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BUDGET 2022 Budget 2022: A hit or a miss?

Feb 24, 2022

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2022, presented the Union Budget for the year 2022-23. While the Budget gave a much-needed thrust to some sectors, some were left out, bringing a mixed reaction from the masses. The Viewpoint brings forward opinions from spokespersons from various sectors, including automotive, renewable energy, aerospace & defence, start-ups, technology, industry associations, etc, to understand how the Budget fared and if it exceeded the industry expectation or fell short.

The capex-friendly budget orientation is positive for growth levers of the economy - Sanjeev Sharma, Country Head & MD, ABB India

The Budget 2022-23 is progressive and will add to the ongoing growth momentum on demand and supply side. The capex-friendly budget orientation is positive for growth levers of the economy. The Budget is doing more of the things which have worked well, maintaining status quo to a large extent. The expected push on infrastructure with special focus on transportation, water & wastewater, data centres and food processing will create further opportunities for deployment of energy, data and economy friendly technologies for engineering technology companies in the country. The focus on innovation and R&D, talent capacity in STEM and promotion of technology, like AI and drone, in transport and infrastructure, if supported by associated proactive action, can provide the basis for companies to deploy varying levels of automation and digitalisation technology to complement it.

Vibrant manufacturing is imperative for India’s growth - V Anbu, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) & Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC)

The robust allocation of ₹7.5 lakh crore (up by 35.4% YoY) as capital expenditure for FY 23 would give a boost to commercial vehicle sales domestically, especially in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment. MSMEs dominate the Indian machine tools industry; the extension of the ECLGS till March 2023 will help make the sector more resilient and competitive. Additionally, the budget is in line with the Make in India & Aatmanirbhar Bharat concepts, with 68% of the capital procurement budget in defence being earmarked to enhance domestic development of technologies besides opening up defence R&D for industry, start-ups and academia. Vibrant manufacturing is imperative for India’s growth. The incentives announced in the budget could perhaps trigger growth, although it may take some time for the sops to trickle down to end users resulting in demand for goods and services. Once such manufacturing hits top gear, the country will be on track to realise its dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the years to come.

Exclusive policy on battery swapping should accelerate the adoption of EVs across the country - Baba N Kalyani, CMD, Bharat Forge

I would like to congratulate the Hon’ble FM for a growth propelling budget with significant thrust on enhancing competitiveness, infrastructure development, holistic digital drive and promoting financial inclusion. Aligned with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat agenda, earmarking 25% of defence R&D budget for industry, start-ups & academia is a forward-looking measure that will pave way for investments in frontier technologies and capability development. Industry, in partnership with DRDO through SPV mode for development of critical weapon systems and military platforms, is a path-breaking reform that will transform the Indian defence ecosystem and lead India to being a net-exporter of defence equipment/platforms. I should particularly laud the impetus given to new-age technologies and wider adoption of digital platforms in healthcare, education, fintech, agriculture, among others. Exclusive policy on battery swapping, special mobility zones and incentivising clean technologies in public transport should lead to accelerated adoption of EVs across the country. The increased outlay towards manufacturing of high efficiency modules for solar power and strong emphasis on circular economy transition reinforces India’s commitment to global climate action & sustainable technologies.

The 2022 Budget emphasises on energy transition by boosting local manufacturing of solar equipment - Gautam Mohanka, MD, Gautam Solar

The Indian renewable energy industry, notably the solar sector, must applaud the Indian government's efforts to promote green energy during the last decade, especially during the pandemic. The appropriations in the most recent Budget strongly emphasise renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, data centres, building efficiency, grid-connected energy storage & green bond assistance, which is a terrific development. Following India's broader global commitment to fighting climate change, the 2022 Budget emphasises allowing energy transition through provisions to boost local manufacturing of solar power equipment and batteries. The basic customs duty (BCD) of 25% has been imposed on imported solar cells and 40% has been imposed on solar modules by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently, which will be effective from 1st April 2022. This will greatly discourage Chinese imports of solar panels & solar cells, giving a further boost to the ‘Make in India’ mission.

