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Pre-Budget Quotes 2022 | Startup Community

Mr. Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder, We Founder Circle, said, “The startup income tax exemption which is available to startups is very complex and time-consuming. We understand the government must look for a simpler procedure. Additionally, ESOPs taxation is a hurdle for startups. In the early stages, startups cannot offer handsome salaries; therefore, they provide ESOPs. However, if ESOPs have a tax liability at the current valuation, then even that cushion is not there anymore. Furthermore, Indian startups cannot raise funds through SAFE Notes, the most acceptable instrument across the world. Lastly, I request the government, the way they have established SEZ Special Economic Zones or investment regions should form a Special Startup Region, SSR, which spreads across the country in Tier-II or Tier-III of India.”

Mr. Priyank Shah, Co-Founder & Director, RENEE Cosmetics, said, “In 2021, the Indian startup community witnessed that more women have started their entrepreneurship journey, and the entire industry has been cheering them on. However, specific reforms that encourage women-led startups are still missing. We hope to see some relief in taxation and GST policies so that women entrepreneurs can be encouraged to take the leap with a little more convenience. We can expect the government to encourage and provide funds to enable academic incubation centres in women-only colleges, which will enable more young women to explore entrepreneurship and create startups. Support of working capital and interest-free loans would also be highly beneficial to encourage Women-led startups. In addition, COVID-19 has been challenging for the entire industry in terms of production. Therefore, we seek easy and low-interest loans to cover manufacturing and provide the audience with better products. In this budget, the government should provide financial assistance to growth-oriented startups with proven capabilities to enhance their R&D.”

Ms. Sujata Pawar- CO-Founder & CEO, Avni- a traditional menstrual care brand said, “A lot of startups have entered the space of eco-friendly products. It is not just a leap to alter lifestyle, but also a contribution towards the environment. The government should develop subsidies on eco-friendly products in all categories and encourage entrepreneurs to work towards organic replacements of various products. Lenient taxation could be looked at to promote the adoption of organic products by the end consumers too.”

Mr. Farman Beig, Co-founder & CEO of Wat-a-Burger
“It takes multiple licenses to establish a food & beverage business in India. We expect the government to address this in the upcoming budget. Additionally, the sector requires reintroduction of the inputs tax credit. Also, considering the sector has been struggling due to the pandemic havoc, it is necessary to provide it with relief package and special fund allocation for a speedy recovery.”

Mr. Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote, said, “The food and beverage industry has incurred heavy losses due to the pandemic, which makes it essential for us to look up to the Union Budget 2022-23 for relief. To accelerate the sector’s recovery, this budget should enable interest-free loans, greater subsidies, and a reduction in the tax structure. Additionally, since most F&B businesses fall under Micro and SMB categories, they should be offered an extended moratorium. Considering the current situation, business losses should be allowed to be carried forward from the current eight years to 12 years.”

Mr. Sushant Gupta, Founder & CEO of SG Analytics, said, “In order to make startups an equally lucrative opportunity for job seekers, we suggest the government revisit the definition of startups and ESOP Taxation. It might be more relevant if ESOPs are taxed only during the time of sale. In addition to this, exception of SEZ from long-term capital gains would boost the stock market, and encourage foreign investments inflow in the country.”

Mr. Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks), said, “India is still a developing economy, which needs technological advancements in a lot of sectors. Even if we talk about the advancements in agriculture, medicine, education, etc., technology is that one thing that is the common element required for the advancement of all. But, we have a long way to cover in terms of technological advancements compared to other countries, esp for making India a developed nation from a developing one. The country’s budget should have a fair share towards technological advancements, as then only we will be able to digitise and automate the other industries. All need technology from home automation to advanced agriculture tools to medical equipment required for transplantation and major surgeries to save lives. Therefore we hope that technology and startups working on these technologies should get support from the government to develop new ideas and solutions to make India an advanced economy.”

Mr. Kunal Vaid, Founder of Resham Sutra, said, “We would like to see a more inclusive budget with higher levels of focus on women’s development and rural employment and livelihood generation, as these sectors currently constitute over 50 percent of the Indian economy. New and fresh ideas are needed to improve income opportunities and increase rural women’s productivity in the poor and underserved parts of the country. Additionally, the government must focus on the creation of non-agricultural income streams for bettering livelihoods for the rural women, as well as increase investments in community rural livelihood infrastructure building and development and furthering training infrastructure, including skill training for aspiring micro-entrepreneurs in rural India as well as technical training to the rural producers.

We also strongly feel that the scope of existing schemes/initiatives like textile mega parks need to be broadened and implemented for distributed rural production centres and producer companies — as they are the backbone of the Indian textile industry. Furthermore, the government should address the need of setting up village-level procurement centres and prioritize ensuring more straightforward access to affordable credit for all rural women textile producers with minimum documentation. To this end, including implementing schemes like the PM Kisaan to be in the name of women, irrespective of land ownership can be a significant step. Lastly, I would like to suggest that the government simplify the formation process of rural-based producer companies and allow partial shareholding to promoter organizations. Such initiatives will go a long way and have a multiplier effect on rural incomes and the economy at large. These have the potential to reduce further the need for mass migration to urban areas for low-paid, unskilled work.”

Mr. Vasanth Madhav Kamath, Founder & CEO of Hydrogreens Agri Solutions, said, “In the upcoming Union Budget, we look forward to the government announcing stimulus packages for Green projects, especially enabling first loss default guarantees. It would help the first time green bond issuers who may be unable to service the coupon or principal payments and would surely go a long way in inspiring the dairy industry to consider and access more green debt capital, as well as to execute high-quality genuine projects that get the dairy value chain closer to Net-zero.”