2023 Union Budget – Opinions of Logistics Industry Leaders

Vipin Vohra Union Budget 2023 Opinion

Vipin Vohra, Chairman, Continental Group

This was the first normal budget after the Covid pandemic and amid a global slowdown with seven per cent growth rate along with Rs 1.97 lakh per annum per capita income.

Hon’ble Finance Minister outlined seven priorities ‘Sapt Rishis’ for the ‘first Budget in Amrit Kaal’

1. Inclusive development

2. Reaching the last mile

3. Infra & investment

4. Unleashing the potential

5. Green growth

6. Youth power

7. Financial sector

It’s a well-balanced budget that will create strong and stable macro-economic environment for growth and job creation. The Budget is likely to enhance business, tax payer sentiment and consolidate India’s growth prospects during this fiscal year.

It has every potential to bring out a broad-based revival in the Indian economy by providing opportunities for citizens with focus on youth.

  1. Budget laid focus on the introduction of National Data Governance Policy which will ease the KYC process and reduce privacy breaches by using the Aadhar and Digi Locker platforms to simplify individual address reconciliation and verification.
  2. Budget will incentivize the investments in infrastructure which will have multiplier impact on rise in growth and employment.
    • Increased capital investment outlay by 33.4 per cent to 10 lakh crores.
    • Highest capital outlay of 2.4 lakh crore for railways
  3. Simplifying tax benefits for MSMEs and Start-ups.
  4. The decision to scrap old polluting vehicles bodes immense growth for automobile manufacturers and will give a fillip to the electric vehicles industry which in turn will invigorate the components industry.”
  5. Budget 2023 has laid emphasis on reviving of 50 additional Airports under Regional connectivity Scheme (RCS), which it is hoped will ease movement of Domestic cargo also along the passengers and international cargo through nearest international Airport.
  6. In order to boost ‘Ease of doing business’, the budget has recommended reduction of 39000 compliances for trust-based governance.
  7. Reduction in customs duty on :
    • import of capital goods for Li-ion batteries for more greener mobility.
    • Import of raw material for manufacturing of electronic, electrical and chemical products.
  8. Under ‘Sabka saath Sabka Vikas’ – Inclusive development programme(s) new scheme(s) to promote pharma research will lead to more competitiveness in Global market for pharma exports.
  9. Continuation of interest free loans to States by the Centre for capital expenditure will ensure further incentive schemes at state level for creation of logistics infrastructure.

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Mr. Varun Gada, Director, LP Logiscience – A Liladhar Pasoo Company

The Union Budget presented today by the FM is a well-defined one with a clear focus on infrastructure development, green initiatives, inclusivity, and upskilling. The government’s initiative to strengthen transport infra projects by revitalising 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones, along with 100 critical transport infra projects with an investment of Rs 75,000 crore, including Rs 15,000 crore from private sources, are all massive steps in enabling the logistics sector.

For players like us, who are looking at growth into tier 3 and 4 regions, this infrastructure push will be instrumental in creating cost-effective supply chains as well as driving overall market growth. The focus on agriculture and food co-operatives, decentralised storage facilities, green operations, and the energy transition to hydrogen power are further aspects that will positively push the warehouse sector to adopt sustainable practices.

A reduction in import duties for the lithium-ion battery will further help accelerate EV adoption, boosting greener supply chains. Overall, the union budget is a strong step towards helping India become a global economy with industry best practices that will put logistics and the cold supply chain at the forefront and on par with international economies. 

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Swarup Bose, Founder & CEO, Celcius Logistics

The budget announced today is a strategic one, with a clear focus on infrastructure development, agriculture, and farmer empowerment, as well as inclusive growth and upskilling. Specifically, the push for building transport infrastructure projects with 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones, which will be revitalised along with 100 critical transport infrastructure projects with an investment of Rs 75,000 crore, including Rs 15,000 crore from private sources, is commendable, will strengthen the sector, and is in alignment with the goals of the NLP.

Another aspect of the budget focused on the support for agriculture and farmer empowerment, the setting up of food co-operatives, and decentralised storage facilities, which are all vital factors that will go a long way in enabling smoother food supply chains that can benefit farmers and drive effective food distribution. Further, the revamped credit guarantee scheme, through the infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus, will help strengthen the start-up and MSME sectors, enabling them to gain access to additional collateral-free credit.

