Union Budget 2021 hinges on augmenting economic recovery while laying emphasis on self-reliance. This year’s Union Budget has a strong focus on healthcare with increased spending, says industry leaders.
They view the budget as a growth-oriented saying that government expenditure on infrastructure is high which will boost the economy. Here is the take of senior industry CXOs on Budget 2021.
Jitendra Chouksey, Founder of FITTR
Union Budget 2021-22 hinges on augmenting economic recovery while laying emphasis on self-reliance. This year’s Union Budget has a strong focus on healthcare with increased spending. The allocation of INR 2,23,846 crore for healthcare in FY21-22 and the proposed ‘Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana’, with an outlay of INR 64,180 crore over six years is expected to give the right impetus to healthcare in India. What makes it significant is the fact that this year the allocation is almost double of last year’s budget.
Considering the given circumstances, this was the need of the hour. Besides healthcare, the budget has given due importance to the start-up segment as well. The extension of tax holiday by one year, till 31st March 2022, on revenue as well as investment was much needed during these challenging times. This will further foster the growth of start-ups in India. On the whole, we believe that announcements made today will help usher in a well-balanced growth of the economy.”
Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-founder, Vedantu
The National Education Policy has been a strategic move towards guiding the development of India’s education. To strengthen the policy further, this Union Budget is focusing on initiatives like National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEA) which will provide a diverse education eco-system for the development of digital infrastructure, educational planning, governance and administrative activities.
The complete shift from using assessments to not only judge the cognitive levels of the learner but also using it as an opportunity to identify the unique strengths and the potential, is a student-centric approach which will lead to the holistic development of a child and provide them with a greater edge, globally. Further, I would like to see more investments & budget allocation to go into the education sector to enhance it with more trending technologies which will make education accessible to students in the farthest corners of the country.
Rajat Singhania, Founder, HyLyt by SocioRAC
The budget is growth-oriented. Govt expenditure on infrastructure is high which will boost the economy. There are no major changes in direct/ indirect taxes. For startups, the tax extension, increase in paid-up capital, registration of one-person firms, NRI permission to incorporate OPCs in India is a good boost to Startups. Overall a positive budget to spur growth, stock markets have responded very positively and we can expect to overcome some of the losses of the year gone by.”
Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis India
We welcome the Union Budget tabled by the Finance Minister, especially the announcement of voluntary scrapping policy. This comes in as a big support to automakers, who will benefit from this policy. Moreover, personal vehicles older than 20 years and commercial vehicles older than 15 years to undergo a fitness test is indeed focused on phasing out older vehicles.
It will in turn promote the use of more eco-friendly vehicles. The specifics of the policy will be announced by MoRTH in the days to come. The annual budget brings in good news for commercial vehicles as well with 18,000 crores to be allotted for procuring and maintaining 20,000 buses as well as the construction of road infra to support the sale of commercial vehicles. It is, therefore, the highest ever allocation of 1.08 lakh crore to MoRTH for capital. We further welcome the FM’s move on increasing custom duties on some auto parts by 15%.
George Alexander Muthoot, MD, Muthoot Finance
The 2021-22 budget has laid clear emphasis on economic growth and the financial services sector will play a crucial role in achieving the development goals of the government. Among the several business-friendly announcements, some that stood out for us include net rationalisation of customs duty on gold by 2.5% which should bring more gold into the country through official channels and incentivising purchase of affordable homes by extending eligibility period for claiming additional deduction of interest paid of Rs. 1.5 lakh to 31st March 2022.
Increasing FDI limit in insurance to 74% from 49% is another progressive announcement that will bring more investments and activity in this sector. Lastly, reflective of the importance of the MSME sector, the government has provided Rs. 15,700 cr for it, double of last year’s budgeted estimate and we stand steadfast with the MSMEs, individuals and entrepreneurs of India in financing and enabling their Atmanirbhar Bharat ambitions.
Anunaya Chaubey, Provost, Anant National University
I found the focus of the budget on effective implementation of new education policy to be reassuring. The proposal for the higher education commission as an umbrella organisation having four dedicated bodies for standard-setting, accreditation, regulation, and funding will bring focus on performance and bring clarity to institutions seeking help from the government.
The creation of city-based structures to create synergies among higher education institutions located in a city which is also supported by a glue grant is an innovative step. I hope Ahmedabad will be one of the cities selected for the benefit as it has a large number of old and new educational institutions.
The continuing commitment to National Research Foundation with the allocation of 50,000 crores over the next five years will provide a thrust to the strengthening of the research ecosystem in India. Overall I find the budget to be forward-looking that continues to build upon past work and create new and facilitating structures that will help implementation of the new education policy.
Nanda, CO-Founder, WinZO Games
The measures announced by the government demonstrate its bullishness towards the startup ecosystem. The extension of long-term capital gains by another year will offer tailwinds to early-stage funding. Extension of tax holiday by one year is also an encouraging offering, however, most of the new-age startups don’t start booking profits in the early years. The Budget’s focus on economic development, infrastructure and health will definitely put India back on the growth trajectory after an unprecedented past financial year.
Padmaja Ruparel, Founding Partner of IAN Fund
The Budget 2021 opens up opportunities for startups across Health, Hygiene, Water, Clean air, Sanitation, etc. The vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat with a focus on Good governance and Women Empowerment will lead to a boost for Indian Economy. The Indian Startups have a great opportunity to innovate and help to sustain the Indian Economy. Non-conventional energy boosted with a focus on solar and Non-renewable sources.
Reopening of tax cases reduced to 3 years from 6 years and increased income limit of 50 crore.
Kauhsik Sharaf CEO & Founder Cymatic
In the Budget announcement, the emphasis has been put on holistic development, teacher training and achieving the target of NEP-2020. With 15000 schools to be strengthened, we expect the policy of whiteboard and digital education in every school just like the Radhakrishnan Commission recommendation of blackboards in every school. We could also expect mission tablet- where tablet to be provided to teachers as well as students within the context of Digital First Mindset to build Digital architecture to support the teaching and learning activities.
We also appreciate the tax holiday for startups and capital gains exemptions for startups by one more year which is going to be proved beneficial for early-stage startups to fund their growth.
Sonakshi Nathani, Co-Founder & CEO, Bikayi
As a WhatsApp integrated e-commerce startup catering to MSMEs, we welcome the decision of doubling MSME allocation by the government. Post pandemic, there is an urgent need to build a sustainable ecosystem for these micros, small and medium business owners. In the past 6 months with lockdown restrictions, we have seen increased adoption of digital mediums to run businesses.
However, lack of understanding, ease of use and incentives, restricts these businesses to explore further. Hence, the decision to promote digital transactions and attach financial incentives to promote a digital mode of payment will be a gamechanger in the MSME segment, specifically for local e-commerce players.