Union Budget 2022: 50+ Indian Entrepreneurs Share Expectations: Fintech, Food, Ecommerce, Tech, Health, Edtech & More

Union Budget 2022: 50+ Indian Entrepreneurs Share Their Expectations: Fintech, Food, Ecommerce, Tech, Health & More
Union Budget 2022: 50+ Indian Entrepreneurs Share Their Expectations: Fintech, Food, Ecommerce, Tech, Health & More

Union Budget 2022 is keenly awaited! Amidst 3rd wave of Covid-19 infections, and an economic slowdown, Indian entrepreneurs and businesses are looking forward to some major economic stimulus and push by the Govt.

Here are more than 50 Indian entrepreneurs sharing their budget expectations from the Govt of India:

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Nova (Flock and Titan)

“Following two years of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and amidst the third COVID-19 wave, I am expecting that this year’s Union Budget will be a pragmatic one. There is an urgent need for the Government of India to continue its focus on infrastructure spending to boost the economy and increase employment opportunities. It will be great to see the Union Budget allocate funds toward incentivizing the use of emerging deep technologies like artificial intelligence, intelligent automation, blockchain, augmented / virtual reality etc., among businesses. Today, businesses across verticals are generating large amounts of data, which when harnessed through the use of new age technologies can be better leveraged to solve challenges faced by citizens. Promoting digitization is the need of the hour, and while we have made significant progress in this area in the last few years, we still have a long way to go. At this juncture, incentives, tax benefits, and provisions for optimization of cloud services can greatly help in building a truly ‘Digital India’.”

Dr. Vijay Patil, Chancellor of DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai

“The Education sector has undergone a radical transformation in the last two years, as educators and students retreated to the safe bounds of the digital dimension. To help the country recover from the lag caused due to the pandemic and to accelerate the pace of growth, it is important for the Government to proliferate their budget allocation towards the Education sector. 
 The government should accelerate programmes to improve Internet connectivity infrastructure across the country, ensuring last-mile connectivity, inexpensive 5G devices, and most crucially, assisting in flexible learning infrastructure. 
Additionally, the ministry should further strengthen the need for mandatory skill learning across both primary and secondary levels in conjunction with conceptual knowledge. And especially empower the youth with tomorrow’s skills so as to create a ‘recruit-ready’ workforce that can help us drive an accelerated path to progress. As a country with one of the most advantageous youth demographic dividends, it is imperative that we focus on equity and quality across educational facilities in both metros and smaller cities to maximise learning outcomes. Also, deployment of cutting edge technology in building the human capital of the country will go a long way in helping us meet market demands and multiply employability while catering to next – generation jobs.

Puneet Gupta, Managing Director & Vice President, NetApp India

“The Union Budget in India is always eagerly awaited by everyone, from corporates to taxpayers, with all hopes attached to having simplified compliances. In the wake of the third Covid wave, there is a certain expectation in terms of rebates and relief from the Finance Ministry on Indirect and Direct taxes. Stimulus packages and tax exemption policies designed for the COVID impacted era would help revitalize the economy. Moreover, the duration of compensation cess ends in June 2022, hence it would be great if the government could look at providing an extension on this by six months or a year. The Ministry of Finance may have some surprises in their bags for the GST regime specifically from a sectoral perspective, hence as a leading industry player we are looking forward to this. In order to provide a fillip to business growth the government is also expected to introduce financial aid to build a strong digital infrastructure for MSMEs and startups. This will help further strengthen organizations, enabling them to grow and thrive in today’s remote work environment.”

Mr. Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director – Syska

“With the ongoing pandemic, there have been indications of recovery, but this must be sustained in 2022 to help revive our economy. This should be one of the main agendas of Budget 2022. We believe the government can offer support to help reduce import dependency and implement forward-thinking fiscal measures to boost domestic output. Further, the focus can also be on future challenges such as developing a competitive manufacturing sector and climate change.

Recently, the retail industry has been forced back into survival mode due to increase in cases of the new Omicron variant. Given the prospect for production to drop as a result of current and proposed curfews, the sector may expect relaxation in the production targets that were under the PLI scheme.

Many nations pledged for a sustainable future at the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26). The forthcoming Budget will be critical in shaping the tomorrow of India’s energy path, with the country putting a target of 2070 to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Furthermore, there might be emphasis on taking steps to boost production using emerging technologies and automation, which will not only boost both quantity and quality but also highlight the significance of switching to energy-efficient solutions. Under Modi Ji’s visionary leadership, manufacturing sector has always received the much-required support for growth and we are very optimistic that this sector will continue to get the backing from the government led by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji and provide the country’s economy a much-needed boost through the upcoming budget.

Adetee Agarwaal, Founder of PinkAprons

Being a woman, and the founder of PinkAprons, my expectation from the budget is that the Govt should come out with schemes to encourage more women to join mainstream jobs, start new businesses, and participate in India’s growth story. 

A good start can be to empower homemakers, an untapped workforce!

Drawing parallels from the super successful Anganwadi program, we can use a home-maker skill-sharing platform that could affect a movement in these 25 Crore+, dormant workforce. 

Right now, only 16% of Indian women are working. If the Govt is able to increase this count to say 25%, via innovative and targeted women employment and entrepreneurial schemes, then India can have billions of dollars of GDP growth, and trigger progress and development all across the nation.

Niraj Hutheesing-Founder and Managing Director, Cygnet Infotech.

 “India saw a euphoric rise in the number of unicorns in 2021, adding 33 in a year making it one of the fastest growing technology startup ecosystems globally. This growth has been on the back of overall improvement in ease of doing business, and this should continue to remain an ongoing focus and priority. Within the logistics space, there has been a massive disruption led by a major increase in last mile deliveries. Additionally, as Make-in-India along with the national freight corridors gains momentum, this is going to further increase demand for logistics. All of this necessitates building infrastructure capabilities that are future ready. We can achieve this with the right focus on digitizing processes and making international trade easier, which would go a long way in elevating India’s position in the global technology and logistics arena.”

Dhruvil Sanghvi, Founder & CEO, LogiNext.

“When it comes to Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, we as a country have a huge potential in becoming a global hub. The recent semiconductor-focused Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme announced by the government has been a major boost for the ecosystem. The Design Linked Incentives (DLI) which is another element linked to the scheme has been beneficial for the design and fabless companies. From a Union Budget perspective, we are definitely hopeful of an MSME-centric budget from the Finance Ministry which will help in stabilizing growth and further boost this segment, especially during these challenging times caused by the ongoing pandemic. This will also help MSMEs working in the deep tech space to engage in product R&D and manufacturing. Further, in order to encourage the manufacturing of indigenously designed products, the government should also look at relaxing tax burdens, and provide tax exemptions in areas such as customs duty.” “

Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales for Sophos India & SAARC

“Over the last few years, we have seen exponential growth in cyberattacks. The ongoing pandemic and work from anywhere models have further increased the attack landscape for cybercriminals. In addition to this, organizations are facing cybersecurity resource crunch and stringent budgets. Our expectation from the Union Budget is on two aspects: cybersecurity skill gap and cybersecurity awareness. We are hopeful of the Government increasing spends on cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives to empower cybersecurity resources. Eventually, this focus will help to create employment as well as good defense against cybercriminals.”

Kunal Nagarkatti, CEO, Clover Infotech

“It is interesting to note that software exports from India at USD148 billion is more than oil exports from Saudi Arabia. Digitization is set to accelerate, and India will leverage its expertise in developing products and solutions to digitally connect the country to the last mile. It will be encouraging if the budget can introduce steps towards building digitally skilled human capital at a much faster pace and to enhance the infrastructure and connectivity measures further. It is also imperative for us to keep the innovation momentum going by creating incubation centers, national-level hackathons, and augmenting the early-stage funding ecosystem further to solve problems at scale and put technology to the best use.”

Mr Utkarsh Sinha, managing director Bexley Advisors, a boutique investment bank firm 

– Given the advantageous position India has presently as a destination for foreign capital, some sops for FDI and FII would help us gain a competitive advantage. Raising caps in certain sectors like insurance, removing cess and duties on priority sectors like renewables, and adjusting capital gains rates to incentivize FIIs would pay massively beneficial dividends in the long term.

– We need to incentivize domestic capital to find the best return avenues and remove, or at least dramatically reduce regulatory oversight in taking market decisions (such as investing in AIFs or start-ups) that are kosher to start with.

– The government needs to focus on creation of new cities in India – the challenge of urban inundation with migration needs to be solved by creating additional cities with good paying jobs provided by industry and private companies that steer the flow of masses from rural centers to the current urban centers.

Shruti Aggarwal, Co-Founder, StashFin

‘It was in August 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ‘Startup India’ – to help propel economic growth, investment and employment opportunities. The startup sector has seen significant growth in the last seven years, and once the RBI brought start-ups under the PSL category, that helped the industry diversify its funding options. However, as PSL helps those sectors of the economy that may require credit and financial assistance from NBFCs, it will be beneficial for the fintech industry if more segments are included that drive financial inclusion for citizens with limited credit footprint, thereby helping them make informed financial decisions.

I also wish that the budget would cater to generating avenues and ecosystem for women entrepreneurs by introducing tax incentives such as standard deduction, and easy accessibility of funds, especially for early-age women run ventures that have less than 10 employees. This will give an impetus to the overall community, allowing every woman entrepreneur to be financially empowered by these solutions.’

Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET)

“The Union Budget of 2021-22, allocated over 71,000 crores to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Mental healthcare, however, received only 597 crores. Out of this, 500 crores were set aside for National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (NIMHANS) and 57 crores for the mental health institute in Tezpur, Assam, leaving a mere 40 crores for the National Mental Health Program that caters to the needs of 14% of India’s population that suffers from mental health issues.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated India’s mental health crisis by unimaginable proportions. The 86,000 calls that we have received on the BMC-Mpower 1on1 Helpline clearly indicate that social distancing, isolation from family and friends, loneliness, financial hardships and other difficulties have given exponential rise to stress, depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and suicidal tendencies in people. Pre-existing conditions have gotten aggravated for so many.

The pandemic has changed the world as we knew it. In the aftermath of the contagion and the negative impact it has had on all our lives, we need to rethink how we look at mental health. The Union Budget 2022-23 needs to put focus not only on India’s overall healthcare but also categorically on India’s mental healthcare. A substantial budgetary allocation can pave the way for infrastructure to be rapidly developed and comprehensive mental healthcare made accessible everywhere, especially in the rural areas, so that all those who need help can get it in timely manner.

India’s mental health issues have remained neglected for far too long. It is time we take concrete steps and start caring for those who are suffering silently.”