Bringing EV financing under priority lending could have bought much-needed liquidity into sector - Nishant Arya, Vice Chairman, JBM Group

This is an investment focused budget aimed at creating India@100. JBM Group welcomes the government’s move towards promoting electrification of vehicles by proposing the battery swapping policy, which also includes the concept of energy and battery storage as a service. This will intensify the deployment of an extensive network of EV chargers, thereby boosting the end-to-end EV ecosystem pan India. However, bringing EV financing under priority lending could have brought much-needed liquidity into the EV sector, which has been missed in the budget this year. The allocation of ₹7.5 lakh crore as capital expenditure will boost the infrastructure and manufacturing sector, directly benefiting the commercial vehicle space. Also, the solar energy sector has been aptly addressed in the budget with the additional allocation of ₹19,500 crores for PLI in solar PV module manufacturing. Further, the issue of green bonds will bring in the viability gap funding towards achieving the 480 GW green energy target by 2030. All in all, the budget focuses on inclusive growth & sustainability, aiming to meet the vision of net-zero 270.

India will require deep public-private partnerships to achieve its climate goals - Mahesh Palashikar, President, GE – South Asia

I am happy to see this year’s Union Budget laying down a blueprint for sustainable development in the future. We applaud the government for its consistent commitment and sharp focus on the important priorities of improving climate change and accelerating the energy transition. The suggested framework around Gati Shakti and inclusive development will lay a good foundation for long-term infrastructure with an eye on short-term economic and job growth. The launch of the sovereign green bonds is evidence of the government’s active support to ‘Green’, which will significantly reduce the carbon intensity in the years to come. For India to achieve its climate goals, financing is the need of the hour. This will require deep public-private partnerships. We at GE have been investing in sustainable technologies for decades. We welcome the encouragement to private industry for taking up the design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with DRDO. We are committed to bringing those technologies in sustainable aviation, green hydrogen, emission controls and decarbonisation to India to support the country’s goals.

The battery policy initiative is a sincere advocate of EVs as last-mile mobility solutions - Diego Graffi, Chairman & MD, Piaggio Vehicles

The Union Budget 2022-23 is a good budget in terms of promotion of green mobility. The PM Gati Shakti project is revolutionary and will take India’s logistics, infrastructure, sustainability and green mobility initiatives forward. As it focuses on multi-modal logistic parks and unified logistics interface platforms, we believe that it will help reconcile supply chain constraints and make them more robust. Considering the battery swapping policy is one of the Budget for the auto industry initiatives, we feel the policy is a sincere advocate of EVs as last-mile mobility solutions. A larger battery swapping infrastructure will help enhance the EV infrastructure and propel the adoption of EVs. We are glad that the government is encouraging us to create sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service, improving the efficiency in the EV ecosystem. This will also generate employment opportunities as planned by the government under the Make in India initiative.

Solar energy PLI schemes will spur demand for next-level stationary-energy storage capacities - Tejas Kusurkar, Co-founder & CEO, Offgrid Energy Labs

Budget 2022 has laid a strong emphasis on promoting digital and technological innovations across sectors. The three identified focus areas of technology-led development, energy transition and climate action will create a conducive environment for deep tech innovators operating at the intersection of technology and energy to flourish in the country. An allocation of ₹19,500 crores towards solar energy PLI schemes will spur large-scale demand for the next level of stationary-energy storage capacities. This will unravel an entirely new ecosystem comprising of battery technology innovators, energy storage platforms, as well as manufacturers and service providers across the energy value chain. At Offgrid Energy, we are particularly excited about prospects unfolding for deep tech companies in the energy storage space.

The 2022 Budget looks like a game changer for Indian EV ecosystem - Shreyas Shibulal, Founder & Director, Micelio

The Finance Minister has heard our requests and announced specific EV policies in the 2022 Budget, which will transform the EV sector in India, especially the charging infrastructure. The announcement of the much-awaited battery swapping policy will provide charging solutions to those with space shortages while the to-be-formulated interoperability standards will provide certainty to EV manufacturers and investors looking to build charging stations. With the introduction of special mobility zones with zero fossil fuels as well, the 2022 Budget looks like it will be a game changer for the Indian EV ecosystem.

Additional duty of ₹2/litre on unblended fuel could play a spoilsport for the two-wheeler industry - Vinkesh Gulati, President, FADA

Union Budget 2022 has attempted to focus on each of the sectors and tried to stimulate the economy after the pandemic slowdown. The extension of the ECLG scheme is a remarkable move by the government to support the MSME sector coming out of the slowdown caused by the pandemic. We also welcome and support the government's efforts & initiatives towards e-mobility. The development of special mobility zones for EVs and promoting clean technology for public transport validates the government’s commitment to e-mobility, which boosts confidence in the industry in terms of manufacturing, sales and creating a sense of assurance among customers. The rural India has generally been the key driver for entry level passenger vehicle segment & two-wheeler space. With government plans on ₹2.3 lakh crore direct payment as MSP to farmers, it will work as a booster for two-wheeler, tractor & entry level PV sector sales. However, an additional duty of ₹2/ litre on unblended fuel from October 2022 could play a spoilsport for the already stressed two-wheeler industry.

