Budget Special

Interim Budget 2024-2025 nurtures green growth, skill development, and energy

Budget 2024-2025

The Interim Union Budget for 2024-2025 unveils a roadmap, emphasising fiscal consolidation, infrastructure, and green growth. The initiatives include upskilling, green energy projects, rooftop solar and a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, traversing a path in India’s future.

The Interim Budget 2024-2025 prioritises green growth and sustainability, aligning with the HVAC industry’s focus on energy efficiency. The budget focused on fiscal consolidation, infrastructure, agriculture, green growth, and railways. However, no changes were made in the tax rates. , Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister, stated the next 5 years will be years to realise the goal of becoming a developed country by 2047. She added, “The Trinity of democracy, demography and diversity can fulfil the aspirations of every Indian.” The people of India are looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism. With the ‘whole of nation’ approach of ‘Sabka Prayas’, the country strides towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, commits to ‘Panch Pran’, and lays solid foundations for the ‘Amrit Kaal’—the features of the budget focus on bringing continuous sustainable growth to the economy. 

The corporate tax rate decreased from 30 percent to 22 percent for existing domestic companies and 15 per cent for certain new manufacturing companies.

Skill India mission

The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). It will boost the PLI and Make in India programs. This approach may promote the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP from 17 percent to 25 percent by 2047

It is an important policy priority for our government to ensure timely and adequate finances, relevant technologies, and appropriate training for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) to grow and compete globally. Orienting the regulatory environment to facilitate their growth will be an important element.

Pankaj Shroff, CFO of Porter, highlights key observations on the Interim Budget 2024-2025, emphasising its focus on inclusive growth and empowerment. He applauds the substantial impact of the Skill India Mission, which has trained 1.4 crore youth, demonstrating a strong dedication to skill development and uplifting the nation’s workforce. Additionally, introducing a one lakh crore rupees financing corpus is seen as a catalyst for the private sector to significantly enhance research and innovation in emerging sectors, playing a pivotal role in the nation’s capability building and overall development.

Shroff also commends the positive outcomes of the PM Gati Shakti initiative, noting that it has enhanced logistics efficiency and lowered costs, thereby promoting economic sustainability.

 Innovation and technology

New-age technologies and data are enabling new economic opportunities and facilitating the provision of high-quality services, including those at the ‘bottom of the pyramid. FM announced a corpus of rupees, one lakh crore, that will be established with a fifty-year interest-free loan. The corpus will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenors and low or nil interest rates. This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation in sunrise domains.

Green energy initiatives

Union Budget 2024, highlighted ‘Green Growth’ The finance minister has allocated significant resources to boost the green energy sector, focusing on harnessing India’s vast offshore wind energy potential.

Towards meeting commitment for ‘net-zero’ by 2070, a few measures include: ‘Viability gap funding will be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for the initial capacity of one giga-watt. A coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT will be set up by 2030. This will also help reduce imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia. Phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas (CBG) in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated. Also, financial assistance will be provided for procuring biomass aggregation machinery to support collection.

A new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched to promote green growth. This will provide environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, biopharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs. This scheme will also help in transformation based on regenerative principles.

Ravichandran Purushothaman, President of Danfoss India, commends the government’s forward-thinking approach to promoting green and sustainable economic growth in the interim Budget. The introduced measures, such as viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, support for electrification, and the promotion of compressed biogas, reflect the nation’s dedication to establishing a cleaner energy ecosystem. These initiatives are expected to foster innovation and growth within the renewable energy sector. The budget’s emphasis on agriculture, food processing, and investments in efficient supply chains aligns with Danfoss’s commitment to providing sustainable solutions for the Cold Chain sector. The focus on urbanization, including initiatives like Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat, and the development of residential infrastructure powered by solar energy, resonates with Danfoss’s goal of contributing to India’s green transition through energy-efficient technologies.

Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc Limited states, “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 metals, logistics, and green energy sectors. Initiatives like railway corridors, metro expansion, Vande Bharat trains, and new airports will bolster efficiency and create jobs. Modernisation of airports, ports, and greenfield development further galvanises the infrastructure backbone, thus simultaneously aiding employment for the youth and GDP growth.

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.

Rooftop solarisation

Anil G Verma, Executive Director and CEO of Godrej & Boyce, praises the well-thought-out nature of the Interim Budget 2024, recognising it as a significant step towards achieving the vision of a Developed India by 2047. The noteworthy increase in capital expenditure to Rs 11.11 trillion, constituting 3.4 percent of the GDP, is a positive driver for infrastructure-led GDP growth. Verma anticipates this will attract private sector investments, especially with the observed consumer sentiment and demand improvements. The budget’s focus on sustainability through initiatives like rooftop solarisation, E-bus adoption, and capacity enhancements in renewable energy and coal gasification aligns with the imperative to address the impact of greenhouse gas.

Founder and Chairman of Pinnacle Industries & EKA Mobility, Sudhir Mehta, emphasises the comprehensive approach to sustainable development demonstrated by introducing the rooftop solarisation scheme. He applauds additional efforts, such as establishing a new biomanufacturing and bio-foundry plan and gradually blending CNG and biogas. He foresees a positive impact on Make in India and domestic manufacturing. According to Sandeep Bhammer, Founder and Co-Managing Partner of Green Frontier Capital, the budget reaffirms the government’s commitment to tackling climate change, particularly by providing electricity via rooftop solarisation. He highlights the dual benefits of reducing environmental impact and alleviating household financial burdens, aligning with global sustainability goals.

The initiative to implement a solar rooftop project for one crore houses is recognised for delivering financial savings and ensuring easier access to energy for an improved quality of life. Satish Kumar Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of Kamdhenu Limited, applauds the budget for housing needs, especially for the middle class, with schemes to build 20 million houses for the poor and support the middle class in buying or building homes.

Hemant Khurana, Managing Director of Mortars and Homes business at Saint-Gobain India, sees the budget as growth-oriented, focusing on green growth. He notes the opportunities it presents for the Saint-Gobain MyHome business to expand its network, offer innovative building solutions, and contribute to making homes more accessible and sustainable. The increased presumptive taxation threshold simplifies compliance for dealers and retail partners.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, appreciates the emphasis on developing tourism as an excellent initiative to spur economic development in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. He sees the proposals for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities as beneficial for generating employment. The magazine also acknowledges the budget’s focus on infrastructure development and initiatives for women, youth, farmers, and weaker sections of society. The proposal to add two crore additional houses under the PM Awas Yojana (Gramin) over the next five years is seen as a catalyst for growth in rural areas.

Rohan Shravan, Founder and CEO of Tresa Motors, commends the Interim Budget for its strides towards a greener future. He encourages the vision of rooftop solarisation and free electricity, recognising their potential to empower consumers and contribute to energy security.

The budget emphasis on rooftop solarisation, renewable energy, and infrastructure development presents significant opportunities for the HVAC sector to contribute to eco-friendly solutions and enhance energy-efficient technologies in building systems.

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