Follow Us:
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Live now

Budget 2020 Expectations LIVE Updates: Here’s what market experts, corporates and economists expect

Budget 2020 Expectations LIVE Updates: Catch the LIVE updates on budget expectations from various corporates, economists, investors and market experts.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 31, 2020 11:58:52 am
This is going to be the second Union Budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 2.0 government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as of Nirmala Sitharaman as the Finance Minister.

We are in the last week in the run-up to the upcoming Union Budget 2020. Amid concerns over rising inflation and slowing GDP growth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her second Union Budget on February 1, 2020.

Last week, the Ministry of Finance held its conventional Halwa ceremony at their headquarters located in the North Block in New Delhi, thereby marking the beginning of the budget printing process in the ministry.

Expectations of relief in Income Tax slabs and incentives for home buyers among other stimuli to boost the economy are being anticipated from the Union Budget.

All the industries, market experts, economists and financial experts have their eyes set to the day when the budget is tabled in the Lok Sabha.

We take a look at what the India Inc and other experts in market and economy expect from the upcoming Budget 2020 in this LIVE blog:

Live Blog

Watch this space for all the budget expectations from different corporates, economists and market experts:


    11:58 (IST)31 Jan 2020
    Arun Nagpal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Mrida Group

    Macro policy level:

    "No doubt doubling farmer incomes is a commendable goal, but there is first and foremost, a need for a robust mechanism that fairly and at least reasonably accurately measures the actual increase in farmer incomes and reports it in a transparent manner. In essence, there needs to be a sense of accountability towards this objective, across the board.

    Another core issue that needs to be addressed is not farmer incomes per se, but disparity in these incomes as well. There needs to be a visible, concerted effort at bridging the gap between the haves and the have nots, and ensuring that small and marginal farmers, who make up by far the bulk of India’s farmer base, are specifically addressed."

    Operational level:

    "Using the KVK’s – Krishi Vigyan Kendras as a tool to reach out to the farmer to facilitate (a) knowledge dissemination and practical inputs on the ground and (b) convergence of various Central and State schemes at the last mile and the farmer’s doorstep.

    A well-defined, massive outreach program ensuring that a single window facility is available to the farmer at the last mile is a critical requirement. The Budget would do well to provide a specific outlay and defined objectives for such a program, targeted at creating pockets of excellence across different crops and in different parts of the country, which actually demonstrate significantly higher income enhancement than the national average - these pockets of excellence could then be horizontally deployed and scaled up quickly thereafter.

    Leveraging technology in the agriculture sector – a specific outlay that marries technology with the available knowledge base to address issues such as the vagaries of weather, irrigation facilities, crop inputs and so on. The objective would be to develop an integrated system that not only makes critical information available on a real time basis to the farmer, but also facilitates efficient utilization of scarce resources – drip irrigation, seed treatment, threshers, and so on.

    Facilitating investment in a more holistic approach to the agriculture value chain – from weather forecasting to Agri inputs through the sowing-cultivation-harvesting cycle, to agri processing and value addition, and finally the supply chain – including storage, cold chains, and market linkages. In fact, if we can have Technology Parks, IT Parks, Industrial Hubs and the like, why not a specific outlay to set up large, integrated Agri Hubs which will span the entire value chain from farm-to-fork? Combined with the policy level initiatives as proposed, and the on ground operational inputs as outlined, these agri hubs could well be a harbinger of real change."

    18:03 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Neel Juriasingani, CEO & Co-founder, Datacultr - a fintech startup

    "We are optimistic that with this Union Budget 2020, the government will come up with some major policy and structural reforms towards strengthening their key programs - Digital India, Startup India. The upcoming budget needs to emphasize the importance of better digital infrastructure by improving internet connectivity in rural areas and establishing centers of excellence for research & training.

    "We are hopeful that the upcoming budget will have policies and recommendations that will further strengthen the ecosystem. We also expect that this time the union budget will push institutions to disburse more funds to tech start-ups that are in the space of financial inclusion and aim to have an impact with disruptive technology at the bottom of the pyramid."

    17:53 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Kushal Nahata, CEO & Co-founder, FarEye - a logistics company

    "It will be welcoming news if the government plans to invest more in digital infrastructure to enhance connectivity in the rural parts of the country. Connectivity is extremely important to ensure logistics visibility and mitigate transportation risks. A greater focus on mandating the digitalization of certain key accounting, billing, and logistics processes are also needed to boost compliance and tackle corruption better. Another important reason as to why this budget should focus on and invest in digital technologies is ensuring greener logistics practices. Modern logistics management tools can empower businesses to drastically reduce fuel consumption and hence shrink their carbon footprint.

