Budget 2024: This Is What India's Leading Entrepreneurs, Celebrities & Business Legends Expect & Hope

Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Jan 31, 2024

On February 1st, 2024, India’s present Govt will announce their final budget, before the Lok Sabha Elections kickstart later in the year.

Budget 2024: This Is What India's Leading Entrepreneurs, Celebrities & Business Legends Expect & Hope

Under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, it’s expected that the Govt will announce an interim budget, since it will be happening just before the elections.

The key question looms: will Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveil significant relief measures for income tax payers and salaried individuals? Speculations abound regarding potential revisions to income tax slab rates for FY 2025, impacting both the old and the new income tax regimes. Will there be efforts to enhance the attractiveness of the new income tax regime for taxpayers?

We asked India’s leading entrepreneurs, creators and business experts, about their expectations and hopes from this special budget.

Here are the highlights:

Sudarshan Chari, Executive Director and Head of SME Banking, DBS Bank India.

“In the upcoming budget, we anticipate a continued emphasis on supporting MSMEs in India, building upon the momentum initiated last year.  Concerted efforts to include all MSMEs on Udyam will be crucial, enabling them to access government schemes, incentives, and formal credit channels. In 2023, the CGTMSE cap saw an upward revision, bringing more businesses into the fold of formal financial services.

Additionally, the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has proven instrumental in integrating SMEs from Tier 2 and 3 cities into the digital marketplace. The upcoming budget can strengthen this foundation by introducing new avenues for SMEs to expand and enhance e-commerce integration.”

Mayank Gupta, CFO at CarDekho Group

Quote – “Looking ahead to the 2024 budget, I believe it could play a pivotal role in enhancing tourism mobility infrastructure The government can consider addressing GST anomalies in self-drive cars, contemplating a personal tax rate cap of 30% through surcharge reductions, and extending long-term capital gains benefits to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Furthermore, incentivizing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives through tax benefits can potentially contribute towards achieving net-zero commitments and fostering a more diverse and inclusive societal landscape.”

Piyush Kulshreshtha, Founder & CEO, Khul Ke

“The Government of India has made commendable strides in nurturing startups and promoting flagship programs like Atmanirbhar Bharat in recent years. As we approach a pivotal juncture, it’s crucial for the government to not just create encouraging policies but also focus on fostering the adoption of innovations emerging from Startup India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. The efforts of Indian youth need to be recognized as they have presented an enormous line of technology solutions for India. Our platform, centered around social networking, facilitates everything from online meetings to live podcast streaming and short video creation, reflecting the diverse possibilities spurred by these initiatives. We strongly advocate for the allocation of an adoption budget for Indian Homegrown platforms dedicated to Atmanirbhar Bharat and Startup India initiatives in the upcoming interim budget on all 3 levels of executive, legislature, & Judiciary.”

Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman of Dr Batra’s® Group of Companies

“Embracing a vision for a healthier India, we must recognize the pivotal role of healthcare in our nation’s prosperity. The Economic Survey 2023 underscores the need for a substantial increase in healthcare expenditure, projecting a rise from 2.1% to over 2.5% of GDP by 2025. As we chart the course for Budget FY24, I advocate a holistic approach that transcends traditional boundaries. In the journey towards a robust and inclusive healthcare system, alternative healthcare sectors play a crucial role. Alternative medicine, with its holistic approach, emphasizes preventive healthcare. It targets holistic well-being, stresses prevention through lifestyle changes, adopts an individualized approach, and employs stress reduction, natural therapies, and healthy habit promotion. Patient empowerment encourages proactive well-being.

We need a big change to address the specific challenges healthcare sector face. More money in the budget could make healthcare more accessible, not just in big cities but also in smaller ones. Furthermore, our perspective needs to be broaden to encompass healthcare insurance, medical supplies, telemedicine, and medical tourism. By strategically allocating resources to these sectors, we can fortify the foundations of a healthier and economically vibrant nation. In the pursuit of a thriving India, let Budget FY24 be a catalyst for positive change in skilling, education, and health, laying the groundwork for a future where healthcare is not just a service but a fundamental right for all.”

Deepak Kaushik, India Head of Apps Practice, Insight

“We look forward to the introduction of measures that will shape promising norms for the IT industry, with a particular emphasis on bolstering cybersecurity and enhancing data protection. Considering the changing dynamics of work, the budget should introduce digital workplace enablement grants to support IT companies in implementing robust remote work infrastructure, hence promoting a more flexible and productive work environment.

In tandem, there’s an important need for Infrastructure Development. Funding for a digital backbone is essential, especially for the development of digital infrastructure such as high-speed internet connections and state-of-the-art data centres. These investments are necessary to ensure the scalability and reliability of IT services, which creates a strong foundation for the development of the industry. Above all, a budgetary launch of incentives would do very well – tax rewards for IT companies which embrace eco-friendly practices, including, for example, energy-efficient data centres and sustainable software development.”

Vinayak Kamath, Co-founder of Hearth Ventures 

“As the budget approaches, our expectations for rural development are focused on crucial areas such as infrastructural improvements, livelihood enhancement, export potential, compliance, and cultural representation. We foresee improvements in rural roads, energy, and agricultural supply chains, as well as an emphasis on improving off-farm rural livelihoods. A focused emphasis is also expected to promote Indian crafts, notably of handmade crafts through govt initiated programmes such as ODOP and ONDC, exports and funding to promote India’s cultural legacy at international trade shows. For startups and MSMEs, simplify compliance without compromising governance. This budget should serve as a catalyst for inclusive and long-term rural and economic development, meeting rural communities’ different needs and ambitions.”

Balu Ramachandran, Founder at OC Academy

Quote – As we approach the upcoming budget, I strongly advocate prioritizing significant investments in the education sector, especially tailored for the unique needs of medical professionals. Allocating funds for technology integration, skill development, and creating a supportive learning environment will elevate medical education quality and enhance healthcare delivery. The use of online tech enabled education to supplement physical classes will go a long way in increasing the availability of skilled medical professionals to solve the country’s healthcare challenges. I am optimistic that these strategic allocations will empower our dedicated healthcare professionals to thrive in their careers, positively impacting the healthcare landscape

Dr Swagatesh Bastia, Co-Founder, Alleviate Pain Clinic

“We anticipate the government to prioritize health in the upcoming budget, allocating substantial funds towards infrastructure, research and development is crucial for advancing non-invasive medical capabilities. Additionally, increased investment in screening initiatives and national health programs is vital for early detection and prevention of a particular disease. To prioritize the non-invasive treatments it is necessary to make insurance and healthcare schemes accessible to all, ensuring universal healthcare coverage.”

Mr. Harshit Jain, Co-Founder and CEO, OnePlay

“India’s startup industry isn’t just growing, it’s putting the entrepreneurs into a promising space to create something big. Ahead of the interim budget 2024, we are eagerly expecting some major announcements, and government support remains the top expectation. The industry expects incentives for R&D initiatives, tech-driven solutions, cybersecurity support, and measures to fuel startups navigating the evolving business landscape. We also hope the budget shines a spotlight on enhancing and simplifying funding opportunities. In addition to this, the integration of digital and tech infrastructure will stimulate innovation, empowering the entrepreneurs to transform the way existing business is done.”

Basab Banerjee, Co-Founder and President at Magic Billion
One of the biggest items on the present government agenda is to provide opportunities for skilling and employability to the burgeoning youth of India. There is a growing requirement and attraction of Indian talent worldwide and the government has signed many memorandum of understanding for talent mobility from India to various countries Germany and Sweden to name a few. One of the ways in which large number of Indian youth can be skilled and sent to these overseas countries is by providing a mandate for banks and financial institutions to provide collateral, free, low-interest, loans to candidates who are desirous of going overseas so that this can cover the cost of the skilling process, which is so critical to make them successful for an overseas assignment. If there is a requirement of a guarantee, then the local state or central government could make provisions so that some kind of guarantee could be made available to these candidates because they may be from economically weaker sections but they are very aspirational and make a large chunk of the youth in India. Today some talent mobility companies like Magic Billion are sending a few candidates overseas who somehow managed to get the finances that are required for the skill. But if the government intervenes and makes it easy for such candidates who don’t have collateral to have access to Skill loans which are aligned, tailored, and locked to overseas employment opportunities. India can really become the Skill capital of the world.

Mr. Anshuman Das, CEO and Co-founder, Careernet

“In the upcoming interim budget, we anticipate a strategic yet low-key approach to navigate the path to the election. The government will likely prioritise essential spending with minimal policy disruptions. The imperative lies in making the Indian tax system more investor-friendly, reducing corporate tax rates for new manufacturing ventures, and promoting exports and R&D through tax incentives.

It’s noteworthy that Bangalore (BLR) dominates 35% of India’s IT industry. The government must enhance the infrastructure in Bangalore and similar IT hubs; otherwise, the entire IT industry in India may face challenges. It should also look to promote diversity in the IT sector, incentivising companies with a substantial female workforce and considering special benefits.

Additionally, incentives for companies hiring and training freshers are vital to prevent wage inflation and maintain India’s competitiveness. Rather than direct government spending on IT skilling, redirecting the budget through companies for more meaningful upskilling is recommended. Providing employees with direct tax breaks for upskilling and training expenses is crucial for continuous self-upgradation of the workforce.

