Can Modi's Budget boost India's start-up economy?

No longer disillusioned, the start-up community is backing up Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and his Man, Finance Minster (FM) Arun Jaitley to come up with a pro-industry budget, and showing a great deal of hope in their inspirational leadership roles.
Budget 2016 for Start-ups

The Modi government has taken few bold steps in principle to ensure that the start-up industry ecosystem in the country is given its due share, but the question remains, how long will the start-ups have to wait before achieving that through and through?

The current government has placed immense faith and hope in Indian start-ups and digital ventures. The announcement of a $1.5 billion start-up fund during 'Start-up India 2016' is definitely a boost, though the start-ups are curious on how these funds are channelised towards them, along with a clear and quick way to access them, with minimal government or bureaucratic intervention.

Start-ups eye the $1.5 billion start-up fund
Ankita Tandon, Chief Operating Officer, CouponDunia expresses relief over the start-up fund promulgation by PM Modi, and adds that increment in service tax exemption a must for growth. “A sure way to help early-stage start-ups pick up growth would be to increase existing tax exemptions - currently a service tax exemption exists for commissions earned up to 10 lakh a year, this exemption should be extended to commissions earned up to 25 lakh.

“Advancement in communication technology and penetration of the Internet into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will bring in the next wave of digital consumers, and possibly, entrepreneurs, so we would be on the lookout for the budget to concentrate on these infrastructural roadblocks. As the government is pinning its hopes on the new wave of start-ups and digital companies to boost employment, a good initiative would be to introduce tax incentives for start-up employees, to further encourage the Indian youth to join start-ups,” she said.

While most of the new age companies are setting up with a strong funding foot, Major Prashant Rai, Founder and CEO, OneTimejobs.com, is expecting  more relaxation, possible tax exemptions and incentives with an easy entry into services and exit plans thereafter, along with more clarity on the norms. Prashant says that as PM Modi unveiled the start-up action plan by announcing excellent measures, now it depends on how the policy takes its shape in the budget 2016! He further opines that it is imperative for Indian ‘on demand service market place start-ups’ to raise funds in a more structured, regulated yet in a stimulating environment and been featured in Indian Exchange.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, IndiaMART also wishes for the government to build up a start-up friendly ecosystem, and a rather quick implementation of GST. “With the Union Budget round the corner, start-ups in India are holding the highest stakes following the PM’s initiatives around ease of doing business and building a start-up friendly ecosystem. Faster setting up of enterprises, correction to duty structures and streamlining of procurement processes are some of the areas where the industry expects key announcements. The Industry is expecting a quick implementation of GST, streamlining processes for speedier implementation of large infrastructure projects. Development of infrastructure is a prerequisite for growth. Similar to road and rail, creation of Digital Highways is elementary providing high bandwidth network of Internet across India. We’d like to see avenues of PPP in the coming union budget which will give shape to Digital India.

“Various skill development initiatives getting into mainstream operational mode is also on the wish-list. In this direction, Investments in terms of technology and infrastructure should be given more weightage when formulating schemes. The MSME industry is set to tap the potential of 'Make in India' initiative. This industry has potential to employee over 60 million people and will be a growth driver for the economy. Providing a special package for the MSME sector will help sustainable growth,” he reasoned.

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