Budget 2024: Dear Madam, FM, Here is What Industry Expects!

Curious about what awaits in India's anticipated interim budget for the financial year 2024-2025? Wondering which sectors are voicing their expectations and aspirations, and what key areas they're highlighting for government attention? Check out here!

Shreshtha Verma
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India is on the brink of an eagerly awaited interim budget for the financial year 2024-2025, poised to be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Feburary 01, 2024. As the country braces itself for this crucial financial outline, various industries have voiced their expectations and aspirations, highlighting key areas for government attention and intervention.

Education Sector

In the realm of education, experts are eagerly anticipating significant budgetary initiatives aimed at fortifying the relationship between academia and industry, as well as empowering educational technology (EdTech) companies to innovate and implement the mandates outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Anup Sasidharan, Managing Director of MBA ESG India, underscores the critical need for budgetary measures that amplify the synergy between education and industry. He emphasizes that increased budget allocation for the education sector is essential, particularly to address the demands of new-age skills and enhance employability. Sasidharan advocates for measures that strengthen the bridge between academia and industry, aligning with the goals of internationalization of higher education as outlined in various policies.

Similarly, Mr. Amit Kapoor, Co-founder and CEO of Eupheus Learning, highlights the importance of a well-thought-out Goods and Services Tax (GST) policy and incentives to empower EdTech companies. Kapoor stresses the significance of these measures in facilitating the implementation of holistic and experiential learning methodologies mandated by NEP 2020. By providing regulatory support and financial incentives, the government can catalyze innovation and adoption of modern educational practices.

Looking ahead, Mr. Gaurav Goel, Co-founder and CEO of Toprankers, anticipates budget allocations aimed at boosting educational infrastructure and enhancing accessibility across diverse regions. Goel emphasizes the importance of creating a conducive regulatory environment for EdTech players, enabling them to effectively contribute to the objectives set forth in NEP 2020. By investing in infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, the government can foster an environment conducive to learning innovation and equitable access to education resources.

Overall, the education sector is poised for significant developments in the upcoming budget, with a focus on strengthening the linkages between education and industry, empowering EdTech companies, and enhancing educational infrastructure and accessibility. These measures are crucial for realizing the goals of NEP 2020 and ensuring the holistic development and employability of India's youth.

Entrepreneurship and Startups

In the realm of entrepreneurship and startups, experts are expressing their insights and expectations for the upcoming budget, focusing on fostering a conducive environment for innovation, growth, and sustainability.

Anand Sri Ganesh, CEO of NSRCEL IIMB, sheds light on the current state of the incubation ecosystem, emphasizing the need for enhancements to enable startups to innovate and scale effectively. Ganesh advocates for strategic interventions and support mechanisms that can nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, driving economic growth and job creation.

Harshwardhan Patwardhan, Founder of Chappers, underscores the challenges faced by startups, particularly concerning regulatory requirements such as mandatory Employee State Insurance (ESI) Provident Fund (PF). Patwardhan calls for increasing the threshold for such requirements, which would alleviate the burden on startups and enhance their ability to navigate legal complexities. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of easing rules related to Goods and Services Tax (GST), thereby reducing administrative burdens and promoting ease of doing business for startups.

Ashish Gupta, Head of Legal & Government Relations at eBay, highlights the crucial role of the budget in streamlining business operations and fostering innovation in digital payments. Gupta looks forward to initiatives aimed at strengthening logistics infrastructure, particularly to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enhance e-commerce exports. By focusing on these areas, the budget can facilitate the growth of startups and MSMEs, driving economic resilience and competitiveness.

Overall, the entrepreneurship and startups sector eagerly anticipates budgetary measures that address regulatory challenges, foster innovation, and enhance the ecosystem's overall competitiveness. These insights reflect the sector's aspirations for a supportive policy environment that encourages entrepreneurship, fosters innovation, and accelerates economic growth.

Sustainability and Environment

In the domain of sustainability and environmental conservation, experts are calling for robust budgetary measures aimed at fostering sustainable development, mitigating climate change, and promoting green initiatives across various sectors.

Aditi Balbir, Co-founder of EcoRatings, emphasizes the imperative of prioritizing sustainability in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and retail. Balbir underscores the importance of incentivizing sustainable practices, advocating for the adoption of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings, and enforcing mandatory compliances to ensure environmental responsibility. These measures, she argues, will not only drive environmental conservation but also foster economic growth through sustainable practices.

Kishan Karunakaran, CEO of Buyofuel, anticipates policy initiatives geared towards decarbonization, particularly in the realm of biofuels such as bioethanol, green hydrogen, and bio-CNG. Karunakaran stresses the need for supportive incentives and frameworks to facilitate the widespread adoption of biofuels, thereby reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy independence. By prioritizing biofuel adoption, the budget can accelerate India's transition towards a greener and more sustainable energy landscape.

