The ‘Digital India’ idea has a slew of start-up and established companies in the technology and e-commerce space excited. They all believe Budget 2015 will be the start of a new era of higher growth. This year the government is focusing on promoting e-commerce, innovation and entrepreneurship.
With the Union Budget being presented tomorrow by the Finance Minister of India, some of the players of the Indian startup industry have shared what they expect from this year’s annual budget.
Below are the budget wishlists from players in the digital startup ecosystem:
Tapan Kumar Das, CEO and Co- Founder, iTiffin.in, an online and offline healthy meal providing company, says, " I have huge expectations from the budget of 2015. According to me, ‘Nutrition services and Health food’, can be brought under the gamut of Health services, thus qualifying those services for Service Tax. The cost of healthcare in the country should be reduced in order to regulate the increasing number of lifestyle disorder cases in India. Also, I wish Food technology is made free of import duty. Income tax benefits should be allocated to the Nutrition and Health Food sector and in order to recruit people from the skill development academy while Nutrition and Diet Plan services should be brought under Mediclaim policy of General Insurance.”
Suresh Sharma, Founder & Director, iSpyPrice.com, a price comaprison website, says, “According to me, if GST i.e. the Goods and Services Tax is implemented in the budget for this year; it will solve various taxation issues. Until then, the government should relax the tax Inspector Raj. Besides this, I feel that if the service tax on online advertisements is abolished, it will motivate internet-based publishing companies to create more valuable content and application for websites. The Government should give proper clarifications on service tax levied on advertising income that is earned by Indian publishers in foreign currency. Apart from this, MAT i.e. Minimum Alternate Tax should be abrogated from the e-commerce landscape.”
Swaminathan Vedaranyam, Chief Executive Officer, VIA.com, says, "As far as the travel industry is concerned, I think there is an urgent need for well-defined policies and clear commitments to ensure that all cultural heritage points are given more attention with improved infrastructural facilities. There is a recent spurt in domestic travel as well as a higher influx of foreign tourists in India and with dedicated upkeep of the tourist hotspots, we can ensure higher growth for the travel industry. Additionally, I wish that there is an allocation towards revitalising all unused airports in tier II and III cities as these geographies hold immense potential today. There should also be a rationalisation of air travel taxes for competitive pricing to boost travel and tourism."
Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO, IndiaProperty.com, says, “The real estate industry in India has high expectations from the first full Modi budget, especially because the previous budget focused on common man. The coming budget is expected to lay ground for affordable housing in India. The budget is likely to bring in some incentives for the first time home buyers and the affordable home buyers such as tax rebates and decreased home loan rate. The realty industry will only improve once the buying power of buyers increases. An increase in tax savings under 80C from the current Rs. 1.5 lakhs and home loan exemption rate from the current Rs. 2 lakhs would increase the buying capacity of home buyers and thereby help recover the realty industry. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT’s) should be fast tracked as it will give the much needed push to the realty industry in India. The budget is also expected to have some inclusions to promote foreign funding for the infrastructure projects.”
Shivakumar Ganesan, CEO, Exotel, says, “Ease of doing business high on startups' wishlist for the Union Budget 2015. Firstly, like the service tax exemption for companies with less than an aggregate turnover value of Rs. 10 lakhs, a standard deduction on all registrations, compliance and remittances until they reach Rs.10 lakhs in revenue will help startups immensely. Secondly, in Budget 2015, the government should be introducing friendly policies for technology startups by setting up a trust or fund to fight and protect the Intellectual Property (IP). Fighting an IP battle can be a daunting task for startups and is also an expensive ordeal.”
Rohan Bhargava, Co-founder CashKaro.com, says, “Creating digital infrastructure should be a prime agenda in the upcoming budget. The broader industry heavily depends on reliable and fast Internet, which remains a distant dream. Even large Tier II and Tier III cities in India don’t have decent broadband. In this budget, the government should take active steps to enhance connectivity in the country. We're hoping that the Union Budget 2015 will address these fundamental problems that the startup industry in India is facing, paving the way for growth and making of a true startup nation.”
Alan D’Souza, Founder and CEO, Vavia Technologies, says, “After Arun Jaitley’s session with the CEOs of Indian software and hardware companies, it is quite evident that this year the government is definitely focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation. As a start-up we expect the government to promote investments on IT infrastructure and motivate entrepreneurs to adopt new technologies. Further to this the sector expects the government to introduce various IT and software parks to promote growth.”