This year’s budget is more focused on driving growth in the traditional sectors of the economy and spend seems directed towards infrastructure, telecom, health, education. These are overall very relevant areas for our country to develop further and will have far reaching impact on industry and ease of living. However, the Budget lacks specific initiatives to directly boost Startups and corporates. We were hoping to see more details on simplification of tax structures, allocation of Startup India Fund, dissolution of Angel tax, extending tax holiday period, but many such topics have been completely left out by the Budget and perhaps may be addressed in the Annexure.
The proposal to extend the 25% corporate tax rate to MSMEs with turnover upto Rs 250 crore (earlier Rs 50 crore) who are in dire need of support is a good one. The promise to revamp online loan sanctioning facility for MSMEs is encouraging. Additionally, the decision to ease EPF payments for women workers from 12% to 8% for the first three years of employment shall boost employment of women in various sectors of the formal economy.
Setting up 5 lakh WiFi hotspots in rural areas is a progressive step though we were hoping for larger measures to boost Digital India. Ultimately, these are big and fancy numbers which surely sound promising. Our Government’s ability to execute these plans will determine whether India can really become the $5 trillion economy we have set out to be.