Budget 2024 Expectations: Policies to Promote Ease of Doing Business

Budget 2024 Expectations: Policies to Promote Ease of Doing Business

By: WE Staff | Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Kairavi Mehta, CEO & Executive Director, V. K. Industrial Corporation Limited (VKICL), Gunjan Malhotra, Director, Komaki Electric Division, and Prasanna Anireddy, VP of Engineering, Progress share their pre-budget expectations with us. They highlight critical points such as policy changes to reduce the taxation on EV batteries, Skill Development for Women in STEM, and much more.

Announcement of the Union Budget is one of the most highly anticipated events for business communities across the country. The Finance Minister addresses the nation on February 1, every year and shares the changes in finance policies for various industry sectors.

We spoke to women leaders from the field of engineering, steel distribution, and electric vehicle manufacturing to gauge their thoughts and expectations from the budget which will impact their respective fields.

From policy changes to reduce the taxation on EV batteries, to crafting policies to render support by subsidizing renewable energy projects, these women leaders share thought-provoking insights on their pre-budget expectations. We also get a glimpse of the expected policy changes that could motivate more women to foray into STEM fields and improve inclusion.

Here is what these women leaders had to say:

Kairavi Mehta, CEO & Executive Director, V. K. Industrial Corporation Limited (VKICL)

“As we eagerly await the FY 2024-25 Union Budget, we are keenly anticipating measures focused on infrastructure spending, boosting agriculture, promoting mining and shipbuilding, implementing an automobile scrap policy, and, most importantly, supporting and subsidizing renewable energy projects. These policies will support long-term steel demand growth and further initiatives to promote domestic manufacturing, benefiting sheet and plate demand.

We hope the budget will address critical areas, such as decreasing dependency on imports of special steels that are currently not manufactured in India. Additionally, we anticipate the introduction of policies to promote green steel and sustainable practices in the manufacturing of steel.

Furthermore, there is an urgent need for policies that streamline the ease of doing business in the sector. We advocate for policies that not only drive industrial growth but also encourage diversity and inclusion."

Gunjan Malhotra, Director, Komaki Electric Division

“India's electric vehicle sector reached 1.5-million-unit sales in 2023, marking a 46% year-on-year growth. The demand for electric vehicles has surged by over 100% since 2017. At this juncture, when the industry is on the cusp of a green transition, EV players seek constant support from the Finance Minister and expect that she will offer a basket full of goodies in the upcoming interim Union budget 2024.

First, the industry is seeking a favorable taxation system, particularly addressing the high GST on batteries, contributing to the higher initial cost of EVs. Reducing GST on batteries could lower EV costs and allow manufacturers to allocate more resources to research and development. The industry also expects an extension of the Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) subsidy, which has provided relief for over 12.16 lakh EVs.”

Prasanna Anireddy, VP of Engineering, Progress

“As we eagerly anticipate the unveiling of Union Budget 2024, I see a significant opportunity for the Finance Minister to prioritize the empowerment of women leaders as they can accelerate growth at the economic forefront. A focused commitment to skill development programs and mentorship initiatives in the upcoming budget would not only boost their confidence but also contribute to the creation of a diverse and resilient business ecosystem.

Furthermore, I underscore the importance of fostering an environment where women leaders, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), can thrive. Encouraging women across India to pursue STEM careers through scholarships, research grants, and educational programs will increase their representation in the workforce and will pave the way for innovation and inclusivity to go hand in hand.

Inclusive growth for women should be at the forefront of Budget 2024, ensuring increased access to education, healthcare, safety, asset ownership, and financial stability. By investing in skill-based initiatives, such as coding bootcamps for rural girls and upskilling programs for returning professionals, we can address talent gaps and pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future."