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Business News/ Industry / Budget 2024 corporate reactions LIVE updates: 11.1% capex increase to power railway, roads, logistics, says expert

Budget 2024 corporate reactions LIVE updates: 11.1% capex increase to power railway, roads, logistics, says expert

Budget 2024 Corporate Reactions Live Updates: An interim budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 was presented by India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, months before the upcoming general elections. 

Budget 2024 corporate reactions LIVE updates: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman carrying the Budget tablet at the Ministry of Finance leaving for the Parliament to present the country's interim Budget 2024, in New Delhi on Thursday. Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and the Finance team also seen. (ANI Photo/Shrikant Singh) (Shrikant Singh)Premium
Budget 2024 corporate reactions LIVE updates: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman carrying the Budget tablet at the Ministry of Finance leaving for the Parliament to present the country's interim Budget 2024, in New Delhi on Thursday. Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and the Finance team also seen. (ANI Photo/Shrikant Singh) (Shrikant Singh)

Budget 2024 Corporate Reactions Live Updates: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on February 1 the government's upcoming scheme aimed at assisting deserving sections of the middle class, particularly those "living in rented houses, slums or chawls or unauthorized colonies." This initiative is designed to facilitate the purchase or construction of their own homes. In addition to various announcements benefiting youth, the poor, women, and farmers, the minister highlighted the extension of healthcare coverage under Ayushman Bharat to include all ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers. The Finance Minister announced that the detailed roadmap for Vikasit Bharat will be unveiled in the upcoming July Budget. Emphasizing on the government's top priorities, she highlighted the needs and aspirations of the Garib, Mahilayen, Yuva, and Annadata. Additionally, the FM emphasized that beyond the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), equal attention is given to a more comprehensive GDP encompassing governance, development, and performance. The comprehensive budget for the fiscal year will be formally introduced in Parliament following the formation of the new government post the general elections. 

01 Feb 2024, 10:54:47 PM IST

Preeti Bajaj, CEO, Luminous Power Technologies for interim budget 2024, said

“The focus on solar initiatives in the interim budget, led by Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is a great move toward promoting green energy. Solar power not only ensures household electricity access but also aligns seamlessly with our enduring commitment to environmental sustainability. The 'Panchamrit' goals highlight the government's dedication to strengthening resource-efficient growth, thereby supporting energy security in terms of both availability and affordability. The visionary approach of rooftop solarization benefiting one crore households is noteworthy, reflecting a holistic vision for a sustainable future. Also, the commitment to creating employment opportunities for the youth, particularly those with technical skills, resonates deeply with our objective of cultivating a skilled and empowered workforce in the energy sector. In essence, these initiatives collectively set the stage for a transformative and sustainable energy landscape, aligning with our vision for a greener and brighter tomorrow."

01 Feb 2024, 10:41:10 PM IST

Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder and MD at FNP, said

“We welcome the interim 2025 budget's focus on empowering our tech-savvy youth. The establishment of a 1 lakh crore corpus with interest-free loans reflects a commitment to innovation and research. The emphasis on combining youth and technology is commendable. As operators of Udman chain of Hotels the provision of interest-free loans for tourism development and increased allocation for infrastructure projects bode well for economic growth. This budget sets a promising path for our nation's future."

01 Feb 2024, 10:26:11 PM IST

Sarosh Amaria, Managing Director Tata Capital Housing Finance Ltd.

“We welcome the positive steps announced in the Interim Budget 2024, particularly the continued focus on affordable housing initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme to assist middle-class families to own homes. The increased allocation for infrastructure development will also create a positive effect, which would boost the demand for housing. We are particularly encouraged by the commitment to empower women homeowners, with higher percentage of houses assigned to them under the PMAY-Grameen Scheme. We believe these initiatives will further strengthen our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Housing for All’ and contribute to Inclusive and Sustainable growth."

01 Feb 2024, 10:13:56 PM IST

Devansh Jain, Executive Director, INOX Wind Energy Group, says that this initiative holds potential to open up large opportunities for the wind sector

“We recognize the government's visionary move in introducing Viability Gap Funding for offshore wind projects, a fairly complex endeavour in the Indian context. This initiative holds potential to open up large opportunities for the wind sector, as India marches aggressively towards its 2030 renewable energy and 2070 net-zero targets. Compared to onshore, offshore projects currently are significantly costlier from cost of energy perspective, and the VGF announced in this year’s budget will aid in lowering power generation costs to ensure power offtake from these projects, as well as instil confidence among wind players towards investing in offshore technologies. We expect the benefits to materialize more prominently in the medium to long term."

01 Feb 2024, 09:59:12 PM IST

Tanmay Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, Shiprocket, says government's strategic initiatives aimed at fortifying India's logistics ecosystem

"We commend our government's strategic initiatives aimed at fortifying India's logistics ecosystem—a critical linchpin for economic advancement. The emphasis on optimizing logistics efficiency and reducing costs not only streamlines operations but also ensures safety and enhances travel speeds. The dedication to freight corridors resonates profoundly with Shiprocket's mission, as we strive to empower MSMEs and fortify the Indian e-commerce landscape.

This budget is a big step towards achieving India @100, which is consistent with Shiprocket's objective to provide seamless e-commerce solutions for MSMEs. Our Finance Minister’s steadfast focus on providing timely financial support to MSMEs and facilitating their global competitiveness is a clear testament to the government's unwavering backing of small and medium enterprises.

We are inspired by the Prime Minister's vision for 'Amrit Kaal'—a period characterized by unprecedented development and golden moments. The 2047 vision outlined in this year's budget not only lays the foundation for a developed India but also positions Shiprocket proudly as a pivotal player in this transformative journey. We are deeply enthusiastic about our role in shaping the future of e-commerce and wholeheartedly supporting MSMEs in realizing their full potential on the global landscape."

