HomeBudget 2024Budget 2024: Indian Business Sector Express Diverse Expectations for Union Budget 2024

Budget 2024: Indian Business Sector Express Diverse Expectations for Union Budget 2024

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In the run-up to the Union Budget 2024, business leaders from various sectors have articulated their expectations, offering comprehensive hopes for key policy changes that can drive economic growth.

Here’s a breakdown of their perspectives:

Eesha Sukhi, Founder, The Blue Bop Cafe ​

Increased funding and easier access to capital, targeted schemes for business support and skill development, measures to reduce regulatory hurdles in certain sectors, and incentives for women-led startups. Additionally, policies promoting networking and mentorship opportunities should be provided.

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Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, Omnivore

After a year of muted startup valuation and a difficult fundraising environment, the venture ecosystem is expecting both immediate relief as well as long-term policy support. To bolster startup growth, favorable tax policies related to carry-forward losses and employee stock options would be a welcome move.

From a macro perspective, there will be a continued focus on uplifting rural India, especially by reducing out-of-pocket expenditure on necessities and emergencies. Given this administration’s consistent support to boost digital payments, I expect this interim budget to make favorable provisions for accelerating credit growth, financial inclusion, and digital enablement of financial services in rural India.

In the climate action space, amidst the various incentives already in place, I look forward to public-private partnerships to fast-track green initiatives such as biomaterials, sustainable packaging, and climate-resilient agriculture innovations.

Finally, as this will be an interim budget ahead of the upcoming elections, the government may also choose to build upon the provisions laid out last year. In that case, I look forward to a policy-level push for uplifting alternative crop categories in natural resource-challenged regions.

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Deepak Syal, Director and Co-founder of GreyB

India has been striving to become a tech superpower, and the Union Budget of 2024-25 is the perfect opportunity for the country to take a major leap forward. As the world is changing, the increase in automation and technology will affect every sector, whether it is ITES, FMCG, Banking, Automobile, Telecom, or Retail. If we have to be ready for the future, as a country, we have to start working on this shift now. This implies bringing innovation to the center of future growth. It was good to start this through NRF, but it may take a while to bring the change centrally via one organization.

Therefore, the government should aim to push this initiative further in a decentralized way. For example, tax incentives are a good way to encourage firms of all sizes to innovate and create intellectual property. Establish dedicated innovation promotion agencies: These agencies can provide one-stop assistance to innovators, and entrepreneurs, guiding them through regulatory requirements and facilitating investment and growth opportunities. Provide incentives for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation. Additionally, Maintain transparency and accountability in fiscal policies and governance to build trust with investors.

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India has so much brainpower that if the government can allocate 1% of the budget to this Innovation pillar, we have a high chances of achieving this goal of becoming knowledge capital. This will also enable our domestic players to compete at a global level and generate 10x export revenue for the country.

CA Sandeep Agrawal, Director & co-founder, Teamlease Regtech

As a tax expert, I would emphasize the importance of stability in the tax regime during this interim period. While the full Budget for the fiscal year FY24-25 will be presented after the elections, expectations from the government may revolve around maintaining continuity and possibly addressing any pressing tax-related issues. Businesses and taxpayers must remain vigilant and adaptable, considering the evolving economic and political landscape. Additionally, I am hopeful for progress on the long-awaited Direct Tax Code, which could bring significant reforms and simplify the taxation system when eventually implemented.”

Ratish Pandey, Founder and Business Coach, Ethique Advisory

The Start-up Sector continues to grapple with a reduction in headcount as founders strategize ways to extend their runway.
The global scenario, marked by multiple conflicts in Europe and the Middle East coupled with subdued demand and rising inflation in Western countries, casts a shadow over economies, including China.

Uday Chawla, Managing Partner, TRANSEARCH India

In 2024, significant salary increases are being planned for employees by Indian companies, despite the global economic slowdown. An approximately 9.8% salary bump is expected for employees, building on the noteworthy 10% increase observed in 2023.

However, the optimistic outlook for salaried leaders is met with a challenge due to the high-income tax policies in India. Personal income tax, ranging from 5% to 37%, and additional charges contribute to a notable tax burden. In contrast, countries like Hong Kong (15%), Sri Lanka (18%), and Singapore (22%) feature more favorable tax systems, rendering them attractive to top-tier talent. As we now transition to remote working and the globalization of businesses, there is a tangible threat that senior talent may be attracted to relocate to countries that offer the most efficient tax structures and superior work-life quality and balance.

As India strives to position itself as a global powerhouse, there is a recognized necessity for policies aimed at mitigating the tax burden on salaried employees, particularly senior leaders. The pressing requirement of the hour lies in the meticulous crafting of policies that transcend mere attraction, emphasizing the importance of nurturing and retaining top-tier talent. This strategic approach stands as an indispensable element in fortifying the nation’s competitive edge on the global stage.

