Shailendra Singh Rao, MD and Founder of Creduce:
“The Budget needs to address the lack of clarity on the Carbon market for sustainable practices in India across multiple sectors. The broad expectation is to provide stimulus to renewable energy efforts as well as light the way forward for the entry of medium and smaller players to contribute to our climate change efforts. Its high time the budget incentivizes the low carbon path as well as contribution to the carbon-free workplaces.
This budget would further need to define a better roadmap to include the larger chunk of farmers in the gamut by educating and enabling them to contribute towards climate change with their agricultural practices. Not only will that bring a large chunk into the climate change role but also offer additional sources of revenue for them. Clearing a policy and setting up a Carbon Exchange too should be seen as a priority during the Budget.”
Greg Moran, CEO and CoFounder at Zoomcar
“The automobile sector has been through numerous ups and downs in recent years. In this year’s Union Budget, the government must renew its focus on enhancing infrastructure to make the production and usage of EVs and EV-related features, like charging stations, easier. The best alternative and most plausible solution for those seeking eco-friendly and sustainable commute options, apart from EVs, would be to rent cars. The government must encourage people to make sustainable choices when it comes to commuting. Renting an EV would be ideal for a majority of the population that wishes to own a car without the commitment and additional costs. We are hoping for the car rental sector to grow further and this progress is significantly reliant on the budget”
Vijay Malhotra, Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer at SahiBandhu:
The exponential growth of the fintech space in India’s vibrant startup ecosystem comes with a need for revisions, which will be expected from the upcoming Budget 2023. The Indian services industry has emerged as a significant contributor to the nation’s GDP, and it is imperative that the government should introduce tax parities amongst different sectors. Introducing a corporate tax bracket of approximately 15% could aid the service industry grow and perform beyond expectations. Investments under Section 80C, with the current limit of Rs. 1,50,000 needs revision. This could allow taxpayers improve upon their savings, while affecting a significant increase in purchasing power. Further, ESOP holders in Indian startups could gain from tax being levied on the sale of shares rather than on the exercise of ESOP, which is not the liquidity event for employees of unlisted companies. Thus, if these expectations are addressed and adequately tackled through implementation, it could help the country’s economy grow further.
Mr Ashwin Chawwla, Founder & Managing Director, Escrowpay
- Increase in the GST exemption limit for escrow services: The current GST charged @ 18% for escrow services is very high and needs to be removed completely to provide financial relief to small and medium businesses.
- Introduction of tax incentives for businesses relying on escrow services: The government should consider introducing tax incentives for businesses that rely on escrow services. This will encourage more businesses to use escrow services and ensure their transactions are secure.
- Banks and Fintechs alliance: The time taken for escrow services is currently 8-10 weeks by a bank. Fintechs like escrow pay, open digital escrows nearly instantaneously. The government should look into ways to reduce the time taken for escrow services and make them faster and more efficient.
Dhruv Sawhney, COO & Business Head, nurture.farm:
More than 50% of the population in India depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture is also the 3rd most significant contributor to our GDP and will always attract attention in the union budget.
However, unlike previous years, we are moving into 2023-24 with a cautious & uncertain outlook owing to challenges like a looming recession, the Russia-Ukraine war, threats of climate change, falling export numbers, global inflation in crude, edible oil, and wheat prices. A separate budget allocation to improve crop production efficiency and enhancement of the supply chain can improve benefits to the farmers.
- Policies to support Technology Adoption & Digitisation of Agriculture at Scale: Technology interventions, mechanisation, GIS, IoT, AI/ML, Big Data, Blockchain, Drones etc., can act as critical drivers to propel growth, farm efficiency, and improve production efficiency at scale. The government can expand the existing measures like Digital Agriculture Mission (2021-2025) to include these technological interventions that help deliver market & mandi prices, supply chain visibility, food security etc. Furthermore, the government should support the creation of an open ag ecosystem that acts as a public data library wherein all parties can share & access information & insights around soil wellness, pests & diseases etc to help fast track the change. The government can look to promote & open opportunities for PPP (Public Private Partnerships) to improve accessibility and truly bring in digitisation at grassroots level.
- Benefits, Incentives & Investments to solve Climate Change:A clear definition of the climate change sector needs to be drafted. Incentives and tax benefits for domestic companies that focus on solving climate change can be offered. Creating a well-regulated voluntary carbon markets framework with policies and incentives that help India meet its Net Zero goals. Policies that encourage farmers to implement sustainable & precision farming practices can be drafted and implemented. Financial benefits & subsidies for the farmers set aside by the government can be routed via agritech companies & organisations promoting sustainability cultivation practices at a grassroot level to propel a shift towards climate smart farming practices at scale.
- Solving market linkage challenges: The key objective of introducing the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Act 2020 was to facilitate agricultural produce trade outside APMCs. However, measures are yet to be taken to allow trade based on the PAN card outside APMCs. Furthermore, despite the government allocating funds to improve the infrastructure at APMCs for installing testing & drying machines, the availability of these machines could be much higher.
Similarly, increasing the number of APMCs, introducing digital platforms to help farmers sell produce at a fair price, delivering market price information, and regularly offering advisory, financial assistance, and best practices. Setting up marketplaces focused on FPOs can also help drive demand and improve farmers’ price realisations.
Ms Divya Jain, Co-founder, Seekho
Ed-tech has seen course correction over this past year but has emerged stronger. Especially in higher education and employability, it is the only solution and way forward. We look forward to a lower tax slab for education services to students in particular. Push to implement nep which will allow the youth to learning digitally, work and still earn their degrees