01 Feb 2024, 09:41:03 PM IST

Anand Bang, COO – Sales & Marketing, Tata Motors Finance, foresee immense opportunities for NBFCs to emerge

“In this interim budget, the Government has distinctly outlined its intent and vision for a 'Viksit Bharat,' reaffirming a resolute commitment to continue giving momentum to Infrastructure Capex, adding to the consequent growth and demand within the commercial vehicle ecosystem. A Substantial emphasis has been placed towards fortifying the logistics sector through multi-modal development and connectivity interventions, notably exemplified by the Gati Shakti initiative. We foresee immense opportunities for NBFCs to emerge as growth catalysts, facilitating last-mile credit access and bespoke financial solutions for transporters and logistics players to meet their CV fleet expansion and upgradation requirements driven by India’s robust infra push."

01 Feb 2024, 09:30:22 PM IST

Rajiv Sabharwal, MD & CEO Tata Capital, gives three takeaways from the Interim Budget 2024-25

• The budget’s focus towards four major pillars – youth, poor, women and farmers will collectively work towards the vision of a ‘Developed India by 2047’

• I commend the government's steadfast commitment to fiscal consolidation, aiming for a 4.5% fiscal deficit in 2025-26. Recognizing the significant transformation in the Indian economy over the past decade and highlighting structural reforms underscores a positive trajectory for economic resilience.

• The decision to maintain current tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties, will provide a much-needed sense of stability for businesses and investors.

01 Feb 2024, 09:19:11 PM IST

Ankit Ratan, Chair, Regtech Committee, Fintech Convergence Council, and Co-founder, Signzy

"The Budget has recognized the importance of Digital Public Infrastructure as the new factor of production driving the formalization of the economy. A key factor that drives the digital economy and enhances adoption is Digital Trust. It revolves around customers' confidence in the security, reliability, and honesty of transactions carried out through banking channels. We believe a robust digital public infrastructure along with an enhanced digital trust ecosystem will promote responsible innovation while risk-proofing businesses from cybersecurity concerns. Creating an environment of trust beyond the established physical branches of a bank through real-time monitoring of biometric systems and cybersecurity resilience among others is the way forward. This promises an economy where technology empowers trust that paves the way for a brighter and more equitable future."

01 Feb 2024, 09:04:25 PM IST

Tarun Chugh, MD and CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, said 

“We welcome the interim budget for FY25 as it demonstrates a clear commitment to stimulating economic growth through strategic investment in infrastructure, coupled with proactive measures to manage inflation. The notable 11% increase in capex outlay promises significant expansion for infrastructure development, given the strong base of last two years.

Amrit kal will indeed mark a golden era for our youth, as the budget's visionary approach underscores the government's commitment to their empowerment and the nation's prosperity. Moreover, the heightened emphasis on affordable housing is poised to drive rural demand, while the provision of long-term financing at low/nil interest rates strategically benefits Research &Innovation in technology. This forward-looking strategy sets the stage for sustained growth and opportunity, reinforcing the government's dedication to nurturing a flourishing future for all.

As we embark on the next phase of development, Bajaj Allianz Life remains dedicated to supporting our customers in navigating financial challenges and seizing opportunities for ensuring their Life Goals remain on track. Together, we look forward to contributing to India's journey towards sustained growth and prosperity"

01 Feb 2024, 08:54:52 PM IST

Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-Founder, axio, expects the July budget to build on these initiatives and continue to foster growth prospects for BFSI and startups

“The 2024 interim budget has brought positive developments by extending tax benefits to startups, sovereign funds, pension funds and some IFSC units till March 2025. We expect the July budget to build on these initiatives and continue to foster growth prospects for BFSI and startups in the country.

Aligning the GST input credit for NBFCs to 100% at par with other entities can boost the growth of NBFCs. Policies that improve credit access for lower-income groups and first-time borrowers would be warmly received. Following the RBI's call for diversification of funding channels beyond traditional banks, policies encouraging NBFCs to explore obtaining credit from international agencies or the government would expand their financing options. The ongoing support for startups through tailored fiscal policies, tax benefits, and easier credit access will further stimulate entrepreneurship, innovation, and employment generation."

01 Feb 2024, 08:44:56 PM IST

Rajan Bajaj, Founder CEO, Slice, says that technological research in this year's budget is a game-changer

"The government's allocation of a 1 lakh crore corpus for technological research in this year's budget is a game-changer. It positions India's R&D to capitalize on our young and dynamic demographic. The provision of interest-free support will undoubtedly catalyze scaling up research and innovation, fostering significant strides in filling economic gaps. Made in India tech is the future, and we’re here for it!"

01 Feb 2024, 08:33:49 PM IST

Ashish Kehair, MD & CEO, Nuvama Group believes that this commitment is crucial for India's macroeconomic stability

“Through this budget announcement, the Finance Minister has clearly prioritized fiscal consolidation, which is noteworthy, especially in an election year. This commitment is crucial for India's macroeconomic stability, given uncertain global economic environment and rising geopolitical tensions. In the short term, the Budget may not significantly impact the economy or corporate earnings. However, looking ahead, the government continues to take initiatives toward inclusive development and capacity building, reflecting a forward thinking approach.“

01 Feb 2024, 08:20:55 PM IST

Karthick Jonagadla,smallcase Manager & Founder Quantace Research smallcase, believes fiscal consolidation indicates a promising trajectory for economic stability

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Interim Budget 2024 is a strategic blueprint guiding India towards the ambitious goal of a $5 trillion economy. It notably targets a fiscal deficit reduction to 5.1% from the anticipated 5.3%, signifying a commitment to aggressive fiscal consolidation. This, along with a reduction in FY25 gross borrowing to 14.13 trillion, indicates a promising trajectory for economic stability, benefiting the general populace by potentially easing inflation and enhancing public welfare.

Key highlights include a focus on indigenous oilseed development to curb the hefty 1.5 trillion annual import bill on cooking oil, aligning with the 'Bharat' ethos of self-sufficiency. The budget also introduces a housing scheme for the middle class, a significant move towards fulfilling the quintessential Indian dream of homeownership.

Healthcare initiatives are expanded under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, now encompassing Anganwadi workers and helpers, reflecting the government's dedication to foundational economic sectors. However, maintaining status quo on tax rates, including import duties, might temper taxpayers' expectations for relief.