Our expectations include increased allocations for MSMEs, agriculture, education, healthcare, housing, and urban development. Strengthening manufacturing and higher infrastructure spending are essential to address growth challenges. Industry-friendly labour policies, coupled with restricting interference from labour inspectors could be crucial government measures.”

Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd.
“The next financial budgets are crucial to maintaining India’s standing as the 5th largest economy in the world. India contributes $3.4 trillion to the $104 trillion global economy and has the highest young population. To fully realize this potential, the government ought to support consumption. In line with the strong GST trend, we anticipate cutting the GST on LED TVs larger than 32 inches from 28% to 18% in Budget 2024. For the market to flourish, PLA schemes must be expanded to include smart TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines. Income tax slabs might be reevaluated to improve disposable income, which will promote spending and raise consumption in general.”

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.”

Mr. Amit Mishra, Co-Founder of 91Squarefeet.
“To catalyze the spirit of entrepreneurship in India, the upcoming Union Budget 2024 should pave the way for a progressive and inclusive Capital Gain regime for Startups, like the ones enjoyed by listed companies. This move will stimulate increased investment in the startup ecosystem and unlock unprecedented growth opportunities. Addressing ESOP taxation for Startups is vital to attracting and retaining top-tier talent, and fostering innovation and excellence.
A holistic review of the regulatory framework is essential to create a more conducive and less stringent environment, empowering startups to thrive and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic landscape”

Mr. Amit Mishra, Co-Founder of 91Squarefeet.
“The real estate industry stands as a cornerstone in India’s economic growth, emerging as one of the largest employment-generating sectors.
The government should consider augmenting allocations for infrastructure projects to propel real estate growth in urban areas. Additionally, implementing a unified GST solution for real estate developers, enabling them to claim input tax credits for all construction materials, would not only lead to a reduction in property prices but also enhance transparency throughout the supply chain.
Moreover, there is a pressing need to incentivize financial institutions to create a more conducive financing environment for both real estate developers and contractors. These measures would serve as catalysts for expediting real estate projects and fostering infrastructure development.”

Richa Singh, CEO and Co-Founder at Happinetz

Quote- One of our earliest product commitments was to ensure that Happinetz Box would be a Make in India product. While the government has continuously pushed for more reforms to encourage manufacturing at home, my expectations from the current budget would be increased financial relief, such as tax rebates or GST reductions, for both manufacturers and companies championing the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

These incentives would serve as a pivotal catalyst, prompting businesses to align their long-term strategies more aggressively with the ‘Make in India’ framework. By providing enhanced tangible support, the budget has the potential to fuel a substantial uptick in domestic manufacturing, contributing to the overall resilience and self-sufficiency of the Indian economy.

S Anand, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of PaySprint

As the Founder & CEO of PaySprint Private Limited, with a deep-rooted commitment to driving innovation and fostering financial inclusion, my expectations for the India Budget 2024 revolve around key measures that can propel the fintech sector forward. With over two decades of experience as a Senior Techno-Functional professional, I bring a unique perspective, anticipating policies that can support the industry’s growth and impact.

Now, as we brace ourselves for the upcoming elections, the Union Finance Minister is consciously driven to present the Union budget 2024-25, with it being a prerequisite to anticipated financial planning and fueling economic growth. 

SMEs play a crucial role in the Indian Economy and are considered the driving force behind socio-economic development in India. Currently, there are more than 90 million SMEs in India, which have generated over 110 million job opportunities and contribute more than 30% to India’s GDP, as stated by Niti Ayog.

However, Despite making progress and advancing toward financial inclusion, SMEs’ potential is yet to be chased optimally. For instance, in many cases, SMEs are not bankable, due to lengthy/ complex paperwork, lower capitalization, longer duration to get credit & no-online modes for tracking of loan applications. Making these challenges one’s superpower, Business Banking solutions by SMEs should be made more accessible and convenient, by integrating services under one unified platform, making it a one-stop shop offering financial services or non-financial services, encompassing insurance, payment of taxes, utility bills, and e-ticketing. 

With it being a catalyst, SMEs have found themselves non-bankable due to no credit rating as well as disturbed cash flows. The issues mainly breed around low technology innovation, inadequate product as well as less security or no collateral. To its rescue, there should be solutions such as customer innovation or reduced complexities. 

By addressing these challenges and providing comprehensive business banking solutions, SMEs can unlock their full potential and contribute even more significantly to the Indian economy.

I anticipate that Contextual finance should be at the forefront, providing personalised experiences to customers’ businesses on a larger scale. Additionally, this approach would allow these platforms to use data to improve financial access and reduce costs. It is by introducing banking solutions in a way that would streamline SME operations with utmost efficiency. It is the introduction of such steps, which can propel this sector forward and help SMEs move away from the tag of underserved.

Picture this, remote account openings for businesses, effortlessly user-friendly digital banking experiences, seamless integrations that connect all aspects of our financial lives, and bespoke financial solutions tailored to meet requirements of each business. 

As per the budget of 2024, we look forward to a push to opening of Current Account for SME and thereby, leading to tech solution/platform of Account Aggregator of Current Account’s along with all transactions in a single platform, thereby contributing to a better user experience, effective fund management and the ability to attract capital/funds.

Continuing the discussion related to business banking, we anticipate a breakthrough in technology, with the government introducing provisions to support SMEs in supporting the adoption of real-time banking with quick payments. 

In light of this, it is envisaged that staying ahead in technology and being backed by supportive policies is not only a requirement but the need of the hour. 

Additionally, the banking landscape must undergo development, with proposed investments for SMEs regarding payments, digital reforms, and small-finance banks, as underpinned by many. Also, Awareness was found lacking about government programs, implemented through banks for the development of the SME sector. Therefore, we expect intervention in this regard from the Government.

As we approach the unveiling of the budget on the 1st of February, the fintech community looks forward to policy initiatives that align with these expectations. A budget that recognizes fintech’s pivotal role in shaping financial services’ future and provides the necessary support will undoubtedly contribute to India’s more inclusive, technologically advanced, and thriving fintech ecosystem.

Rajesh Sinha, Founder and Chairman, Fulcrum Digital

In light of India’s rapid strides in the field of Generative Artificial Intelligence throughout 2023, the upcoming interim Union Budget could hold the key to unlocking the full potential of this transformative technology for enterprises across the nation.

The government’s focus on initiatives such as ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI Work for India’ align with the rapidly advancing AI landscape and the vision for India to lead this global AI transformation. Addressing challenges such as the shortage of AI talent, creating public-private partnerships, and fostering innovation in advancing fields like insurtech, food tech, education, and cybersecurity is a pivotal step in this direction.

We are hopeful that the interim budget makes provisions for investments in data infrastructure, skill development, and data accessibility. This will ensure that India not only catches up with global AI leaders but emerges as a front-runner in responsible AI adoption. The government’s vision and its successful implementation in the form of this Union Budget is set to fuel the trajectory of yet another year of rapid digital advancement for the country.”

Mr. Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money

Tax norms and GST
The digital payments space has proved its mettle as a stable growth avenue during the pandemic. A positive impact was seen on digital payments due to benign taxation for self-service digital customers. To ensure the same benefits reach the less-savvy citizens, our government could waive GST and TDS for financial inclusion services at Business Correspondent (BC) outlets across India. A waiver in GST and TDS will help reduce the cost of offering seamless financial services and help high-end tech reach the technology-oblivious segment. We stand with the Government’s intent of taking digitisation to the last mile and passing the GST waiver benefit to ‌ end-users as this will push for greater financial inclusion and a digital economy in the country. GST is being charged @18% on customer charges on small value cash remittance (Domestic money transfer) which should be exempt from GST since this product is used by an underserved segment of the population like migrant labour.

ONDC and e-commerce:
Initiatives like ONDC are democratising e-commerce in India and shaping the future of global ecommerce. In order to encourage ecommerce in rural India, the government can offer some waiver on GST and TDS to the merchants and consumer especially in Rural India.

Enabling digital payments for Rural India
The Government of India is taking various initiatives for promotion of digital payments across the country. Over past years, digital payment transactions have witnessed tremendous growth.
During the Covid-19 crisis, digital payments facilitated functioning of businesses, including small merchants, and helped in maintaining social distancing.

Focus on Aadhar Pay in Rural Areas (in line with UPI in urban areas):
Small merchants in rural areas generally face challenges in accepting digital payments due to low penetration of ATM-cum-debit cards and smartphones amongst customers. While AePS has grown exponentially in rural India due to simplified product offering (Aadhaar in place of Debit card/Smartphone and Biometric authentication) and presence of neighbourhood BC Agents. We Believe BHIM Aadhaar Pay, riding on AePS railroad, is the right product for small merchants from a customer accessibility standpoint. BHIM Aadhaar Pay adoption is thus key, along with UPI and PoS for equitable growth of digital payments in rural India. Government of India recently approved an incentive scheme to promote RuPay Debit Cards, low-value BHIM-UPI transactions. This incentive scheme has a financial outlay of ₹ 2,600 crore.

A similar provision should be made to Rupay PPI cards/ PPI programs as well for low value BHIM-UPI Transactions.
Various stakeholders in the digital payments systems and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expressed concerns regarding potential adverse impact of the zero MDR regime on the growth of the digital payments ecosystem. Further, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) requested, among other things, for incentivisation of BHIM-UPI and RuPay Debit Card transactions to create a cost- effective value proposition for ecosystem stakeholders, increase merchant acceptance footprints and faster migration from cash payments to digital payments. Budgetary support on UPI should be extended to non Banks like PPI Issuers. PPI programs should also be involved, especially ones pushing adoption in rural areas.

