Budget 2016 has become one of the most anticipated Government exercises, as an offshoot of various prescient talks by the Prime man, Modi.
Quite clearly the various initiatives rolled out by the Government of India lately have had an encouraging upshot on start-ups and online commerce companies. The forthcoming opinions, both by start-ups and online commerce companies, came surfacing, largely due to the flood of rightly-targeted information to the media, social networks and companies’ own blogs. ‘Times, they’re a changin’’ and why not, isn’t India start-up capital of the world already?
Everybody today knows the extent of plague the dated tax regimes have spread, but will Finance Minister Jaitley deliver a robust tax policy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a question waiting to be answered. While the government is already underway to prepare what is one of the most anticipated exercises of the changing times, start-ups and online Internet companies give the Retailer Media a low down on some tax expectations of this sector.
Substantive issues flagged by start-ups and eCommerce companies alike
India is on a high growth path and with the tourism friendly policies of the new Government, companies hope to see more and more developments. Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, ixigo says, “I strongly think that the government should focus more on infrastructure and develop airports and provide better connectivity to smaller towns leading to even faster growth in the travel sector. As against to over 4300 operating railway stations, India has only about 130 operating airports – in comparison to 200 (plus) airports of China, which is spending Rs.78,000 crores this year on civil aviation infrastructure. In order to improve facilities available to tourists, the government should also come up with SOPs for infrastructure investments in travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.”
The current government’s focus in the Indian start-up ecosystem is very positive and the union budget 2016 must encourage investment in the Indian start-up space. “We also need a better definition for online aggregators and their taxation norms in every vertical as India houses over 1000 online aggregators across various verticals. The government had initiated the idea of defining online marketplace recently but not much progress has been seen here till now,” explains Bajpai.
Pratik Jindal, MD, SRS eRetail Ltd says, “We look forward to the simplification of the tax structure in order to promote eCommerce, innovation and entrepreneurship. A readily implementation of the Goods and Services (GST) tax will help eCommerce companies rationalise supply chains and will help tackle obstacles faced in services like ‘Cash on Delivery’.”
Rohan Bhargava, Co-founder, CashKaro.com is also mindful of the fact that it is the tax structures that need to get futuristic. “India action plan laid by the government has pinned a lot of expectations on what should be done and should not – but now it is time to ensure it walks the talk this budget. Aspects like the fund-of-funds, tax benefits which are great on paper, needs to get implemented. I would like the budget to set out clear and measurable timelines with minimal bureaucratic intervention and not keep it as vague as it is now. Being an affiliate site we hope the government will present a tax policy that will address the complications of the current tax structure faced by ecommerce sites. We also hope that the GST roadmap will be shared in the budget for FY 2016-17. Finally, we look forward to building an ecosystem which paves the ground for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in India,” he said.
The writing is clear on the wall: the expectations are rising as the Indian Government has placed immense faith and hope in Indian start-ups and digital ventures.
The question is how will the government respond to drafting a holistic policy and setting up an apex regulatory body to ensure the sector thrives? Please share your valuable feedback in the comment section below.