In essence, the budget envisions a 'Viksit' Bharat by 2047, a narrative of empowerment and multifaceted economic development. It's an invitation for investors and the public to engage in Bharat's story, set to define 2024 and beyond as a time of 'golden moments' and unparalleled growth.

01 Feb 2024, 08:08:32 PM IST

Pratik Kamdar, CEO & Co-Founder Neuron Energy, comments on EV ecosystem

“The Interim Budget focused on key sectors and one of the promising ones is Electric Vehicles (EV). The initiatives will enhance and fortify the EV ecosystem by bolstering manufacturing and charging infrastructure. Additionally, the encouragement of greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks through payment security mechanisms is a notable benefit. These investments not only pave the way for increased EV sales and adoption but also open doors for burgeoning job opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures within the sector. These efforts remain dedicated to driving India's green mobility revolution forward. There is also an anticipated outcome in the form of economic empowerment which will equip the youth with valuable technical skills, ensuring a robust workforce for the manufacturing of EV chargers, and associated equipment. We look forward to the July budget where the focus will be on Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme and much-anticipated FAME III scheme."

01 Feb 2024, 07:58:18 PM IST

Ranen Banerjee, Partner and Leader Economic Advisory, PwC India, comments on how the disinvestment has not progressed in FY24

“The divestment targets have been missed once again and FY25 budget estimates have also been kept at a conservative 50k crore only. The underachievement is understandable as there was no revenue pressure and with the shortfall too, the government has estimated to better the fiscal deficit at 5.8%. Given that the new government will present its full budget in July and the divestments take preparation time, the government has made conservative estimates. The government may not need more proceed from this line in next year too as the final dividend proceeds for FY25 from public sector enterprises are also likely to be significantly higher next year as those will be accounted for in FY25."

01 Feb 2024, 07:49:47 PM IST

Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, gives four reasons why Interim Budget 2024-25 was focussed on Tourism industry

The interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister has focussed on Tourism with a multipronged approach that we believe will create a multiplier effect across aviation, tourism and allied sectors, boosting growth and employment generation.

  1. We welcome the announcements on airport development and expansion: having already doubled to 149 airports in the last decade, the government’s plans to boost air connectivity by the addition of 517 new routes across Tier 2-3 cities, carrying 1.3 crore passengers via the UDAN scheme, will play a critical role with vibrant hub and spoke air corridors to boost accessibility-affordability for Regional India.
  2. Implementation of major rail connectivity corridors via the PM Gati Shakti program together with port and metro/rapid transport expansion will serve to create valuable multi modal connectivity for Tourism.
  3. We welcome the special focus on Domestic Tourism which represents a vibrant growth driver via the government’s plan of long-term interest free loans to States; development of iconic tourism centres by States along with marketing on global standards. What was noteworthy is the reference to Spiritual Tourism and projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities on islands including Lakshdweep – aimed at development of India’s hidden gems and employment opportunities.
  4. Further, the strong capex outlay of 11.11 lakh cr, a significant 4% of our GDP, will serve as a catalyst to the Country’s growth potential and job creation.

01 Feb 2024, 07:38:35 PM IST

Abhimanyu Munjal, Jt. MD & CEO, Hero FinCorp, analyzes the role of digital infrastructure

“The interim budget focuses on boosting holistic economic growth. Allocating Rs. 1 lakh crore for interest-free loans emphasize the government's commitment to strengthening innovation and research. Additionally, highlighting the role of digital public infrastructure shows a push towards formalizing the economy. These measures support the organized financial services sector, enhancing lending, investments, and savings efficiency."

01 Feb 2024, 07:29:35 PM IST

Divyesh Dalal, Managing Director and Head- Global Transaction Services, SME, and Institutional Liabilities, DBS Bank India believes that these initiatives will act as catalysts for long-term economic growth

"The Interim Budget 2024 lays a solid foundation for Viksit Bharat, affirming the government's vision to transform India into a developed nation by 2047. The commitment to green growth is evident in the bio-manufacturing scheme. This also aligns with our focus on financing sustainable projects and helping businesses in transitioning to low-carbon operations. Additionally, training for MSMEs will equip them with skills that foster innovation and adaptability, enhancing competitiveness on the global stage. Raising the presumptive taxation threshold from INR 2 crore to INR 3 crore will provide significant relief to small retail businesses. We are confident these initiatives will act as catalysts for long-term economic growth, propelling India to the forefront of the global economic landscape."

01 Feb 2024, 07:21:28 PM IST

Sudipta Roy, Managing Director & CEO, L&T Finance Holdings Ltd., said 

"By presenting a fiscally prudent Budget, the government has created conducive conditions for the private capex cycle revival. A strong push given to rural housing and agri-allied activities augurs very well for the business model of retail-oriented NBFCs. Today's Budget will improve the international investors' perception about India's macro-financial stability and strengthen India's position as one of the best investment destinations in the global space."

01 Feb 2024, 07:14:14 PM IST

Pratik Jain, Partner, Price Waterhouse & Co LLP, finds trends in GST collection encouraging

"Being an interim budget, only a few changes were expected, especially since customs rate changes for parts of mobile phones were carried out a couple of days ago.

Trends in GST collection are encouraging as the finance minister mentioned that gross average monthly collections are at an all-time high of INR 1.66 lakh crore in this fiscal (this was INR 1.51 lakh crore in FY23), and it looks like we are set to cross the INR 20 lakh crore mark for the first time. Therefore, the target for FY25 (an increase of around 11.6%) looks quite reasonable.

One important proposed change is in the definition of input service distributor (ISD), thereby giving effect to the GST Council’s recommendation to make the ISD mechanism mandatory and providing clarity within the GST laws regarding routing of input service invoices to various locations of the same legal entity. Businesses will have to carefully evaluate their current processes and make necessary changes in order to comply with the proposed change."

01 Feb 2024, 07:06:59 PM IST

Deepashree Shetty, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India LLP, gives four takeaways on tax regime -

1. Considering this is an Interim Budget, no changes are proposed in the personal tax rates. Individual taxpayers need to continue analysing the effective tax regime selection i.e. old vs. new tax regime.

