India’s Finance Minister ‘Nirmala Sitaraman’ has finally announced Union Budget 2021, which has been crafted by the government to boost the sluggish economy, however, let’s see what the various experts think about the Budget in their respective sectors of work.
V Satish Kumar, CEO at EverestIMS Technologies
The Union Budget 2021 augurs well for the economy and markets overall. With the aggressive investment, monetization, and recapitalization initiatives, the Government is taking steps towards getting the economy back on the rails. The focus on infrastructure, public transport, and highways will see a jump-starting of multiple tracks of the economy. For the IT Sector, this will translate into an increase in projects, business, and interventions that will be needed to support all these economic programs. Another good move for the IT sector was that the Tax holiday for start-ups has been extended by one year and exemption on capital gains on investment in start-ups extended by one year. India has always been a resilient economy and these efforts will provide the elevation we need to take off and lead in the coming years.
Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director, and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee
The government intends to boost local manufacturing through its announcements in various PLI schemes in the next five years. As part of consumer electronics, televisions should be considered to be included in the scheme. Also, a dedicated Freight Corridor will be a game-changer for the supply chain of manufacturing. By spending on infrastructure, India will be competitive on the global stage. Like metals, Govt should consider taking back customs duty on panels as there is an increase of prices by 300% on the raw materials.
Mr. Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, Syska Group
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that for a 5-trillion-dollar economy, our manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis. We welcome the measures exercised by the honorable Prime Minister Shri Modi Ji and his government in the Union Budget towards boosting electronic manufacturing in the country. The government led by Modi Ji has pledged an infusion of Rs 1.97 lakh crore on various PLI schemes over the next 5 years, starting this fiscal.
This is in addition to the Rs 40,951 crore towards the PLI scheme to help expand and boost exports. Today, India’s manufacturing industry has tremendous potential to place the country on the global manufacturing map, simultaneously boosting several employment opportunities to India’s youth. Our manufacturing companies need to become an integral part of global supply chains. With a budget of Rs 15,700 crore, which is more than two times that of the previous year, this will help strengthen the MSME sector in terms of productivity development, technology adoption, strengthening of infrastructure and more. As a company, Syska has always been aligned with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat promoting sustainability through our products and creating new job opportunities. The budget has a positive, expansionary approach towards the manufacturing sector, which is reflected through the incentives and strengthening of the PLI schemes provided by the government.
Mr. Kishan Jain, Director at Goldmedal Electricals
The Union Budget 2021 has provided massive opportunities for companies looking to set up manufacturing facilities in the country. Given our current economic situation across the globe caused by the pandemic, the Finance Minister’s decision to infuse INR 1.97 lakh crore towards various PLI scheme is laudable in addition to the Rs 40,951 crore towards the PLI scheme to help expand and boost exports.
As correctly stated by FM Nirmala Sitharaman, our manufacturing companies need to become an integral part of the global supply chain. Further, the provision of INR15,700 cr towards the MSME sector will provide a further fillip to the Government’s flagship Make in India initiative. As a company, Gold medal Electricals has always been at the forefront of introducing innovative and sustainable solutions that make our planet not only smarter but also sustainable for generations to come and support the government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Ms. Surabhi Goel, CEO – Aditya Birla World Academy
The measures announced by the finance minister in today’s union budget 2021 focuses on two important aspects – one is the continuous upskilling of India’s youth and also providing education for all. We are in-line with the announcement as Aditya Birla Education Academy is at the forefront of creating various programs that help the educators of the country upskill themselves. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has set aside funds worth 3000 crores with an aim to create an opportunity for Millenials of India to upskill themselves.
The budget also provided an impetus on establishing a National Research Foundation by allocating Rs 50,000 crore thereby qualitatively strengthening the education system through the National Education Policy. At Aditya Birla World Academy and The Aditya Birla Integrated School, the focus has always been on creating a cohesive learning environment for the students even though the online medium over the course of last year. We aim to make the students future-ready by imparting practical learning along with theory-based sessions. We believe that the measures announced by the government will further boost in augmenting the education sector of the country.
Mr. Niraj Hutheesing, Founder and Managing Director, Cygnet Infotech
We welcome the measures announced by the government of India in the Union Budget 2021. Significant capital expenditure in infrastructure and health care sectors will be a big asset for India. Promotion of digitization at large, and digital transactions particularly, is another positive aspect of the budget. There has been the political will to take a big deficit for the next year. Simplifying the tax regime is another important aspect of this Budget. To ease compliance, the Finance Minister has increased the tax audit limit from ₹5 crore to ₹10 crores for the companies that conduct most of their business through digital modes.