    We are expecting that the government will initiate further investments in the National Centers for Artificial Intelligence and AI hubs that will help the startup ecosystem garner the benefits of these technologies. Besides, we also expect the government to expedite the development process of projects like the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC)."

    17:42 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Munira Savai, Country Manager at QAD India

    "For budget 2020, the government needs to show commitment to support the manufacturing sector by introducing favourable policies and also investing in Infrastructure. Further, incentivizing the use of emerging technologies like 5G, IoT, AI, etc. for the development of a strong and resilient domestic Manufacturing Sector is imperative. Also, in the forthcoming budget, the government can plan to embrace and adopt disruptive technologies to enhance efficient governance with e-citizen services."

    17:37 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Deepak Kagliwal, Director & Head, Sales and Marketing at Blazeclan Technologies

    “We believe that empowering businesses by introducing business-friendly policies and tax reformation will help drive growth and development for the country. The proposition of providing Rs 500 crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by the committee appointed by RBI is one such effort if implemented will enable businesses to effectively operate with ease. Technology, as a sector has a potential to be the strong arm of the Indian economy, hence the government should invest more towards building indigenous technology solution, along with defined regulations to foster growth. We at Blazeclan Technologies, are optimistic about the upcoming announcement and wish to support the government in our capacity to make India, a digitally first nation."

    17:33 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Akshita Gupta, Co-Founder and CMO at ABL Workspaces - a Delhi-based co-working spaces company

    “Compliances for start-ups’ is a major concern. Most young entrepreneurs, with conviction in their ideas, jump into the business blindly, later realising the amount of efforts that goes into putting together monthly GST returns, TDS filings, PF, ESI, etc., along with that different mandatory audits is a real focus diverter. Entrepreneurs need to focus on their core area of expertise and only restructuring compliances can enable that. Start-ups’ need more support in indirect taxes. Thus, we feel TDS should be 2% for coworking sector as the spaces are on rent and overall margins of coworking operators in most cases are less than 10%.”

    17:26 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Arjun Bajaj, Founder of Shinco India - a domestic TV manufacturer

    "We expect that TVs in 32 inches and above sizes to come in the 18% GST slab instead of the current 28% as TV is not considered a sin product in the current GST slab. The government should take additional steps to improve the infrastructure of the nation to help the manufacturers and the sellers in faster deliveries as well as setting up bigger and advanced manufacturing units. Also from the aspect of Indian manufacturing brands, we hope for the government to take some measures to reduce the input cost on the imported components to compete with the rising upcoming opportunities for the technology giants in India. Due to no open cell manufacturing plant in India, the customs duty should be zero."

    17:19 (IST)29 Jan 2020
    Akash Sinha, Co-Founder and CEO, Cashfree - a business payments platform

    "As one of the fastest growing FinTech markets in the world, we have a lot of expectation from this year’s Union Budget, owing to several measures issued by the government to create a sound and profitable environment for start-ups while enabling Digital India.

    With the announcement of zero MDR on UPI and Rupay cards, the government’s vision is to foster digital transactions in the country. We are hoping that the government will relax its stand on zero MDR given that banks and other service providers could be discouraged from providing merchants in rural areas with payment infrastructure and digital payment options, since the complete withdrawal of these charges would make it difficult for them to absorb the costs.

    While there have been several moves made to simplify taxes, compliance and regulations, we are looking forward to a policy framework that enhances the ease of conducting business for startups in India. To address the current economic climate, we anticipate a further slash on the corporate tax slab, of 22 per cent, for startups, to encourage new and existing ventures, as well as the continuation of the benefits of the waiver on Angel Tax for DPIIT registered startups."

    20:38 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Expect govt to bring policies for fast deployment of Startup India fund: Being Chef MD

    Shubham Maheshwari, CEO and MD at Being Chef, said the Budget would be keenly watched by the startup industry in India on the back of poor performance by startups in the last quarter due to the economic slowdown.