2. Since rationalisation and reduction of personal tax rates have happened in the recent Finance Budgets, no changes are proposed in the Interim Finance Budget 2024.

3. The FinMin has hailed several measures taken by the Government over the recent years to improve taxpayer services. This included simplification and pre-filled ITR forms, updated tax returns, access to Form 26AS and other information, faster processing of tax returns to average 10 days enabling quicker tax refund credits, faceless assessments, etc. These have improved the overall approach and experience of taxpayers.

4. The Finance Minister’s proposal to improve taxpayer services included waiving-off outdated outstanding direct tax demands. This is a welcome move as several individual taxpayers received notices for petty outstanding demands or their refunds were stuck for demand adjustments. The proposal would benefit several taxpayers with demand upto INR 25,000 (for period upto FY 2009-10) and upto INR 10,000 (for period covering FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15). The CBDT should come out with the mechanism for making such adjustments.

01 Feb 2024, 06:57:57 PM IST

Sanjay Sharma, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Projects Ltd, acknowledges the infrastructure development commitment made by the govt

"I am pleased to acknowledge the positive trajectory set by the fiscal year 2024-25 budget, which clearly reflects a strong commitment to infrastructure development and overall economic growth of India. The substantial increase in capital spending by 11%, reaching 3.4% of GDP, and a record outlay for infrastructure, including the construction of three major railway corridors, establish a solid foundation for unprecedented development in the foreseeable five years. This augmented financial allocation, combined with the elevated outlay of 11.11 lakh crores specifically earmarked for infrastructure in FY25, signals a determined stride towards unparalleled infrastructural growth. Furthermore, this financial commitment paves the way for achieving our national goal of becoming a developed nation by 2047.

As we embark towards an ambitious development of India in the next five years, Tata Projects is positioned to play a significant role in contributing to the nation's economic prosperity and advancing its infrastructure. The positive budgetary trends align seamlessly with our commitment to excellence, and we eagerly anticipate actively participating in and driving the forthcoming era of growth and progress."

01 Feb 2024, 06:47:57 PM IST

Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director of Hiranandani Group, said that the interim budget lays down the direction in which the government intends to go

"I think there are four parts to this budget. The first part of the budget recounts all the achievements that the government has made since 2014 and lays down that this is the kind of direction in which the government has intended to go. So whether it is housing, agriculture, infrastructure, education or other sectors, I think it indicates that this is what we have achieved and this is the direction in which you are going to go forward for the next couple of years as this government comes back to power. It also talks about the Viksit Bharat or developed India and the developed Bharat. That is extremely important because it says that we want to be a developed country by 2047.

The third important thing that I think the Finance Minister has said in the budget is that she has been able to improve the fiscal target, coming down to 5.1 per cent. And I think that's extremely important because the ultimate target, which is for the next couple of years, is 4.5. If that is so, and the achievement happens, then the capital and debt available from the banking system will certainly grow and will bring down interest rates even otherwise, or the availability of funds for debt will increase in the banking system and another system because otherwise, the government was taking away this money for their development and statement. So I think that is an extremely important part.

And the last part of it is the fact that the leadership that India is taking in every aspect of the thing, like for instance, in the railways, talks about 40,000 rail coaches, which will take the next step in terms of upgrading. We talked about tourism, including Lakshmadeep, temple tourism and all those aspects of it, infrastructure, manufacturing--all these aspects of it are put together into a package deal. So I think these are the fundamentals of the budget, which is what I call a directional budget, which gives a positive aspect to the entire economy for an interim budget. I think it's an excellent statement that puts across clearly what the government has done. But more gives us an indication to the entire people of India, Bharat, that what's going to happen in the next five years as an indicative model.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2024-25 at 5.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2023-24, the government pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2023-24 at 5.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Today, Sitharaman said that the fiscal deficit of 2023-24 was downwardly revised to 5.8 per cent. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings that may be needed by the government.

The government intends to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent of GDP by the financial year 2025-26. The government proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 11.1 per cent to 11.11 lakh crore in 2024-25. A capital expenditure, or capex, is used to set up long-term physical or fixed assets.

Last year, which was the last full Budget under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's second term, the government proposed to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33 per cent to 10 lakh crore in 2023-24, which was estimated to be 3.3 per cent of the GDP.

With this budget presentation, Sitharaman equalled the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who as finance minister, presented five annual budgets and one interim budget between 1959 and 1964. The Indian economy is projected to grow close to 7 per cent in the financial year 2024-25 which starts this April, said the Ministry of Finance in a review report."

01 Feb 2024, 06:39:42 PM IST

Sudarshan Shreenivas – Director, Corporate Ratings at CareEdge Ratings said on EV ecosystem

“Continued support for EV sector - The budget has emphasised support for the EV sector by committing to back the growth of charging infrastructure and overall ecosystem for EVs in the country. The government has stated that there would be greater adoption of EV buses in public transport. Corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for funding private sector R&D and innovation in sunrise sectors could potentially benefit companies in the EV space. Rs.11,11,111 crores committed for infrastructure development augurs well for the CV space, given that the logistics sector could benefit significantly from the same."

01 Feb 2024, 06:32:25 PM IST

Navneet Munot, MD & CEO, HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd, says fiscal consolidation spelled good news for bond markets and debt mutual funds

"The budget gets full marks for Credibility of numbers, Continuity on structural reforms and Conviction of building a developed economy in a highly sustainable and equitable manner. The conviction is commendable despite a challenging global backdrop.

The focus has shifted on quality rather than quantity of spending, on outcome rather than outlays. There is an unwavering focus on building world-class infrastructure – physical, digital as well as social. Social welfare received targeted attention for enhanced quality outcomes. A distinct highlight was creation of an Innovation fund to foster a self-reliant, knowledge-based economy.

While the interim budget was only a vote-on-account, a procedural necessity pending elections, the finance minister not only injected enough Cash to support growth (particularly Infrastructure) but also infused great Confidence in each section of society to gear up for building a Viksit Bharat in this Amrit Kaal.

Commitment on fiscal consolidation and focus on supply augmentation bolster macro-economic stability and spell good news for bond markets and debt mutual funds. In equity markets, long term investors will take the budget positively while the near-term direction will depend on global cues, incoming data and earnings trajectory."