Overall, the push for greener practices, including the transition to green energy and lithium-ion battery-based sources, will further accelerate EV manufacturing and adoption, boosting greener supply chains, which is a commendable step. Apart from helping India move towards its goals of “India at 100,” these initiatives will also help put the logistics and cold supply chain at the forefront, on par with international economies.

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Anish Mathew, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Gati

In line with the government’s vision to build an integrated and efficient logistics ecosystem, the budget has proposed a slew of effective measures that will enhance logistics competitiveness. The development of transport infrastructure to build end-to-end connectivity, the introduction of skill development programs to build new-age skilled human resources, and proposals to boost EV infrastructure and green energy transition reflect an all-encompassing approach towards strengthening logistics efficiency and sustainability parameters. On the other hand, proposals to strengthen the MSME segment will drive demand for logistics services immensely going forward.

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Vipul Bhalla, Chief Business Officer,  Pradhaan Air Express

The 2023 union budget reflects a continuation of the government’s fiscal consolidation strategy. As India’s youngest cargo airline, Pradhaan Air Express is buoyed by the increased effective capital expenditure of 13.7 lakh crores and the expected growth of 7 per cent reflecting a bigger positive sentiment as compared to other world economies.

Continuing the tax exemption for start-ups, lowering customs duties to stimulate domestic manufacturing, and allocating 35,000 crores for net zero and green growth are all positive steps. Simplifying indirect taxes will also deliver higher exports and value addition to the economy.

In related sectors, investments in aerodromes and tourism, a boost for electrical vehicles, semiconductors, and lithium-ion battery manufacturing will all have a positive impact on air cargo capabilities and infrastructure. We believe the budget supports our economic recovery, with improvements also expected in international and domestic air cargo volumes as the policies and measures unfold in the coming days.

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Vineet Malhotra, Co-Founder & Director, Kale Logistics Solutions

The impetus given to inclusive development and technology-driven initiatives is a significant step. The development of a cluster-based value chain approach and market linkages will boost the seamless export of agricultural products. Moreover, the infrastructural push to develop 50 more airports, Heliports, and Water drones across the country will boost the export of authentic products from remote locations.

One hundred critical transport infrastructure projects for last- and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grain sectors have taken priority with an investment of INR 75,000 crore, including INR 15,000 crore from private sources, which is a massive step towards developing the infrastructural capabilities with agility. The government’s promotion of coastal shipping as an energy-efficient mode of transport is welcome, as the government is promoting different modes of transport. Overall, these activities will complement the existing schemes of Bharatmala, Sagarmala, the PM GatiShakti Plan, and most importantly, the National Logistics Policy.

Union Budget 2023 Logistics-Opinions

Vivek Juneja, Founder & Managing Director, Varuna Group.

With a tremendous economic growth of 7 per cent in the current year, the budget for 2023–24 will act as quite a booster. It has prioritised investment in infrastructure projects that will improve India’s logistics system and help us become enablers of effective logistics systems. Also, it will support affordable regional connectivity, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, which will put the Indian economy in a position to remain less impacted by a global slowdown. The Union Budget in turn proves to be encouraging for domestic manufacturing, job creation, and ease of doing business.

2023 Union Budget - Opinions of Logistics Industry Leaders

Parvinder Singh, Managing Director, Hans Infomatic

The budget has put the technology and growth on the forefront

The budget rightly lays emphasis on innovation, job creation and skilling, with continued push towards a Digital India. With rolling out a host of initiatives to support domestic industries, the budget also aims to put India in a resilient position amidst a global slowdown. 

Government has plans to further improve regional air connectivity, and will thus revive 50 additional airports, helipads, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds. This will actually increase the overall cargo connectivity for efficient logistics and will also help facilitate the trade from hinterland. We also see increase in our role in supporting the software requirement of the aviation industry. 

It is nice to see long-term investments in this budget with a notable increase in capital expenditure and the focus on expediting technology. The government is taking technology adoption and usage seriously and also looking at the ways technology can benefit all. The spending and focus on technology-related initiatives, including training and skill development is a good way forward. 

The inclusion of digital infrastructure such as data centres, energy storage systems in harmonized list of infrastructure would add new avenues to already growing sector. Skilling is another emphasis of the budget with 30 Skill India International Centres announced in line with the National Education Policy. The launch of new-age courses like coding, AI, IoT and the move to set up 3 Centres of Excellence for AI will have long term benefits.

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