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Budget 2023: A Harbinger Of AI Spring The insistence on an AI-driven economy not only reflects the government's vision for India's future but is also a bold statement about India's growing AI might at present

By Manish Gupta

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The Union Budget 2023 is a comprehensive financial statement that is directed towards ensuring more growth of India's already vibrant start-up ecosystem. It is commendable that the government has chosen to pursue technology-driven growth for the third consecutive year. Increased use of technological solutions as a result of this transformation will provide a significant push to India's economic stature.

Unlocking a data-driven economy will be essential for India's growth and is a positive development. The announcement of the Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence with emphasis on "Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India" coupled with PMKVY 4.0 will usher in a new era of AI revolution in the country and would be something that we as a conversational AI company look forward to contributing. It may look like an exaggeration now but the budget for 2023 is the beginning of an AI spring.

The insistence on an AI-driven economy not only reflects the government's vision for India's future but is also a bold statement about India's growing AI might at present. The emphasis couldn't have arrived at a less opportune moment. India has a fantastic opportunity to lead the world in artificial intelligence as it benefits from a huge demographic dividend with a young labour force that is ever-expanding and is already at the forefront of AI with the third rank in AI-related publications internationally. The launch of a unified skill India digital platform will provide a continuous stream of skilled workforce, which is an incredibly important aspect for the sustained growth of any technologically advanced country.

The government's initiative to establish 100 5G laboratories and the National Data Governance Bill will create several avenues for economic growth and employment generation. The extension of tax holiday for start-ups by one more year and the increase in the benefit of carrying forward losses for startups to 10 years will provide a much-needed thrust to growing enterprises. The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme and National Data Governance Policy will prove to be a blessing in disguise, particularly when the global economy is facing major upheavals, as they aim to encourage young entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, to bring innovative and affordable solutions. The continuing prioritisation of the economic empowerment of women deserves applause from all quarters as well.

Economic empowerment of India's women will add more diversity to the composition of national income as well as drive women-centric innovations. The mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 will have far-reaching positive outcomes, especially for women working in rural parts of the country.

In all manner, this year's budget takes into consideration the growth of everyone at every socioeconomic level. An encouraging move that would reinforce the foundation of India's economic as well as societal transformation is a 20 per cent increase from the previous year in the corpus for the MSME Credit Guarantee Scheme. The hon'ble finance minister deserves every praise for putting forth a budget that takes care of both popular and pragmatic sentiments.

Manish Gupta

co-founder and CEO, REZO.AI

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