Surabhi Goel, CEO, Aditya Birla Education Academy, Aditya Birla World Academy

“The pandemic has resulted in a tremendous learning loss for students across the country. As children return back to school in phases, it is essential that the Government sets up programs to bridge this learning gap. One step in this process would be a robust program to train teachers on how they can work with students to bring them at par with the expected learning levels of their grade. In order to facilitate this, the Government must allow partnerships between private players to be a part of educational governing bodies to ensure a greater reach for upskilling programs in the government sector for teachers. Partnerships will ensure that all teachers across the country are trained before the next academic year begins and each school can plan a few weeks of a bridging course at the beginning of the year. Along with this, reduction in the GST slab for teacher training will help make these trainings accessible to all teachers. We hope that the educational reforms in Budget 2022 will result in more effective reach and aid in achieving the goals of an inclusive and Atmanirbhar education system.”

Mr. Mandar Agashe, Vice-Chairman & MD, Sarvatra Technologies Ltd.

There have been positive signs of economic recovery following the pandemic’s severe crisis. The government’s ongoing push has resulted in greater adoption of digital payments methods like UPI, AePS, QR codes, and others, and individuals have become accustomed to transacting digitally. Digital payments can expand their network to further parts of the country, and to do so; the budget must include bold policy interventions to build digital infrastructure, which will eventually aid in the digitization of the entire economy.

Since the country only has 5.2 million active POS machines, the budget should include tax incentives to encourage the use of PoS/Micro ATM devices, which are significantly more cost-effective and infrastructure-wise less demanding than ATMs. Further, the sector would welcome a GST exemption for merchants who accept digital payments; this measure will encourage further digital adoption, particularly in semi-urban and rural markets, where digital payments are still scarce.

In the end, we would hope the budget put a special emphasis on advancing the country’s FinTech ecosystem as the FinTech industry can boost India’s economy to the position it deserves.

Mr. Chander Shekhar Sibal, Senior Vice President, Medical Division, Fujifilm India

“We’re looking forward to building and balancing the country’s healthcare infrastructure with government’s support as we enter the third year of the pandemic. We hope that the budget delivers a special focus on healthcare to mitigate the devastation from the coronavirus. For this, it will be pertinent to have concrete policies that ensure accessible and affordable healthcare. It would be great to see the allocation of funds within the states as per policy. The timeline of fund clearance should be reduced to clear roadblocks due to lack of funds. Once these are in place, we can expect better outcomes out of public-private partnerships in the space and make payment processing easier and quicker. Since healthcare has made significant advances in the light of COVID-19, this year, we would like to bring out a focus on preventive healthcare to fortify the health of the people. With a large population and a diverse requirement for healthcare across situations, we at Fujifilm are gearing up to support India’s healthcare/medical needs.”

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby

“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 GST and TDS waiver 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 digitization 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.

Moreover,  low-income citizens are mostly catered to by low-earning retailers who barely cross the value of taxable income, and hence, do not file IT returns to claim a refund of TDS. Thus, TDS is only a cost to them and not a refundable deduction because they do not know how to take a refund by filing returns. We sincerely hope that TDS for income below ? 50,000 a year can be waived off. We are positive that this Budget will consider the grim working condition of the BC network and make the needful regulatory changes to ensure the viability of a community that has been vital in driving the cause of financial inclusion and democratization of digital payments in the country.”

Mr Vijender Reddy Muthyala, Co-Founder and CEO DrinkPrime:

“The Government through programs such as Jal Jeevan Mission-Har Ghar Jal has been focusing on the laudable initiative of giving people access to potable water. While we have made great strides in building out access especially in rural areas, accessibility to drinking water remains a challenge. The government needs to provide incentives to inspire startups to tackle this issue. Only through a cohesive public and private partnership will we be able to solve this basic human right. One area the Government should investigate is the GST and other taxes levied on providers of drinking water. Water is an essential basic human necessity and should be taxed accordingly. DrinkPrime would like to work with the government to make drinking water more accessible and affordable to all Indians.”

Mr.Sanchit Malik, Co-Founder & CEO, Pazcare

COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of the insurance market in the general public. And with technology taking over, the insurtech sector has risen rapidly. 18% GST on insurance premiums could be decreased, according to some experts. Tax relaxation is expected as startups have suffered huge losses due to the pandemic. It has highlighted the need for having health insurance and tax benefits should be encouraged for the same. The budget is expected to take India out of COVID aftermath. Healthcare facilities and infrastructure should be focused upon to ensure India’s standing in the longer run. Insurance penetration should be boosted as insurance is available for everybody but not everyone avails of it. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was increased in FY2021 while keeping in mind that at least 50% of board members should be Indian residents. This would in turn introduce Indian citizens to newer technologies and expand the insurtech horizon. The budget for 2022 is expected to help startups and the insurtech sector in the same manner.

Gyandhan, Mr.Ankit Mehra, Founder & CEO, Gyandhan

The New Education Policy 2020 had set quite lofty goals for higher education in India. The pain point is that for its successful implementation, the upcoming Union Budget needs to re-prioritize the budgetary resources, particularly, the challenge of doubling the current Gross Enrollment Ration (GER) needs allocation of increased funds to create a digital infrastructure for higher education. We expect the budget will allocate the required funds to further remove the disparity between students who can and cannot access affordable financing options. There are several banks and private lenders providing education loans, but students tend to hesitate as the end cost of the loan is unfeasible. Budget can help improve market conditions. To incentivize lenders to book more loans, the INR 20 lakh cap on the priority sector lending should be eased because not only overseas courses, even domestic courses are not covered within this limit. Further to incentivize borrowers, the benefit of Section 80E of the Income Tax Act of India should be extended to NBFCs as well, which currently only covers banks with 1 NBFC in tow.

Mr. Sunil Yadav, CEO, PlayerzPot

Online gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors with numerous investments, enormous employment opportunities and immense growth potential in terms of expansion and revenue. The industry was originally scheduled to become a US$122.05 billion industry by 2025, but the pandemic has greatly accelerated and helped this sector to grow tremendously, much sooner than expected. The sector has the potential to transform the way the younger generation learns, consumes content, and gets entertained. We look forward to transparent and progressive regulations that clearly differentiate games of skill from those of chance.
As a leading platform in the industry, we will of course abide by the laws of the land, but a regulatory body will help oversee the industry and help in drafting progressive policies that are beneficial to the nation by having a safe gaming environment. During or after covid-19 lockdowns, the Indian gaming industry needs stable regulations with national guidelines to achieve its long-term sustainability and competitiveness on a global scale. In an answer to the same, NITI Aayog has already proposed setting up a self-regulatory body for online Fantasy Sports, along with a framework of possible rules and standards for the sector. We also look forward to standardization among accounting and financial practices. 

In this budget, we welcome conducive Govt solutions that will help us overcome current industry challenges. We would also welcome clarification on data privacy and third parties to safeguard user privacy and avoid any breaches in the same. With a proper policy structure, legal framework, regulatory ecosystem and data privacy procedures, the online gaming sector can easily support the government’s initiatives under the campaign Digital India, Make in India and contribute remarkably to the economy

Mr. Sahil Sheth, Founder & CEO – LIDO Learning

“Watching the ed-tech sector gain steam in 2021 has been extremely rewarding, and to a substantial extent, we have the government to thank for facilitating the growing ed-tech movement. I hope the upcoming Union Budget helps ed-tech platforms like Lido scale further up. I know the new budget will be all about economic recovery, and empowering the common man, with a focus on job creation, credit growth, and infrastructure development. In education, I’m hoping for a bigger budget allocation so that more and more students can get the educational support they need, and for the integration of technology within traditional learning. A critical component that will play a role in the progress of ed-tech in 2022 is smartphone and Internet penetration, so I hope the Union budget announces programs to solidify Internet infrastructure and ensure last-mile connectivity in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. With so many startups now a part of the ed-tech segment, I am also hoping for a simplified loan approval process for MSMEs. We need robust data protection laws, and ramped up investments and partnerships within the ed-tech sector for further growth this year.”

Mr. Dibyendu Bindal, Founder & CEO – MIGHTY Foods

“The plant-based food industry in India is evolving rapidly and growing significantly. In addition to reducing cruelty to animals, and providing a green alternative to meat-based proteins, we also espouse the ethos and align with the Make in India & Vocal for Local initiatives by the government. We feel that homegrown start-ups like ours, which cater to the food and nutritional requirements of consumers, need to be better supported fiscally in form of subsidies and tax breaks. Helping bring parity with food from the market, in terms of how packaged food products are taxed – will allow us not only to pass on these benefits to the consumers, but will also help propagate a change in how people consume nutrition, with previously unavailable cruelty-free alternatives.”

Mr. Milind Borate, Co- founder and Chief Development Officer, Druva

“India is witnessing massive digital transformation and cloud computing & SaaS are going to be key enablers in this. If at the turn of the millennium we were a force in the IT enabled services domain, India in 2022 and beyond is seen as a global SaaS power that could contribute and boost the economy in a very significant way. To be able to harness this potential it is pertinent that the government doubles down on building a robust & scalable infrastructure, ease and rationalise GST for the sector, help develop curriculum, talent and skills in the domain, and revaluate ESOP taxation norms for startup’s.”

Mr Ashwini Jain,CEO & Cofounder, ForeignAdmits:

“With the idea of creating a huge impact of “Make in India”, it is important to understand the role of start-ups too. The start-ups and their new ideas to contribute to the economy and localization need proper funding and budget too. Many of the economy-related issues would be solved with better start-up conditions in the country. Not only we would be able to boost localization at its best, we would also be able to create jobs, more career opportunities, and customize the production according to the needs of our citizens. There are some important factors that the government needs to keep in mind during the upcoming fiscal year budget discussion. Some of them are reducing the GST, giving more funding to the start-ups, and making the public data accessible for us. Start-ups should also get equity and interest-free loans in the growth stage so that they can help in contributing to the country’s economy.”

Mandar Marathe, CEO, Koppr:

“For the common man of India, medical expenses have increased over the past two years. Many have lost jobs or have taken pay cuts, resulting in additional financial stress. To alleviate these concerns, the government needs to make healthcare affordable & accessible. 

A special focus on making health insurance affordable by reducing GST on premiums from 18% to 5% is a viable option. The government could also look to increase the limit of deduction under Section 80D from Rs. 50k to 1 Lakh.

A significant allocation of the budget should be made towards bolstering the healthcare infrastructure of the nation. From the current 1.8% of GDP spends, the FM minister should further raise it to 3%.

Apart from healthcare, the Modi government could do wonders to bring in more domestic equity investments by reducing the rate of capital gains tax from 10% to 5% or do away with LTCG tax altogether.”