    "The setback to the consumption pattern of Indians coupled with a sentiment wave of the slowdown is the biggest challenge for the startups. We expect our Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to bring some schemes to boost up the spending capacity of Indian consumers. Also, as the govt decided to go away with Angel Tax for DPIIT recognized startups like us, we also expect them to bring some policies for the fast deployment of the Startup India fund to the recognized startups. Time is the biggest factor in Startup Industry and fast deployment of the fund with a single-window clearance like what happens in China will help founders to focus more on the product and future plans instead of struggling for raising investment to sustain," Maheshwari said.

    18:01 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Mitesh Shah, Head-Finance, BookMyShow

    "We look forward to more progressive and pro-growth reforms in Budget 2020, that are especially related to the Goods and Services Tax. The growth of the economy has been a long standing concern and to help boost this, we urge the government to rationalize GST rates on live entertainment i.e. admission to entertainment events including live music concerts and sporting events through structured slabs. Given the vast growth potential of the out-of-home entertainment sector and its impact in boosting tourism and the economy at large, reduction in GST rates in this field will help significantly in attracting investments as also give a much-needed fillip to the industry as we look towards making India a world class entertainment destination.

    We hope that the budget will also look at giving an impetus to start-ups with a turnover between Rs 25-100 crore enabling them to claim exemptions under section 80-IAC of Income Tax Act. The move will go a long way in bolstering India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. A full tax rebate to individual taxpayers with an income of up to INR 10 lakhs to increase the purchasing power parity of the Indian consumers will significantly boost India’s consumption story, and be a significant step in aiding the country’s economy to hit the $5 trillion mark over the next few years."

    17:40 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Puneet and Yatin Jain, Directors, ODHNI

    "Over 6 crores MSMEs are sharing around 29 per cent to India’s GDP and they expect the government will introduce favourable policies and allocate substantial funds for the growth of MSMEs. Presently, out of 32,385 applications filed by MSMEs, 2,031 applications have been disposed of by the government under the delayed payment monitoring system called MSME Samadhaan. Apart from the lack of access to capital, infrastructure, skilled labour and power supply issues are some of the problems that plague MSMEs in India. Therefore, Indian entrepreneur hopes that the Union Budget 2020 will provide some long-term benefits to the MSME sector with better access to credit and lenient taxation policies."

    17:36 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Praveen Agrawal, Managing Director, OakNorth India, a digital banking startup

    "We hope that the government in its 2020 budget brings game-changing reforms that offer relief and tax sops to the startup ecosystem. We expect the budget to ease regulatory norms as startups currently must go through numerous compliances that are put in place by various regulatory bodies.

    We hope budget 2020 will continue with the momentum started with ‘Start-up India’ that enabled self-certification, income tax exemptions, rebate in filing patents for new companies. We expect that this year’s budget will see the government introduce policies that will help startups collaborate with corporates and the academia to nurture further innovation, drive skills development and create employment opportunities for the country’s youth.

    This could include strengthening science and technology initiatives, streamlining disbursements for startups, facilitating advanced R&D infrastructure, and providing tax incentives to fuel innovation. Additionally, an increase in personal income tax exemption limits should spur demand and consumption, providing a much-needed stimulus to the Indian economy."

    17:25 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Trishneet Arora, Founder & CEO - TAC Security - an Indian cyber-security company

    “India’s rapid digitisation trajectory is expected to further accelerate with the upcoming 5G deployment. However, while the 5G rollout will no doubt improve network latency issues and facilitate high-speed interconnectivity, it will also give rise to many pressing cybersecurity challenges. As the number of connected devices increases exponentially, threat actors will have more potential entry points that they can use to exploit and compromise enterprise devices, networks, and data at scale. This will make real-time visibility into network cybersecurity health and vulnerability exposure a non-negotiable requirement for enterprises across the country.

    With this in mind, I feel that the government should prioritise promoting indigenous cybersecurity players in the vulnerability management space in the upcoming budget. Doing so will ensure that Indian organisations across industries have access to cutting-edge cybersecurity products and services that can streamline and strengthen their security profiles to make them ready for the digital age. It will also incentivise Indian cybersecurity companies to develop globally-defensible IPs that can add more momentum to the worldwide war on cybercrime.”

    17:11 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Anshu Budhraja, CEO, Amway India

    "In the upcoming Union Budget 2020, we hope the Government will introduce reforms to increase consumer demand and control inflation to normalize market conditions with the primary focus on boosting economic growth. In our view, factors which can significantly benefit the FMCG sector are:

      • Lowering of personal income tax rates,
      • Reduction in interest rate,
      • Investment in infrastructure,
      • Incentives to drive rural consumption,
      • Creation of jobs

    Furthermore, rationalizing GST on healthcare supplements from 18% to 5% will be a welcome move considering a holistic healthcare system combined with nutraceuticals and health supplements that provide significant economic value.