Additionally, the government is also planning to take steps to reduce inverted duty structures in GST and has proposed to review over 400 old exemptions in indirect taxes and will begin extensive consultation from October 2021. The budget also provided impetus on one of the most hard-pressing issues, namely tax evasion cases. The use of digital technologies such as automation solutions and data analytics tools can help in removing anomalies in the GST tax infrastructure and make it transparent to a great extent. All the measures announced today will further enable companies such as Cygnet Infotech to develop technology solutions for businesses to help them adhere to the taxation norms.
Mr. Gaurang Sinha, Director of Go-to-Market Strategy at Flock
We welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement to introduce the scheme allowing 1-person company(s) for start-ups and innovators to be exempted from paid-up capitals and turnover norms, in the Union Budget today. This will enable India to develop new technologies and boost employment like never before. Additionally, the government’s move towards boosting emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics, will accelerate the growth of our digital economy. Further, the adoption of video conferencing for various tasks by the Government will encourage the use and demand for professional communication and collaboration platforms. We believe that with all of these measures, this new decade looks great for the Indian start-up ecosystem.
Mr. Jitendra Chouksey, Founder of FITTR
We welcome the steps outlined in the Union Budget 2021-22. It hinges on augmenting economic recovery while laying emphasis on self-reliance. This year’s Union Budget has a strong focus on healthcare with increased spending. The allocation of INR 2,23,846 crore for healthcare in FY21-22 and the proposed ‘Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana’, with an outlay of INR 64,180 crore over six years is expected to give the right impetus to healthcare in India. What makes it significant is the fact that this year the allocation is almost double of last year’s budget. Considering the given circumstances, this was the need of the hour. Besides healthcare, the budget has given due importance to the start-up segment as well. The extension of tax holiday by one year, till 31st March 2022, on revenue as well as investment was much needed during these challenging times. This will further foster the growth of start-ups in India. On the whole, we believe that announcements made today will help usher in a well-balanced growth of the economy.
Rajat Singhania, Founder of HyLyt by SocioRAC
The budget is growth-oriented. Govt expenditure on infrastructure is high which will boost the economy. There are no major changes in direct/ indirect taxes. For startups, the tax extension, increase in paid-up capital, registration of one-person firms, NRI permission to incorporate OPCs in India is a good boost to Startups. Overall a positive budget to spur growth, stock markets have responded very positively and we can expect to overcome some of the losses of the year gone by.
Pushkar Mukewar, Co-Founder and CEO, Drip Capital
The objective of Budget 2021 was clearly to undo the damage of the coronavirus pandemic on the country and its economy. The Finance Minister aptly pointed out – for India to achieve its five trillion economy goal, the manufacturing sector needs to grow in the double digits. The Budget 2021 is a good start in this direction.
MSME and Exports
The government’s commitment to double its budgetary expenditure to Rs 15700 crore for MSMEs, will be a big boost for the sector. The Rs 1.97 lakh crore production-linked incentive scheme, which is now extended to 13 sectors, will uplift the overall sentiments of the manufacturing sector and MSMEs at large. It will also allow MSMEs to offer high-quality products at competitive prices in the global supply chain. Proposed projects like the development of seven Mega Investment Textile Parks and five major fishery harbors will provide a competitive edge to Indian exporters in the international market.
We are also optimistic that the subsidy announced for the shipping industry will develop the freight infrastructure in the country and provide much-needed relief to the exporters currently grappling with high freight costs.
‘Financial inclusion continues to be a pain point in the country. With Budget 2021, the government has announced significant steps to bridge the gap. The government’s commitment to developing a world-class fintech hub in Gujarat (GIFT-IFSC) is a welcomed move.
In the past, demonetization and now, the covid-19 pandemic has sprinted India towards adopting digital transactions as compared to the rest of the world. Recognizing this opportunity, the government has allotted Rs 1500 crore to promote the digital payments space – which will bolster the overall fintech sector.
Sai Srinivas, Co-founder, and CEO, Mobile Premier League(MPL)
The government’s budget announcement has been extremely encouraging for the start-up ecosystem in India. The extended exemption on capital gains for investments will definitely make more funds available for budding entrepreneurs and growing organizations alike.
Digital payments infrastructure has played a very important role in the growth of the mobile gaming industry. It is very encouraging to see the government’s efforts to strengthen digital payments through incentivization. The Rs 1,500 crore boost will further support the migration of more people towards digital payments and will have a positive impact on the mobile skill gaming industry.