DBU units
In 2022, the government’s focus on setting up 75 Digital Banking units in 75 districts should be continued this year as well. The involvement of existing fintech players and especially Corporate banking correspondents which are bank agnostic in driving digital banking units will help in further expanding necessary universal banking services to the last mile over restricting to one bank brand services and enable us to take a step further towards our goal of financial inclusion through rural empowerment.

Leverage Aadhaar Stack to drive finance inclusion in rural
We have witnessed significant growth in transactions in Bank accounts in rural areas enabled by Business Correspondents leveraging the Aadhaar stack. In last FY, in excess of 30cr customers transacted on Aadhaar Enabled Payment System primarily in rural areas. The Aadhaar stack should be further leveraged for more use cases. The Business Correspondents in rural areas work on meager incomes to provide basic banking services. The budget should provide economic benefits in the forms of tax exemptions and subsidies to improve the economic viability of such BCs with the aim of enabling all 6 lakh villages with neighbourhood banking services, thereby building a strong foundation for financial inclusion.

Sunil Sharma, Vice President, Sales, Sophos India & SAARC

“Over the past year, India has witnessed a rise in cyber-attacks of various magnitudes, placing many businesses and individuals at risk. In the wake of these attacks and the Finance Ministry’s directives throughout 2023 to enhance cybersecurity measures in different industries, hopefully the upcoming interim Union Budget 2024 will included a continued focus on reinforcing the nation’s cyber defences. With a heightened emphasis on prevention of data breaches, ransomware attacks and AI-powered cyber threats, increased budgetary allocations towards cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives are imperative. The Finance Minister’s call for proactive cybersecurity measures augur well for a renewed focus on bridging the current cybersecurity skill gap in the industry, fostering an efficient cyber-task force within organizations. This strategic investment will not only fortify our defence against cyber threats but also contribute to job creation and economic resilience in the face of evolving digital challenges, powering the future of a secure Digital India.”

Kunal Nagarkatti, Chief Executive Officer, Clover Infotech

“In the upcoming budget, I would like to see the government prioritizing measures that foster the development and widespread adoption of AI. A strategic investment in AI initiatives will not only drive economic growth but also position our country as a global leader in the digital era. I look forward to policies that support research and development, incentivize AI talent, and create a conducive environment for businesses to harness the full potential of AI. By leveraging AI, we can build a smarter, more competitive, and technologically advanced nation.”

Amit Nigam, COO and Executive Director at BANKIT

Quote – I eagerly anticipate the Union Budget 2024 as a crucial opportunity for the government to propel the Indian Fintech industry to greater heights. While our sector
has thrived, challenges such as talent shortages, regulatory complexities, and data privacy concerns persist. To address these, we urge the government to establish a dedicated Fintech skilling program, simplify KYC/AML norms, and create a robust framework for data governance. These targeted interventions will not only nurture a thriving Fintech ecosystem but also drive responsible and inclusive financial innovations benefiting all strata of society.

In anticipation of the budget, we hope for the removal or reduction of GST on transactions, reducing costs for end consumers. Additionally, advocating for Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) exemption on cash withdrawals from Business corporate accounts facilitating Cash withdrawal services through AePS and mATM in remote areas will encourage financial services in underserved regions.

Furthermore, we look forward to a budget that emphasizes talent development, regulatory streamlining, and responsible AI adoption. By prioritizing these aspects, the budget can unlock Fintech’s true potential, revolutionizing India’s financial landscape and advancing us toward a truly inclusive and digital economy.

Puneet Gupta, Vice President & Managing Director, NetApp India/SAARC

“The AI push by Honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in last year’s Budget was a visionary step which has helped place the country on the global AI map. We are hopeful that the upcoming Interim Union Budget 2024 will continue this momentum. The strides being made through initiatives like ‘AI for India’ set the stage for the nation to lead the ongoing technology transformation. What is also equally important is to safeguard the data required for this push towards an AI-driven nation. We look forward to diligent data governance and intelligent data infrastructure driven by AI. The budget presents an opportunity to streamline data access and address concerns on ethics .

An increased investment in R&D will help create the foundation for innovation in key technologies such as AI/ML, IoT, Blockchain, and Cloud Computing. It will be good to see tech startups getting the necessary
tax benefits and policy support that will encourage entrepreneurship. These initiatives will unleash India’s potential to develop new technologies and help achieve the government’s goal of a Viksit Bharat by 2047, sooner.”

Sonam Motwani, CEO and Founder, Karkhana.io

As we eagerly look towards the upcoming budget, we’re hoping for a thoughtful approach that acknowledges the crucial role of MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in India’s manufacturing sector. It’s not just about strengthening the backbone of the industry; it’s about generating jobs, boosting exports, and giving a significant push to our country’s economic growth.

A thriving MSME community is key to transforming the manufacturing landscape in India and resonates with the government’s vision for a self-reliant nation (“Aatmanirbhar Bharat”). By investing in initiatives like industrial clusters and providing ready-to-go workspaces, we can empower these enterprises, making it simpler for them to start and operate while reducing bureaucratic hurdles.

Moreover, focusing on training programs to enhance technical skills and improve the overall workplace environment through initiatives that pool the purchasing power of MSMEs can help us seize the opportunities within the manufacturing sector. It’s about fostering our companies and work force to prosper in the dynamic Indian manufacturing environment.

Anthony Fernandes, Founder, Shaalaa.com

Quote- Teachers play an important role in the education landscape, making teacher training a critical aspect. Allocating a dedicated budget for teacher training is essential. A proficiently trained teacher excels in effective communication, enhancing students’ understanding and enabling the teacher to cover more material within the same timeframe. Additionally, prioritising upskilling is of utmost importance, as it not only contributes to a teacher’s professional growth but also enhances students

Mehak Mody,CEO & Co-Founder, Upliance.ai ( AI smart kitchen appliance)

In this year’s budget, we’re pushing for robust support for innovation, a strong backing for emerging hardware companies, and a commitment to advance Indian AI ventures. The Made in India initiative must extend its embrace to encompass emerging sectors – it’s time for that expansion.

We also expect that there will be more direct support for companies building new tech in India and manufacturing hardware in India. It’s about powering local production, fortifying our ecosystem, and sparking high tech companies. This will be a strategic move to position India as a global force in the AI hardware landscape.

Sanjay Tripathy, Co-Founder & CEO, BRISKPE

In the journey towards financial inclusion, India’s FinTech industry is pioneering groundbreaking solutions, enabling access to innovative financial services. To fortify this mission, Budget 20234 should introduce tax benefits and a GST subsidy for those committed to widening financial access. Granting GST exemptions to smaller players not only fosters innovation but also alleviates early-stage challenges. A GST exemption for FinTech with turnovers under Rs 10 crore underscores our unwavering commitment to inclusivity.

Encouraging FinTechs to develop innovative solutions utilising CBDC becomes instrumental in reaching unbanked populations and underserved regions, aligning seamlessly with our dedication to fostering financial inclusion. Facilitating the integration of CBDC with existing UPI and digital wallet infrastructure will also expedite adoption among SMEs and consumers, marking a significant stride towards a more inclusive and digitally empowered financial landscape. This strategic initiative ensures the industry’s growth while empowering startups to make lasting contributions to the financial landscape.”

Arpit Paliwal, Director, HRS Navigation
Quote- As the director of a leading Indian medtech company, my vision for the health-tech sector in the coming year centers around strategic initiatives. I anticipate robust support, emphasizing local manufacturing preferences for Indian firms in government procurements, fostering self-reliance. Critical to our progress is the continued backing for R&D activities and an acceleration in innovation. Considering the surge in healthcare coverage and demands, an increase in the healthcare budget by 30-40% becomes imperative. Hence, I urge for strategic focus on increased funding, infrastructure and policy support. Let’s together forge a path that propels our industry to new heights of innovation.

Ketaki Karnik, Partner, Xynteo
Quote- In a context of an uncertain monsoon and potential inflation risk, leading to softening in rural demand, we expect that the government will introduce measures to boost rural consumption such as higher allocation for rural schemes.
To accelerate e-commerce adoption amongst MSMEs (currently under 5% of MSMEs sell goods online), as also to ease the cost of doing business for MSMEs, we expect the government to give further impetus to the ONDC platform in the form of additional investment.
We look forward to the government announcing steps towards a National E-commerce Policy as also a comprehensive National Retail Policy addressing digitalisation, access to finance & insurance, infrastructure and drive towards sustainable logistics.
We expect the government to introduce a nation-wide Social Security Safety Net to support blue-collar gig workers across sectors, including retail.