    While the reduction in corporate tax rates last year was a welcome move, a further reduction of corporate tax for domestic companies will help encourage additional investment, enhanced productivity, and output over time."

    16:43 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Amit Nagpal, President, Bloggers Alliance

    "The first priority of Budget 2020 should be #DigitalIndia. Sharing the 3 reasons why. Firstly, generating employment should be first priority of Government & Digital space can generate the highest number of jobs. Secondly, NASSCOM has declared the new decade as Techade. Tech / Digital will rule the 2020s. Work on Think Digital, Think India to create global demand for both digital services & digitally skilled manpower. Moreover, a balanced approach towards AI- encourage AI in select sectors while appointing AI Safety Commissioner like Australia to ensure public safety.”

    16:32 (IST)28 Jan 2020
    Ameve Sharma Founder, Kapiva - a functional foods brand

    "We expect the government to extend the tax incentives to initiative a new growth cycle in the start-up space. There should also be regulatory relaxation and tax relief while raising equity as well for the start-ups. Tax benefits on ESOPs could be another way to spur development by attracting talents in the start-up segment.

    Simultaneously, the government should come out with budget proposals to boost growth of e-marketplaces and further strengthen internet penetration across the geography to enhance market accessibility of such companies. For a company like ours in the health and wellness segment which is channelizing the majority of its strategies and investments in procuring raw materials from the rarest natural sources, keeping their qualities intact during manufacturing while relying on new-age retail models to market those products to the end-consumers, such supports mean a lot."

    18:11 (IST)27 Jan 2020
    Rajan Wadhera, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)

    “As SIAM, we have urged the Finance Ministry to consider announcing an incentive based scrappage policy and also increase Budget allocation for ICE bus procurement by State transport undertakings...we have also requested government to reduce GST rates for BS-VI vehicles effective April 1 from 28 per cent to 18 per cent,” Click here to read the full story

    18:04 (IST)27 Jan 2020
    Dr Kushal Banerjee, Dr Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinic - a Delhi-based Homeopathy clinic chain

    "Alternative medicine, particularly homeopathy has not received the attention it deserves in the last few years from policy makers. As a result, there are several areas in the delivery and availability of homeopahtic health services that need attention. Budget allocations need to bear these requirements in mind and attempt to meet them.

    • Access to homeopathic services: There needs to be a steady increase in the number and capacity of the central government-run homeopathic clinics with the increase in population density in urban cities. As connectivity and population increases in semi-urban and rural towns and cities, homeopathic clincs need to be opened in these as well.
    • Availability of homeopathic health services through ‘Ayushman Bharat’: This highly commendable scheme by the government of India needs to include homeopathy. Public-private partnerships between private homepathy practitioners and the government can be struck. Government outreach and planning can easily accomplish this. Homeopathy should also be made readily available at primary health centres as on option for those patients who want it.
    • Establishment of centres of excellence in homeopathy: The high standards of training homeopaths need to be maintained. The National Institute of Homeopathy, Kolkata needs an injection of funds for a large scale revamp and for increasing its patient handling capacity. Similar centres need to be established in the different corners of the country – particularly the National Capital Region.
    • Dissemination of Information and increasing Public Awareness: Steps are needed to address concerns which the patient population may have related to seeking homeopathic treatment. These need to be addressed and doubts need to be clarified through aggressive yet non-sensational media outreach by government bodies like the Central Council of Homeopathy and the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy."
    17:52 (IST)27 Jan 2020
    Edgar Dias MD, India at F5 Networks

    "In view of the slowing economic growth in India, the technology sector has a vital role to play in elevating India’s GDP growth, India is one of the fastest-growing technology hubs in the world and it is essential for the government to continue investing in infrastructure, cybersecurity and digital transformation projects to ensure that we continue being in this leading position as well as to future proof our economy. With the country on the precipice of digitalizing services across both public and private sectors, the government should focus on funding cybersecurity initiatives to combat the evolving nature of threats that are hindering the progress of digitalization in India. Beyond this, the government should also continue to fund more R&D projects, in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative, to enable innovation and adoption of emerging technologies that can shape the IT infrastructure to propel digital transformation in India further"

