The Budget Speech has given a strong policy impetus to boost India’s exports and start-up culture. First, the recognition of the logistics infrastructure as one of the seven engines of economic transformation is an important and exciting development.
The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is a bold and much needed move to achieve coordination, modernization, and adoption of sustainable practices in the Indian economy.
There is a combined focus on enhancing the physical infrastructure of roads and transportation, as well as promoting digital technologies. Currently, the fragmented logistics infrastructure costs our economy an estimated 14% of GDP. The National Logistics Policy estimates to bring this cost down to 10% over the next few years. Integrating digital technologies into the logistics infrastructure has become an industry-wide priority to achieve faster and safer mobility of goods.
Second, increasing collaboration among private and public stakeholders using the Unified Logistics Interface Platform. By inculcating the practice of data-exchange, groups ranging from Government to start-ups, and MSMEs will have better access to data. Removing information asymmetries is vital to ensuring a competitive and modernized industry. An important decision has been the extension of the ECLGS by another year, with an addition of a corpus of ₹50,000. To sustain the benefits of such schemes, it is important to explore methods of digitizing finance for MSMEs. This will help in coming up with resilient business models.
Third, customs have a vital role to play in the faster mobility of goods. A key component of boosting exports are customs reforms, which have been highlighted by the Finance Minister today.
We believe that the integration of customs reforms into the overall logistics plan will further accelerate economic transformation. By lowering the barriers to mobility, MSMEs will be able to avoid costs caused due to delays in the movement of goods, and ensure better capacity management. We are optimistic and hopeful about the future of the logistics and supply chain industry in India.
The decision to cap the surcharge on long-term capital gains from shares of unlisted companies is important for start-ups from an overall acceleration perspective. 2021 saw a record number of VC deals. This shows the growing faith of global investors in Indian start-ups. The surcharge cap of 15% will propel investments from venture capitalists and high-net-worth individuals and promote the use of ESOP by new-age companies for retaining and rewarding employees.