Vidushpat Singhania, Vidushpat Singhania, Managing Partner, Krida Legal (Specializing in Gaming Laws)
The Indian gaming sector was on the cusp of moving towards being a world leader, similar to the IT industry. Certain policies of the government such as designating a nodal ministry for online gaming, promoting gaming expos and promotion of funds for the AVGC sector, had the gaming industry and its investors in a positive and bullish mindset. Small tweaks such as relook of the GST on the gaming industry and imposing it on the gross gaming revenue in the interim budget of the Union Government, will reinstate the operator and investor confidence. This would also be in line with the government’s stand of relook after 6 months, especially as the government has made a statement before the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the revenue collection post the clarification/amendment has not been as per their estimates. Some other changes that could be brought about are equating the gaming industry with the toy industry, especially when it pertains to development of games and its related products. This would enable the gaming industry to take the benefit of various incentives available to the toy industry and make a global push. The expertise is already available in India. Since e-sports has already been recognised as a sport, an increase in the budget of sport, with emphasis on promoting the Indian e-sport could also be considered.

Budget Expectation Quote By Quote by Dr. Aruna Sharma, Policy Advisor and Practitioner Development Economist:
In recent years, the gaming industry has experienced exponential growth, presenting the potential to establish India as a prominent hub within the sector. Critical considerations, such as mitigating shocks such as GST enhancements and retrospective impacts, are imperative. A comprehensive understanding of goods and services is essential to address these concerns. The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework should be effectively monitored due to the digitized nature of the entire process. Transparent delineation of parameters distinguishing games of skill from those of chance must be publicly elucidated. By embracing and regulating the iGaming industry, India can unlock positive outcomes, including increased revenue, economic growth, job creation, and enhanced consumer protection. It is time to lay the groundwork for a regulated and thriving Indian market, ensuring sustainable development and reaping the benefits of a flourishing iGaming sector. There are silver linings in SRO being formed and SRB still evolving. IT rules in place and states like Karnataka are taking steps in positive direction.

Mr. Nikhil Bothra, Director at EPACK PREFAB.

“The infrastructure industry in India is expected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 9.57% during the forecast period of 2024-2029. More the industry grows, the more the need for time and cost-effective solutions to build infrastructure. Additionally, the demand for green buildings is on a steady rise, more so in the Asia Pacific region.

“As we strive for a $5 trillion economy, a more efficient construction approach is needed. PEBs offer a practical solution, allowing for quicker construction while also maintaining the quality and meeting environmental standards. Constructive regulatory framework would enhance the utilisation of PEBs within the industry. Considerations such as lowering GST or incentivizing the use of Pre Engineered Buildings (PEBs) in government infrastructure projects could be instrumental steps in this direction.”

Mr. Rachit Chawla, Member, EO Gurgaon and Founder & CEO, Multyfi

“In the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25, we expect the Finance Minister to prioritize three major factors for the growth of our economy. Firstly, incentivizing digital payments by providing tax breaks in GST for merchants and offering tax benefits to organizations contributing to the vision of Digital India. Secondly, a strong focus on investment in technology, specifically enhancing data security measures for digital payment platforms. Strengthening the digital public infrastructure will foster innovation in fintech, promoting financial inclusion. Lastly, addressing liquidity concerns by considering partial guarantees on bank loans to smaller NBFCs. This will not only instil confidence in larger banks but also stimulate lending. As our industry strives to recover from the pandemic’s impact, a well-planned and continuous support from the government is crucial. We anticipate increased stimulus, especially for sectors hit hard by the crisis, and a strategic push towards a more digital-oriented banking system to propel India into a truly Digital Payments nation.”

Mr. Sanjay Nigam, the Founder of the India Fashion Awards and Fashion Entrepreneur Fund (FEF)

“Despite facing a funding dip in 2023, India’s dynamic startup ecosystem, currently the third-largest globally, is buoyant as we eagerly anticipate Budget 2024. Entrepreneurs are optimistic about potential tax cuts, dedicated funding for emerging sectors, and increased infrastructure investments. The expectation is that Budget 2024 will serve as a catalyst for innovation, expansion, and sustainability in India’s startup landscape.”

Mr. Rohit Mali, Director, Firefly Fire Pumps

“The MSME sector received crucial support from the previous year’s budget. In 2023, the government demonstrated proactive efforts through initiatives such as the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, providing essential liquidity and boosting manufacturing. The introduction of the Udyam portal further streamlined the MSME registration process, reducing red tape and facilitating the formalization of new businesses. Despite these positive steps, the industry grapples with obstacles like rising input costs, supply chain disruptions, and the persistent shadow of global economic uncertainty. These challenges persist, creating anticipation for more robust measures in the upcoming 2024 budget.

The 2024 budget will be a crucial opportunity to solidify 2023’s gains and propel the MSME sector towards a brighter future. We are confident that the government will address existing gaps and collaborate closely with the sector to build an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Increasing the allocation of funds for schemes like Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP), other schemes would provide major financial and technical support to MSMEs. Also, continuing support for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) in vital sectors, expanding the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), and investigating alternative financing avenues holds the potential to address the credit gap for MSMEs. This, along with targeted fiscal incentives for technology upgrades, digital solutions, and capacity building, can boost them towards cleaner materials and sustainable manufacturing practices. Through tax breaks and R&D grants, MSMEs possess the capacity to make substantial contributions to India’s GDP, facilitate job creation, lead in environmental leadership, and drive innovation. The forthcoming budget carries great importance for the MSME sector, providing a crucial opportunity to unleash its complete potential. By giving priority to affordable financing and technical training for these 60 million businesses, which form the backbone of our economy, we can pave the way for a sustainable, export-oriented future for MSMEs.

Sonam Srivastava, Founder and Fund Manager at Wright Research, PMS

The upcoming Vote on Account—Interim Budget 2024 is a pivotal event for investors. Key expectations include a continued focus on fiscal consolidation to maintain investor confidence and long-term economic stability. Support for critical sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, and healthcare is anticipated to boost these areas and create jobs. Additionally, measures to address inflation and rationalize tax policies could stimulate investments and incentivize businesses, setting a positive tone for the year.

During the Interim Budget, sectors likely to be in focus include infrastructure, agriculture, banking and finance, and renewable energy. Infrastructure-related companies, particularly in construction, cement, and steel, could benefit from increased government spending. Agriculture initiatives might uplift related companies, while public sector banks could gain from government projects. The focus on green energy could also benefit renewable energy companies, aligning with global environmental goals.

Anirudh Garg, Partner and Fund Manager at Invasset, PMS

The expectations for the Budget 2024 seem to revolve around the belief that it won’t be significantly impactful due to its proximity to the election year.

Instead, the focus is on analysing the Budget from February 2023, which prioritised capital expenditure (capex) over popular measures to woo voters.

Last year’s Budget allocated 19.5 per cent of expenses towards capex, marking the highest in two decades, indicating the government’s long-term planning approach.

This strategy is seen as crucial for a nation’s prosperity, as capital investments yield benefits over a longer period, in contrast to immediate, short-term gains from revenue expenditure. The argument is that investing in long-term assets, much like a family investing in a business for future income, is critical for a developing nation like India.

The government’s clear focus on enhancing infrastructure and sectors like roads, railways, defence, and airports is seen as vital for India’s growth from a two trillion to a ten trillion-dollar economy. While the current budget might not bring substantial changes for the stock market and investors, any important announcements will still be noted and considered for their potential impact.

Divam Sharma Founder and Fund Manager at Green Portfolio, PMS

Anticipating the interim and full budget, we foresee a sustained emphasis on growth and infrastructure. The impending general elections may prompt populist announcements, shaping a positive trajectory for sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing, and FMCG. The budgetary focus on these areas is expected to fuel momentum, aligning with broader economic objectives. Observing these trends closely will provide valuable insights into the government’s strategic priorities and their potential impact on key sectors. We expect the growth and infrastructure focus to continue in the interim and full budget. We also expect some populist announcements considering the upcoming general elections. Infra, manufacturing, and FMCG could see positive momentum with the budget announcements.

Despite the potential for surprises from the current government, we do not anticipate significant policy shifts in the interim budget. The likelihood of major policy changes remains higher for the full budget, where comprehensive and impactful announcements are traditionally made. As we await further details, a cautious outlook suggests keeping a closer eye on the full budget for any transformative policy measures that could shape the economic landscape in the upcoming fiscal period.

Anil Rego, CEO and Fund Manager at Right Horizons, PMS

The interim Union Budget will be presented ahead of the general elections and the full budget will be presented later. Since Political continuation is expected at a broader level we expect the government to continue its focus on infrastructure to develop ports, airports, railways, and highways, all of which play a pivotal role in advancing the nation’s economic development. Additionally, investments in renewable energy and initiatives aimed at promoting financial inclusion, supporting growth and development.

Mr. Amit Kapoor, Co-founder and CEO, Eupheus learning

“The transformative NEP 2020 and an elaborate NCF 2023 have mandated holistic and experiential learning for school students. It also involves intervention at the infrastructure level, digitalization being the key. This will involve even higher level of engagement of schools with the EdTech companies. As we await the upcoming budget, a thoughtful GST policy, coupled with incentives will empower EdTech companies like ours to innovate and create tools and techniques for schools to implement these key mandates.”

Mr. Gaurav Goel, Co-founder and CEO, Toprankers
“As we sail into this year, our focus remains on bridging the social gap, providing quality education and enhancing the learning outcomes of students. With the upcoming union budget 2024, we eagerly anticipate allocations that boost the educational infrastructure, including cutting-edge technologies, enhanced accessibility across diverse regions and a conducive regulatory environment for education technology players. These initiatives will play a key role in accomplishing the objectives of NEP 2020 and moving our nation towards a competitive global standing. I am confident that this budget will serve as a driving force, steering India towards a future where education becomes the cornerstone of progress and prosperity for all.”