    17:47 (IST)27 Jan 2020
    Sandeep Patil - Managing Director – Truecaller India

    “The Prime Minister has laid out a vision of making Bharat a $5 Trillion Economy by 2024. Expectations from this budget are high for reforms that will drive higher growth across sectors and improve ease of doing business for entrepreneurs, companies and investors alike. We urge greater encouragement for policies and technologies that will help realize the aspirations of Digital Bharat and Make in India"

    17:36 (IST)27 Jan 2020
    P Satish, executive director of Sa-Dhan, an association of MFIs

    “We have requested the Centre that in the upcoming budget the government should allow more refinance by DFIs such as SIDBI and Nabard to the MFI sector,” Satish told news agency PTI.

    Many of 200-odd MFIs operating in the country work as BCs for the banks for credit disbursements for which an 18 per cent GST is levied on overall borrowing by beneficiaries, he said adding that if GST is withdrawn, the MFIs can provide credit to the poor people at cheaper interest rates. Click here to read the complete story

    18:14 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    Anuradha Singh, CEO and founder at Indi Collage

    ''I am looking forward to the "FoF " for the MSME sector, the budget needs to address the economic downturn which has severely affected the small enterprises & businesses. The tax structure needs to be much simpler, to be able to do business across the states. Textiles & craft sector has been severely hit by the economic downturn & the taxes levied on it, this needs to be addressed or we will turn our skilled craftsmen into labourers.''

    18:01 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    Sameer Nigam, CEO & Co-founder of e-learning solutions provider- Stratbeans

    "With the Union Budget set to be announced, we expect the government to introduce measures to provide the MSMEs sector a fair and equal opportunity to participate with large organizations. A level-playing field could be created by tax incentives.

    The government should also consider lowering the rate of GST on eLearning and eLearning creation software to reduce the input cost of digital transformation projects, which are a key component of industry 4.0 initiatives. This will also make E-learning and video production software more affordable to a large number of consumers and create a higher growth rate for the gig economy in this sector."

    17:54 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    S N Bhattacharya, Secretary, Life Insurance Council

    “We request Finance Minister to consider a separate deduction to be provided for premium paid on individual life policies. If no separate deduction is provided, the existing limit of Rs 1.5 lakh, under section 80C, should be enhanced to Rs 3 lakh...the existing limit of Rs 1.5 lakh is too crowded with both short-term and long-term investment vying for its share.” Click here to read further

    17:49 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Co-Founder, Toppr

    "Fundamentally, an overhaul in the education system is required. At the moment, many of our graduates are ill-equipped for the job market. Investing in higher education will be a priority for this budget, particularly since the presiding economic conditions will make potential students hesitant to study further, as they’d prefer to secure jobs instead. Efforts need to be made to help students upskill."

    12:12 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    Shobhit Bhatnagar, CEO & Co-Founder, Gradeup

    "Our Education sector plays an important role in empowering our youth. The EdTech industry is a key component of our education sector. Therefore, the government should offer tax benefits to EdTech startups in the form of exemptions.

    The issue of angel tax has still not been properly resolved. As a result, investors are reluctant to invest heavily in promising startups because if they do decide to invest heavily then they end up paying a significant tax on it. Therefore, investors require clarity on this front so they can start to invest freely."

    12:01 (IST)24 Jan 2020
    Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia

    "Our expectation from the Union Budget 2020 is to see reforms that drive consumption and improve consumer demand. The decision to exempt basic custom duty on open cells from 5% to 0% was a welcome move last year and allowed us to pass on the benefits to the consumers by reduction in TV prices. Such initiatives with phased manufacturing programmes are helpful. However, the consumer appliances industry witnessed a flat growth over the last two years, and we urge the government to continue in the trajectory of positive policies to lend support and drive growth in the sector.

    We also recommend abolishment of dividend distribution tax and replaced with TDS at a lower rate. The SEZ benefit which is expiring in Mar ’20 should be extended to propel the ‘Make in India’ narrative. Consumers on the other hand can benefit significantly, if there’s a reduction in personal income tax rate."

    18:31 (IST)23 Jan 2020
    Sanjay Dutt, MD & CEO, Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited

    “The government until now has done everything for the buyers but delayed measures to help sustain in a new environment when it comes to the developers. The 25,000 cr stress fund and corporate tax reduction, were concrete measures. We hope the that Budget 2020 brings about tangible gains, revive demand, ensure flow of liquidity to cater to the demand.