The Budget has provided enough impetus to propel India’s potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre - Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India

The Budget’s emphasis on growth, digitisation and being future-ready outlines the government’s commitment for cohesive development and ‘Make in India’. The focus on Gati Shakti masterplan, youth, women, job creation, technology and infrastructure development among others will drive India’s Amrit Kal, journey from 75 to 100 years as a democracy. India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, and the Budget has provided enough impetus to propel the same. In addition, we expect the digital ecosystem for skilling will boost human capital and empower industries significantly.

Opening defence sector to start-ups will create opportunities to build state-of-the-art technology - Vishal Saurav, Founder & CEO, VFLYX India

After last year's drone rules relaxation, this year’s budget gives a huge boost to the drone technology. Large drones weighing 150 kgs can now be used across different sectors like healthcare, logistics, etc, to create an effective and efficient solution. The same will require more drone production, which will help the government's Make in India campaign. Start-ups have been given a license to produce and experiment with Drone Shakti to be implemented as soon as possible. Drone-based security surveillance, used in Railways, will create more production opportunities. Also, opening up the defence sector more to start-ups will create more opportunities to experiment and create state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, Kissan Drones will be a huge boost to the agricultural sector, which has so far remained untouched by this novel technology. India being a country where most people still depend on agriculture for a living, this will give the sector a huge shot in the arm.

Standardising battery swapping infrastructure will accelerate economies of scale and reduce hurdles for EV adoption - Mayur Mishra, Director & CEO, Corrit Energy and Infra

The Union Budget 2022-23 has brought forward necessary incentives for the mobility and EV sectors, which have been at the forefront of innovation. There is no doubt that these initiatives will accelerate employment in the industry. In addition, a pervasive and ubiquitous battery-swapping infrastructure will reduce range anxiety for the three-wheelers and taxi segments, limiting home charging and encouraging EV adoption. Given that batteries account for 50% of an EV cost, standardising battery swapping infrastructure will accelerate economies of scale and reduce hurdles regarding EV adoption amongst the masses.

The Budget is indicative of our investment in capacity building - Mohit Gulyani, Senior Director - Strategic Partnerships, Moglix

The The union budget for FY 2022 has incorporated both the essential elements to effect an economic recovery in the short-term and economic growth in the long term for manufacturing and infrastructure. Combining the 35% heightened CAPEX on infrastructure with the PM Gati Shakti for digital project management makes the Budget an outcome-focused one and not just outlay-focused. The consistent focus on the PLI scheme for 14 sectors, INR 24k crores spend on solar module manufacturing, etc. will unlock demand for custom manufacturing solutions and enable MSMEs to build back better. The tax concession on steel scrap gives much-needed relief to secondary steel manufacturers and the infra sector. Overall, the Budget is indicative of our investment in capacity building that will yield returns over the long term through strong forward and backward linkages and enable India to lead the global manufacturing supply chain.

Image Gallery

  • Sanjeev Sharma

    Country Head & MD

    ABB India

  • V Anbu

    Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA)

    Director General & CEO, Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC)

  • Baba N Kalyani

    CMD

    Bharat Forge

  • Gautam Mohanka

    MD

    Gautam Solar

  • Nishant Arya

    Vice Chairman

    JBM Group

  • Mahesh Palashikar

    President

    GE – South Asia

  • Diego Graffi

    Chairman and MD

    Piaggio Vehicles

  • Tejas Kusurkar

    Co-founder & CEO

    Offgrid Energy Labs

  • Shreyas Shibulal

    Founder & Director

    Micelio

  • Vinkesh Gulati

    President

    FADA

  • Rajiv Bhalla

    MD

    Barco India

  • Vishal Saurav

    Founder & CEO

    VFLYX India

  • Mayur Mishra

    Director & CEO

    Corrit Energy and Infra

  • Mohit Gulyani

    Senior Director - Strategic Partnerships

    Moglix

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