01 Feb 2024, 06:21:21 PM IST

Shri Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, NSE, gives 10/10 to the Interim Budget 2024-25 

"I give the Interim Budget 10/10. The budget focuses on growth, welfarism and fiscal restraint, while ensuring continuity on policies and taxation. The focus on capacity building through higher spending on hard as well as soft infrastructure and consequently facilitating job creation has continued. At the same time, the budget provides enough for poor, farmers, women, and youth, which in turn bodes well for the overall economic growth, thereby keeping us in a good stead in an otherwise uncertain world. At 5.8%, the revised fiscal deficit for FY23-24 is an improvement from the budget estimate by 10bps. Fiscal consolidation continues to be the front and centre, with the fiscal deficit for FY24-25 brought down to 5.1%, bettering expectations and a commitment of a sub-4.5% target by FY25-26.

The capex outlay has increased by 16.9% to a record high of 11.11 lakh crore, implying 3.4% of GDP—the highest in 26 years, with strong focus on roads, transport, and railways. This implies a CAGR of 27% in the last five-year period. The quality of expenditure has also improved, with capital expenditure now comprising 23.3% of total expenditure—the highest in 30 years.

A social security framework is in place today for the poor and needy with coverage on power, health, housing, cooking gas and financial inclusion. Overall, this is a positive budget for the markets, with continued focus on growth, prudence and transparency."

01 Feb 2024, 06:12:45 PM IST

Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI, analyzes the Interim Budget 2024-25 announcement

"The interim budget has laid out an affirmative action of fiscal glide path towards 4.5% in FY26. The heartening news is that the anticipated tax buoyancy in FY24 excluding the outlier pandemic year is the highest in 7 years. This apart, the budget has laid out reinforced architecture of Big possibilities, creating an all-encompassing action-oriented roadmap to embark upon an arduous yet rewarding journey for each and every Indian, chiefly the fringe and hitherto vulnerable masses, entrepreneurs, agripreneurs and women, making them an equity holder in Viksit Bharat."

01 Feb 2024, 05:56:24 PM IST

Umesh Revankar, Executive Vice Chairman, Shriram Finance, anticipates that the announcements will yield significant advantages

"The interim budget aptly focuses on tourism, agri-based industry, infrastructure, research and innovation, and skilling. It encompasses both social and geographical dimensions and will pave the way for sustainable, inclusive growth. We anticipate that the announcements will yield significant advantages in the near future.

The identification of three major economic railway corridors under PM Gati Shakti underscores policymakers' focus on enhancing logistics efficiency, fostering crucial multi-modal connectivity essential for the success of 'Make in India.' These corridors will drive economic growth, and streamline transportation networks.

The announcement of the creation of a corpus of 1 lakh crore, coupled with 50-year interest-free loans for research and innovation in sunrise domains will accelerate the country's digitalization journey, positioning it as a leader among global digital economies and fostering opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs. The policy emphasis on providing training to MSMEs to enable them to compete globally is a promising step. With a capex target of 11.1 lakh crore for FY25, up by 11.1 percent, the budget reaffirms the government's steadfast commitment to economic growth. Further, the focus on the EV ecosystem, in the form of support for manufacturing and charging infrastructure, is set to catalyze business opportunities and significantly contribute to employment generation."

01 Feb 2024, 05:44:18 PM IST

Sunil Vachani, Executive Chairman, Dixon Technologies and President CEAMA, said

"It is an overall positive Union budget for our country, where fiscal prudence meets visionary aspirations. The reduction in fiscal deficit from 6.4% to 5.9% lays stable groundwork, while the substantial capital expenditure of 10 lakh crore amplifies the government's commitment to infrastructure and innovation, leading to growth. The ambitious goal of achieving an 11% nominal GDP growth seems to set the stage for a dynamic economic landscape, particularly benefiting the consumer electronics, manufacturing, and technology sectors.

The liberation of 25 crore individuals from multi-dimensional poverty aligns with a forward-thinking approach for the country overall, creating an inclusive consumer base that fuels demand for cutting-edge technology.

Budget 2024 ushers in a golden era for the tech-savvy youth, with a 1 lakh crore corpus offering a 50-year interest-free loan, catalyzing innovation and long-term financing. The 'First, Develop India' spirit in FDI inflows and the positive impact of GST on industry compliance further position the technology sector for sustained growth, innovation, and global competitiveness.

I express my gratitude to the Hon’ble Finance Minister for the strategic reduction in imports duties, implemented days before the budget announcement for the mobile manufacturing sector. These duty cuts are bound to enhance the competitiveness for Indian Mobile manufacturers, in both domestic and export markets, rejuvenating the market sentiment.

A significant boost is expected in the Consumer Electronics industry with the creation of 20 million households through the rural housing scheme, reviving demand for products like LED TVs, washing machines and refrigerators."

01 Feb 2024, 05:35:02 PM IST

Pankaj Pandey, Head of Retail Research, ICICI Direct, says that the Union Budget reflects a realistic set of measures

“The Interim Budget has relied on capex led socio-economic growth template while ensuring the fiscal prudence. The government has effectively leveraged the direct benefit transfer to deliver multiple social benefit schemes focussing on GYAM (Gareeb, Yuva, Annadata and Mahila). Capex spending remains one of the focus areas of the government with capex allocation growth of 11.2% YoY in FY25BE to 11.1 lakh crores. We highlight that capex growth is on high base of last 4 years wherein it has tripled resulting in huge multiplier impact on overall economic growth and thus moderation in capex growth is largely on expected lines. The capex to GDP is pegged at all time high of 3.4% (vs. 3.3% in FY24).

On the fiscal front, the glide path on reducing fiscal deficit has been complied with fiscal deficit likely to go down to 5.1% in FY25E vs. 5.8% in FY24. Medium term target of 4.5% fiscal deficit by FY26 is also on track.

The union budget has also further boosted Indian debt market outlook given the impending global bond index inclusion. Lower than anticipated fiscal deficit and gross borrowing puts debt market in sweet spot besides making the proposition attractive for banks specially PSUs.