Bhavin Patel, Co-founder & CEO, LenDenClub

“The economy is projected to gradually return to its previous trajectory, with fiscal priorities in the upcoming budget invigorating it. A regulatory body to oversee payment recovery is the need of the hour. An enhanced procedural aid to the legal recovery of repayments from digital borrowers to further protect the rights of those who lend money. Such a specialized government vehicle to oversee fintech could not only help startups run more effectively, following compliance requirements, but it would eliminate possible fraudsters.

Returns from investments in Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending could be exempted from tax under Section 80C of Income Tax law, or a different provision could be carved out to reduce tax rates such as tax exemption for gains below Rs 20,000. This will encourage people across geographies to invest in P2P lending, making funds accessible on multiple platforms. P2P lending plays a significant role in empowering small businesses in India. Tax benefits in P2P lending will magnify the growth of businesses when capital from P2P platforms is diverted to the sector.

The pandemic has resulted in significant job losses, primarily due to people’s inability to keep up with evolving technology. The way the government is spreading awareness is remarkable. Further to that, setting up avenues for advanced technical education, for instance, could help it drive so much further. Presently, India requires professionals with technical and financial competence to conduct the Fintech revolution. More institutions that provide formal education and certifications are needed to create a skilled group of individuals required to grow P2P lending platforms and the Fintech industry.”

Anurag Sinha, Cofounder & CEO, OneScore & OneCard

“The Fintech space has not only accelerated the ‘Digital India’ initiative by years, but introduced an array of new-age platforms powered by super apps offering multiple services through few swipes on a mobile – significantly influencing digital adoption across the spectrum including payments and credit. While the pandemic triggered a steep rise in demand for consumer credit, it also highlighted the lack of credit penetration in the country. However, given the rise of smartphone usage, shift to digital avenues and the increasing number of digitally-savvy consumers, licensed digital banks can effectively enhance reach and bridge this gap. A digital bank license regime will therefore enable fintechs to leverage their tech-stack optimally to create credit products and user experience which will redefine the investment and consumption landscape in the country.”

Arpit Agarwaal, Founder FoodGinie

I expect a growth based outlook poised to identify and add newer streams to the GDP vis-à-vis the change global businesses and economy have been through, with the pandemic at play. Government co-working opportunities, simpler and accommodative tax regimes for budding businesses, and a clear way ahead with the crypto-currencies. I believe these three alone, if
addressed well, can add over $30Bn to the GDP, within 2022. They would also channelize the absorption of the remote based, new age businesses, into the mainstream Indian economy.

Next in line, an added impetus to skill development for the formidable, 46 crore plus pool of Indians in the 15-35 age group. This would create the bridge that facilitates the propagation of growth from metros to smaller cities and villages. Drawing parallels from the super successful Anganwadi program in the roots of our nation, we could also use a home-maker skill sharing platform that could affect a movement in these 25 Crore+,
dormant workforce. Moreover, I believe the Jan Dhan Yojana could be accentuated by a new scheme that promotes mainstream domestic savings. What started as a drive to associate people from villages and remote
areas to mainstream banking, has turned into a revolution adding 40 Crore plus bank accounts in a span of 6 years. Governments can now account for a larger chunk of the population at the same time, ensuring policy benefits reach the beneficiaries direct. I believe, is the right time to make this
revolution, a renaissance.

Edul Patel, Co-Founder & CEO, Mudrex

Mudrex, a Global Algorithm Based Crypto Investment Platform. Co-founded by five IIT Bombay Alumni, the trading exchange platform aims to help people invest in cryptocurrency using top algorithms made by professional traders. Mudrex is a Y-Combinator funded company and headquartered in San Francisco. Mudrex is on a mission to democratize access to investment opportunities in financial markets, the platform eases the process of investment in cryptocurrency just like a hedge fund does. The platform builds a portfolio bundle using top-performing algorithms for different risk-reward profiles. An investor simply chooses a portfolio based on their risk-reward expectations.

Mr. Krishna Veer Singh Co-Founder and CEO, Lissun.

Fair and impartial digital focus on healthcare is need of the hour. We hope the government allocates more funds to health-tech, enabling even the rural population to fall under its ambit. Owing to India’s young population, SaaS is maturing, and health-tech would help stabilize the shortage of medical manpower in the country. More budget in health-tech would also make it a lucrative space for investments and start-ups, in turn helping the government to achieve its aim of 1:1000 doctor/patient ratio by 2024, which is a WHO recommended norm. Besides, the pandemic has taught us that creating home care health infrastructure is an absolute necessity. Investment in health-tech can bridge this long and short-term industry gap. Moreover, we have seen mental health cases rise in the past year. However, insurers in India seldom offer policies that cover non-hospitalization treatments or OPD reimbursements. This means that unless mentally ailing patients get hospitalized, they won’t be eligible for coverage. Insurance covers, thus, naturally exclude therapy and psychiatric counselling coverages. IRDA should push for OPD reimbursements for psychology therapy and counselling.

Mr Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO at SPPL, Exclusive Brand Licensee of Blaupunkt in India

As we are going through another wave, this is an indication of how important Atma Nirbhar Bharat is. To boost Indian manufacturing and MSMEs, we need a stable GST tax slab. No product should be above the 18% slab, and they must now encourage consumerism in order to improve market sentiment. By doing this, India could become the world’s third-largest market for television. The market size could grow by 15% each year, reaching 16 million units. We urge the government to not change any customs duties for the time being, as the industry is moving towards stable conditions. 

We need to congratulate GOI on introducing the $10 billion PLA scheme for display panels and semiconductor chips. We request FM to have timelines for these projects. s is a pathbreaking move for the electronics sector. 

The other most important sector where the government needs to intervene to take strict measures and review how they are misleading is the cargo sector. We’ve seen a 10x increase in sea freight in the last few years, and along with that timeline, it’s increased 2x. There is a big syndicate in this sector, which is causing this delay and causing a huge loss to the economy as these delays are being managed at Indian sea ports as well. 

The government should consider a lower tax rate on consumer electronics; this will encourage consumers to buy higher ASP products. This will also help in digital India, as consumers will opt for more tech products. 

Mr. Sandeep Lodha, Co-founder at Netweb Technologies

Today, the government has quite a lot of proactive policies for server manufacturing, like PLI and other initiatives. Our take is that the budget should focus on a few important things for demand generation. We need to see how the local buying of made in India products is encouraged. The government should fund a scheme for tech adoption, and government purchases of high-end IT products should be encouraged/prioritized to help create more demand. Data Centre Operators should be incentivised to use more “Made in India” products. This will help the country to achieve the PMO’s objective of achieving atamnirbhar bharat. Local server technology development will help to bring cutting-edge technology to the country while also addressing the nation’s security concerns. Another thing I am looking forward to is the R&D side. There has to be special incentive for companies investing in R&D, there must be government incentivised and facilitated collaborations between the companies and premium Education and R&D facilities. This will be a major game changer as the R&D and education systems will become more aligned with the real world of commercially valid products, and the industry will benefit from innovation and local enhancement of technology to create global competence.

Harsh Pokharna, Co-Founder and CEO of OkCredit .

Last year the budget focused on economic recovery with a focus on healthcare and rural infrastructure.  While the different COVID variants have raised several concerns, we are hoping that this year the budget will give further impetus to reviving the economy and empowering the citizens.

India’s approximately 6.3 crore MSMEs are the second-largest employment generating sector.   The MSME sector contributes 30% to the GDP,  so we expect the 2022 Budget to provide a framework that can focus on digital inclusion, streamline process for KYC norms and ease in disbursement of credit eligible for small businesses. This will aid in boosting their recovery to pre-pandemic levels. 

FM should also look at doing away with mandatory GST registration for businesses with a turnover of less than Rs 40 lakh. The reduced compliance and paperwork will bring productivity gains for these businesses, making them up and running faster. There is a case for an overall reduction in compliance burden for small businesses.

Additionally, for start-ups, we are looking forward to the tax sops which will look at promoting consolidation.  These tax SOPs will enable the startups to achieve greater flexibility and look at mergers and demergers as a viable option. Furthermore, tax incentives, as well as easy accessibility to funds, is a welcome step. “

Ms. Pallavi Singh, Vice President, Super Plastronics PVT LTD (SPPL), India brand licensee of Westinghouse TV 

a) Promote Make in India Initiatives like Building Tech Hub or boost Semiconductor manufacturing or efforts to be put under National Policy on Electronics (NPE)

Given the current semiconductor shortage in the world, our government should aid the potential sector and afford schemes under the NPE. Those aiming to manufacture in India and contributing towards the growth of the economy can be provided aid in the form of subsidies. The NPE can also help in providing a shoulder for our country and reducing its dependence on foreign nations if it were to correctly subsidise those who are willing to bring the relevant infrastructure, especially with respect to semiconductor/chipset manufacturing, to India. This, ideally, should also be backed by tax subsiding schemes so as to reduce the burden on an entity since the quantum of investment required is huge. The NPE can also be expanded to include and aid those already manufacturing consumer electronics in India as opposed to importing them.  

b) Slash GST prices on TV –  With the budget of 2022-23, we hope and sincerely urge that the government reduce GST on all consumer electronics to reflect those available on raw materials to reduce the disparity, especially since in today’s day and age, consumer electronics are tagged as necessities by all categories of consumers in India. With the current rate of 18% on televisions up to 32 inches only, there is a vast range of televisions that comes under the ambit of the 28% rate. A reduction in the rate to 18% even in televisions up to 43 inches will bring a huge relief since the majority of the consumers in India fall under the 32 to 43 range. 

c) Reduction in Raw Material Prices or waiver of customs duty on imported inputs to make components.

Archit Garg, Co-founder of Glamyo Health

The pandemic has unravelled the gaps in the Indian healthcare system. However, with the startups coming into the picture, new and innovative solutions have come up. The way RBI treated NBFCs and fintech as its extended arms to penetrate deeper into the system, Indian government can consider healthcare startups as its aide to serve the common people in tier 2 and tier 3, thus strengthening the healthcare ecosystem in India. Besides, new programs like Unified Health Interface shall further help in transparency and affordability in Health Treatments. We expect a continued allocation towards healthcare startups, and financial support for better customer adoption”

Deena Jacob, Co-Founder and CFO at Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd

“The onslaught of COVID-19 has taken its toll on the livelihoods of Indians and small businesses. As the economy limps back from the impact of the pandemic, three things are extremely crucial to fuel growth; Re-skilling and upskilling for the workforce who lost their livelihoods, ease of consolidation for ailing businesses and flow-based and revenue based credit to boost the recovery of impacted sectors. 

