As the country eagerly awaits the Union Budget 2024, scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, various sectors are abuzz with expectations. With just three days left, entrepreneurs and investors from diverse industries are keenly watching for policy measures that could shape their future endeavors.
Investor Perspective: Clarity and Guidelines
Mr. Anil Joshi, Managing Partner at Unicorn India Ventures, sets the tone for investor expectations. He acknowledges the interim nature of the budget but emphasizes the need for clarity on crucial fronts.
"From the investor's perspective, we expect guidelines for banks to participate in AIF (Alternative Investment Funds). Post the new guidelines from RBI, investment from banks in AIF has become challenging. Additionally, clarity around the angel tax is crucial for startups, as companies and investors continue to face IT notices for investments in unlisted companies through proper banking channels."
Fintech Focus: Policy Measures Beyond Physical Outlay
Ms. Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO of BCT Digital, sheds light on the nuanced expectations within the fintech sector. Recognizing the budget as a vote-on account without groundbreaking changes, she advocates for policy measures over physical outlays.
"Look at policy measures that could be beneficial, like the gift city. Policy relaxations can transform it into the next Singapore, New York, and London. Focus on enablers such as ease of registration for Indian fintechs and regulatory relaxations from SEBI and RBI for unconventional innovations, like real-time transaction-related solutions."
EdTech Entrepreneurs: Seeking Tax Exemptions
Saurabh Jain, an EdTech entrepreneur, keeps it succinct, expressing the desire for tax exemptions for both starting and investing in startups within the education technology space.
Education-Industry Synergy: A Call for Budgetary Initiatives
Anup Sasidharan, Managing Director of MBA ESG India, articulates the aspirations of the education sector. He anticipates budgetary initiatives that amplify the synergy between education and industry.
"We hope for an increase in the budget percentage for the education sector as per the recommendations of NEP (National Education Policy). A supportive budget can catalyze efforts in implementing an industry-aligned curriculum and advanced technology enablement, further empowering students for new-collar jobs."
Green Agenda: Push for Sustainability and Decarbonization
Barun Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of BreatheEasy Consultants Pvt Ltd, emphasizes the critical role of sustainability and decarbonization. He calls for energizing the sector by providing easier access to loans for startups and reducing GST taxes for technologies supporting sustainability. Aggarwal concludes,
"We would like to see a push in the budget via allocation of funds towards the development of technologies supporting sustainability. The promises made during COP28 and during the G20 summit need to be fulfilled, and no better time to start than the present."
A Unified Call for Action
As the countdown to the last budget of Modi 2.0 government continues, the voices of industry experts echo a unified call for clear guidelines, policy measures, and financial support across various sectors. The budget holds the potential to shape the trajectory of startups, fintech, education, and sustainability, offering a glimpse into the government's commitment to fostering innovation, economic growth, and a sustainable future. The expectations are high, and the nation eagerly awaits the unveiling of Union Budget 2024.
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