The incentivizing of one-person companies is especially heartening as it promotes the development of more game creators that will help in strengthening the gaming industry in India. The move has also allowed the conversion of one-person companies to any other kind, reducing the residency limit from 182 days to 120 days.
India is at the cusp of creating a wave of mobile gaming unicorns, these measures only support that momentum. With these announcements acting as winds in our sails the Indian Gaming Industry can aspire to be the Global Hub of game development.
Mr. Chet Jainn, Founder & CEO, Crowdera
For the Start-up and CSR perspectives
There is some good news for NRIs with the elimination of double taxation. Reducing residency requirements for incorporation of OPCs (including NRIs) will boost the startup ecosystem, and startups are getting tax breaks for one more year, which is undoubtedly a good sign. Another good news was to see an increase in the number of Indian taxpayers, definitely a good sign for businesses targeting tax-paying citizens.
NGOs in India have never been so active before, and it is time for them to shape up a new Giving Economy. I feel there should have been some compliance relief in fundraising for the charity/NGO sector that helped India Inc get through the pandemic during the lockdown. Although the latest amendments to Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013, approved as of January 22, 2021, have added some stringent responsibilities on corporations to ensure their CSR will help.
Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director at Arrow PC Network Pvt Ltd
Regressive rules had certainly affected the ease of doing business for many organizations and start-ups. However, the government’s announcement of establishing a separate administrative structure especially for ease of doing business will help many organizations benefit in the future. Revision of the definition of small companies by raising the capital base to Rs 2 Cr from the current limit of Rs 50 lakh will give a big boost to companies affecting their monetary status.
Though not many changes have been made in terms of income tax slabs, the move to make changes in tax evasion has instilled confidence in common men that they would not be facing tax harassment. Earmarking Rs 1,500Cr for promoting a digital mode of payment and changing the tax audit limit from Rs 5Cr to Rs 10Cr will benefit many and will allow transparency. Hiking of FDI from 49% to 74% is a good move. The announcement that the forthcoming census would be digital shows the government’s initiative to practice what is being preached. On the other end, the emphasis on the education, power, and infrastructure sector will support the overall development of the nation.
Nikhil Das, Founder, Agdhi
The budget presented by Nirmala Sitharaman Ji today acknowledged the importance of agriculture in India’s economy as one of the central pillars employing 15% of the population. The central budget has shown confidence in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime and has upheld it for the farmer. The budget has promised 1.5 times MSP against the cost of production across all commodities. This is likely to bring in more innovation and adoption of technology in farming. Besides this, the budget has proposed an increase in agriculture credit.
The budget has realized the importance of start-ups in job creation and has extended the tax holiday for startups till March 2022. Already withering under the impact of the pandemic, the announcement has come as a big relief for startups that have become a critical employment generator with 4,70,000 jobs. Such measures are likely to boost sentiments across the board among potential entrepreneurs who are keen on entering the market with their business ideas.
These announcements in the budget were preceded by some welcome news for startups that included the broadening of the definition of startups and approval of the “Startup India Seed Fund Scheme” which comes with a corpus of Rs 945 crore. Overall, the budget has decided on supporting sectors that generate employment and seeks to revive an economy that has been severely hit by a global pandemic.
Mr. Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JetSynthesys
I’m happy to see the Union Budget 2021 is a forward-looking one, with massive spending commitment by the government across many sectors combined with large divestment and monetization, along with the privatization of two public banks and one insurance company. This is a great trajectory for banking in India. Also, the increase in FDI in insurance to 74% with management control will help in attracting FDI from the world, further boosting the economy. I’m particularly excited about the government’s commitment to set aside an outlay of INR 50000 Cr for the National Research Foundation, the setting up of a new Fintech hub, and an allocation to incentivize digital payments.
Also, as we complete 75 years of independence, the move to exempt senior citizens over 75 years from filing tax returns if they are only on pension is a great tribute to their contribution to India. The budget also had a number of bold initiatives to simplify tax processes for businesses and honest tax-payers. The extension of the tax holiday and exemption of capital gains will also enable businesses and startups to focus on growing their business. Most importantly, the proposed use of data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, optimizing the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and tax portals, is indicative of the New India of 2022. I hope this forward-looking budget will help revive India’s economy, propelling it further towards a digitally empowered tomorrow.
Ms. Sumana Iyengar (CEO and Co-founder of Goavega Software India Pvt Ltd)
The budget announced was an encouraging one for the entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem of India, with the tax holidays extended for one more year. Although nothing was directly mentioned about the IT and emerging technology sector, the adoption of major tech-enabled services directly by the government, is in itself a good motivator! From announcing a ‘digital’ budget on a tablet to the announcement of e-governance, e-surveillance, and e-filing of documentation around taxes and company establishments, the public sector efforts are notable and are set to transform the private sector enterprises to adopt the technology.