We have seen newer sectors and high growth businesses emerging during the pandemic as well, attracting capital and offsetting the gloom to some extent during the pandemic. However, talent pool to match the newer models and technology is putting a huge strain on the cost of product developments, whereas a lot of talent can be tapped and groomed for growing sectors. This should be done through a public private partnership with a job oriented curriculum run in partnership with the companies in the high growth new age sectors and rolling out tax holidays, incentives, GST exemptions and subsidies for qualified job-based training programs run by private sector companies, also with focus on tapping talent from tier 2 and tier 3 regions.It would be a welcome move for the Finance Minister to allocate a significant budget towards promoting R&D, innovation and Centres of Excellence, in an endeavor to further this cause. Further effective tools for talent attraction and retention like ESOPs should be allowed to have an employee friendly tax regime to make it more attractive and value driven.

Narayan ‘Naru’ Ramamoorthy, Chief Revenue Officer, Global PayEX

“As the Indian economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming Union Budget of 2022-23 will be significant in transforming India from a US$2.7 trillion to a US$5 trillion economy. A key to achieving this is to enhance productivity across the B2B supply chain, including Purchase Orders (PO), invoices, transport documents, goods & service receipt notes, payments, reconciliation and financing/lending. Over the past few years the government and regulators along with Fintech players have taken several initiatives on this front focused on payments, invoices, tax reconciliation and SME financing. For instance driving growth and adoption for e-NACH, e-Invoicing, Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS), GSTR1 (sales return), GST2A (purchase-related dynamic tax return), GST2B (Input Tax Credit), and MSME lending platforms like TReDS.

Ketan Patel, CEO, Mswipe

“The SME sector is the backbone of Indian economy. In the upcoming budget, we expect the Government to make announcements that will empower small businesses thereby reviving the economy from the impact of the pandemic. In November 2021, the government announced the Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme for the MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) in the services sector. This should be extended to SMEs whose turnover is less than Rs. 5 crore as it will help them procure service equipment through institutional credit for advancement of their technology. The Government should also look at tax breaks for companies providing technology support to MSMEs. At a time when we are expecting the third wave of Covid to hit economic activity and businesses are facing difficult times, the Government must take measures to meet the SME lending requirements. Subsidizing the cost of funds to NBFCs that focus on lending to small merchants for loans below Rs. 20 lakhs is way to ensure easy access to credit. 

Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO Tide(IN)

“This is third year of the pandemic and MSMEs have been struggling all through since early 2020, several small businesses had to downsize or shut shop as they were challenged by severe liquidity crunch and dipping demand. Being central to the economy, MSMEs need assistance to be back on track and government can provide that much-needed support through a stronger policy thrust. Unavailability of working capital, cost of compliance and taxation are potential challenges that need be addressed. We are looking forward to a budget that will further push for digitization. Significant spends and allowances for infrastructure, especially digital banking infrastructure will also be an important ingredient for the success of both, the budget and MSMEs. These steps can boost financial inclusion to a great extent. Lastly, steps with focus on new businesses and enabling entrepreneurship are key to provide the much-needed impetus for the sector.”

Mr. Kishan Jain, Director – Goldmedal Electricals

“As the country awaits Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to present the Union Budget for 2022-23, under the ominous time of a potential third wave, we expect the budget to be a very pragmatic one. We hope additional incentives to businesses, particularly manufacturing companies, can be a part of the budget proposals.

We hope the government will use the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ programmes to attract foreign investments, implementing cutting-edge technologies, and increasing exports in order to make India a global manufacturing powerhouse. This will also inturn help increase job prospects, which is necessary for a post-pandemic future.

From a future perspective, we hope our government would place a greater focus on employing emerging technologies to emphasize the importance of using energy-efficient solutions. We hope the government continues to support manufacturers to expand projects on innovative lighting products and other solutions which are environment friendly. These steps may also aid in defining a route toward meeting the net-zero target by 2070.”

Mr. Shreegopal Kabra, Managing Director & Group President, RR Global

“The wires & cables industry in India has always been an essential part of the manufacturing industry. With the upcoming Union Budget, we would like to see the government’s increased focus on sectors such as infrastructure, healthcare and affordable housing as this encourages the demands for manufacturing and thereby wires and cables significantly.

In an effort to continue the economic growth of the country, we hope the Government will lower the interest rates and make higher capital availability to MSMEs as they are the backbone of the Indian business market and ultimately help generate employment.

Additionally, since we are looking at robust housing demand in 2022, we are expecting the Government to look at having the GST input credit reinstated as this will help reduce the cost of housing in major cities and make buying a home more accessible in larger cities. We also look forward for the Union Budget to boost affordable and mid-income housing by extending the cost bracket and expanding the tax benefit for first time buyers while introducing tax holidays and SOPs for developers engaged in affordable and rental housing projects. The real estate contributes around 8% to the overall GDP and this consequently creates the majority share of demand and opportunities for wires & cables in the country.”

Mr. Rakesh Kaul (CEO and Whole-Time Director, Somany Home Innovation Limited)

“The consumer appliances business like all other businesses have been impacted by the Pandemic. Further with the increase in cost of raw materials, direct and indirect taxes as well as the shortage of semiconductors the final cost of the product has gone up, which in turn affects the purchasing power of the customer. The upcoming Union Budget must address these concerns to offer concessions or lower taxes on end products to revive consumer demand. Additionally, business-friendly policies that can further boost local manufacturing of products will be a welcome step and will also help in decreasing dependency on imports. We hope that the Government will introduce initiatives which can positively impact the consumer’s buying power, further helping the industry revive .”

Lalit Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Decimal Technologies

“2021 was a transformative year for the fintech industry with significant technology adoption in financial services. While traditional lending still accounts as a major credit provider in India, digital lending has picked up pace with the ease of process, less paperwork and use of alternate data sources, making it a key enabler for the MSME sector. 

Fintech players have already shown willingness to work with the government to curb the menace of the illegal digital lending apps. Budget 2022 should introduce regulations that will help in greater credit access to MSMEs and curbing illegal activities while building trust in the digital lending process for the last mile. In line with the government’s goal of creating a digital economy, introducing credit schemes will incentivise the sector and help in providing timely credit to MSMEs that have struggled due to the lack of credit accessibility through traditional means of lending which has directly affected their business opportunity. We have also seen a rise in the number of start-ups who have turned unicorns in the last year that showcases the potential of the startup ecosystem in India. We expect the government to introduce regulatory changes that would create an easy line of access for start-ups & MSMEs to secure credit from online lending players. This will further help in boosting our economy”.

Ashraf Rizvi, Founder & CEO, Gilded

“Gold has always been an important part of savings/ investment/ wealth portfolios not only in India but also across the world. In India, however, investment in gold is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is a financial one. This cultural tradition has adapted to the times with the introduction of digital gold. This new, convenient, and safer way to access physical gold has seen increased investments from new-age first-time investors. Millennial and Gen Z age categories undoubtedly take to this storage-proof, quality-assured, easy-to-transact new-age asset. Multiple wealth-tech applications have come to the fore, highlighting the growing need for a progressive regulatory framework for this asset class.

 While gold has been a stable store of value with positive returns over the historical long term, the future demand for the digital alternative will depend in no small part on government regulations and policies. The Union Budget should be looking at formulating transparent guidelines for investor protection and chalking out a clearly defined regulatory framework consistent with other parts of the gold industry. Currently, capital gains on profits from the sale of gold can be as high as 20% compared to profits on shares taxed at 10%. An alignment among the tax regimes for investments would give investors greater flexibility in choosing the assets that best fit their needs as a store of value and foundation for wealth creation.

Darpan Saini, CEO, Phyt.health

Medical expenses have increased over the past two years with Covid taking center stage. Many have lost jobs or have taken pay cuts, resulting in financial stress on families. To ease these problems, the government needs to make digital healthcare affordable.

A special focus on making health insurance affordable by reducing GST on premiums from 18% to 5% is a viable option. The government should make health insurance applicable for telehealth services such as doctor consultations or online physiotherapy to help patients recover from the comfort of their home. This is crucial for patients who can’t visit a doctor due to Covid restrictions. Moreover, the FM could also look to increase the limit of deduction under Section 80D from Rs. 50k to 1 Lakh – This could help the common man combat the rising healthcare costs.

Mr Griffith David – Founder and MD, Habanero Foods

In the past year, the Indian government has taken several initiatives to revive the economy. I applaud its recognition of and commitment to the MSME sector. MSMEs provide the foundation for an Atmanirbhar Bharat and are the heart of the Indian economy. Along with ensuring that MSMEs receive adequate financial support, we also expect the government to implement reforms to promote domestic manufacturing.
The Indian FMCG sector has tremendous potential, especially in the packaged foods segment. It is the fourth largest industry in India today. Today, the government provides subsidies for capital investments in food processing units by MSME. Although this is a much-required support provided to the industry, the reality is that the process is laden with red tape, and thus, it is difficult for MSMEs to actually gain access to and benefit from these subsidies. Ideally, this subsidy should be linked directly to the bank where the MSME avails of the loan. Subsidies could be added automatically during bank loan disbursements, simplifying the whole process and allowing MSMEs to grow.
Additionally, testing the final product for safety and ensuring it meets all guidelines is an expensive endeavor for MSMEs in the packaged foods sector. The price increases are the result of imported equipment used by labs. The government and FSSAI should set up test labs and subsidize these fees, and allow industry groups like CFTRI and others to set up these facilities in every state so that MSMEs don’t have to pay so much.
As health, wellness and convenience continue to be main trends, FMCG companies are strengthening their core brands as consumers gravitate towards trusted brands that offer quality, purity, and hygiene, continuing a trend that started during the pandemic last year. Demand and consumption are on the rise across both rural and urban markets, so we are looking forward to 2022 with optimism.

Ms Varna Bhat – Founder & CEO of Blisswater Industries Private Limited

It is crucial that this Budget ensures stability and supports growth as India Inc. seeks to recover from an overall economic slump. It is likely that the government will provide incentives to each sector, and I sincerely hope that it implements progressive, industry-friendly policies to help the Indian liquor industry prosper and grow.

India has witnessed the launch of over 50 homegrown liquor labels in the twelve months, which is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our nation. Although one of the largest contributors to state revenues, the liquor industry is a soft target for taxation due to its discretionary nature, and for most parts has always been subject to restrictions.  I urge the government to support the hospitality, tourism, and liquor industries – all of which contribute to India’s global significance.   Although the government benefits from excise revenues, especially as it is heavily state controlled, considering the impact the pandemic has had on the restaurant sector and the tourism industry, I sincerely hope the budget doesn’t introduce any further obstacles to revenue generation.