Sumit Mani, Member, EO Gurgaon and Managing Director at Westway Electronics Ltd.
“In light of fostering affordability and supporting the common man’s access to essential electronic goods, we propose pivotal changes to the upcoming budget’s tax structure for televisions. Presently, LED TVs above 32″ are subjected to a hefty 28% GST. To alleviate this burden on consumers, we strongly advocate reducing the GST on all LED TVs above 32″ to 18%. Additionally, open cells, crucial components for television manufacturing, currently face a 5% duty under IGCR imports. Recognizing the absence of domestic production, we recommend a significant reduction to 0% to encourage a more conducive environment for TV manufacturing within the country. These strategic adjustments not only align with the government’s commitment to ‘Make in India’ but also prioritize the affordability of common man products, ensuring that essential electronics are more accessible to a broader spectrum of the population.”

Barun Aggarwal, Member, EO Gurgaon, CEO and Founder, BreatheEasy Consultants Pvt Ltd
“Sustainability, decarbonisation and carbon neutrality are all important issues and have been spoken about in a big way by our Honorable Prime Minister. We need to energise this entire sector by giving easier access to loans for start-ups in this sector. We need to see reduction in GST taxes for technologies that directly support the above issues. And most importantly, we would like to see a push in the budget via allocation of funds towards development of technologies supporting the above.

More than our industry, the whole country and planet stand to benefit from the above. The promises made during COP28 and during the G20 summit need to be fulfilled and no better time to start than the present.”

Niren Gupta, Member, EO Gurgaon, and MD, Energy Oilfield Tools Pvt. Ltd.
“2024 Budget is an interim budget, so we don’t expect too many big announcements. But it is also an election year, so there are chances of populist measures. Some of my hopes are as follows :

  1. Being an election year, we expect relief measures for rural and low income bracket citizens, as well as the farming sector. – This should be minimized as much as possible, as they result in diverting funds that could be used for infra development.
  2. Corporate Income Tax and LTCG/STCG on equities – These should be lowered or kept the same. Increasing either of these will be very hurtful for the economy, and the stock markets.
  3. Import Duties – For domestic manufacturers, its important to increase import duties, so they can compete with Chinese and other imported products.
  4. Export Benefits – These benefits should be increased to aide exporters and help them compete in the global markets.
  5. Other schemes like PLI – Should be promoted and their scope should be broadened to include more products and industries.
  6. While the government focused on promoting local manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, investing in R&D is also crucial to facilitating development of advanced manufacturing processes and technologies and reducing dependency on other countries”

Armaan Siddiqui, Member EO Gurgaon, Joint managing director – Evergreen International Limited
“As the Union Budget 2024-25 approaches, I urge the Finance Minister to strategically address key areas pivotal for economic growth and international competitiveness, particularly within the furniture manufacturing and export sector which currently stands at less than $2 billion but has the potential to cross $10 billion in the years to come due to the China +1 strategy. Firstly, it is imperative to sustain and fortify schemes like RoDTEP to support seamless export operations. Secondly, the introduction of a logistics subsidy is crucial to enhance our global competitiveness, especially when juxtaposed against countries like China and Vietnam.”

“Additionally, a comprehensive reassessment of labor laws in India is essential, fostering a balanced framework that benefits both companies and workers. Furthermore, incentivizing manufacturing companies with significant CapEx through a reduced corporate tax rate of 15% can catalyze increased investments and industry growth. Lastly, the inclusion of handicraft/furniture industry in the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme can provide the necessary boost for innovation and competitiveness; . A holistic budgetary focus on these key aspects will fortify our industry’s global standing and contribute to the envisioned economic prosperity for the upcoming fiscal year.”

Vineet Agrawal, Co-founder, of Jiraaf.
“The mood is upbeat for the Interim Budget 2024. The alternative income category overall has witnessed continued growth, and the fixed income category as part of that space is gaining even more prominence. The growth of the debt market is critical for the country. Availability of debt across all segments of borrowers especially MSME & new-age companies will fuel growth and employment. SEBI’s recent initiatives like enabling Online Bond Platforms (OBPP), making listing simpler and reducing face value for participation in debentures have been a boost to the industry. We hope the government will bring down the difference in capital gains taxation between equity and debt further to unlock more participation in debt instruments.”
Nikunj Agarwal, Head Debt & Lending Alliances · Propelld
Ahead of the upcoming Interim Budget-24, there is a keen interest in the potential measures aimed for sustainable growth of new age Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) as these play a crucial role in ensuring last-mile financial inclusion for end customers. Government support for this sector will ensure sustainable growth for NBFCs within the fintech sector. Of key interest will be measures to ensure liquidity ease for new age NBFCs and supportive financial measures that could encompass favourable rates, regulatory flexibility, or direct financial assistance.

Mr Ramesh S Ramakrishnan, Chairman, Transworld Group

The Budget 2024 being an Interim budget will focus on development of Infrastructure – Railways and Road being of primary focus. A lot of attention will be given to infrastructure development of semi urban areas, tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We expect policies and incentives to be introduced to drive major growth and development of clean energy resources. We also expect to see strengthening of public private partnerships in promoting coastal shipping as energy efficient and low cost mode of transportation.

Mr. Mandeep Arora, Managing director & co-founder, UBON
Hearables are becoming more and more popular in today’s world, so it’s critical to provide incentives for them in consumer gadget categories. At the moment, there are no government incentives or subsidies specifically for hearables. The government should encourage firms to produce Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi Knocked Down (SKD) goods by providing subsidies, while also highlighting the need of encouraging research and development (R&D) and designing in India and new supply systems. This tactic increases the possibility of higher returns while expanding a company’s sphere of influence in developed regions.
Tax benefits, reduced tax rates, and an extension of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) tax reforms for startups are further anticipated developments. Considering the current state of the Indian economy’s recovery, the Union Budget 2024–25 would be crucial to the Consumer Electronics industry, acting as a possible impetus for its successful rebirth. Large manufacturing companies and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs and SMEs) are looking forward to the upcoming budget because they believe it will help them continue on their current growth trajectory.

Mr. Lalit Arora, Co-founder, UBON
To encourage growth in the durable goods industry, the government has recently enacted a number of policies, such as lowering corporation tax rates and introducing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) programmes that target particular categories. The demand for some finished white goods is nonetheless affected despite these efforts, mostly as a result of rising GST rates. Reducing present tax rates is essential to addressing this issue and encouraging more demand. This is a calculated strategy that may lessen pricing pressures and encourage consumers to make more purchases.

Apart from modifying tax rates, there exists a chance to provide incentives for the production of durable goods that are energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable. The government may stimulate economic activity and contribute to a more sustainable and greener future by implementing policies that encourage sustainable practices within the sector. The forthcoming budget offers a venue for instituting regulations and inducements that promote the manufacturing and uptake of durable goods that are energy- and environmentally-efficient.

The government may play a key role in reviving the durables industry and guiding it towards a more sustainable and resilient future by finding a balance between tax reforms and environmental concerns.

Mr. Kapil Bhatia, CEO & Founder, UNIREC

As a proud member of the sustainable fashion community, we look forward to seeing a strong commitment to promoting ethical production and eco-friendly techniques in the future union budget. In order to continue our transition to a more environmentally conscious and socially conscious fashion industry, we wish to see greater encouragement and incentives for the expansion of sustainable firms. Furthermore, we anticipate policies that support environmentally friendly retail and online sales methods, building a whole ecosystem that amplifies the benefits of our efforts to the consumer. A forward-looking budget that recognises the critical role of sustainable MSMEs, along with supportive policies for retail and e-commerce, will definitely boost our sector to new heights, promoting innovation, job creation, and a good influence on both the environment and society at large.”

Dr. Sat Kumar Tomar, Founder & CEO, Satyukt Analytics

“As Budget 2024 approaches, Satyukt Analytics envisions a pivotal role for advanced technologies in reshaping India’s agricultural landscape. The government’s commendable decision to provide ISRO’s satellite data to the public holds vast potential for the agriculture sector. To fully harness this opportunity, we recommend prioritizing the automatic availability of satellite data for real-time integration into the agriculture delivery pipeline. Additionally, advocating for farm-scale credit assessments and crop insurance, promoting IoT and satellite-based technologies for efficient water usage, and encouraging precision agriculture advisories are vital steps. Policies incentivizing agri-tech startups to collaborate with institutions like KVKs and their involvement in awareness programs can further drive innovation. These initiatives align with Satyukt Analytics’ commitment to fostering sustainable growth in agriculture and financial sectors through cutting-edge decision analytics.”

Sachin Jain, Country Manager, ETS India & South Asia

“As we look ahead to the upcoming budget for 2024, ETS urges policymakers to allocate resources that accelerate global mobility of India’s young talent. This includes inclusion of language skills and internationally recognized work skill certifications in Indian classrooms. Skills development enterprises, both public and private, must leverage globally benchmarked and recognised skills framework and certifications as these are valued by employers internationally.”

Policy makers should also look at comprehensive merit scholarship program for deserving Indian students for postgraduate and research studies in foreign universities with an aim to drive research and innovation in India post completion of their studies.

We also urge policymakers to advance public private partnership models that accentuate the “Study In India” initiative, which aims to reinforce India’s position as a Vishwa-Guru to the world.