Barun Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of BreatheEasy Consultants Pvt Ltd, advocates for financial support mechanisms to bolster sustainability efforts. Aggarwal highlights the importance of easier access to loans for green initiatives, along with reduced GST taxes for technologies supporting sustainability. Additionally, he emphasizes the necessity of increased allocation of funds for the development of relevant technologies, which will drive innovation and enhance India's competitiveness in the global green economy.

Niren Gupta, MD of Energy Oilfield Tools Pvt. Ltd, emphasizes the importance of addressing sustainability concerns within the farming sector. Gupta expects relief measures for farmers, coupled with adjustments in corporate taxes, import duties, and export benefits to support sustainable agricultural practices. By incentivizing sustainable agriculture, the budget can not only promote environmental conservation but also enhance the resilience and competitiveness of India's agricultural sector in the face of climate change.

Overall, these insights underscore the critical need for budgetary interventions that prioritize sustainability, drive innovation, and foster economic growth while addressing pressing environmental challenges. By aligning budgetary allocations with sustainability goals, India can pave the way towards a more resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable future.

Manufacturing and Industry

In the realm of manufacturing and industry, experts are emphasizing the need for strategic budgetary allocations to drive innovation, enhance competitiveness, and address sector-specific challenges.

Palash Agrawal, Founder/Director of Vedas Exports, underscores the importance of increased budget allocation for exhibitions and incentives for machinery in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. Agrawal highlights the significance of addressing issues related to labor incentives and Goods and Services Tax (GST), which can alleviate financial burdens and promote growth within the sector. By investing in exhibitions and machinery incentives, the budget can stimulate innovation, improve productivity, and bolster the competitiveness of MSMEs.

Sumit Mani, Member of EO Gurgaon and Managing Director of Westway Electronics Ltd, proposes changes to the tax structure for televisions to foster affordability and domestic manufacturing. Mani suggests reducing GST on LED TVs and import duties on crucial components, which would not only make televisions more accessible to consumers but also incentivize domestic manufacturing. By promoting domestic production and reducing import dependency, these measures can bolster the manufacturing sector and contribute to economic growth.

Harinder Singh, Managing Director & CEO of Yokohama India, highlights the importance of strategic allocations to drive innovation in eco-friendly tires and support the Electric Vehicle (EV) segment. Singh emphasizes the need for incentivization and adjustments in duty rates to promote the adoption of eco-friendly technologies and enhance the competitiveness of the EV sector. By investing in research and development and adjusting duty structures, the budget can stimulate innovation, reduce environmental impact, and drive the transition towards sustainable mobility solutions.

Overall, these insights underscore the critical role of budgetary interventions in driving growth, promoting innovation, and enhancing competitiveness within the manufacturing and industry sectors. By addressing sector-specific challenges and incentivizing domestic production and innovation, the budget can catalyze economic growth and create a conducive environment for sustainable development.

Economic Policies and Trade

In the domain of economic policies and trade, Niren Gupta, Managing Director of Energy Oilfield Tools Pvt. Ltd, provides insights into expectations regarding various fiscal and trade-related measures aimed at bolstering local manufacturing and enhancing competitiveness.

Gupta discusses the anticipation for relief measures that could alleviate financial burdens on industries, particularly amidst economic uncertainties. These relief measures may encompass initiatives to support sectors adversely affected by economic downturns or external factors, ensuring their resilience and continuity.

Corporate taxes are also a focal point of discussion, with expectations for adjustments aimed at promoting investment, fostering growth, and improving the overall business environment. Lowering corporate tax rates or introducing incentives for certain industries could incentivize investment and stimulate economic activity.

Import duties play a significant role in shaping trade dynamics and domestic manufacturing competitiveness. Gupta highlights the importance of adjusting import duties to level the playing field for domestic manufacturers, ensuring fair competition and encouraging local production.

Export benefits are crucial for promoting international trade and enhancing competitiveness in global markets. Gupta emphasizes the need for measures that support exporters, such as export incentives or streamlined export procedures, to facilitate trade and boost the country's export potential.

Additionally, schemes like Production Linked Incentive (PLI) are expected to play a pivotal role in promoting local manufacturing and enhancing competitiveness. Gupta discusses the importance of expanding PLI schemes to include more sectors and products, thereby incentivizing investment in domestic production and fostering industrial growth.

Overall, Gupta's insights underscore the importance of comprehensive fiscal and trade policies that support local manufacturing, enhance competitiveness, and foster economic resilience. By addressing key areas such as relief measures, corporate taxes, import duties, export benefits, and PLI schemes, the budget can contribute to sustainable economic development and prosperity.

This comprehensive overview reflects the diverse perspectives and expectations of experts across different sectors as they anticipate the Union Budget 2024.

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