When it comes to new age brands and craft products, higher raw material and input costs are damaging to domestically manufactured craft spirits. Reforms such as reductions in excise duties, inflationary pressure caps, etc. are still on the wishlist to ensure a level playing field vis-à-vis large established brands.

Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money

‘’The fintech industry has fared really well in the last two years with the pandemic playing a key role in the digital adoption of financial services across the country. With the government making strides through several initiatives including the recently set up Fintech Department and the introduction of Payment Investment Development Fund (PIDF), the sector is expecting to see more opportunities and initiatives being taken forward by the government that will help in the expansion of the market, influence customer behaviour, and impact long term changes in the financial industry. 

As our country sets upon the goal of hitting the $5-trillion mark by 2025, I expect the digital economy to grow even further, with a majority of India’s population and small businesses adopting digital means to access payments and financial services. The rural sector will play a huge part in achieving this economic landmark, and the upcoming Union Budget 2022-23 should ensure there’s a special focus on bolstering rural development. Exemptions on procurement of point of sale terminals, GST rates for rural banking agents remitting funds among households, and subsidies to compensate for merchant discount rate (MDR) waiver are among some of the measures that will help in promoting digital awareness and initiatives across the country.”

Team Kristal.AI

“As a wealth manager for global investors, Kristal expects the budget to improve the investment climate of India. We are keen to see reforms that can make India a more attractive investment destination for investors. To which regard we expect the intervention and policies that can address the inflation concerns of investors, drive private consumption and bring a more predictable tax regime.”

Avinash Kumar, Founder, Credenc

The Government slashed its allocation towards education in the annual budget by 6% last year, amounting to a total allocation of Rs. 93,223 crores, against Rs. 99,311 crores in the year before that. This year, the education sector seeks higher allocation in the overall budget. With a considerable shift to virtual or online education models, ensuring access to better technology and improved e-Learning infrastructure should be prioritized to reduce the digital divide in smaller towns and cities.  

As per All India Survey on Higher Education, the number of students entering higher education is at an all-time high (in 2019-20 the enrolment in higher education stood at 3.85 crore), and the outcome of these students’ success will be pivotal in determining not just their but also the country’s future. Thus, ensuring that quality education is accessible and affordable to these students should be a focus. Innovative Public Private bank partnership models where education subsidy is complemented/accompanies with subsidy on finance can help make this dream a reality.

Overall, we are hopeful that the government relaxes the education infrastructure loans and expands the income tax provision under Section 80C for deduction of education expenses.

Mrs Kanika Agarrwal, CIO & Co-founder, Upside AI 

Founded by Kanika Agarrwal (Co-founder), Nikhil Hooda (Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer), and Atanuu Agarrwal (Co-founder) Upside AI is  PMS and a fintech start-up that aims to revolutionize the investment space with the help of machine learning. Upside AI uses technology to understand, recognize, and buy companies that are not only fundamentally good businesses but are also in-demand stocks. In July 2019 Upside AI came out of beta to start offering its investment products under a SEBI registered PMS license.

Mr Animesh Jain, Chief Delivery Officer – India & Americas, [24]7.ai 

As India Inc. looks to bounce back from an overall economic slump, it iscrucial that this Budget ensures stability and gives impetus to growth. The government will likely incentivize each sector, but as the global epicenter for ITeS, the performance of the Indian ITes industry will be vital. Businesses are continuously evolving to adapt and remain relevant in response to the pandemic, and this metamorphosis has completely altered the business environment.

 RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India Ltd

”Schoolnet India looks forward to the Budget 2022-23, as the past year has been very challenging for school education. In keeping with the National Education Policy 2020, we hope that the Government of India announces measures to strengthen the digital capability of each school, owing to the great digital divide that still exists, on a mission mode. Such a digital initiative should be holistic including access to the internet, affordable & appropriate devices, projectors, teacher training in digital pedagogy, curriculum centric multimedia content, adaptive assessments, and analytics to track progress. Given the considerable expertise of private sector in Edutech, PPP models could be explored to execute such a mission. This will set the foundation on which the effectiveness of teaching and learning will improve and pave the path to democratise access to education.”

Manish Mohta, Founder & Managing Director, Learning Spiral

 “The Union Budget 2022 should focus heavily on creating online infrastructure & making it available till the last mile via the use of affordable smartphones, free internet, democratic distribution of technological devices. Education is extremely important & sensitive for being allowed to be monopolized by a few EdTech companies who have raised a significant amount of funds. It is important that the Government looks at these critically and ensures that these are regulated and existing institutes should not be allowed to tie up and run courses on revenue share mode as that would change the very alignment of the sector in the wrong direction. Along with that, the high rate of GST for online education and online assessments makes it expensive, thereby restricting its access to only the elite. Therefore, considering the need of the hour, the government should reduce the existing rate of GST from 18% to 5% in the Union Budget for 2021 for online assessments and education. This step will not only enable access to online education & online examination system at a lower cost but also provide a fillip to Ed-tech companies.”

Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo Telehealth

“India is combating a massive global pandemic with its resources available in the health sector. The health sector is expecting more specific allotments in this year’s budget to mitigate COVID-19 and help in the growth of the telemedicine sector. The telemedicine segment is growing at a rapid pace and in the future, we are expecting more technological innovations to take place in the industry therefore, the budget should be well allocated to the healthcare sector to initiate new innovations to be prepared for the fight with pandemics like covid-19 in the future. It is important especially in a country like India where digital health can truly provide care to areas with short supply of doctors. Increased allocation of budget for promotion of telemedicine, home-based healthcare and national digital health mission implementation will help in building a strong healthcare ecosystem in the country. Telemedicine has potential to improve access to healthcare in remote and rural areas. Home-based healthcare will reduce burden on limited healthcare facilities. Digital Health along with various innovations should be encouraged for India’s future growth in population health. The government should also support private players and startups in this segment to increase the current coverage of the locations including tier-2 and tier-3 cities to provide the advanced healthcare facilities in these areas.”

Mr. Ashok Patel, CEO and Founder Max Ventilator

“Apart from the need to raise the share of healthcare as a proportion of GDP to at least 2.5 percent in the upcoming budget, the government must also further build on its earlier policy incentives such as PLI schemes and dedicated medtech parks by increasing allocations. In fact, the government should ensure that the smaller medical device players also get included and can benefit from the special schemes and offers that it has extended with a view to catalyze domestic manufacturing and to achieve the larger goal of self-reliance. Given the repeated occurrences of infectious diseases of epidemic scale in recent years, the government should also invest sufficiently into genetic and genomic research, epidemiology and vaccine research besides increasing allocation for broader healthcare R&D. Of course, the diagnostics and preventive health device segment must be given as much policy and financial support as possible. Further, the budget could also incentivize the consumables as well as medical device accessory segments which hold huge promise for the domestic sector. At the same time, adequate allocation must be made for training of personnel required for the deployment and usage of critical care equipment such as ventilators and other similar lifesaving devices.”

Mr. Nikkhil K Masurkar, Executive Director, ENTOD Pharmaceuticals

“The pharmaceutical and medical devices industry has gained significant momentum owing to the government’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat initiative. The Union Budget 2022 is expected to build on the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes and encourage continued investments in capacity expansion of sensitive APIs, drug intermediates, complex excipients, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. While the draft R&D policy focuses on creating an ecosystem for research and innovation, certain tax incentives for the investment in ‘R&D focused funds’, set up for R&D based activities, could be introduced. India should participate in the innovation area at a global level. Along with a scheme similar to the PLI, the government needs to consider tax incentives to attract innovation. Interaction with industry and global players can help India’s pharmaceutical sector to move from a generic manufacturer to an innovator developer and manufacturer for the world. Apart from that, Technology/digital transformation is another key area of focus. In fact, it would be the building block for the much-expected universal healthcare in India. Presently, GST on drugs is taxed under four categories – nil, 5%, 12% and 18%. While a few life-saving drugs are taxed at nil rates, some are taxed at 5 per cent and the majority fall under the 12 per cent GST slab. Extensions of a tax deduction on product development and R&D are some of the other demands of the pharmaceutical sector. The industry also seeks a 150% deduction in tax on in-house R&D.”

Dr. Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka

“The sudden emergence of Covid-19 prompted the Indian government to nearly double its healthcare budget year over year. As a result, the most prominent area of focus in Budget 2022 is expected to be healthcare. We anticipate that the government of India will increase its healthcare spending in this budget. The last Budget announced a 137% increase in healthcare spending to address some of the gaps. Healthcare accounted for about 1.8 percent of GDP in 2021. We should aim to raise it to at least 2.5 percent of GDP this year. Despite the focus on the Covid-19 pandemic at the moment, it is critical to increase the proportion of spending on preventive healthcare and wellness. Ayushman Bharat is undeniably a positive step toward achieving the goal of universal healthcare; however, more funding is required to ensure its long-term success.”

Ms. Sugandh Ahluwalia Chief of Strategy, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, our expectations for Budget 2022 are for increased spending on healthcare. India’s total healthcare expenditure is significantly lower than that of other countries. The pandemic has highlighted the critical need for high-quality public hospitals. More public-private partnerships, as well as additional investments, are required to strengthen indigenous manufacturing of medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), and raw materials for drugs. Hence, the government must allocate more budget for the healthcare industry. Furthermore, higher tax breaks for the private sector to modernize medical facilities will go a long way toward ensuring better healthcare, more investments, and thus more jobs.”

Dr. Gauri Agarwal, Founder & Director, Genestrings Diagnostic and Seeds of Innocence

“During the pandemic, medical diagnostics emerged as the first line of disease containment and the most important public health measure. The World Health Organization’s T3: Test. Treat. Track. initiative to combat COVID-19 has brought diagnostics to the forefront, emphasizing the growing need for better testing capabilities and the importance of quality. People have begun to understand the importance and needs of molecular/genetic testing, and it has invariably resulted in increased investments by large private labs and establishment of more RT PCR labs across the country. In this sense, the government’s collaboration with the private sector, while refocusing on life science, healthcare, and diagnostics, will play a critical role in deciding the future of diagnostics in the country.

Public Private Partnership models as have been proposed earlier by National Health Authority, are promising initiatives of mutual efforts, whereby models for partnership with private diagnostic companies were proposed for bettering the infrastructure, services and quality of testing in Tier II and Tier III Indian Cities. We advocate the principle of introducing high end molecular/genetic testing at a micro level in Indian Cities for reducing the difficulties in accessing quality testing and for strengthening regional medical infrastructure at a micro level. We further are staunch believers of developing indigenous testing technologies, medical devices and related infrastructure to promote an environment of Research and Development in this field. Accordingly, with the help of the Government’s grants, we can collectively formulate and implement cheaper alternatives to expensive genetic testing.”