Manisha Zaveri, Joint Managing Director, Career Mosaic

“We are anticipating the upcoming budget’s potential to unlock new opportunities for international student mobility, we are optimistic about the potential of initiatives fostering collaboration between Indian and international universities, creating avenues for cross-cultural learning and research opportunities. A budget that prioritizes global education will not only empower the vibrant minds of young Indians but also solidify India’s standing in STEM fields.

With the Indian study abroad sector poised for a post-pandemic resurgence, the upcoming budget holds immense significance. We expect the government to recognize and harness this potential by implementing measures to make international education more accessible and affordable. This could involve targeted scholarship schemes for Tier 2 and Tier 3 city students, tax benefits for families supporting overseas education, and streamlined visa processes. A supportive budget addressing these aspects will not only enable students to pursue their international education dreams but also contribute significantly to India’s long-term economic and intellectual growth.”

Saurabh Arora, CEO, University Living

In anticipation of the upcoming budget, we at University Living want to draw the government’s attention to essential measures that can profoundly impact Indian students pursuing education abroad. We feel an increase in the fund allocation especially to the higher education sector will be welcomed by the expanding student community in India.

Foremost, we believe lower interest rates on education loans will be a crucial step in alleviating financial burdens for students and their families, enhancing access to education in a destination of one’s choice.

Further, there is a critical need for an increase in grants and scholarships for Indian students, providing essential financial support to deserving students. Scholarships play a transformative role, offering support and opportunities for talented students facing financial constraints, to successfully pursue their academic journey.

Additionally, a reduction or waiver in Tax Collected at Source (TCS) while remitting money for overseas education and ancillary activities will be a welcome sign. Lowering or waiving off TCS while remitting funds overseas for education will ease the burden on families and encourage more students to explore educational opportunities at a destination of their choice.

Lastly, exploring student concessions on air travel is imperative to make global education economically viable for a broader demographic of students, fostering cultural exchange and elevating India’s representation on the global academic stage.

In summary, we hope these comprehensive budgetary considerations aim to create a more supportive environment for Indian students undertaking international education, fostering academic growth, and contributing to India’s global educational standing.

Krishan Mishra, CEO, FPSB India

“As we anticipate the Union Budget 2024-25, our expectations for NPS and PPF are centred around bolstering retirement planning and financial well-being. A crucial aspect is the extension of NPS benefits, covering employers’ contributions up to 10%. Elevating this limit can significantly enhance individuals’ retirement and healthcare planning.

Further, the PPF, a cornerstone for financial stability, deserves a higher limit, considering rising incomes. By expanding PPF exposure, we pave the way for a robust financial future, making it a beacon of prosperity for the new Bharat and their second innings. As we navigate the financial intricacies of 2024-25, a budget aligned with these visionary goals promises to shape a more financially resilient and enlightened society.”

Arpita Katyal, CEO, Roperro

“As a woman entrepreneur deeply embedded in the essence of ‘Make in India’ dealing in retail and e-commerce, our pre-budget expectations for 2024 echo the heartbeat of empowerment, emphasizing employability, affordability, and strategic tax rebates. The upcoming budget holds the key to unlocking transformative opportunities for budding businesses and e-commerce, propelling us to be catalysts for change.

In the spirit of ‘Make in India,’ I anticipate policies that not only foster business growth but also prioritize employability. A budget that champions skill development initiatives and incentivizes job creation will not only fortify upcoming businesses but also contribute significantly to national progress.

Affordability is the linchpin of any entrepreneurial journey. We look forward to measures that not only ease the cost of doing business but also make sourcing quality raw material, products and services accessible to a broader audience within the country. This, coupled with strategic tax rebates, will not only bolster financial viability but also inspire confidence in women entrepreneurs like me to scale greater heights.

The forthcoming budget is an opportunity for the government to reaffirm its commitment to women entrepreneurs and supporting our role in shaping the ‘Make in India’ narrative. I am optimistic that the fiscal roadmap for 2024-25 will be a testament to the government’s dedication to fostering an environment where women-led businesses thrive, creating a legacy of empowerment, affordability, and economic vibrancy.”

Anish Srikrishna, CEO, TimesPro

“Last year’s Union Budget reflected the government’s commitment to nurturing skilled professionals amidst dynamic changes. To propel our education system to the next level and achieve 100% digital literacy, I propose the implementation of crucial measures. Firstly, fostering collaboration between the proposed National Digital University and EdTech entities is pivotal. By jointly offering programmes, certifications, and employment opportunities, we can efficiently upskill a broader Indian population. The incentivisation of such initiatives through tax rebates for EdTech companies will ensure affordability for learners, fostering widespread adoption of technology-led education. Moreover, increasing public-private partnerships and incentivising the creation of future-centric courses will empower Indian youth for the job market. The reduction of GST on online learning courses and lowering education loan interest rates will make education more accessible, especially in Tier II & III regions. The digital divide is paramount, hence, there should be an increase in infrastructure allocations to improve rural internet connectivity, and tax relief for students acquiring digital devices will ensure universal access to online education, regardless of geographic constraints. Lastly, earmarking funds for continuous tech development and establishing a regulatory framework are indispensable for sectoral growth. These initiatives will not only create stability and attract investments but also stimulate innovation, foster entrepreneurship, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our EdTech sector.”

Sumit Sethi, Chief Operations Officer, eInfochips

“As we look ahead to the Union Budget, there is a sense of optimism within the technology and engineering sectors for policies that foster a culture of innovation and research. We are hopeful for the introduction of new schemes that facilitate public-private partnerships in R&D, thereby leveraging the strengths of both sectors. Additionally, implementing educational grants or incentives for academic institutions and industries that collaborate on technology research could significantly enhance the scope and quality of innovation.

For the rapidly evolving Electric Vehicle (EV) sector, we expect the budget to continue its support with enhanced subsidies, and investment in charging infrastructure, which is crucial for the mass adoption of EVs. Additionally, a focus on skilling and education in emerging technologies like AI and machine learning is essential. This can bridge the existing skill gap and ensure that India’s workforce is equipped for the future.

In essence, we hope the budget will address the need for a robust technological infrastructure, conducive policies for startups and tech giants, and a framework that supports sustainable and inclusive growth in these critical sectors.”

Jaideep Tiwari, Founder & CEO, Bramhansh Technologies (HealthTech Company)

“As we approach Budget 2024, the MedTech industry eagerly anticipates a progressive fiscal policy that propels innovation, elevates patient care, and strengthens healthcare foundations. The synergy of technology and healthcare underscores the government’s role in nurturing MedTech startups for shaping the future of healthcare.

Innovation is at the core of the MedTech sector, and a budget allocating resources for research and development incentives, fostering industry-academic collaboration, and supporting emerging technologies will propel the sector forward. Strategic initiatives promoting digital health infrastructure, including telemedicine, interoperability, and data security, are crucial for enhancing patient care and overall healthcare system efficiency.

The MedTech startup community seeks a budget recognizing the importance of a regulatory framework that fosters innovation while ensuring patient safety, advocating for a streamlined approval process to bring life-changing technologies to market more efficiently. The expectations are high for Budget 2024 to acknowledge and support the transformative role of MedTech in advancing healthcare outcomes and economic growth.”

Nikhil Goyal, Founder & CEO, Beyond Imagination Technologies & BitMemoir (Blockchain Technology Startup)

“Blockchain technology can have a profound impact on several sectors as it has the potential to create cutting-edge solutions and serve as the foundation of India’s digital economy. It can play a vital role in India’s growth story by solving real-world problems. So, we hope that our country will see more adoption of blockchain technology in times to come and bring real impact, improve efficiency and make India a productive nation. Thus, we hope that the upcoming budget will provide an impetus to technological advancements, which can unlock significant opportunities for growth and economic development, and an opportunity for India to become the tech hub of the world.

In the budget 2024-25, we hope the government to provide a fair share towards technological advancement, focus on incentivizing or promoting tech to make India the talent hub of web3 for the world, a push to R&D to develop “Make in India” blockchain products for the world and position India as the epicenter of the tech developments.”

Rakshit Agarwal, Co-Founder, Rupicard

Approaching the milestone of achieving a $5 trillion economy, the upcoming Union Budget holds immense importance in driving a significant transformation in the credit card industry. It aims to position the industry as a powerful force for enhancing financial inclusion and expediting the adoption of digital payments.

To promote the use of digital payments, especially credit cards integrated with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), it is crucial for the government to actively initiate programs focused on expanding the merchant acceptance landscape. A strategic approach may involve implementing incentives for small-scale merchants adopting credit card transactions or reducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates linked to Merchant Discount Rates (MDRs) for credit card transactions. Such measures have the potential to substantially increase credit card usage among merchants, fostering a faster shift towards a cashless economy.

Additionally, in anticipation of the forthcoming budget, there is a compelling need for introducing schemes dedicated to educating the public about credit scores and strategies to establish and improve one’s creditworthiness. The budget should particularly address the often overlooked significance of secured credit cards as effective tools for building credit scores. Comprehensive programs within the budgetary provisions can raise awareness about the efficacy of secured credit cards in cultivating positive credit histories.

