Jatin Dalal, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Wipro Limited
It is encouraging that the fiscal deficit target has been revised downwards from 3.4% to 3.3%. Strengthening PSU banks’ capital and improving RBI’s oversight on the financial sector will likely improve the flow of credit in the economy. A series of measures to enhance capital flows and employment generation are also great steps. Better growth with macro-economic stability will be the ideal outcome.
Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Dollar Industries Ltd.
We welcome the first Union Budget by the Modi 2.0 Government. This budget sets the pace for India to become a 5trillion economy which is visible through policies and initiatives for the development of infrastructure and msme sector. There are several outreach programmes for growth, expansion and facilitation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Overall an encouraging budget.
Debajit Roy, Country Director, QAD Inc.
The government’s move to lower the GST on Electric Vehicles has opened new avenues for the industry. Reducing the GST on EVs from 12 per cent to 5 per cent can be seen as a big step in favor of sales of EV cars in India. The deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the loan interest to purchase an electric vehicle in India will not just benefit the industry but also for consumers who are looking to switch to electric vehicles
There is pool of the companies emerging in this space to evolve the entire ecosystem and the opportunities created by government will enable these companies to penetrate fast. Moreover with the liquidity gap being addressed in this budget, the industry will even move forward towards economy’s growth.
Balu Ramachandran, Sr. Vice President, Cleartrip
The union budget has made the aviation sector more conducive for increased FDI by proposing to increase the FDI caps. This will attract increased interest in the Indian aviation space by enabling controlling stake for foreign carries and should add increased momentum to the Air India privatization process. The success of the AI privatization process is crucial to the health of the Indian aviation space as we can’t afford another airline bankruptcy after the jet airways event.
Pankaj Khanna, Founder & Managing Director, Khanna Gems Private Limited
The industry was expecting that the import duty on gold will be reduced but on the contrary it has been increased. This will have a damping effect on the entire Gems and Jewellery industry. The jewellery sales to tourists will also suffer because of high-cost. Numerous majors have taken to enable MSE & MSME tap the organised market. The will help the industry to grow and enable new startups to make their presence felt.
The reduction of corporate tax from 30% to 25% will improve the plough back of profits and give the small and medium enterprises an opportunity to use their own resources to fund their growth.
Manas Mehrotra, Chairman, 315Work Avenue
The full-fledged Budget 2019 is commendable as it has all the right intentions and measures that can be a gamechanger for the Indian economy. The budget is pro-rural and middle class and oriented at economic development. We welcome the budget for ushering in policies that will help in the growth of the overall economy with several announcements for the social and economic welfare of the country in the long term. While the government has been positive on a macro vision for the rural economy, some measures could have been taken to bolster the co-working sector specifically.
Co-working has become a thriving ground for start-ups. Also considering that startups do not earn the profit in their initial business years, we were expecting that the government could have lowered the income tax slabs for startup enterprises which would have supported startups to reduce costs and this would have increased demand for co-working spaces. Coworking firms were expecting that the government would altogether eliminate Angel tax this Union budget as it would enable the firms to lease more spaces for start-ups, enterprises, MSMEs and entrepreneurs. Angel tax would hurt the start-up edifice and indirectly co-working firms would desist from leasing co-work spaces. Angel funding is now being considered as income and is being taxed at the full income tax rate of 30 per cent. This will detract higher investment in co-working spaces. Co-work firms were also hoping that bank funding for start-ups would have been enhanced to make available greater access to financial resources to start-ups. There was no announcement in this regard.
Overall, the Budget is focused on people, progress & prosperity and should augur well for the Indian economy by providing a growth impetus through a boost in consumption.
Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR
The hope of the startups was the complete removal of Angel Tax from the system. Given that it hasn’t happened, the move to scrap the scrutiny of funds received by start-ups that do file requisite declarations is a step in the positive direction. The omission of enquiry would at least save genuine start-ups from unnecessary hassle. Also, the adoption of e-verification for identifying investors and their sources of funds would make the otherwise complex process more seamless. This way, the government will be able to more effectively pinpoint and target money launderers, which the angel tax was introduced to do in the first place.
The confusion continues amongst the startups who are currently impacted and the proof of the pudding will be if their concerns are indeed resolved rapidly.
