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Home > Lifestyle News > Culture News > Article > Budget 2024 evokes mixed reactions from hospitality healthcare and AI sectors

Budget 2024 evokes mixed reactions from hospitality, healthcare and AI sectors

Updated on: 01 February,2024 03:42 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Nascimento Pinto |

The interim Budget 2024 has brought joy to stakeholders in the tourism industry with its promotion of travel, while healthcare professionals also applaud the initiatives. However, the hospitality and Artificial Intelligence sectors remain sceptical, expressing concerns about lack of clarity

Budget 2024 evokes mixed reactions from hospitality, healthcare and AI sectors

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Union Budget 2024 today. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

India’s Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the interim Budget for 2024-25 earlier today, emphasising that the government's top priorities are the welfare of the poor, women, youth, and farmers. Here are a few reactions from various sectors, including food and hospitality, travel and tourism, as well as health and Artificial Intelligence. 

Also read: Budget Session 2024: Key highlights of interim budget

Pranav Rungta, co-founder and director of Nksha restaurant and VP of National Restaurant Association of India 
Notably, significant announcements were made for the travel and tourism industry, creating opportunities that will, in turn, open doors for the restaurant sector. Finance Minister Sitharaman highlighted the establishment of a framework for rating tourist centres based on the quality of facilities and services, coupled with the provision of long-term interest-free loans to states for financing such development. This is poised to generate numerous prospects for employment and entrepreneurship in the tourism and hospitality domain.

I am anticipating the forthcoming comprehensive and transformative Union Budget in July when the newly elected government will present a detailed roadmap for our pursuit of ‘Viksit Bharat'; there are expectations to address key concerns of the industry. These include the restoration of the GST Input Tax Credit, reinstating the Service Export from India Scheme, establishing a dedicated Food Services Ministry with industry status, reducing GST on eco-friendly materials, addressing GST on commercial rentals, rationalising licences and NOCs, ensuring equitable e-commerce policies, extending operating hours, implementing targeted subsidy schemes for SMEs, and introducing an employee welfare plan.

Also read: Budget 2024: Govt will encourage vaccination for girls to prevent cervical cancer

Sanjay Sethi, CEO and Managing Director, Chalet Hotels Limited
Overall, a good nation-first budget. However, the hospitality industry is disappointed that infra status for the industry did not come through. A missed opportunity for an industry that can significantly grow contribution to the GDP and employment as well as the much-needed foreign exchange for the country. 

Ramachandra Bhat, director of finance at Clarks Exotica
The Interim Budget shows promise in the proposed projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities in the islands, particularly Lakshadweep. There is potential for these initiatives to enhance destination allure and act as catalysts for significant employment generation within the hospitality sector. I am anticipating heightened demand for accommodation and services, and thus positive upswing for the industry.

There is a need to navigate challenges such as sustainable development and infrastructure requirements, emphasising prudent planning and collaboration between the government and private sector entities. 

Also read: Budget 2024: FM Sitharaman’s shortest budget speech, mentions PM Modi 8 times

I am happy to see the finance minister's recognition of opportunities for local entrepreneurship, including in spiritual tourism. Looking ahead, I am confident that local businesses and entrepreneurs within the hospitality sector are poised to play a pivotal role in showcasing indigenous experiences, promising not only a substantial economic impact but also fostering community engagement and sustainable tourism practices.

Dr Rajeev Boudhankar, Medical Director, Holy Family Hospital, Bandra 
The Budget has been an encouragement for healthcare. We as healthcare professionals are happy to see the government initiatives redirected towards building and developing more medical schools across the spectrum. The provision for education and availability for cervical cancer vaccination for the young age group will also equip healthcare professionals to eventually reduce the cases of the cancer in women, the most vulnerable population of our country.

