Union Budget 2023: PLI, R&D tops wishlist of hardware companies – Times of India
Amit Khatri, Co-founder, Noise
India is emerging as one of the strongest economies globally largely owing to the entrepreneurial spirit that prevails in the country and continued efforts of the Government to insulate the impact of global headwinds. From being the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China, India can truly leapfrog as a startup capital of the world with the introduction of the next generation of reforms that are focused on increasing access to funds for entrepreneurs.
The PLI scheme has been a game changer in accelerating India’s vision of being ‘Atmanirbhar’ as part of the Make in India initiative. Creating an ecosystem for manufacturing of components as part of the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), and Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme, can help homegrown brands contribute to making India the global electronics manufacturing hub. India has emerged to become the largest market for smartwatches and the expected PLI scheme for the high-end components manufacturing will further boost efforts to develop a complete ecosystem for electronic manufacturing in the country. Being one of the first homegrown brands to localize the production of smart wearables in India, adequate support towards the initiative would lead us to ramp up our Make in India efforts and contribute effectively towards this mission.
Alok Dubey, Chief Finance Officer, Acer India
“Budget 2023-24 would probably be the most challenging one that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be tabling on February 1, 2023. I think that this year’s budget should give digital infrastructure and skills a high priority. Although India may have a positive view of “digital” and technology, more needs to be done to support the country’s digital-first strategy as it aspires to become a USD 5 trillion economy. The government’s commitment to digital skill development and its alignment with the IT sector, and the PLI scheme targeted at helping manufacturers of IT hardware and computer servers need to receive equal weight in this year’s budget. Government policy could be changed to promote the development of talent and skills. The tech industry requires a talented and skilled workforce. The government may provide funding for programmes to modernise educational buildings with state-of-the-art R&D capabilities.”
Vipul Singh, CEO and cofounder, Aereo
“Over the past year, the Indian drone manufacturing industry has flourished due to various policy reforms and schemes like the INR 120 crore PLI scheme for drones and drone components. This year, we expect dedicated incentives for drone service startups. For B2B drone operations to reach their maximum potential in 2023, restructuring the PLI scheme is the need of the hour. The 2023 union budget must introduce MSME-focussed incentives as they constitute around 90% of companies in this sector. Apart from drone manufacturing, benefits to the drone services sector are necessary for the success of Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS) under Drone Shakti. Incentivizing the drone service sector impacts high-skilled employment in the country. We are seeing surging demand for drone services in the country. Thus, we need a technically proficient workforce to fulfil this demand. Additionally, with this year’s budget, we are expecting benefits towards indigenization and native R&D. This is of paramount importance to reduce our dependency on foreign OEMs. An additional 10% PLI benefit for companies with more than 50% indigenous Intellectual Property will encourage the innovative companies to innovate more and OEMs to indigenize further to reduce the dependency on imports. It will help propel Make-in-India and put the Indian drone industry on a self-sustaining trajectory.”
Kuldeep Malhotra, Deputy MD, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India
“The union government is continuously working and finding solutions to achieve its 2070 sustainability target. Keeping the same in view, we hope that in the upcoming budget, the government will introduce better and more attractive incentives, aimed at promoting the green economy. Besides this, we expect that government interventions and policy changes like tax rebates for meeting set environmental standards, certifications, green taxes on harmful environmental activities, and subsidies on the use of green products can go a long way in furthering the agenda of sustainability.”
Vikas Bajaj, President, AIFI (Association of Indian Forging Industry)
“All MSMEs, including the forging industry are expecting a good, progressive and balanced budget this year. The industry also monitors significant announcements from this budget to promote investment in this space, as well as favourable regulatory actions to provide a suitable climate for manufacturing sector. Additionally, steel import duties should be reduced to compensate for the existing deficit and uncompetitive Indian steel pricing. Furthermore, the government should prioritise regulating inflation and reducing the cost of raw materials and fuel. Existing incentives must be enhanced to boost exports. There is also a need to expedite the GST refund system to give liquidity to the industries. As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Indian companies should be eligible for a duty structure benefit. The government has made continued efforts to simplify and streamline Indian tax regulations, and the industry anticipates consistency in tax and regulatory policies, as well as their interpretation, this year. I believe that the government should fix industry income rates for at least five years so that industrialists can make long-term financial plans and suitable investment decisions in their industries”.