To sum up, the Union Budget reflects a realistic set of measures to drive growth in Amrutkaal."

01 Feb 2024, 05:24:25 PM IST

K.B. Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia, finds the budget 2024-25 to be encouraging

"Government of India’s continued focus on domestic tourism in the interim Budget 2024-25 is encouraging. Empowering iconic destinations and local entrepreneurs through interest-free loans and quality ratings will elevate India's tourism landscape. The projects to enhance connectivity in the country through the development of airports, railways metro lines, ports in our unexplored island including Lakshadweep, and tourism infrastructure, will enhance demand and generate employment. This is not just a boost for tourism, it's an investment in India's potential. We are optimistic about additional futuristic support from the Government in granting infrastructure status to hospitality and tourism, which will help us achieve a long-awaited status. We foresee that this will have a multiplier impact and drive significant investment from the private sector."

01 Feb 2024, 05:15:31 PM IST

Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, acknowledges the budget 2024-25 with government's sustained focus on travel and tourism

"We acknowledge, with satisfaction, the government's sustained focus on travel and tourism as reaffirmed in the interim budget. The commitment to bolster domestic tourism through initiatives spanning rail and air travel, coupled with the ongoing emphasis on tourism-led destinations, particularly in the realm of island tourism and spiritual tourism, reflects a strategic vision for the long-term growth of the T&T sector.

The allocation of interest-free loans to state governments for the creation of iconic tourist destinations is a noteworthy step. The expansion of airports and the PM Gati Shakti program are pivotal in enhancing connectivity to previously unexplored regional gems. These initiatives will take domestic discovery to farther reaches of the country, thereby empowering local entrepreneurs and creating employment opportunities.

While the specifics are yet to be seen, collaboration between the industry and the government is key to maximizing impact, ensuring quality standards, and fostering sustainable tourism models for an enhanced traveller experience."

01 Feb 2024, 05:08:34 PM IST

V. P. Nandakumar, MD & CEO at Manappuram Finance believes that the budget has laid out the road map for India to become a developed nation

"By giving a new meaning to GDP – governance, development and performance – the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has laid out the road map for India to become a developed nation (Vikasit Bharat) by 2047. Also commendable is the Government’s resolve to stay on the course of fiscal prudence while taking steps to ensure sustainable growth and development on a durable basis. On the whole, the interim budget has ticked most of the right boxes without straying from the fiscal glidepath, despite impending general elections."

01 Feb 2024, 05:00:54 PM IST

G. Pradeepkumar, CEO, Union Asset Management Company says that the estimate of 5.1% for FY25 is significantly better than market expectations

“The budget has sent out strong signals that the next five or ten years would be a period of high growth for the Indian economy. The Finance Minister has done an outstanding job in containing the fiscal deficit in FY24 and even more so in FY25. The estimate of 5.1% for FY25 is significantly better than market expectations. The discipline exercised on government borrowing is another big positive factor. These combined with the possibility of foreign funds flowing in on account of India’s inclusion in the global bond indices, should be a positive factor for bonds. From a mutual fund perspective, this is a very positive signal for both long duration bond funds such as GSec Funds as also for the equity funds in general. The government appears committed to increasing investment in infrastructure and to keeping a tight lid on subsidies both of which augur well for the long term growth of the economy and the stock markets."

01 Feb 2024, 04:52:18 PM IST

Paritosh Kashyap, President & Head of Wholesale Banking Group, Kotak Mahindra Bank analyzes measures announced in the budget 2024-25

“The budget's strategic measures have not only solidified India's status as one of the world’s fastest economy but also paved the way for rapid expansion, positioning the nation on a trajectory to reach $5- trillion mark. The advancements outlined will accentuate the remarkable ascent of India’s equity markets as a the fourth-largest, underscoring the resilience and potential of our economy and the landscape on the global stage. The measures announced have not only contributed to our economic resilience but have also addressed critical sectors such as real estate, logistics, GCCs and many others, which will lead to sustainable growth path. The holistic approach has also acted as a catalyst to foster financial inclusion and a cashless economy in our nation."

01 Feb 2024, 04:44:58 PM IST

Zarin Daruwala, Cluster CEO, India and South Asia markets (Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Standard Chartered Bank, said 

"There are some clear and heartening themes which emerge from the Interim Budget. One is that of “consistency", where the Government has retained focus on the fiscal consolidation by accelerating debt reduction and in continuing its Capex thrust. Both of these, by way of lower interest rates and crowding in respectively, will trigger and help grow private investments.

The second is innovation and sustainability. The rupees one lakh crore corpus setup to provide low cost and long-term financing to sunrise sectors will provide a jumpstart to private sector research and innovation. This innovative spirit continues in the Government’s resolve to meet ‘net-zero’ commitments through the Viability gap funding and financial assistance measures introduced for offshore wind and biomass aggregation.

The plan to blend compressed bio-gas for energy and transport aligns with the Circularity theme adopted by the Government and also leverages on the abundant availability of bio-mass. The proposed payment security mechanism for e-buses will catalyse private capital in this space and measures for coal gasification will drive self-sufficiency and reduces reliance on the international oil markets."

01 Feb 2024, 04:39:32 PM IST

Sundararaman Ramamurthy, MD & CEO, BSE, says that the budget 2024-25 gives room for private capital investment into the growth of India

"This Interim Budget the honorable Finance Minister has once again delivered a responsible, innovative and inclusive budget. This budget lays emphasis on Fiscal products and gives room for private capital investment into the growth of India. Continuing with the trends of the last 10 years, the FM once again lays on the foundation for a very strong path for India with due focus on areas of national importance."

01 Feb 2024, 04:34:50 PM IST

Sanjeev Krishan, Chairperson, PwC in India says that budget lays the foundation for a sustainable future

“This year’s Union Budget strikes a delicate balance between laying the groundwork for India’s bright future (Amrit Kaal) and emphasising responsible action (Kartavya Kaal). The significant increase in capital expenditure underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to addressing India’s core economic needs and boosting economic growth. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s continued focus on infrastructure development, coupled with her emphasis on inclusivity, carries far-reaching potential. This twin-pronged approach promises to propel India’s economic trajectory while ensuring equitable participation and social progress. The budget lays the foundation for a sustainable future, with inclusivity and innovation at its core."