Through these concerted efforts, we are confident that the Union Budget holds the potential to bring about transformative impacts in the credit card industry. By addressing these key areas, the budget can empower millions, not only by promoting financial literacy but also by significantly contributing to the realization of India’s overarching development goals.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green, commented “As we anticipate the forthcoming Union Budget, we are eagerly looking forward to policy initiatives that will drive the green mobility agenda and foster sustainable practices. The country experienced a remarkable surge in Electric Vehicles (EVs) last year, and this can be attributed to the government’s proactive policy initiatives and support to energy transition and to EV acceleration, in particular.

As we welcome the Union Budget 2024-2025, we are optimistic that the GoI will announce continued support to support demand for EVs with the announcement of FAME III scheme. FAME scheme of GoI has been instrumental in reducing the price differential between EV and ICE vehicles, and thereby spurring demand from customers for EVs. This scheme has been the most successful demand generation incentive and the success of it can be seen in growing interest in and adoption of electric 2W and electric 3W from customers across the country. With help of Fame II, a large number of electric buses have been ordered and deployed in our cities, thereby reducing the menace of pollution.

Thus, the most important expectation and demand from EV sector in the Union Budget 2024 is the continuation of demand incentive schemes for EVs with FAME III scheme. We strongly feel that if FAME II demand incentive scheme is suddenly discontinued in March 2024, there by leading to a significant increase in prices of EVs, it will lead to reduction of demand and as a country, we will lose momentum we have garnered towards a rapid transition to green transport. It may also lead to higher imports and loss of gains in Make in India for electric vehicles and their components. A clear and consistent demand generation roadmap is critical for continued and enhanced investments in e-mobility.”

Further, including Electric vehicle financing under Priority Sector Lending will help to provide impetus for affordable financing for EVs. We also request Government to create a strong export incentive policy for export of EVs, thereby encouraging local manufacturing of EVs for global markets. We anticipate policies that align with global sustainability objectives and position our country as a leader in the transition to electric mobility. Moreover, we are hopeful for a reduction in GST rates from the current 18 percent to 5 percent on lithium-ion batteries. This move by the GoI will bring about a positive impact on the EV industry.

The upcoming 2024 budget is poised to mark a significant transformation for the electric vehicle industry. The industry eagerly anticipates a budget aligned with sustainable and net-zero development goals, fostering the growth of the electric vehicle sector, and contributing to a greener and cleaner future for India.”

Mr. Ajay Setia, Founder & CEO, InvincibleMeta.AI

“I think the government should allocate separate budgets for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Metaverse, just as it has done successfully with the Startup India program. Similar to how companies receive DPIIT certification under Startup India, specific companies working on advanced technologies like AI and the Metaverse could be granted certification and funding. With this kind of recognition in place, it would be easier to implement regulations for AI and Metaverse technologies as they evolve.”

Pratik Daudkhane – Co-Founder – Decentro

“The 2023-24 budget made a major announcement of expanding the scope of DigiLocker for KYC of individuals and businesses by making the common pool for all forms of digital identity. While this interim budget is a vote on account, we expect the Finance Minister to signal her intent of expanding the scope of DigiLocker further. Integration of data like credit scores, insurance plans, and the Udhyam Registration status etc. will go a long way in making DigiLocker a strong digital public infrastructure to not only create a strong KYC framework for India but also go a long way in identifying potential frauds and make the digital financial ecosystem safer.

Along with these integrations we expect constant simplification and enhancement of customer experience to motivate more people to use DigiLocker. Moreover, we expect the addition of the passport in the Digilocker wallet to help Non Resident Indians (NRIs) better access financial products in India along with encouraging deeper engagements with infrastructure building innovators for efficient and seamless transition to regulatory compliant frameworks for enterprises.

Finally, we expect the Finance Minister to take a direction towards consolidation of India’s various public infrastructure through robust integrations. The pulse of the Indian people and business exists online in siloed data trails, consolidating these different DPIs will lead to a completion of these trails into robust actionable data which could be tapped into by fintech startups to create innovative products and services, increasing digital adoption further and improving the quality of lives of people.”

Ms. Bhavna Sethi, founder of Let’s Influence

As the 2024 budget is to be shared soon, the marketing world is on the edge of big changes, waiting to be influenced by an expected budget that mirrors how people are changing their buying habits and the trends in the market. As we step into this important year, we’re all focused on upcoming financial decisions that could really shake up our industry.

We can feel the excitement in the marketing community, sensing a great chance to work together. We’re eager to connect with important players in the field, coming together to share a mix of thoughts and ideas that go beyond just looking at the numbers. Our aim is to add to the story, not just breaking down where the money is going but also shining a light on how it affects businesses navigating this tricky landscape.

As we move through this time of financial change, let’s use our combined knowledge to tell a story that not only captures the vibe of the marketing world but also speaks to many different areas. Together, we’re not just going to explain the budget but actively join in crafting a story that lights the way forward, guiding the industry toward new ideas, strength, and lasting growth in a world that’s changing fast.

Mr Bimal Khandelwal, (Chief Financial Officer, STT GDC India)

As India charges ahead on its digital transformation journey, the upcoming budget offers a timely window to cultivate a world-class data center ecosystem that steers this advancement. We are hopeful of incentives to spur domestic manufacturing and infrastructure builds specially tailored for data centers’ massive scale and seamless connectivity needs. Attractive capital subsidies for setting up future-ready facilities and easy financing options to offset development costs will unleash growth. We also envision provisions that encourage the adoption of renewable energy to meet data centers’ clean power appetites. Additionally, preferential procurement directives favoring home-grown data centers will provide an upside. With an emphasis on nurturing a cutting-edge domestic data center industry, India can swiftly go up the technology value chain and cement dominance in delivering digital services globally. Having granted an infrastructure tag has remarkably expedited logistics.

Mr. Rajan Arora, Partner, Consulting, Mazars in India

As India charges towards a tech-driven future, the upcoming Union Budget 2024 serves as a pivotal moment to fuel our digital transformation journey. From building robust infrastructure and fostering a skilled workforce to streamlining governance and leveraging data for development, the budget must prioritise investments across the digital spectrum. We need swift broadband expansion, robust cybersecurity measures, and a focus on emerging technologies like AI and blockchain.

This proposed budget holds the power to not just steer the economy, but to pave the way for a vibrant, inclusive, and tech-driven India, and as digital leaders, we remain optimistically engaged as we witness the unfolding of this exciting destiny.

Ms. Kajal Malik, Co-founder and CBO at PickMyWork

At PickMyWork, we are excited about the upcoming Budget 2024 and hope it will have policies that support the gig economy. Gig platforms do well when there is financial support available, which is crucial for companies like ours to grow and come up with new ideas. We believe that focusing on improving cash flow for small businesses will make our economy stronger and help platforms like ours succeed. We also think it’s important for the government to continue its commitment to digital transformation. We expect them to take steps that make it easier for technology to be integrated seamlessly, which will help our gig workers and digital companies adapt to the changing landscape. Overall, we want policies that encourage economic growth and support the ambitions of our young workforce.

Mr. Alok Kashyap, Founder and CEO at 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.

Mr. Sumit, CEO and Co-founder at DashLoc

As we eagerly await the Finance Budget 2024, DashLoc envisions a budget that champions startups, fostering Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and innovation for resource generation and employment opportunities. Expecting initiatives promoting tailored upskilling programs in AI, we look forward to partnerships between educational institutions and the industry, ensuring a steady pipeline of skilled professionals for the tech sector. In India’s retail-dominated market, the government’s ONDC platform is set to transform purchasing patterns over the next five years. Finance Budget 2024 therefore also presents an opportunity to enhance innovation and community-centric solutions, strengthening the role of startups like ours in reshaping hyperlocal discovery with a keen emphasis on personalization and precision.

Mr. Atul Gupta- Co-founder & Director at e-Sprinto

We at e-Sprinto eagerly anticipate Union Budget 2024, recognizing the undeniable surge in electric vehicle (EV) demand in India. With EV sales doubling from 2022 to 2023, reaching 89,137 units, the momentum is clear. To complement this growth, we urge a reduction in GST on lithium-ion battery packs and cells from 18% to 5%. Such a move will incentivize OEMs, fostering innovation and affordability in the sector. Additionally, the continuation of the FAME II Subsidy beyond its March 2024 expiration is crucial to sustain customer acceptance and support OEMs. Moreover, compulsory adoption of global ISO norms for battery swapping should be mandated by integrating voluntary IS standards into the Central Motor Vehicle Rules. This step will ensure quality assurance and uniformity in the EV industry, elevating standards for all stakeholders involved in the electric vehicle ecosystem. A forward-looking budget will not only propel the EV revolution but also solidify India’s position as a leader in sustainable mobility.

Mr. Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director at 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 towards 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.

P.C. Kiran Kumar, CEO at Gathr Data Inc

Digital India has witnessed significant progress, with different agencies and government bodies accumulating vast amounts of data. For the government to leverage the power of AI, the availability of clean, correlated data is of the utmost importance. Once the data is cleansed, fused, and correlated, the data can be a game-changer by providing insights to the government to run its various development programmes effectively, improve inter-departmental synergies, expedite planning and decision-making, and more.

Several emerging economies are already adopting this approach, drawing on technology from Indian talent and products. India has the technology, know-how, and competency to do it through innovative startups with many novel and niche products well-positioned to lead in this domain. Urging the government to invest in establishing data hubs and to give opportunities to innovative AI companies to make an impact through AI-driven growth, governance, development, and compliance.”