“The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, 2021 is a quantum leap by the Union Government to promote the Indian IVF industry. However, it is pertinent to focus that the nodal concern still remains to be the general people of the country and their struggles with access to Assisted Reproductive Technologies, popularly, IVF. The problem is complemented by a failure by leading insurance companies to cover infertility, which makes it highly difficult for general people to avail these services.

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) is a dynamic approach to science of reproduction and is not only limited to conceiving, rather it also is engaged in spreading an overall awareness about the right contraceptive measures and appropriate sanitation procedures. Consequently, it is an essential discipline concerning the overall health and well-being of people.

Recent research in this field has constantly warned us about the expected increase in the infertility rates of the country. Hence, it becomes significant to undertake preventive measures against this. Accordingly, increasing accessibility to ARTs in rural areas and providing more incentives to people to avail these services will come as a boon to the Indian IVF industry which is expected to become a $12 Billion Global Market in the coming Financial Year.”

Mr. Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO – Clear

New tax regime:

The Finance Ministry may revise the personal income tax slab in this year’s Budget. Many experts believe that the two tax regimes still confuse the common man. The government may consider increasing the highest tax slab to Rs.20 lakh from Rs.15 lakh or allow certain deductions to make the new regime more enticing. Budget 2021 did not provide any major relief to the salaried class.

Standard deduction and work from home deduction:

The Budget 2021 may introduce tax-free work from home allowances for salaried employees. Allowing deductions for such expenses will raise the take-home salary, ultimately creating demand for goods and services in the country.

Due to the high direct tax collection this fiscal year, there may be a scope to increase tax deduction limits. For instance, the standard deduction available to those with salary income may be raised, currently at Rs.50,000. This may be adjusted for inflation every year. 

Section 80C and Section 80D limits are certainly expected to be increased this year as they have been the same for so long. Also, high direct tax collection during this fiscal year may help with upward revision of these limits. A higher deduction under Section 80C may be permitted for the Equity-Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), or a separate limit can be defined to encourage more mutual fund investments in India. Further, a special COVID expense related deduction may be allowed under Section 80D or 80DDB to provide tax relief for COVID-19 patients and their families. 

Mr. Sanjay Sharma, MD – Aye Finance

The repeated wave of covid pandemic has caused commerce to get into a stop start stop uncertainty. Micro and small enterprises are struggling as their buyers are fearful of spending their meagre savings. Over 95% of businesses in India are micro scale businesses and these have been an important driver of the growth of our economy. These can also become a big drag on the recovery if the situation does not change.

The situation fortunately can be reversed speedily. The consumer sentiment at the bottom of the pyramid population is sombre and the government cannot leave it to normal market dynamics to pull up the animal spirits. Government is doing some and has to do even more to break this inertia.

Firstly, we need to ensure that micro enterprises stay funded to survive. The Government should consider extending and expanding the ECLGS program for better part of the new FY.  It is important that rates of interest in these schemes should not be capped so that lenders are encouraged to make these funds flow to the micro scale businesses where their operating costs are high. Capping the rate of interest diverts most of these funds to the bigger enterprises and thus starves the most needy micro businesses. Loan restructure program has been the life support for so many micro businesses that have been established by years of toil by the business owner. We are not yet out of the woods and the lenders should hence be allowed to extend the restructuring window by 6-12 more months, to enable these businesses to pull through this trough.

Secondly we need to jump start the demand. Improving the opportunities for employment especially in tier2 and tier3 towns has become vital after the huge migration of workers from the cities. Government should place fiscal discipline as a lower priority and open its purse strings to employment generation schemes. Expansion and speedy transfer of wages through MNREGA and increase of infrastructure building projects is something the Government is already doing. Some economists have suggested direct transfer of money in the hands of the families at the bottom of the pyramid. This is surely something that the Government should consider seriously. This can oil our commerce engine, lift the sentiments and get the demand back to normal times.

Anil Pinapala, CEO & Co-Founder of Vivifi India Finance

In the upcoming union budget, I hope to see a strong mandate for financial inclusion and assistance from the GoI for start-ups attempting to bring in credit for all transcending language, literacy, location, livelihood like FlexPay. Relaxation in norms and assistance with liquidity to lending NBFC fintechs who are attempting to offer credit to the under-served and unserved would be a welcome move. I also hope that non-prime lending could be brought under priority sector so that NBFCs can truly work to bring credit to all.

Mr. Amitt Sharma, Founder & CEO, VDO.AI

COVID 19 has accelerated digital consumption and adoption, leading to a stack of new options for brands in the advertising space. With the change in digital usage   and   consumer   demand, brands are now seen to be engaging with   young consumers. They are fully automating and welcoming immersive experience for the users by adopting new AI technology.  According to a survey   on   marketers’   strategies   and   difficulties, roughly   66%   of   marketers expect their budgets to increase in 2022, while 71% of Indian marketers expect their budgets to increase.

Both connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) advertising are relatively new to the advertising world, but they are rapidly gaining in popularity as more people are abandoning   traditional   television   in   favor   of   digital   streaming   services.   When compared   to   traditional   TV   ads, the   total   reach   of   OTT advertising is impossible to beat, as the on-demand content is far more intriguing. The exponential rise of these technologies is being accelerated by ongoing technological advancements. As per the reports by Mordor Intelligence, the over-the-top (OTT) market value is expected to reach USD 223.07 billion by 2026.

With marketers focused on KPIs that drive ROI and budget allocations made towards Digital India, we anticipate that digital advertising spending in India will continue to increase in FY 2023, where experimenting with new formats and advertising channels will become a priority.

Nandini Mansinghka, Co-founder & CEO, Mumbai Angels Network

In the last few years, the government has launched multiple policies and schemes for the welfare and growth of the startup community. With young entrepreneurs entering this ecosystem at a steady pace, we hope that resources, funds and capital provided by the government are easy to access. We further expect from the government to create an easy regulatory system, policies, and norms for startups so that organisations can run business without any administrative obstacles.

Mr. Vineet Tyagi, Global CTO, Biz2X

“The pandemic that shook the entire world has brought immense innovation by startups and new-age technology companies and it is quite evident that the trend will only pick up in the year 2022 as well. In the spirit of tech innovation and digital transformation, we hope, through the union budget 2022-23, the government will bring game-changing reforms, new policies, and regulations that will offer relief and tax sops to MSMEs and the overall startup ecosystem. With the pandemic providing the boost to digital payments, there is an increased need for revolutionary advancements of end-to-end infrastructural as fragmentary solutions may not sustain in the long run. In 2022, we expect that the government to focus more on the development of digital infrastructure to enhance customer experiences, credit quality, and streamline the growth of financial entities in FY22-23.”

Amit Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, Yulu

“The EV ecosystem in India has shown a lot of intent & innovation, and now is at a tipping point. With the right kind of enabling policy & incentive support, it can take-off quickly and become sustainably mainstream. We urge the Government to extend the FAME II benefits to ‘Low Speed EVs’ as they are safe, affordable & will accelerate mainstream adoption of EVs. Secondly, Battery is at the heart of EV success, so incentives for swapping infrastructure, like Battery-as-a-service (BaaS), in FAME II is an urgent need as well. Incentivizing localized production and having a flat 5% GST regime for the entire EV supply chain will bring down the costs and de-bottleneck supply side which is needed to ensure long-term advantage.
Solutions like shared EV mobility make a lot of sense for a populous nation like ours because it gives an easy entry point into EV adoption while optimizing the use of vehicles added on the road. Recognising Shared EV mobility as a priority industry will improve affordable access to capital & help bring scalable solutions. Also, given the capital-intensive nature of shared mobility business, monetization of GST locked into Balance sheet will help link tax payments to revenue cash flows. Lastly, provisions for building enabling city infrastructure like special lanes for non-motorised vehicles (NMTs) will ensure user safety & give a fillip to EV adoption.”

Mr. Vivek Banka, Founding Team, Goalteller

“As the old adage goes “ No News is Good News” . As a startup founder, I think there are a lot of tailwinds that are existent in terms of ample liquidity, regulatory changes and broad based digital adoption. Other benefits have also been passed in over last many years for startups and small businesses and hence my expectations towards this years budget is status quo which in itself would bode well for everyone in the ecosystem. Whether it be personal taxes, corporate taxes or capital gain taxes the regime should be made easier and progressively lower as the government has themselves stated earlier. Focus we believe should continue to remain on more transparency, greater compliance and finally easier rules of doing business ( whether it be relaxed norms or  government portals working smoothly every single thing that helps empower startups with easier processes eventually helps us save time and money. “

Mr. Aditya Damani, Founder, Credit Fair

“The government needs to play a fine balancing act between spurring economic growth while consolidating its finances. We expect Credit Fair’s focus sectors of Healthcare, Housing and Education to get policy support from the government as they’re key to improve our social infrastructure as well as for job creation. The LIC IPO and other measures to raise revenues will be crucial for the government. We hope it’s a fiscally responsible budget since inflation has been rising and that could lead to higher interest rates which would be a headwind for fintechs.  Subdued interest rates especially in Government bonds and Fixed deposits will be needed to spur capex, SMEs and fintech lending. As a creator of Alternative Assets we hope the Budget will nudge individuals to diversify their portfolio and enable pension funds to invest in a wider range of fixed income or equity assets that have been created by fintechs.”

Mr. Anuj Kumbhat, Founder & CEO,  Weather Risk Management Services(WRMS)

“As agriculture remains the backbone of the rural economy in India, the sector is always the key spotlight in the Union Budget. In the current scenario, where the country is making all the possible ways to deal with another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the government to allocate a significant amount of budget that paves the way for economic revival for the farmers. As we know, COVID has given a booster dose to the digital transformation; we would like the government to put policies in place that allows farmers to be better aware of technology-enabled smart approaches in farming. This can be done as an offshoot of the much-publicised “Digital India” where there was added impetus on the adoption of digital technology.

We envision a future where technology becomes the best companion of the farmer and provides them the best productivity from their limited means. This can only be achieved by de-risking farming to impart the confidence to adopt the latest innovations and technology among the farmers, especially smallholders. Hope the government imparts the agritech sector necessary opportunities and incentives to grow as a robust sector within the country’s economy.”

Mr. Kapil Bhatia, Founder & CEO, UNIREC

The fashion startups are expecting the government to improve the disposable income of the consumers as well as the reduction in GST rates of readymade clothings. Current GST rates of readymade clothes that cost above INR 1000 fall under the category of 12 percent and the government should bring it down to 5 percent. The government, with its budget, should focus on improving the infrastructure and remove any kind of inconveniences in the supply chain for a smoother functioning of the fashion retail industry. In addition to tax rate reduction, easier compliance and simplification of taxes are two of the major expectations of the functional fashion startups in the market. Moreover, the prime motive of the government should be to empower both skilled and unskilled employees.”

