Budget should provide easy access to debt for startups

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Sharan Grandigae, Founder & CEO, Redd Experience Design

We look forward to the government laying the right foundations for both short- and long-term stability. The budget should take a two-pronged approach where on the one hand, it continues to encourage start-ups to form and grow and on the second, to boost the development of alternative energy industries. The government has made advances in spurring start-ups on several fronts but has also adopted policies that make it harder for them to operate. This can only mean that more efforts need to be made to make it easier for start-ups to establish themselves, raise funds, file taxes and hire and manage human resources while reducing the obstacles posed by licenses. The second important area of the budget that we are looking to see a focus on are initiatives by the government to encourage more players to get into alternative energy production, storage and distribution. Also, it needs to give companies entering these fields a shot in the arm to find markets for the consumption of this energy as well. To do this, the government should allocate more towards the electrification of vehicles involved in public and goods transportation as well as increase incentives to consumers who want to use electric cars and bikes for their personal transportation.   

 

Ajith Mohan Karimpana, Founder and CEO, Furlenco

It is imperative therefore that the government keeps the start-up spirit alive by providing support wherever needed. A possible move could be to make it easier to gain access to debt, especially from the public sector banks. Apart from this, considering that they are already burdened by a number of regulatory requirements, simplification of compliance and tax filing procedures would be an encouraging move, especially for new start-ups. I also expect this year’s budget to iron out issues such as those surrounding the Angel Tax reform. The government also needs to come up with a favourable ESOPs taxation policy. Another aspect that I hope the government will consider strongly in this year’s budget announcements is the application of capital gains. Capital gains must be made applicable at the time of sale of equity and brought at par with the capital gains tax rates of listed companies. The government must also consider universalizing the e-KYC initiative so that Fintech and subscription-based start-ups can operate in a hassle-free environment.  

 

Ambarish Ghosh, Founder and Director, The Hillcart Tales

One of the major challenges to be tackled is fundraising for business growth in consumer-oriented companies. We hope the government will look at offering tax incentives to VCs for investing money in Indian companies that have a global outlook. Currently, there is a 25% corporate tax applicable on companies with a turnover below 250 crores, and a reduction in this rate would help in increasing the operating profits of small and medium enterprises. Apart from this, there is a great disparity of GST slabs on tea products like instant tea being placed in the 5% GST slab while flavoured teas is placed in 18% GST slab. The need of the hour is to help the tea industry sustain itself by uniformly applying a GST of 5% on all products including flavoured teas.

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