While major announcements may be postponed until after the 2024 General Elections, the interim Union Budget presents a significant opportunity to address ongoing concerns and establish a foundation for future economic growth.

Alok Kashyap, Founder & CEO, Yatiken Software Solutions

At Yatiken Software Solutions, our expectations for Union Budget 2024 align with key areas crucial for the IT sector’s growth. We look forward to potential allocations for EV infrastructure development, presenting exciting opportunities in software for EV systems, IoT integration for smart charging, and data analytics for EV performance optimization.

Additionally, we hope for a significant GST relaxation for the service sector, leading to a reduction in the 18% GST rate. This move would alleviate operational costs for IT firms, enhancing global competitiveness and providing resources for further innovation and talent development. Besides that, initiatives for upskilling programs in emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, and cybersecurity are critical for the continuous growth of the tech industry. Collaborative efforts between educational institutions and industry partnerships can ensure a skilled workforce.

Likewise, the establishment of tech-focused Special Economic Zones (SEZs) holds promise, offering tax benefits and infrastructure support to attract foreign investments and foster innovation in the IT sector. Moreover, investments in internet adoption and 5G deployment, especially in healthcare, could create opportunities for developing applications in telemedicine, remote monitoring, and data-driven healthcare solutions. These expectations, if addressed in the Union Budget, have the potential to remarkably shape the trajectory of the IT sector by fostering innovation, supporting infrastructure development, and enhancing skills in emerging technologies.

Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot

As we stand at the crossroads of innovation with Union Budget 2024 on the horizon, our anticipation at SuperBot goes beyond fiscal measures. We envision a budget that transcends traditional boundaries, streamlining Ease of Investing, catalyzing a robust Startup Funding Scenario, and laying the foundation for profound Digital Transformation within the startup landscape. We look to this budget not just for resource allocation but as a strategic path toward a future where Artificial Intelligence (AI) seamlessly integrates into our startup ecosystem. We anticipate targeted initiatives that propel AI research, development, and adoption, fostering innovation and ensuring global competitiveness.

Sekar Udayamurthy, Co-founder and CEO, Jidoka Technologies

The Government should introduce a streamlined procedure that eliminates the need for extensive documentation when investing or paying for services overseas, enabling Indian startups to establish themselves abroad. Additionally, Indian consulates overseas should actively support Indian startups by showcasing the latter’s capabilities at international events.

I anticipate a forward-looking budget that not only encourages innovation but also allocates funding for Research and Development activities in the AI domain. Strategic investments in Skill Development will be essential for ensuring the workforce is equipped for the evolving landscape. I look forward to witnessing more policies that foster a conducive environment for tech-driven growth. Such initiatives from the government will propel our industry towards increased global competitiveness.

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, ProcessIT Global

While major announcements may be deferred until after the 2024 General Elections, the upcoming budget presents a key opportunity to lay the groundwork for the country’s future economic growth. As India solidifies its position as the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem our global impact is undeniable, yet there is untapped potential to create an even more conducive environment for entrepreneurs. Allocating increased funds specifically for startups in Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Services is vital. There is an urgent need for additional incentives for Research and Development, robust cybersecurity measures, and technology-driven solutions, particularly in light of the escalating threat landscape.

Tax policies must support businesses by allowing the carry-forward of losses and accommodating employee stock options, ensuring sustained health of the startup ecosystem. Simplifying GST procedures can eliminate complexities, fostering compliance, and facilitating the robust growth of tech startups.

Lalit Ahuja, CEO, ANSR

The IFSC units set up in GIFT City, India offer various tax benefits like exemptions on corporate tax, tax holidays for ten years, reduced Minimum Alternative Tax (“MAT”), etc. increasing the profitability and hence growth of the business houses. Extending these tax advantages to other industries is crucial to unleash GIFT City’s complete potential as a center for GCCs and to support economic expansion.

Pallavi Singh Marwah, Sr. VP of SPPL

I applaud the anticipated rise in budget allocation for women, signaling progress over the past decade. The implementation of schemes like direct cash transfers and the potential introduction of skill development programs tailored for women are promising steps. It reflects a commitment to fostering economic empowerment and inclusivity. We look forward to the positive impact these measures can have on the lives of women across the nation, driving both personal growth and contributing to the overall economic landscape.

To combat the downfall of the markets and soaring inflation, it is urged that the government take growth-oriented measures to increase sales like simplified GST norms, investment in upskilling, and reforms in tax slabs for consumers as well as retaining the 15% corporate tax for new manufacturing units would help in boosting the retail industry. Since this is an interim budget, monumental changes may not be expected here but those outlining a complete budget.

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Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder, CEO & Group Editor of TechGraph.
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