Mr. Punit Sindhwani, CEO, Paxcom

The last two years have been challenging, especially for SMB, but have also provided opportunities for businesses that were able to successfully embrace eCommerce and Digital Payments. For SMB to survive and thrive, a greater impetus is needed to provide digital tools, training and guidance. Our expectation from the union budget is financial support/incentives, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, to help accelerate the digital India vision.

Mr. Sharad Bansal, Co- Founder, Tinkerly

” With the country witnessing the 3rd wave of Covid, online classes have become mainstream now but they currently come under 18% GST slab. Relaxation on GST for online classes and STEM toys will encourage more enrollments of interested students. Due to COVID, we saw the demand-supply gap and it is crucial to bridge the gap by providing internet connectivity, better infrastructure in tier 3 and tier 4 cities, and running schemes like One student One laptop, scholarships should be provided for outstanding performances. Technical and soft skills training should be made mandatory for teachers. They should be trained to teach and maintain the engagement of the students in online classes. A provision of budget can be made under SSA for the same. Funds and disbursements to Atal tinkering Labs should be speeded up to improve the quality of education. Currently only schools can get grants for Atal Tinkering Labs, this should be extended to private learning centres and independent educators so that community driven Tinkering Labs can be established. We strongly believe Futuristic tech skills such as IoT, AI, coding should be included in the curriculum.Currently India’s government expenditure  on education per child studying in government schools is significantly higher than the private education spent per child studying in private schools. This inefficiency can be reduced by providing Vouchers for direct education with the liberty to choose where and how to spend it. As mentioned in NEP 2020, the foundational pillars of technology such as equity, access, quality, affordability, and accountability should be leveraged and imposed.”

Mr. Amit Damanl, Co- Founder and  Head Sales & Marketing, Vista Rooms
 *If we look at the homestay villa segment especially, it’s always in the grey area, and we’d need more clarification at the national level on rules and tax systems that apply to the segment. Currently, it’s fairly fragmented, and each state may have its own set of laws surrounding what constitutes a homestay or bnb, and that’s more of a recognition than a policy. We’re trying to simplify and get each and every property registered as a BNB nationally.

Travellers have recognized homestays in the last two years, and they have become an extremely integral and significant component of domestic tourism, employment-generating pathways, and the subsequent prosperity of local communities. As a result, sufficient legislation and policy recognition are critical, and we expect to see suggestions in this year’s budget.

Mr. Gururaj Bhat, Chief Finance Officer, Karle Infra Pvt. Ltd.

Being into mixed development, our Budget expectations on two areas of developments are as under.

Off-late, the developers are witnessing robust sales in the residential segment as many people are being eligible for increased quantum of loan due to drastic reduction in the interest cost.

Earlier the developers use to take GST input credit on the construction cost paid and use to adjust against GST collected from the ultimate customers. Subsequently the GST payment on residential purchase was slashed by Govt. from 12% to 5% and the provision to set off GST paid by the developers on construction cost against GST collected from the customers was taken off. In the present scenario, the developers are compelled to add the GST paid on construction cost to the total cost of sale. During the current budget ,if the Govt allows the builders to set off the GST at least to the extent of collection against the payment made by them on construction cost, customers would be benefited and the increased sales in the sector can be witnessed wherein the entire inventory/project will be sold.

Office Space

With regards to SEZ office space developments, as per the present provisions, SEZ developers (IT/ITES) has to lease out the developed space only to 100% export oriented business units. Whereas due to continued pandemic situation, lot of IT and IT enabled services have started consolidating the office space to cut down the cost and many of the IT companies continued to allow its employees to work from home(WFH) options due to which lot of SEZ office spaces are being vacated. Since the sun set clause of Income tax exemptions were not extended, no new companies are looking for SEZ office space for their requirements. In such situation, if the Govt.extends its helping hand by allowing the SEZ developers to have the flexibility to lease to out the SEZ office space to Non-SEZ  IT companies, the vacant space can be filled which  will facilitate the developers to repay the borrowed loan without any default.

Mr. Ashish Chandra, Co-founder, COO & CFO GlobalFair,

Great Economic Opportunity 
India today is sitting on a cusp of a great economic opportunity. Covid has had a seismic impact on global production networks such that the logistics cost and sourcing networks have altered fundamentally. Businesses today are more worried about resilience in their supply chain and therefore looking to expand their supplier networks.  Over the last few decades China has been the de-facto factory of the world. From industrial raw material to chemicals to finished building materials were all being sourced from China. But the pandemic has made businesses realize that they cannot just rely one a single production hub – what the commentators have dubbed as “China+1” business sentiment. This is a once in a century economic opportunity for India. A small 10% shift of demand from China to India can double India’s exports. 

What India needs
The export sector has been supported in successive budgets through a number of schemes. However some strategic issues persist. We need to put more impetus on a trade deal with the UK, EU, US and other like-minded countries in the Asia Pacific region. While India has passed on the opportunity to join regional networks like RECEP, more focus on bilateral deals could bring increased trade activity in these corridors. India’s economy and private sector today are strong enough to compete with global MNCs. India has far more to gain from these trade agreements than we can possibly lose.  We need to shed our protective mindset and play from the front foot. Lower trade barriers, special treatment for Indian merchandise, synchronization of product specifications and certifications can open demand floodgates. 
India needs to give a renewed focus on promotion of industrial clusters. More manufacturing capacity needs to come up and fast. Promoters need support around land, labour and capital to execute planned projects at great speed. Number of industrial corridors along Delhi-Mumbai, Chennai-Bangalore, Vizag-Chennai etc were planned but the execution is lagging behind. It is also time to revamp SEZ zones policy and provide more focussed export incentives and remove inverted tax structures in import of raw materials.”

Mr. Rahul Jha, Chief Executive Officer at LEI Register India.

Although LEI registration has picked up pace over the past few years, it is imperative that certain measures are taken for improved adoption at a large scale. One long-standing demand from the government has been to start e-registration for proprietorship and partnership firms. It would go a long way in helping business firms with better credit penetration.

Furthermore, some more measures may be considered in the Budget. A few recommendations include allowing and making an easy process to register businesses as a digital nomad, easing KYC norms for corporates and business firms, and linking the Legal Entity Identifier with other registration IDs, which would be helpful for regulators and banks to understand companies better.

However, the industry is also concerned about KYC norms. Currently, one needs to get the open data for all business registration ids at one platform for business entities like LEI, GST, IEC, PAN, CIN, and others. If these measures are implemented effectively, it will propel the sector ahead immensely, allowing it to reach greater heights.

Dr.Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder of Venture Catalysts and Managing Director of 9Unicorns

“The Indian startup ecosystem became the third-largest in the world in 2021, with 90 unicorns, 8 startup IPOs, and an almost fourfold increase in total funding over last year to reach $42 billion. But, despite the stellar performance, the sector remains fraught with significant challenges that we anticipate the Union Budget to address. Currently, the Capital Gains Tax rate on unlisted shares differs from that on listed shares, resulting in higher taxes for startup founders and early-stage investors. To achieve parity, they can be rationalized at par with listed securities. The Union Budget is expected to include tax breaks for new businesses, as well. In order to encourage consolidation among startups in the service and organized retailing sectors, India is considering allowing losses and accumulated depreciation to be carried forward during company amalgamation.

We also envisage that the Budget will prioritize Domestic Capital participation, a favourable investment climate in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, incentives to establish incubators in every state, tax breaks for FDIs, and startup infrastructure development. This will also aid in the globalization of Indian startups, as 42% intend to go global by 2022. For instance, a seed startup that is not yet generating revenues is expected to follow the same compliances as a medium or large company, thereby placing an unnecessary burden on the founder or core team to manage compliances, often at an additional cost. This needs to be streamlined because it diverts energy away from the core focus and into non-value-added activities.”

Mr. Nitin Rao, CEO – InCred Wealth

“While there are murmurs going around on budget expectations, we must remember that the budget is coming in the midst of many State Election campaigns. It is unlikely that the Govt will be able to announce any earth shattering reforms or populist measures since the Code of Conduct is in place at state levels. I would therefore expect a low-key budget this time and the markets would likely discount sentiments revolving around earnings and election expectations in this period.”

Mr. Jyoti Roy – DVP- Equity Strategist, Angel One Ltd

The Finance Minister will be presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 on the 1st of Feb’22 which will be keenly watched by the markets. We expect that the Union Budget will focus on targeted spending while maintaining fiscal discipline. We expect the Government fiscal deficit for FY23 will be well below the budget estimate of 6.8% for FY2022 due to better than expected tax collections. We expect that the Government will continue its focus on providing support to the rural economy and manufacturing sector through increased spending and PLI schemes. We also expect the Government will increase allocation to the Infrastructure and housing sector given their high multiplier effect on the economy. We do not expect any major announcement in the Union Budget and believe that the Government will continue with its reform process even outside of the Budget.

Mr. Vidit Garg, Director, MyGoldKart

In 2019, the government had announced an increase in import duty  on Gold and Silver due to an increase in the current account deficit of  the country. However, in the 2021 budget, FM Nirmala Sitharaman  announced that import duty on gold and silver was decreased from  12.5% to 7.5%. This move was highly appreciated by the bullion  associations across India. However, before the 2019 budget GJC(All  India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council ) had demanded a decrease in import duty on gold to up to 4% which is much lower  than the 7.5% announced in the previous budget.

Gold associations want a decrease in import duty to curb the  increasing grey market smuggling of gold since 2019 as import duty  was increased. Although this move will cost the government thousands of crores of  rupees in income, the cost-benefit analysis suggests that the  government will benefit more if the smuggling of gold is curbed in  India. Lowering import duty will lead to an increase in demand for gold. Indian bullion and jewellers Association (IBJA) expects the  government to eliminate commodity transaction tax (CTT) to curb  Dabba trading.

Bullions expect that the government should increase GST on gold  which will help to settle the losses against reducing import duty.  If equity markets welcome the budget positively, then prices of gold and silver will decrease and vice versa. If the government announces a reduction in import duty, gold prices  will decrease in the short term as there is a positive correlation  between import duty and gold prices, and the same was seen last year  also. Although, prices won’t remain affected for the long term as demand  for gold and silver will increase as the price will decrease, and also for  investors, it is a hedging tool against rising inflation.

Nayan Gala, Founder, JPIN

“The union budget will create a great benefit for the startup ecosystem as the government will focus on investment-driven growth that will push companies of all sizes both in the public as well as the private sector. It would also raise additional resources through strategic investments, divestments and asset monetization.