The access to the internet in Indian languages is another major boost to enhancing digital inclusivity, followed by the setting up of the Fintech parks to drive the digital economy, are all positive and commendable steps to enhance technology adoption across sectors, giving tech start-ups and SMEs/ MSME’s a boost. The changes recommended in the companies act, especially promoting one person company (OPC), is also a commendable step as it will now allow individual entrepreneurs to leverage tax and other benefits.
The rise in MSME allocation and Government support of INR 15,700 crore in FY22 for the sector, enhanced provisions for private investors, and NRI to pump FDI, along with a thrust on ease of doing business, are other encouraging announcements. All of these translate into a pro-growth and pro-small business budget with adequate financial and policy support, which are in line with the previously announced relief packages set to help the sector tide over the COVID 19 slump.
Post Budget Quote by Mr.Arjun Bajaaj- Director Videotex International Group.
The budget of 2021 is well designed to give a boost to local manufacturing and improve the infrastructure of the country. More details will be made available and cleared in days to come for the exact benefits to the manufacturing sector. However, no particular exemption of duty reduction of OC and GST reduction on greater than 32” sizes of TV was announced which was expected this year to boost sales” Arjun Bajaaj.
Mr. Gaurav Shinh, Founder & CEO , DAAS Labs
The Budget 2021-22 has left the data science community quite excited for what is to come. For me, it was really interesting when the Government announced that it would launch multiple data analytics, AI, ML-driven models for e-security, e-education, e- consultation, and compliance management. Also, the prospect of using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in GST Fraud Tracking is quite motivating and intriguing.
The Government’s continued support for the startup is quite uplifting as the Government is setting aside Rs 15,700 crore in FY22 and has reduced margin money requirement from 25% to 15% for startups. The proposal of extending the tax holiday for start-ups by one more year will also give more confidence to the entrepreneurs.
Mr. Sameer Garg, Founder & CEO, BillionAbles
The reduction in tax burden for super senior citizens is a welcome step though it would have been more helpful if it was extended to persons with disabilities so that they have more income at their disposal as cost of living due to caretakers, assistive devices and healthcare are high. The disability pension has not been increased from the present limit of Rs. 300 pm which is disappointing. No policy or mention was made for persons with disabilities in the present budget and the long pending demand of removing GST from assistive devices is not addressed.
It is not clear whether the allocation of funds for the MSME sector would include any support for startups working on Assistive technology. The current Covid-9 pandemic and the previous lockdown have further multiplied the different challenges faced by different disabilities be it people in wheelchairs, blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, locomotor disabilities, and other special needs such as autistic, learning disability to name a few. This has resulted in isolation, helplessness, dependence, and loss of control among the disabled community have increased
People with disabilities and special needs require need-based solutions to carry themselves.
Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales at Array Networks
The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was estimated at 9.5% of GDP, the government’s aim is to bring it down by 5% of the GDP by 2025-26 which is ambitious and certainly a welcoming initiative. The highlight in this budget is the announcement of the Asset Reconstruction Company and Asset Management Company to help banks tackle bad loans which have been a call by economists for many years. The significance given to the investments and initiatives in the infrastructure development with a few coming under the PPP model will boost the overall development which includes increased investment opportunity from various sectors.
The government’s proposal to use data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning-driven for the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ database is a boost to the digitalization where Version 3.0 of MCA-21 includes additional modules for e-scrutiny, re-adjudication, e-consultation, and compliance management. Connecting more than 1,000 mandis into E-NAM is an excellent move. Setting up a separate administrative structure for ease of doing business would help many organizations from various sectors. The faceless dispute resolution panel would help the citizens by keeping them safe from tax harassment. The importance is given to the healthcare sector to fight Covid and any future healthcare issues, the stress made in green energy projects like keeping aside Rs 1,000Cr for solar energy and Rs 1,500Cr for renewable energy along with voluntary scrapping policy and the weightage given to education has made this budget wholesome.
Mr. Praveen Kumar Gupta, Co-founder, Planet Organic
The Budget 2021 has really pushed for a stronger and improved Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The government’s focus on increasing the purchasing power of the farmers will encourage more farmers to adopt organic farming. Organic farming products generate more outflow as compared to traditional farming methods. We at Planet Organic believe that Organic farming is the future of agriculture.
The government’s proposal for allocation of funds for MSME sectors, reduction of marginal money requirement, and extension of tax holiday for start-ups is a great initiative and will be helpful for all start-ups.