    The State Government's role is equally critical to supplement central Government’s efforts.

    The central Government can start with granting industry status to the real estate sector. States can give single-window clearance mechanism for faster completion of projects. Reduce cost of doing business besides ease of doing business, reduce cost of capital to 5% to 6%, making real estate development more viable in the light of regulated inflation under 4%. As seen with several of the previous reforms, the benefits remain to be passed on to the homebuyers and it is crucial for this year’s budget to incorporate some relief for taxpayers by easing the tax on house property income. Increase the deduction for interest on housing loan to at least Rs 5 lakh would also help tremendously in boosting the demand. We are optimistic that the market will gain momentum in a period of about 3-5 years, provided the government continues the introduction and execution of these economic reforms to enhance the sentiments of the industry and reduce the burden on homebuyers while encouraging investments and development."

    18:15 (IST)23 Jan 2020
    Sheshgiri Kamath, Co-founder & CEO Kapture CRM - a Cloud-Based SaaS Customer Relationship Management Software for enterprise-grade

    "The tax cuts implemented by the finance minister, combined with the new fiscal boost that was announced recently are sending the right signals to the markets about the government's intent to address the economic concerns. We expect to see a cutting edge impactful budget this time around which focuses on landmark reforms.

    "With the recently announced RBI eKYC and other digital measures, the internet economy is going to witness some key reforms. 2020 should be an interesting year for consumer internet startups."

    18:10 (IST)23 Jan 2020
    Ashok Mohanani, Chairman EKTA World and Vice President NAREDCO Maharashtra

    “The real estate sector definitely needs a stimulus which the budget announcement can provide. Some of the key expectations from the government by the sector are to improve liquidity, balance fiscal discipline with stimulus, and expedite resolution of stressed projects, few of which are already underway. A resolution on the liquidity crunch and resolution of the NBFC crisis is crucial so providing the requisite incentives is expected. The sector also expects the government to reintroduce the subvention scheme as it will eventually result in favour of both buyers and developers. With the government’s goal for ‘Housing for all 2022’ the affordable housing is expected to flourish in 2020. To match with on-going price range in metros, it is imperative to increase the limit of affordable housing to 1 crore from the current cap of 45 lakhs or alternately increase the size limit to 60 sqmt from the current 30 sqmt. This will bring more projects and locations under the affordable ambit where a larger section of the population will be benefited. Apart from these, ensuring capital gains on par with shares to provide benefits to developers will help maintain the cash flow in the market.”

    18:05 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Mihir Mohan, CEO & Founder, Pitstop - a car services and repairs solutions startup

    “The Indian automotive industry is hoping for some short-term measures for demand activation as the market slows down.

    Extending the adoption deadline for BS6 regulations as well as relaxation in custom duties and GST on automotive parts will help create demand in the industry. Green mobility adoption can be given a boost by scrapping import duty on Li-ion cells, which will also reduce the costs of EVs. Introducing the incentive-based scrappage policy will push old vehicles manufactured between 1995 and 2005 off the road, while at the same time give some relief to the buyers by reducing GST, road tax and RTO charges.

    Demand growth will ensure that the wheels keep turning in the years to come by fuelling consumption in the market. Strong macroeconomic headwinds are leading to subdued consumer interest and can be countered by the government, which we are hoping to see this year."

    18:00 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Ramkumar Narayanan, VP Technology & Managing Site Director, VMware India

    "I am hoping that the government will continue to renew its focus on the Smart Cities mission and help iron out the challenges of infusing capital in cities with public-private partnerships to give the project, the fillip it needs. The time is ripe for the government to foster a culture of innovation using emerging technology and adopt a new digital approach to strengthen businesses and workplaces of the future. Incentivizing research and development in the IT sector with special emphasis on R&D in emerging tech could be a step forward. Other areas that would gain momentum, if it received the government’s attention and collaboration would be waste management, conservation of water and the environment."

    17:49 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Kunal Lakhara, VP of Finance and Operations, Pocket Aces

    "We are very optimistic about a recovery and foresee the economy quickly picking pace. The media and entertainment industry has a huge potential to create a number of employment opportunities, increase export services and enhance tourism. In the last budget, the benefit of single-window approvals was a major boost. This year, we hope the government focuses on steps to provide capital to the industry players. This could be in the form of incentivizing banks and other financial institutions to lend money to industry participants especially start-ups in the sector. Furthermore, the government could do very well by lowering tax rates and removing exemptions, revisit tax regulations especially for start-ups. This will not only provide tax reforms but also enhance the efficiency of tax collections. On the personal front, the government should reduce taxes by enhancing the slab rates. With lower tax incidence, more will be left with the consumers to spend and consume, which in turn will create demand for products and services."