The government should help in assisting startups through policies and support mechanisms towards domestic capital participation. Along with providing incentives to set up incubators, tax exemptions in FDIs and relaxing taxes for startups.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announcing National Startups Day this year, brings in an added advantage and benefit for the ecosystem and shows the rise and importance of startups in the country”

Attributed to Nitin Misra, Co-founder, indiagold

“With the government making progress on several fronts, we anticipate a policy framework in the budget that allows FinTechs to work closely with relevant government institutions to improve the distribution and adoption of existing gold monetization schemes, as well as launch new products like the gold savings account. All compliances, including incorporation, GST, other taxes, EPFO, and other registrations, should be handled through a single window in India.

To stimulate entrepreneurship in India, the government should also allow entrepreneurs to carry forward their loss of income to offset against future income. Furthermore, reduced capital gains on mergers and acquisitions will help the sector grow.”

Anshuman Narain, Vice-President, CashBean (P.C.Financial Services Pvt Ltd.)

The main impetus that FinTech needs today is the further dignification of India through state investment in e-infrastructure. A lot of the country is still behind in terms of high-speed internet access and while private players have proliferated the internet, a state-focused effort in this direction will provide manifold growth to the tech industry (and subsequent tax accruals for the government).

Views of Sanket Shendure, Co-Founder and CEO, Minko

“About $400 -500 billion or 30 to 40 lakh crores of B2B payments from retailers to distributors in India’s retail market happen through cash. If the government provided some incentives to small shop owners to make supplier payments digitally, in the budget, it could potentially save costs and bring about increased financial inclusion”

Mr. Nischal Shetty,CEO, WazirX on Budget Expectations.

Besides regulatory clarity, we expect better clarity from the government on crypto taxation. India has been witnessing an economic recovery despite the COVID waves. A regulatory clarity will give the crypto sector a boost, accelerate its growth and potential to contribute to our $5 Trillion economy vision. We expect the Union Budget to present fine-tuned clarity on the crypto landscape. While the legal implementation still seems a while away, any initiative announced in the Budget would at least open a direct line of conversation on crypto classification as an asset class, its taxation policies and the blue-ocean opportunities available in this globally emerging segment. This would not only encourage institutional investments in the space but also open up job opportunities in the underserved markets.

Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and Co-founder of Indira IVF

India has steadily emerged as a hub of medical tourism and the fertility industry has contributed substantially in making it a preferred destination globally. With rapidly changing lifestyles, the emergence of new age diseases, and health concerns becoming an individual priority now; the industry has gradually gained the attention of policymakers. However, the IVF industry still requires a huge impetus. Given the growth perception in this sector and multiple players emerging, it can be fairly estimated that there has been a huge spike in couples opting for IVF treatment for childbirth. The latest data from National Family Health Survey reports that the fertility rate in India has been crumbling, with the 2019-21 survey putting it at an all-time low of 2 children per woman. It is evident that IVF will become a main stream requirement for coming generations, owing to the massive increase in stress and other lifestyle factors which are seen to be direct impact of pandemic and lockdown.

Future generations will need it more, and since such treatments are expensive for the masses, we would suggest the government bring IVF treatments under health insurance parameters. Though social stigma prevents couples from considering such treatment, particularly in rural areas and small towns, many couples in urban areas are currently unable to seek benefit because it is not covered by insurance and they fail to afford prolong treatment if required. Financial support through insurance will bring much relief to such couples and it will also encourage more penetration of such treatments in small cities/towns. Including fertility treatments in health insurance plans will minimise the financial risks of anyone seeking help. It must also be noted that a normal pregnancy is duly covered under insurance, so we recommend an assisted process or treatment for pregnancy, must also be financially secured. If the insurance company pays for infertility treatments, there will be more standardisation and transparency in the system.

The Government’s approval of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill in December and regulating the industry, has paved the way for implementation & adherence of correct practises. More initiatives should be taken for mass awareness, educate younger generations and spread the technology across the nation. IVF’s education among masses will get it socially accepted across that will further brighten the overall growth prospects of healthcare in India.”

Dr S. Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai

“Healthcare was one of the first pillars of budget allocation last year and should continue to be an important aspect in this year’s Union Budget as well. Since the pandemic hit us, we have seen the need for and importance of an even stronger healthcare sector in India. We need to pave the way for more Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP). Secondly, there has been a growing concern for healthcare infrastructure in India which can be addressed with increased budgets in Research & Development, medical equipment procurement, development of more hospitals, and improving the overall infrastructure. In India there is a lack of a skilled healthcare workforce, a dedicated budget should be allocated to address the need to create sufficient manpower and for skill development of paramedical staff, nurses, etc. Focusing on healthcare and meeting these needs will help us prepare for years to come.”

Mr Greg Moran, CEO & Co-Founder, Zoomcar

The economy is on the road to recovery and the Union Budget 2022-2023 will be crucial for the Auto sector as it can facilitate the industry’s effective revival. We are confident that with the right policies and support, the sector is poised for growth. One of the key areas for both the government as well as the Auto sector is Electric Mobility. With several Indian and international groups keen to invest in the Electric Vehicle (EV) segment, the government should focus on bolstering the infrastructure to enable easy manufacturing and usage of EVs and EV-related elements such as charging kiosks to boost demand. With regards to technology, we are in the midst of one of the biggest tech-led transitions in India and the world and we expect that this year’s Union Budget will focus more on tech-led developments in the Auto sector. It presents the perfect opportunity for the industry to capitalize on and boost growth. We also look forward to more tax incentives for the travel and trade industry”

Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head and COO, nurture.farm 

Farmers in India still work on Agri models that are input-intensive, which affects their overall profitability. Enabling a lean agribusiness model should be a priority by developing shared economy platforms through which farmers can access farm equipment and machinery at substantially lower costs. Mechanisation in agriculture would improve productivity and yield, and India needs significant improvements in both these spheres. An impetus towards shared economy models and digitisation of Agri ecosystems in India would induce transparency into the entire sector – empowering farmers to make informed decisions and improve their output and incomes.

Another way to improve farmer incomes is to focus on adopting sustainable agricultural practices. Incentivising this for Indian farmers will have a two-pronged impact – on the one hand, it will improve the carbon footprint of agriculture, making it climate-friendly, and on the other, by leveraging carbon credits, farmers will have a scope to earn higher incomes. With the second-largest arable land in the world, India can be a world leader in establishing the potential impact on climate and farmer incomes by adopting sustainable agriculture practices. Enabling public private partnerships in this domain can help Indian farmers leapfrog towards a climate friendly, sustainable and profitable agriculture.

On behalf of  Mr Pranav Dangi, Founder of Hosteller

The prolonged effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the overall hospitality sector has created a burden on small to medium scale players to service their debt obligations. Ongoing pressure on such players to maintain high operational standards, as required in the hospitality industry, has pushed them towards higher operational costs and thereby leading to inability to service their debts. We feel, in the 2022-23 budget, the GoI shall create provisions to create liquidity for the travel & tourism industry, provide directions to the central bank to roll out low interest working capital loan schemes and expedite the paperwork process. This shall navigate the industry through the difficulties imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Roshan Farhan- Founder and CEO, Gobillion

“This year’s budget will be an important one to watch out for – given the Government’s focus in promoting startups and entrepreneurship in the country. We look forward to a startup friendly budget – with focus on making starting a company easier, streamlined compliance mechanisms and avenues for access to capital for early stage startups. We look forward to the Budget providing incentives to startups in tier 2+ towns to promote a more inclusive startup ecosystem. Startups in India will contribute strongly to realize our vision of a $5 trillion economy in the next few years.”

Prithviraj Sen Sharma, Managing Director & Country Head, Agoro Carbon Alliance, India

India is today in a unique position to drive long-range change towards building climate resilient mechanisms for agriculture and the food industry, and we expect the union budget to reflect some of these priorities very strongly for the coming year

Indian growers are poised to benefit greatly from the fresh thinking the administrative bodies have around building newer, smarter, more digitally-connected ways of producing more food with less resources. With initiatives like More Crop Per Drop, we are taking the first steps towards building longer term resiliency towards more and more frequent climate swings & shifts in the geo-political scenario to cement India’s place as one of the most important node points ensuring food security globally. The upcoming union budget should reflect the shift in attitude towards being more grower-centric, building highly resilient food distribution mechanisms and ensuring our farmers are adequately compensated for their work.

Mr Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen

India, together, has moved towards the ‘e’ world. Whether it is commerce, finance, agriculture, education and learning, corporate, or any other industry you pick, technology and the Internet have reached all households in the country, in some way or the other. With the pandemic hitting the economy, the Internet and technology infrastructure held the country and its people up and functioning. Keeping all this in mind, we must acknowledge that the ‘Digital Way’ is the way for the present and the future. As we move closer to the budget announcements, we are eagerly waiting to know what is new and upcoming for this year for all digital businesses – big, medium and small. With the adequate infrastructure, right audience (which already exists in the country), and ample support, Digital Businesses can flourish and support the people and the economy in all ways possible.

While we talk about our expectations from the budget, as the founder of a digital startup, we are always looking forward to the support that the government brings for us every year. Today, India stands third globally, after China and the USA, with the most number of unicorn startups. We are the future and we are making a better future. The startup ecosystem together has always been supported by the government and looks forward to the same in the year that is waiting ahead of us.

Zafar Imam, CEO, FinShell

Technological and Digital disruption have impacted and led to the growth of all industries – the financial sector is at the top of that list. With the growing smartphone users and internet penetration, FinTech has become an invaluable part of each user’s life. The increasing users of digital financial platforms have brought in strong competition in the financial services industry. It goes without saying that with the access and usage of financial platforms online, the benefit has reached users irrespective of geographies, time and socio-economic boundaries. The consistent growth in the number of UPI users showcases and establishes the digital penetration in the payments business. There is also a significant growth in the investments and insurance sectors that has been led by this enhancing digital footprint. 
At this time, with this growth, it is important for us as part of the larger industry to support and enable digital finances and its infrastructure to make each user’s life easier and smoother. 

Rahul Raj Singh Director, Marketing and Sales, Catseye Systems and Solutions

The union budget is a great starting point for our country’s technology-driven transformation and we expect that this year it should bring in more opportunities of low interest loans for the MSME industries and a special allocation should be made towards semiconductors and silicon chip manufacturing. As for now we rely a lot on international markets and because of that the current supply of the chips in our country is really affected.
The focus should also be on increasing the subsidies on e-vehicles to reduce the dependencies on conventional fuels.
It would be great if you could publish it. Look forward to hearing from you.

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