologies, showcases the long-term vision to position India as a digital nation – an affirmative step in the right direction. A long term plan for the IT sector was missing. As other countries globally and in Asia – race ahead technically, the Government needs to shift into top gear with a clearly slept-out long term vision and plan for the sector.
With a lofty goal of a $5 trillion economy ahead, this budget was lukewarm with a meandering series of half measures, small steps and populism. Pressing issues like slowing growth and increasing unemployment as key challenges, much more was expected and needed of this budget. There were several small measures, in the right direction – and backed by rhetoric. But “India needed sweeping changes, grander visions and bolder objectives”.
Business and Industry in a rapidly developing nation anticipates sure-footed and emphatic moves to drive growth and optimism which were completely absent. The budget showed disconnect between our citizens’ needs - especially the middle-class and our government’s capabilities. It’s not as if the Government lacks these abilities, but the willingness and direction were missing. Jugglery with income tax slabs is not a long term commitment to simplify and increase spending power – the middle class continues to bear the brunt and continue to be taken for granted. Growing impatience across the population, coupled with business lethargy need to be addressed soon. We look forward to braver and more ambitious plans to address this soon ahead.
Umeed Kothavala, CEO, Extentia