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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"

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