01 Feb 2024, 04:26:05 PM IST

Tapan Ray, MD and Group CEO, GIFT City welcomes extension of tax exemptions decision

"The Union Government's commitment to GIFT IFSC's comprehensive development is commendable, evident in Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman's interim budget. Recognizing the crucial role of GIFT City as a global financial gateway, the decision to extend tax exemptions on specific IFSC unit income, reflects a forward-looking approach. GIFT IFSC welcomes this move, crucial for sustaining ease of doing business and ensuring stability in taxation. This decision aligns with our shared vision for fostering a thriving IFSC ecosystem, contributing to India's economic prowess. We appreciate the government's continued support, emphasizing GIFT IFSC's pivotal role in the global financial landscape."

01 Feb 2024, 04:16:55 PM IST

Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra is pleased with today's Interim Budget 2024-25, here's what he said

"For many years, I have been saying that we create too much drama around the budget and raise expectations of policy announcements to an unrealistically feverish pitch.

The Budget is NOT necessarily the occasion for transformational policy announcements. Those can, and should, happen throughout the year.

Just as it is for all private households, the Budget is an opportunity to plan our finances prudently and with fiscal rectitude. The more we are focussed on living within our means and investing for a robust but sustainable future, the more confidence we will gain with global investors.

Which is why I was pleased with today’s budget.

—It was one of the shortest speeches—Brevity that is welcome and which communicates quiet confidence.

—No populistic measures were announced as has traditionally been expected in pre-election budgets. A welcome, and I hope, permanent approach!

—The fiscal deficit target was better than envisaged. Prudence scored a decisive victory!

—No major Tax and duty changes were announced. Businesses place a high value on stability and predictability and that was evident in this budget.

The really good news was the higher Tax to GDP ratio which has long been hoped for and which cements a strong foundation for fiscal flexibility and aggressive expenditure when it is needed. The FM can and should trumpet this more loudly…

Now, we can focus on getting back to work and executing our plans efficiently while crossing the ‘Setu’ to a more prosperous India."

01 Feb 2024, 04:08:21 PM IST

Gopichand P. Hinduja, Chairman, the Hinduja Group said - A Runway for the Vikasit Bharat Flight to take off

"Interim Budget is both a time for reflection and visioning for the future while managing adroitly the present. Compliments to FM Nirmala Sitharaman for effectively achieving this. She articulated the achievements of the past decade and spelt out the broad roadmap to 2047 while maintaining the path of fiscal rectitude with fiscal deficit targeted at 5.1% in FY 25 and down to 4.5% in FY 26.

The interim budget commendably shunned any populist measures so often resorted to by the governments. But Bharat could certainly do more on its infrastructure CAPEX budgeting which increased nominally by 11%. Some bold measures are needed to increase the annual FDI level of 60bn $ further. The banking and power sector reforms coupled with further impetus on digital infrastructure are imperatives to Vikasit Bharat with improved sovereign rating. Overall, stability and continuity with judicious acceleration are the wheels deployed through this interim budget for taking off this flight. Now, it’s over to July 2024."

01 Feb 2024, 03:54:19 PM IST

Rajagopal Menon, Vice President, WazirX, on digital infrastructure

“We believe crypto and VDAs can be a force multiplier in achieving Viksit Bharat by empowering individuals at the grassroots level. Digital public infrastructure and the PM's aspiration for 'Anusandhan' will benefit from integrating provisions for long term financing of domestic crypto projects given how India is at a pivotal phase in the Crypto revolution. We expect these developments to factor in the government's agenda along with our existing requests for a reduction in TDS rates to 0.01% and offset of losses for traders."

01 Feb 2024, 03:46:05 PM IST

Sarbvir Singh, Joint Group CEO, PB Fintech believes fiscal consolidation to ensure that the economy is financially prudent

" The transformative initiatives outlined in the Interim Budget 2024 are a monumental leap towards a progressive India. The vision of developed India or Viksit Bharat by 2047 aims to improve people’s capabilities and empower them to build a self-reliant nation. The launch of Amrit Kaal heralded a new era of sustainable and inclusive development and steered India towards economic prosperity. By focusing on the welfare and upliftment of key population segments like women, underprivileged, farmers and the youth, we have set a clear roadmap for the country’s development. Embracing the 'Digital India' initiative propels us into a global digital forefront. Our commitment sparks a revolution in connectivity, accessibility, and innovation, paving the way for a tech-powered future. As a country, we continue on the path of fiscal consolidation to ensure that the economy is financially prudent which reflects a positive sentiment for the nation’s economic outlook. Together, these strategic steps fortify our resolve to build India into an innovative and empowered country."

01 Feb 2024, 03:30:10 PM IST

Sahil Kapoor, Head - Products and Market Strategist at DSP Mutual Fund says budget prepared keeping in mind that global fiscal expenditure may decrease this year

"It is noteworthy is that this is a budget entirely focused on fiscal consolidation and not populism, which was expected to be in focus because of the upcoming general elections. The most pleasing words from the budget: "No changes in taxation." It's a budget that focuses on the continuation of policy and doesn't introduce any surprises. It's a budget prepared keeping in mind that global fiscal expenditure may decrease this year, and the global monetary policy may tighten. The government has assumed an increase in total expenditure of 6.1% YoY in FY25. This is the lowest growth in 8 years, and less than half of the 8-year average of 12.4%. The budget has a negative fiscal impulse, with the gross fiscal deficit contracting by Rs. 49,000 crores and the primary deficit reducing by Rs. 1.8 lakh crores. The bond market has rejoiced with a drop in yields, and rightfully so. Gross and net borrowing for FY25 are lower than FY24. The fiscal deficit is expected at 5.1% for FY25, a reduction of 0.7%. With India getting included in global bond indices and the supply of Govt. Securities estimated to be lower, it will lift a major hurdle for the RBI to exercise a more neutral to easy monetary policy - advantage duration funds."

