Budget 2019: Startups expect rewards for R&D investment

Haber

"At Haber, we would love to see the Indian government reward startups for R&D investments. Haber is creating cutting edge technology, some of which solve problems unique to Indian industry. It would be great to see the Indian government back us and other innovators - one way is an R&D tax credit similar to those seen in some of the other economies like the US and Switzerland or increase the allowable deduction which is now 1.5 times,”Vipin Raghavan is Co-Founder and CEO of Haber, a robotics-as-a-service company.

ShakeDeal 

“ShakeDeal is a leading procurement focused e-commerce company. We cater to the procurement requirements of over 4,000 SMEs. On the GST front, we expect the government to reduce the compliance burden on SME’s by further simplifying the GST filing process. We also hope that they can bring down cash outgo and working capital requirement at the time of procurement by reducing rates and merging tax slabs. As a marketplace platform that works with over 1000 brand owners and OEMs, we look forward to initiatives that will help assess the GST risk of potential business partners,"Akshay Hegde, Co-founder & MD, ShakeDeal said.

 "As an e-commerce company, we look forward to improvements in the draft e-commerce policy that will level the playing field for both horizontal and vertical-specific e-commerce players. We hope that the new FDI policy will encourage further investment into the fast-growing B2B e-commerce sector.  We also expect policy changes that will weed out unfair trade practices like capital dumping and deep-discounting, paving the way for more sustainable business practices. The government needs to double down on their digital India initiatives with a greater push for digital payments. We also welcome policy decisions that will hasten the future rollout of 5G services that will inevitably provide a shot in the arm for the entire e-commerce industry,” Hegde added.

Deskera

“Right on the top of my wishlist for this year’s budget are schemes to create jobs as that is integral to a lot of other systemic issues outside of unemployment such as affordable housing.  More, high-quality jobs typically help address all other societal problems. I strongly feel SMEs taking to digital tools and becoming more efficient, will drive better jobs and outcomes. These initiatives will help us avoid stimuli, such as Universal Basic Income Schemes and other alternatives," Shashank Dixit, Founder & CEO, Deskera

"The only other piece on my wishlist is to abolish the angel tax for government recognized startups and SMEs.  It's unfair in structure and policy and curbs growth within SMEs and is largely detrimental to building a world-class startup and SME ecosystem in India,” Dixit added.

Clover Infotech

"The Indian IT services industry is at a watershed moment. It has strongly aligned itself to ride the global digital transformation wave. There is a huge demand for skilled talent in IT services and the budget should earmark funds to address this. A thriving IT services sector will not only augment exports but also fuel the growth of our consumption economy. The government must introduce favourable policies, tax benefits, etc. for skilling manpower and provide much-needed employment boost.  Enabling IT companies to strengthen India's digital capabilities and train and employ human capital to seamlessly work on new-age digital technologies is the need of the hour, "Javed Tapia, MD & CEO, Clover Infotech said in a statement.

Zeta & Flock

For the upcoming budget, two key areas to focus on are – technology and India’s salaried population.

"India’s online economy has made significant strides, shifting from a largely ‘cash on delivery’ model to now clocking a massive number of online digital transaction. In the upcoming budget, an increased focus on giving better sops to build an infrastructure that can continue to empower individuals digitally will further boost our economy. Also, with technological disruption being key for startups’ growth today, we would urge the government to encourage investments in technology hubs that will help strengthen technologies such as AI, ML etc. The government must also work towards bringing in some respite to GST, by reducing the tax slab for technology services and products, encouraging the early adopter market to flourish," Bhavin Turakhia, CEO, Zeta & Flock.

"For salaried employees, in the past few decades, we haven’t witnessed any increase in several allowances that are offered. For instance, the meal allowance is only ₹50 per day; while children education allowance has a limit of just ₹100 per month and the driver salary limit is only Rs 900 per month. It would be of great benefit for the salaried people employees if the Union Budget 2019 considers increasing the limit of such employee tax benefits.”Turakhia noted.

Dun and Bradstreet

"The government’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs could be evidenced in the form of credit guarantee schemes, easing of regulatory requirements for start-ups and time savvy technology introduced for tax compliance. In the Interim Budget, the government increased allocation to Interest Subvention Scheme for Incremental Credit to MSMEs by 25% over the previous year’s allocation. Given the current slowdown in MSME credit, it is expected that the government would announce further measures to improve the ease of access to finance for MSMEs,"Dr. Arun Singh, Lead Economist, Dun and Bradstreet said.

• An increase in the target for lending under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is anticipated. Either new schemes that provide collateral-free loans of up to Rs 5 mn would be launched under PMMY or the existing ceiling of Rs 1 mn would be raised.

•There may be an increase in fund allocation for setting up new technology centres.

•   Some measures to improve the welfare of small traders, such as the establishment of National Traders’ Welfare Board, creation of a National Policy for Retail Trade and a scheme on the lines of Kisan credit card and providing merchant credit cards to registered merchants are also likely

 Goldmedal Electricals

“We are hopeful that the government would continue the good work it began carrying out in its first term with regards to GST, Make in India, and the host of initiatives it has undertaken in the power / FMEG sector. In the upcoming budget, we also expect that the Government continues its keen focus on improving India’s infrastructure as this coupled with ease of doing business would ensure India becomes a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 as envisioned by the Prime Minister. Additionally, I am confident that the Government will continue to promote manufacturing in India through its ‘Make in India’ initiative as this would not only provide a boost to Indian companies but also aid in creating more employment opportunities,”Kishan Jain, Director, Goldmedal Electricals said.

Batooni Mobile Advertising

“The economy has seen the tightening of regulations in the past few years. Now the time has come to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurs and let a million businesses flourish. We need a jungle of new businesses and ideas that generate employment for a large number of semi-skilled people, and not curated gardens that favor a few. I hope this budget reduces the compliance burden so that businesses may focus more on growth,” Jitendra Chaturvedi, Director & Co-Founder, Batooni Mobile Advertising said.

Zest Money

"A meticulous approach of incorporating budding entrepreneurs in tier 2 and 3 cities can augment the startup ecosystem of the country, and contribute back to the society by creating employment.  Additionally, the government should consider longer tax holidays for entrepreneurs so at least taxes aren’t bordering our dreams,"Lizzie Chapman, CO- Founder & CEO, ZestMoney, said.

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