    17:43 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Rohit Bhatla, MD at Kagome Foods India - food processing company

    ''Since many players of the food processing industry fall under MSME, it is essential to provide access to credit facilities for capital expenditure at low-interest rates of 3% to 5%. The budget should also focus on ‘Increasing Exports’ Of Food Products along with GST relief and tax exemptions for the food processing sector. For example, a 12 - 18% GST is charged on processed tomato products vis-à-vis raw tomatoes. As a result, the consumer only buys processed products when the fresh tomato prices are high, this adversely impacts the capacity utilization of the processing industry and the benefits of food processing like lower wastages are not realized by the country."

    17:17 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Siddharth Jain, Co- founder, Vaahika - a freight logistics startup

    "We expect the budget to bring in provisions for lesser and reduced compliance for smaller companies; which as of today have to follow almost similar compliance that of a larger corporation. We expect this budget to come up with revolutionary steps to overhaul the complete compliance and fillings guidelines for smaller companies and startups and do away with the current penal provisions."

    16:56 (IST)22 Jan 2020
    Manas Mehrotra, Chairman, 315Work Avenue, a leading co-working space provider

    "The government must provide more assistance to startups to be able to grow and provide tax benefit to Angels for investing in them. There is also need to reduce GST to the lowest slab for upcoming innovative startups as it impacts their budget. Apart from these, input tax credit under GST is an important issue that concerns the sector. The government has not enabled co-working firms to claim input credits on work contract and construction services supplied, as detailed under GST provisions. This would have checked the increased outflow of cash that co-working firms are currently experiencing. Co-working firms are also hoping that input tax credit under GST be extended to developers so that it could be passed on to companies who lease out space and thereby reduce their overall costs.

    To enable more start-ups to opt for co-working spaces, an increase in the bank funding amount to them would be welcome. There is also a robust demand to lower the income tax slab for the employees of start-ups. Also, keeping in mind the minimal profits that they earn during the initial years of inception, increase in bank funding is expected to meet the financial crisis faced by the firms during these years. Income tax should allow the co-working space users to make a lower rate of TDS as the present rate of TDS is 10%, which impacts badly on the quick ratio of the co-working firms and hence, the co-working firms' financial shape has become less attractive from a cash flow perspective."

    18:14 (IST)21 Jan 2020
    Dhananjay Sharma, Director & CEO, Log 9 Spill - a startup involved in cleaning up oil spills

    "Cleantech companies around the country seeks special incentive programmes and larger tax benefits with aggressive government push for innovative cleantech solutions. So that this sector becomes more desirable and stable resulting in more investments in this sector. A conducive environment should be provided to encourage the creation of new cleantech businesses by easing regulatory and compliance policies for such companies."

    18:10 (IST)21 Jan 2020
    Sidhant Lamba, Founder, Fabrento - an online furniture rental startup

    "Income tax holiday for start up should apply for all start up companies registered beginning April 2015. Under GST, the extra GST inputs should be credited back to the startups ( like for us, when we buy furniture, we have to pay gst in it, now when we rent, the gst in rent is adjusted against the already paid gst during purchase. But even then, the gst on purchase is much higher compared to what we adjust in rent, so we want that extra gst to be credited back to us."

    14:53 (IST)21 Jan 2020
    Sanjay Kumar, CEO & MD, Elior India - a B2B catering services company

    "We remain optimistic that the decision of bringing back the input tax credit will be considered under the cognizance and some change is hopeful. It is also important that more focus is given to the agricultural produce so that the area substantially gets highly streamlined. The need to spur private investment and therefore to have a more predictable tax regime which can allow us to kick start our acquisitions in India is mandatory. The industry is looking forward to a revised and much predictable tax regime along with the reintroduction of the input tax credit on food sales to streamline the GST in the sector."

    12:42 (IST)21 Jan 2020
    Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India

    "Barco remains positive on the India growth opportunity and we look forward to favourable measures from the Centre, predominantly in the technology-enabled sectors and the domains we cater to – medical imaging, smart cities, technological innovation in tourism, among others."