The Union Budget of 2023-24 is being eagerly awaited by leaders in the startup, Fintech, and electric vehicle (EV) industries. The industries are hoping for policies and announcements that will unlock the true potential of these ecosystems and take them to the next level of growth.
Kedar Kulkarni, Manager of the EDGE Program at Deshpande Startups, says that India has come a long way in the last eight years of the Startup India initiative and there is now a DPIIT-registered start-up in almost every Indian district. He feels that it is time to consider the future trajectory of this ecosystem, especially with regard to start-ups operating in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Currently, these start-ups are struggling due to a lack of adequate entrepreneurial support and capital, and most founders are either closing shop or selling their ideas to larger companies. Kulkarni says that there is a need for financial allocations to build start-up incubators in these cities that can take care of every need of an emerging entrepreneur.
Ankit Kedia, Founder & Lead Investor of Capital A, says that the investor community is looking forward to fiscal and policy initiatives from the government that will support the sunshine sectors this year. He explains that for India to become a global manufacturing hub, it is crucial to build robust logistics and supply chain guidelines, simplify the GST regime, and encourage the development of advanced technology in the areas of renewable power generation, energy efficiency, green construction, EVs, and battery design. Kedia adds that significant investments are needed every year to achieve India's medium and long-term emission control goals and there is a need for Indian investors to participate more in the fight against climate change.
Varun Goenka, CEO & Co-Founder of Chargeup, says that the last Union Budget announced the government's plan to introduce a comprehensive Battery Swapping Policy. He feels that this policy, if simplified along the lines of the CNG policy, can transform and accelerate the growth of the EV ecosystem. Goenka stresses that the simplification must be followed by an early implementation and the government should consider reducing the GST on EVs from 18% to 5% and include EVs in priority sector lending.
Tushar Choudhary, Founder & CEO of Motovolt Mobility, says that the government has identified EVs as the key to achieving the sustainability goals of the Indian mobility sector and has taken a number of steps to build an EV ecosystem. He is of the view that it is critical that the government continues with its policies and schemes to sustain the momentum and make EVs compete with conventional fossil fuel vehicles. Choudhary says that the taxation on EVs and components like batteries must be lowered to make the vehicles more affordable for the masses.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has recently permitted non-residents from 10 countries to transfer funds digitally using the UPI platform, a move that highlights the importance of Fintech in driving the Indian economy forward. Stakeholders in the Fintech industry are hoping for some fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in the upcoming budget.
The Union Budget of 2023-24 holds a lot of promise for the Indian startup, Fintech, and EV industries, and stakeholders are hoping that their expectations will be met.