Also read: Budget 2024: Rs 789 crore allocated for Mumbai urban transport projects

The 13 per cent increase in budget allocation towards healthcare is a promising move and will help our country take a more positive direction towards the goal of universal healthcare. India is on the cusp of becoming a global leader in healthcare research and development, with the national healthcare mission aligning better year on year and the advancement in healthcare education and technologies, we’re certain that India will be the cornerstone for breaking through the current global challenges across the spectrum.

Rustom Lawyer, founder & CEO of Augnito
The interim Budget 2024’s focus on growth and innovation creates a promising landscape for both healthcare and technology in India. The projected 7 per cent economic growth and $5 trillion GDP within three years paint a positive picture, and initiatives like the ₹1 lakh crore corpus for low-interest R&D loans provide fertile ground for homegrown solutions. 

Expanding healthcare coverage to ASHA and Anganwadi workers is commendable, but the absence of concrete AI plans leaves some uncertainty. Perhaps these will be addressed in the July budget, but the focus on "deep tech" for defence suggests the government recognises the strategic importance of such technologies. 
Encouragingly, the budget utilises existing hospital infrastructure to increase medical college capacity, addressing a crucial need. Additionally, unifying maternal and child health schemes streamlines implementation, while the "U-Win" platform for immunisation management demonstrates a continued commitment to public health. 

IN PHOTOS: Budget trivia 2024: Facts you must know about India’s Finance Ministers who have presented five full budgets

Overall, the budget lays a strong foundation for future investment in both healthcare and technology. While we await further clarity on AI, the emphasis on research, infrastructure, and accessibility creates exciting opportunities for progress. 

Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO of Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd, Cordelia Cruises
With the interim Budget 2024-25 now unveiled, Cordelia Cruises welcomes the strategic initiatives outlined, recognising the pivotal role tourism plays in driving economic growth. Cordelia Cruises remains committed to our dedication to offering unparalleled maritime experiences, and we eagerly anticipate leveraging the opportunities presented by the budget to further elevate India's position as a global tourism destination. 

Devika Saigal, CEO of M2M Ferries and Mandwa Jetty
Tourism being the main focus of the interim Budget 2024 is welcome news for the Indian travel industry as a whole as it’s a major part of India’s overall economic growth. The rapid pace at which the new airports, super express-ways and roads that are being built with modern technologies are sure to improve the connectivity and help discover new tourism destinations which were previously difficult to access.

As one of India’s leading ferry operators, we do hope that waterway travel and tourism is also focussed on to help realise its true potential. With such a vast network of waterways in India, an improved waterway travel network can reduce the pressure on our growing road network infrastructure and further reduce the carbon dioxide emissions. The operating expenses for a Ropax is substantially high and the majority is attributed to the fuel costs where the central and state taxes account for over 40 percent of the costs. A reduction or an exemption from these taxes for a new and growing Ropax Industry can trigger a chain reaction of reducing the overall costs and hence making water transport even more affordable for mass transportation. 

Also Read: Budget 2024: Maharashtra gets record Rs 15,554 crore for rail projects

Gaurav Mehta, CEO and founder of Jaipur Watch Company
In the transformative landscape of India's consumer industry, the 2024-25 budget is a pivotal opportunity to bridge the urban-rural consumption gap. Anticipating heightened consumer demand, strategic resource allocation towards optimised inventory management, enhanced customer experience, and impactful digital initiatives becomes paramount. Aligning with evolving consumer expectations, a commitment to sustainability is essential. Recognising the indispensable role of technology in retail and e-commerce, incentivising innovative digital advancements is crucial. 

To fortify this vision, measures such as tax cuts for lower income brackets and comprehensive reforms in customs duties, export promotion, GST rationalisation, and sustainability incentives are imperative. Prioritising retail and key sectors, coupled with a focus on growth-oriented policies, investment facilitation, and global competitiveness, forms the foundation.  By fostering technological advancements, improving logistics, and nurturing e-commerce, the 2024-25 budget charts a course for a resilient, inclusive, and forward-looking consumer economy in India.  

Also Read: Budget 2024: Big announcements, little clarity

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