The Union Finance Minister of India, Piyush Goyal presented an Interim Budget for 2019 in Parliament on the 1st of Feb (Friday). The budget reactions have started pouring in and as of now, the Interim Budget 2019 seems optimistic. The overall budget is looking positive with its highlight over India’s vision to build a Digital Economy with the platform of Digital India, Digital Transformation, Automation and AI.
Here are some reactions to the budget proposals from experts and business leaders from various sectors:
National Artificial Intelligence portal will boost Research and Development Measures – Mr Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director, Qlik India
“The interim budget, the government has rightly comprehended the necessity and competence of digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures and thus allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to gain better data-driven and decision-making insights and advance the nation in competitive global space.”
Digitalisation to play a key role in achieving sustainable growth and development – Mr Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, Founder & CEO of Telebu
“The government has continued to stress upon digitalisation, as reflected in the interim budget 2019 announcement. In the words of the interim Finance Minister, digitalisation is going to play a key role in achieving sustainable growth and development. The government further aims to achieve one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years and we believe that it is going to pave the way for India to emerge as one amongst the leading digital economies, across the globe. The current plans and aspirations of the government will also boost the rural digital economy. At Telebu, we are excited to be part of this wave of change, as it helps accelerate our overall goal of proliferating into rural, as well as tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We will continue to build innovative enterprise communication products for Indian enterprises, MSMEs, start-ups, non-profit organisations and more.
India’s youth can reach their full potential through the adoption of new technologies such as AI – Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales, India & SAARC, Sophos (Cybersecurity)
“With India poised to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years, we welcome the Government’s proposal of ensuring the growth of SME’s & rural India through initiatives such as the promotion of digital villages. Additionally, through steps such as the establishment of a National Centre of Artificial Intelligence, the Government plans to skill India’s youth, through the adoption of new technologies such as AI, so that they can reach their full potential. As the technology landscape evolves rapidly, along with the infinite opportunities that it provides us, there are also a myriad of new challenges especially in terms of IT security and data protection. Even though Indian businesses (67%) were the highest hit by ransomware with an average impact cost of approximately USD 1.17mn and 2018 being the year of serious data breaches, there was very limited focus on IT security in the budget. That said, while we welcome the Governments proposed steps in strengthening the MSME & SME sectors that provide employment to millions of people, there still remains a pressing need for further investment in technology for data protection and IT Security, both from the Government and organization’s standpoint.”
The sense of Inclusion is much needed to build the force for a Stronger Nation – Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp
“The Government, in its Budget 2019 today has articulated a compelling vision for India, both for the medium and long term. It has provided direction, and a finite and ambitious goal for India, of becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030. I look forward to the details and to the Government marking progress against it. For the short term, this is a budget that has something for everyone, but more particularly the middle class, the agricultural community and marginalized sections of society. The sense of inclusion, financial as well as welfare is welcome and much needed to build the force for a stronger nation that can march towards what I call Vision 2030.”
Will enable India to become a Global Technology Leader – Priya Mahajan, Head of APAC Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Enterprise Solutions (VES)
“We are glad to note that the Indian Government has made consistent efforts and undertaken initiatives to foster the growth and developments of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics. We welcome the Government’s plan to create a national program on Artificial Intelligence which would be catalysed by the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence as a hub, along with other centres of excellence. We are glad that 9 priority areas have been identified and the Indian Government is working closely to empower the MSME sector.
Moving forward, we need a good regulation that enables innovation by building public trust, a flexible approach to ensure the policy is technology neutral and future proof that also covers AI and other emerging technologies. Regulatory simplification can lead to many benefits including greater regulatory certainty and predictability, regulatory outcomes that minimize compliance costs and inefficiencies, a more prosperous environment in which innovation thrives, and a boost to economic competitiveness. India should take the lead by creating a strong and balanced regulatory framework to build on, which could set the global standard for a sustainable approach to AI technology.
This will enable India to attract the attention of global brands, inspire innovation, and become a global technology leader.”