Abhishek Goenka, CEO & CFO, CoWrks’
This was a budget with many differences. On the positive side, there was more focus on strategic initiatives, such as no charges on fund transfers, tax deduction on loans for EVs, interchangeability of Aadhar and PAN and the various measures on easier KYC. Added to this, the proposed 4 codes to cover all labour laws is extremely positive. These initiatives will have a catalytic effect in not just achieving the specific objectives but also, a larger spiral of increased compliance and economic extension.
On the flip side, there hasn’t been adequate emphasis on fiscal discipline, and the approach of a sharp increase in tax rates for the rich as the only revenue enhancement measure is unimaginative to say the least. I am also disappointed that the corporate tax rate has not been reduced across the board.
Ashish Sharma, CEO, InnoVen Capital India
This budget has higher than usual focus on Start-up related initiatives, which is a positive development. Annulment of tax scrutiny for funds raised by start-ups that file declaration is a welcome step and will ensure that genuine start-ups that raise capital from bona-fide investors don’t get bogged down in administrative paperwork. The interchangeability of Aadhaar and PAN for tax purposes is also a welcome step and will ease the KYC process for fintech start-ups.
While details on all the announcements will become clearer later, what’s often more important will be to see how these policies are executed.
Suresh Venugopal, CEO, AMC India
The Union Budget 2019 welcomes domestic economic growth, and taxation, through improvement in employment and other key benefits. Various measures were announced for financial markets with the intention to attract NRI and FPI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) investments in India. According to the Finance Minister, the Indian economy which was approx. $1.85 trillion in 2014, within 5 years, has witnessed a growth of $2.7 trillion, which has proved to be a great development for the country’s economy. Considering India achieves a $3 trillion economy in this year as discussed in the Union Budget 2019, the country will become the 5th largest in the world with regard to its purchasing parity.
With regard to taxation, the Finance Minister addressed the taxpayers their duty right on time. To resolve the angel tax issue, startups under the new union budget will not be subject to any scrutiny with respect to valuation. The funds raised by startups will not involve any scrutiny by the IT department giving the boom of new businesses and startups a considerable relief.
Padam Shri Shahnaz Husain, CEO, Shahnaz Husain Group
The wait for the final budget is over. The government has taken several laudable initiatives, including the setting up of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) under the Ayushman Bharat scheme by 2022. In terms of employment and skill development, we welcome the government’s move to establish 80 livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators under ASPIRE in 2019-20. It is a great initiative that has the potential to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs across agro-rural industries.
Efforts to improve the skills of our youth in emerging areas like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, among others, is another impressive and much-needed move that is expected to make a significant impact on the beauty and wellness industry. It can lead to the generation of high-paying jobs for millennials, both in India and abroad.
The government has also proposed to form a committee that will be responsible for guiding and empowering women in rural India. This move will encourage more women to take part in the work ecosystem while giving them a boost to start their own entrepreneurial journey. The expansion of Nari Tu Narayani: Women SHG Interest Subvention Program, offering INR 1 lakh to the women members of this community under Mudra scheme and enabling every verified woman SHG member with a Jan Dhan account to avail Rs 5,000 in the form of overdraft, are some of the other remarkable initiatives, which will empower women and result in their greater participation across India.
Kartik Walia, Head of Operations (India), Amplify.ai
We see multiple positive takeaways from this year’s budget. The government, while adding greater impetus on digital adoption and infrastructure enhancement, has a positive outlook towards promising technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. It has recently announced the launch of National Artificial Intelligence Center and National AI Portal and now, in the Union Budget, has promised to build skillsets in ultramodern technologies such as AI, Big Data, and Robotics. The Government’s technology-centric strategy is highly appreciable and we believe that favourable results will be visible in the near future.
Prodyut Bora, CEO, Bonphul Air Products Pvt Ltd
Union Budget 2019 contains no major reforms for the start-up ecosystem. The budget speech didn’t quite cover any major reform directly related to start-up ecosystem. The budget lacked a few expected measures. We were hoping to see a positive action on the issue of Angel Tax which is a major concern and maybe there is some relief there. The budget 2019 states that start-ups in India are taking firm root and to resolve the angel tax issue, returns will not be subject to any scrutiny from the Income Tax department. Also start-ups and investors who file requisite declarations will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuation of share premium.
Furthermore the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s plan to launch an exclusive TV channel which will be started for start-ups. The channel is proposed to be started under Doordarshan bouquet to provide a platform for startups to disseminate information in the industry. Dedicated to start-ups, the channel will broadcast programmes aimed at inspiring start-ups across the country. It will be handled by start-ups themselves. But I believe this is still not a major drive to stimulate growth in the economy.