The Union Budget 2023 is just a few days away and theres much expectation from all and sundry that this election eve Budget will deliver a booster shot for growth.
More so as the world is staring at a recession, there's a war going on for almost a year now between Russia and Ukraine, and the post pandemic world is seeing a reset in geopolitical equations with more inward looking policies.
Given the specialised nature of jobs now and greater use of technology tools including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) across industries, it is important to have a highly skilled workforce.
Dr Yaj Medury, Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University says: "The value of developing cognitive thinking, problem-solving and management capabilities can hardly be overemphasised. The Union Budget 2023-24 needs to ensure that education is given the requisite budgetary support to power innovation and bridge the talent-skill gap in India."
On talent, a special focus needs to be on women, given their distinct economic role and the need to reduce the gender-gap in our workforce.
Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, JobsForHer says: "The government should focus on broadening the domestic economy and creating new employment opportunities with a special focus on building the female economy." She suggests that the government should also consider offering tax sops to organisations that hire more women and should come up with strategies to rationalise equal pay for men and women."
While skill development needs a lot of attention, climate change is not far behind. Industry is looking up to the Union Budget on steps to fight the climate crisis.
Prateek Kanakia, PhD, Chairman and Founder, TheGreenBillions Limited says: "We must fight climate change with clean energy and we expect to see more actions in the Budget around climate financing and mobilising more resources by increasing allocation in the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for boosting domestic manufacturing of green and sustainable solutions."
Clean energy is a key today and expanding use of Natural Gas via City Gas Distribution (CGD) will contribute to the efforts.
Sandeep Trehan, President, Marketing & Business Development at THINK Gas, says: "The success of natural gas expansion across geographies depends on the ability of CGD companies to create new customer experiences. It is important that success stories around the use of natural gas and reduction of emissions are shared with everybody. Natural Gas is an opportunity that will bring change in the mindsets of the customer who opt for clean and green fuel."
Another key area is mapping. More so in the digital age, maps are the means not only for quicker e-commerce deliveries, navigating roads, but also in agriculture, defence, aerospace and more.
Says Agendra Kumar, MD, Esri India: "The government announced a forward-looking National Geospatial Policy in December 2022 with an objective to make India a leader in the geospatial space. Various government bodies have been identified in the policy for data creation and management. Along with strengthening the Geospatial Infrastructure, the policy also talks about the creation of a National Digital Twin. These initiatives will materialize only through appropriate funding, and this is the expectation from the Union Budget 2023."
All eyes and ears now on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who will present the Union Budget 2023-24 on 1st February.