As the central government prepares to present the Union Budget, leaders in various industries are calling for key reforms and initiatives to boost growth and development. Dr. Ashvini Jakhar, Founder & CEO, Prozo, is calling for the upcoming Union Budget in India to be the catalyst the country's logistics sector needs to unlock its growth potential.
According to Jakhar, the biggest expectation is the implementation of the National Logistics Policy, which was announced last year and aims to bring down the current logistics costs of 13% to 14% to single digits. He emphasizes the need for simplification of cross-border trade and foreign direct investment in warehousing, as well as improved infrastructure and development of the logistics sector workforce through the PM Gati Shakti initiative.
“One of the most critical areas of logistics growth is the construction of industrial warehouses and cold storage facilities across India,” says Jakhar. “It is expected that there will be a push towards improving transportation to Tier II and Tier III cities so that the new warehouses could be set up with greater ease, and the burden on existing warehousing hubs is reduced.” Jakhar adds that the development of warehousing facilities in these areas could make rentals cheaper and simplify land acquisition for logistics companies.
Jakhar also highlights the need to streamline single-window clearances for new warehouse establishments and eliminate outdated regulations, such as the requirement for a factory license to set up a warehouse. “Today, 3PL and specialised e-commerce logistics players are essential, and the segment needs support through infrastructure and capital access,” adds Jakhar. By reducing steel prices for warehouse construction and offering subsidies and incentives to warehousing operators that use solar panels, Prozo CEO says the government can significantly reduce costs and help sustainably develop the logistics sector.
Abhijit Bhattacharya, Founder & CBO, OneGreen, urges that the government should introduce policies and initiatives that will benefit the economy, the startup ecosystem, and overall life quality and productivity in India. According to Bhattacharya, there is a need to eliminate concerns about the higher cost of plant-based organic foods and lack of awareness about nutritional options. He also calls for the development of smart technologies that help increase agriculture output without adding a carbon footprint or more forest land under farming coverage.
Bhattacharya suggests that companies that manufacture eco-friendly products and e-commerce platforms that retail sustainable food and other eco-friendly lifestyle products should be provided benefits such as tax incentives, lower GST on green products, and reduced customs duty on imports of green food products and ingredients. He stresses that supporting tech-driven agricultural practices and farm-to-table startups in India would boost sustainable development in the country.
Bhaskar Mishra, Head of Product, Mihup, says that the upcoming Union Budget will be crucial for the government's efforts to boost digitisation in India. According to Mishra, the AI and startup sectors are anticipating steps like increasing the angel investor pool, tax relief incentives, and simplifying company incorporation and other registrations through a single window. He adds that the startup sector is also calling for the taxation of employee stock options at the time of sale, not at the time of vesting.
“Another critical need is to establish a single window for all registrations including company incorporation, shop establishment, GST registration, MSME certificate, etc. This is going to simplify things and save startups crucial time, money, and effort. Also, there has been a lot of buzz about the creation of new industries and startups in the domains of Robotics, SAAS, Deep Tech, Clean Energy, Fintech, and Digital Health for the year. We hope to see the upcoming budget address all these aspects for the country to move ahead toward the vision of achieving a GDP of $5 trillion by 2024/25,” Mishra said.