Santanu Agarwal, DMD of Paisalo Digital Limited

“As India approaches the upcoming Budget 2024 and the transformative era of the Lok Sabha Elections, a promise of prosperity and resilience beckons. Anticipating a balanced yet growth-centric budget, we expect a focus on priority sectors, green initiatives and proactive support for the rural sector. This optimistic vision is set to drive inclusive development, environmental sustainability, and economic empowerment for all.

In alignment with the government’s commitment to sustainable development, the budget is likely to emphasize green projects and eco-friendly initiatives, reinforcing India’s dedication to environmental stewardship. Furthermore, targeted measures for the rural sector, coupled with visionary strategies for financial upliftment and social welfare, are anticipated.

In conclusion, the budget should be largely balanced with the upcoming elections, steering the nation toward a resilient, inclusive, and environmentally conscious future.”

Piyush Kakkad, Chief Financial Officer of Rebel Foods

“With Budget 2024 on the horizon, we are hopeful for strategic initiatives that will bolster the F&B sector, particularly in areas of digital innovation, ease of doing business and GST input credit restoration. The Indian government’s progressive approach towards digitalization and entrepreneurship, as seen in recent budgets, gives us confidence. We anticipate policies that will further enhance operational efficiencies, and promote sustainability and tech integration.”

Akshat Khetan, Founder, AU Corporate and Legal Advisory Services Limited (AUCL)
The banking sector looks forward to relaxed norms on non-performing assets to mitigate pandemic-induced challenges. The finance sector expects the budget to address cybersecurity measures, given the rise in digital transactions. I anticipate special provisions for real estate investment trusts (REITs) to make them more attractive to investors.

Mr. Bharat Dhawan, Managing Partner, Mazars in India

“We can expect Budget 2024 to be quite comprehensive in nature. The policy perspective towards inclusive development, infrastructural expansion, digital payments, green projects and self-reliance will continue to get a push. Capital expenditure will continue to remain strong, with further allocations in the construction of roads and railways taking centre stage. Meanwhile, high hopes are pinned towards green hydrogen in the energy sector, as well as for championing the production of EVs in automotive. The agricultural sector can also expect sops in view of current climate and inflationary pressures, and the government may take steps to cut domestic prices and boost insurance. MSMEs and startups strive to keep the innovation spree running and boost momentum in manufacturing can bring in new financing routes and networking mechanisms for them”

Sameer Dhanrajani, CEO, 3AI

“We would expect budget to provide a strong focus on AI regulations and ethics with Data Privacy bill coming into motion as a preliminary safeguard mechanism to mitigate concerns around data pilferage and misuse. With Nations feverishly looking at attaining AI supremacy and AI becoming sovereign agenda , the budget needs to consider establishing India based Large Language Models(LLMs’) through large differentiated datasets that captures Indian tapestry and nuances .

For India to continue its technology dominance in this decade, innovation and focus on deep-tech startups creation and emergence of more exponential technologies & product companies is necessary. Budget can look at addressing this through special tax incentives for startups , large data parks set ups and initiating public sector enterprises to become AI powered . This will drive internal consumption leading to additional revenue generating opportunities for the startups and technology ventures.”

Mr. Yug Bhatia, Founder and CEO of ControlZ

“I believe that a robust policy framework that defines standards, certifications, warranties, and taxes is crucial for the growth of the refurbished smartphone industry in India. From this Budget 2024, we predict a reduction in the GST rate to make refurbished devices more affordable and accessible to a wider audience. We are also expecting that the government will boost credit access and financing options, along with collateral-free and low-interest loans to the refurbished smartphone players. We propose that the government provide tax benefits and subsidies to the refurbished smartphone players who invest in R&D, and AI to promote innovation and technology adoption in this sector. Lastly, we advocate for a focus on the circular economy and its environmental benefits, viewing it not just as a business opportunity but as a collective responsibility to make this sector more organized.”

Mr. Kumar Gaurav, Co Founder of Cashaa

As we eagerly anticipate the Union Budget of 2024, Cashaa is hopeful for transformative measures that will shape the future of the Indian crypto sector. Our primary expectation is a reduction in the flat tax rate from 30%, aligning crypto gains with other asset classes like debt and equity. We also advocate for a significant drop in the high TDS rate from 1% to approximately 0.01%, aiming to rekindle trading volumes crucial for a vibrant market. Furthermore, we urge the inclusion of offshore crypto companies under the TDS mandate, fostering fair competition for Indian crypto exchanges. A decisive and supportive regulatory framework is pivotal, as it will not only encourage innovation but also attract vital investments to fuel the growth of the crypto sector in India. While our optimism runs high, we remain mindful of the interim nature of this budget, preceding the 2024 general elections.

Dr. Krishna Veer Singh, Co-Founder, Lissun – A Mental and Emotional Wellness Startup

In the upcoming budget, we anticipate further emphasis on mental health support. The government has already acknowledged its importance, introducing initiatives like tele Manas and incorporating IPD coverage for mental health through IRDA. However, there are two critical areas that require attention. First, India urgently needs a greater number of qualified mental health professionals, particularly clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers. The government should focus on increasing these numbers to meet the rising demand, a trend that has become especially pronounced in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, psychotherapy, a fundamental component of mental health treatment, remains uncovered by insurance. Ensuring OPD coverage for psychotherapy is essential; it would address affordability issues, making these vital services accessible to a broader segment of the population.

Avi Dahiya, the Founder & CEO of Twyn

“Technology is the great equalizer but DeepTech is the great multiplier. Technology has practically transformed the way we work and live. However, advancements in DeepTech such as Artificial Intelligence have a ‘multiplier change effect’ not just in one particular field, but across industries right from national defense to payments to aerospace. Adding to it, this change delta is not just incremental, but exponential. Hence, it becomes quintessential for every country to invest into homegrown Innovation.

Innovation is at the core of any DeepTech enterprise as they are often focused on solving for real-world complexities through advanced technologies. However, there is high risk associated with DeepTech startups and unlike other startups, they also require larger investments given that the R&D costs are significantly higher. Besides, such startups have a longer gestation period. With the growing prominence and implementation of DeepTech across various industries, we expect increased investment in this space in the forthcoming budget to further enhance R&D mechanisms. Increased investment will also encourage entrepreneurs to explore new ideas and open up possibilities for innovation in mainstream industries. In order to realize the vision of transforming 2020’s into a ‘Techade’ for India, we expect to see initiatives that will enhance collaboration between the industry, regulator and academia. The growth of the sector has also led to an increased demand for tech talent in the country. The upcoming budget should focus on increased investments in skill development of the youth in the technology sector. India is well poised to become the world’s technology and innovation hub in the coming decades, and this can only be done by strengthening and realizing the full potential of DeepTech.”

BY Mr. Mandeep Arora, Managing director & co-founder, UBON

Hearables are becoming more and more popular in today’s world, so it’s critical to provide incentives for them in consumer gadget categories. At the moment, there are no government incentives or subsidies specifically for hearables. The government should encourage firms to produce Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi Knocked Down (SKD) goods by providing subsidies, while also highlighting the need of encouraging research and development (R&D) and designing in India and new supply systems. This tactic increases the possibility of higher returns while expanding a company’s sphere of influence in developed regions.

Tax benefits, reduced tax rates, and an extension of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) tax reforms for startups are further anticipated developments. Considering the current state of the Indian economy’s recovery, the Union Budget 2024–25 would be crucial to the Consumer Electronics industry, acting as a possible impetus for its successful rebirth. Large manufacturing companies and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs and SMEs) are looking forward to the upcoming budget because they believe it will help them continue on their current growth trajectory.

By Mr. Lalit Arora, Co-founder, UBON

To encourage growth in the durable goods industry, the government has recently enacted a number of policies, such as lowering corporation tax rates and introducing Production Linked Incentive (PLI) programmes that target particular categories. The demand for some finished white goods is nonetheless affected despite these efforts, mostly as a result of rising GST rates. Reducing present tax rates is essential to addressing this issue and encouraging more demand. This is a calculated strategy that may lessen pricing pressures and encourage consumers to make more purchases.

Apart from modifying tax rates, there exists a chance to provide incentives for the production of durable goods that are energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable. The government may stimulate economic activity and contribute to a more sustainable and greener future by implementing policies that encourage sustainable practices within the sector. The forthcoming budget offers a venue for instituting regulations and inducements that promote the manufacturing and uptake of durable goods that are energy- and environmentally-efficient.

The government may play a key role in reviving the durables industry and guiding it towards a more sustainable and resilient future by finding a balance between tax reforms and environmental concerns.

Pre-budget responses by Mr. Kapil Bhatia, CEO & Founder, UNIREC

As a proud member of the sustainable fashion community, we look forward to seeing a strong commitment to promoting ethical production and eco-friendly techniques in the future union budget. In order to continue our transition to a more environmentally conscious and socially conscious fashion industry, we wish to see greater encouragement and incentives for the expansion of sustainable firms. Furthermore, we anticipate policies that support environmentally friendly retail and online sales methods, building a whole ecosystem that amplifies the benefits of our efforts to the consumer. A forward-looking budget that recognises the critical role of sustainable MSMEs, along with supportive policies for retail and e-commerce, will definitely boost our sector to new heights, promoting innovation, job creation, and a good influence on both the environment and society at large.”

Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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