01 Feb 2024, 03:21:20 PM IST

Ajit Banerjee, Chief Investment Officer, Shriram Life Insurance says prudent budget aimed at bringing fiscal stability in the country

"The interim budget may categorised as a financially prudent budget targeted to achieve the fiscal consolidation in the long term. It clearly stays away from presenting a populist budget in lieu of the upcoming general elections and this exhibits the confidence levels of the present central government.

The Governments focus on developing power sector through host of renewable energy initiatives, upgrading railway infrastructure to support Gati Shakti programme and boost affordable housing sector would certainly act as a catalyst in achieving the dream of Prime Minister for leading the country into Vikshit Bharat by 2047. The Government also lays emphasis on developing woman empowerment further and making them more financially empowered.

The Government gross borrowing number at 14.13 lacs crore though bond issuance are kept lower after some heavy lifting it has done in fast few years also highlights that it expects the Private Sector now to take the lead in initiating the capex programme as a stable macro environment in the country.

To conclude it’s prudent budget aimed at bringing fiscal stability in the country."

01 Feb 2024, 03:13:55 PM IST

KVS Manian, Whole Time Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, positive on fiscal consolidation path

“The finance minister has rightly chosen the path of fiscal consolidation. The aim to bring the fiscal deficit down to 5.1% of GDP for FY25 is lower than general expectations of 5.2-5.4% and that is very heartening. The minister is showing strong intentions, ahead of the election year, to adhere to the fiscal consolidation path will be well received by rating agencies as well as the global investors that are eyeing India as an attractive investment destination."

01 Feb 2024, 03:04:25 PM IST

Rashmi Saluja, Executive Chairperson, Religare Enterprises analyzes growth of women in workforce

“The Interim Union Budget reflects the government's commitment to bringing about positive change and ensuring equal opportunities for all. It highlights the significant milestones achieved towards women's empowerment and the financial inclusion of marginalized communities. The Interim Budget, in conjunction with prior legislative and policy endeavours, signifies a united effort towards fostering a society that is both inclusive and empowered. Women's rising participation in the workforce and the noteworthy 28% surge in female enrolment in STEM courses over the past decade reflects commendable progress. The allocation of over 70% of houses built under the PM Awas Yojana Grameen to women beneficiaries, either through single ownership or through joint ownership, will prove to be a monumental step in the long term. This initiative will undoubtedly improve the financial independence of women. Various social reforms until now, including the reservation of one-third of seats for women in the Parliament and state assemblies, will continue to empower women and contribute significantly to more equitable and representative governance. The Budget’s overall focus on uplifting the status of women will contribute significantly to the nation's progress."

01 Feb 2024, 02:55:04 PM IST

Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc reacts positively on the budget 2024

"We commend the Interim Budget for its focus on unlocking India's growth potential and building a sustainable future. The 2024 interim budget unfolds a visionary roadmap for 'Viksit Bharat,' with INR 11,11,111 crore, infrastructure allocation, constituting 3.4% of the GDP, is a game-changer for sectors such as metals, logistics, and green energy. Initiatives like railway corridors, metro expansion, Vande Bharat trains, and new airports will bolster efficiency and create jobs. Modernization of airports, ports, and greenfield development further galvanize our infrastructure backbone, thus aiding employment for the youth and GDP growth simultaneously.

The emphasis on rooftop solar aligns with the 'Green Growth' vision, propelling India towards net zero. Green energy projects, offshore wind, and the EV ecosystem expansion mark significant steps towards sustainability. This will stimulate demand for critical minerals. We are optimistic about the transformative impact of these initiatives, boosting demand for galvanized steel among other metals and minerals across infrastructure and green projects."

01 Feb 2024, 02:44:45 PM IST

Dinesh Arjun, Co-founder and CEO, Raptee Energy on EV ecosystem

"Various initiatives announced by the FM today clearly demonstrate the government's intention to further accelerate EV adoption and also generate significant employment opportunities for the youth. It is encouraging to see the focus on research and innovation to further grow the EV ecosystem. We believe that as the govt rolls out details of the scheme in the coming days for growing the EV public charging infrastructure, the availability of public chargers across the country will significantly grow and EV companies like ours will find higher market acceptance from its consumers and also attract investor interest. This will also break the ‘range anxiety’ , the biggest barrier for EV adoption in our country. The government's support in providing financial assistance and support to EV manufacturing will encourage entrepreneurs to do deeper innovation in the battery management segment and other technologies. Growth in EV charging infra will also generate employment opportunities for the youth as companies will be on a look out for people with technical know-how of running and maintaining charging infra. EV companies will also enjoy a deeper vendor ecosystem providing battery and other components for building make in India EV vehicles".

01 Feb 2024, 02:34:35 PM IST

Stoxbazar Founder Ashish Kumar analyzes Interim Budget's key points

According to Ashish Kumar, smallcase Manager & Founder Stoxbazar:

'Messaging Aimed at Elections': A closer look at the white paper comparing 2014-15 with present achievements and its implications for the upcoming elections.

'Tax Relief for 10 Million': Withdrawal of pending tax demands up to 25,000 till 2009-10 and 10,000 till 2014-15 to benefit a significant number of taxpayers.

'Steadfast on Income Tax': No changes in income tax, signaling government confidence and stability in the interim budget.

'Fiscal Discipline Surpasses Expectations': A positive surprise with a fiscal deficit of 5.8%, beating expectations and setting a target of 5.1% for 2024-25.

'Productive Spending on Cap-Ex': A welcomed 11% increase in capital expenditure to around 11.1 lakh crore, emphasizing productive spending.

'Green Initiatives for Energy': Rooftop solarisation to benefit 1 crore households, offering up to 300 units of free electricity and potential savings of Rs. 15,000 - Rs. 18,000.

'Empowering Electric Vehicles': Opportunities in entrepreneurship and employment through the promotion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

'Boosting Post-Harvest Activities': Government commitment to private and public investment in post-harvest activities, including storage, supply chains, processing, marketing, and branding.

'Holistic Maternal and Child Health Care': Integration of various schemes under one comprehensive program for maternal and child health care.

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