Pro-farmer, inclusive, Positive

Pro-farmer: “It was a delight to learn that the new Government continues to be committed to double farmers’ income by 2022, focus on developing rural entrepreneurship and green economy. The measures announced by the Government like investing significantly inagriculture infrastructure and aim to form 10,000 new Farmer Producers Organizations(FPOs), will boost the agrarian economy,” said AsitavaSen, Chief Executive Officer, CropLife India.

With a view to reducing cost to farmers, he said, GST on crop protection products could be reduced from current 18% to 5%, which is in line with other input industries such as fertilizers.

Favourable policies and incentives for promotion of recycling of used crop protection containers (after cleaning), as per global best practices may be considered. Recycled Plastic Containers can have various end-use applications including road surfacing, toilets, fences, outdoor furniture etc. This will be in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for adopting a circular economy approach and also prevent environment degradation from waste plastic disposal.

Precision Agriculture and New Technology - Satellite driven big data analytics and digital solutions are helping farmers globally to make better and more informed decisions with regards to weather, soil nutrients, pest and diseases and crop management. One of the areas, which we believe will have a major impact and needs government intervention is “Use of Drones” for spraying Crop Protection Chemicals, which can have several benefits for the farmer and the environment.

Push to start-ups: The overall intent of the government to provide impetus to startups in the budget is heartening. Finally, a strong message on the scrutiny on Angel Tax is a welcome move which will open up capital source for early-stage ventures. However, the implementation part including the details of the verification mechanism will be the key to its effectiveness, said Deena Jacob, Co-founder, CFO & Head (Revenue and Growth), Open - Asia’s first Neo-banking platform for SMBs and Startups. (Recently funded by Tiger Global.)

Towards global leadership: “The Budget confirms the government’s continuous focus on digital payments and will aid to create a robust payment infrastructure in the country, Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), said. Adoption of RuPay National Common Mobility card (NCMC) shall trigger the consumer behaviour change for all the transit use cases. The budget facilitates the transformation of Indian economy from Cash driven to less-cash. We believe, with all the efforts from the government and RBI, India could emerge as world leader and innovation hub for digital payments in next 5 years.”

There’s meat in what they say: The Government’s vision of building a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and $3 trillion by the end of this year, encourages positive sentiment, said Vivek Gupta, Co-Founder, Licious,  one-stop fresh meat delivery shop. The aim of making Indian economy more investor friendly, improving infrastructure and increasing impetus on developing industry relevant talents are all encouraging developments.

India is the 2nd largest fish and seafood exporter in the world. The country’s 7000km long coastline and diverse produce, contributes significantly to our Forex reserves. The Government’s initiative for developing fisheries management network is truly a long-term vision. This coupled with the schemes supporting agro-rural entrepreneurship will  help upgrade the ecosystem. Indian consumers should get better quality fish & meat products; which is a strong imperative for our business.

Licious has also been committed towards the upliftment of fishermen and livestock farmers, since inception. It makes us really happy to see the government’s renewed focus in this direction. Needless to say, we will be eager to partner in these endeavors, going forward.

The tax rebate announced has a positive impact on disposable income, which in turn reflects directly on the grocery basket of the common man. In a developing economy like ours more disposable income leads to consumption of protein-rich and better quality food. This will go a long way in addressing nutrition deficiency and build a healthier India. It also augers well Government’s decision of increased spend on food security.

The impetus on digital payments is encouraging for the entire cashless ecosystem. As a digital native platform, we welcome the move.”

Measures to boost coworking sector missing: The full-fledged Budget 2019 is commendable as it has all the right intentions and measures that can be a game changer for the Indian economy. The budget is pro-rural and middle class and oriented at economic development. We welcome the budget for ushering in policies that will help in the growth of the overall economy with several announcements for the social and economic welfare of the country in the long term. While the government has been positive on a macro vision for the rural economy, some measures could have been taken to bolster the co-working sector specifically, said Manas Mehrotra, Chairman, 315Work Avenue

Amongst the notable announcements for the start up community, the proposal to launch a new TV channel under the DD banner will surely assist the entrepreneurs in match making with VCs & investors, help in tax planning, mentoring and easing issues and challenges faced by them. To resolve the angel tax issue, startups will not be subject to any scrutiny in respect to valuation of share premium. A mechanism of e-verification will be put in place and with this; the funds raised by startups will not require any tax scrutiny leading to simplication of tax procedures. The announcement to extend the period of exemption for capital gains arising from sale of house for investment in startups is also a welcome move. The several measures across labor laws, education, and rental housing segment will have a direct impact on startups in the country, leading to enhanced demand for co working spaces.

Co-working has become a thriving ground for start-ups. Also considering that startups do not earn the profit in their initial business years, we were expecting that the government could have lowered the income tax slabs for startup enterprises which would have supported startups to reduce costs and this would have increased demand for co-working spaces. Coworking firms were expecting that the government would altogether eliminate Angel tax this Union budget as it would enable the firms to lease more spaces for start-ups, enterprises, MSMEs and entrepreneurs. Angel tax would hurt the start-up edifice and indirectly co-working firms would desist from leasing co-work spaces. Angel funding is now being considered as income and is being taxed at the full income tax rate of 30 per cent. This will detract higher investment in co-working spaces. Co-work firms were also hoping that bank funding for start-ups would have been enhanced to make available greater access to financial resources to start-ups. There was no announcement in this regard.

There have been no measures around GST and taxation in Budget 2019 to help co-working firms. Input tax credit under GST is an important issue that concerns the sector. The government has not enabled co-working firms to claim input credits on civil work contract and construction services supplied, as detailed under GST provisions. This would have checked the increased outflow of cash that co-working firms are currently experiencing. Co-working firms were also hoping that input tax credit under GST be extended to developers so that it could have been passed on to companies who lease out space and thereby reduce their overall costs.

Coworking spaces have disrupted the traditional work environment today, witnessing a massive growth in the last few years. Tier II cities are opening up to this new concept of coworking, hence it is imperative that government address existing challenges. Co-working players are driving the demand for commercial real estate significantly and are likely to become the largest occupier of commercial real estate in key areas. The co-working space segment in India is expected to touch 10 million sqft by 2020 and the future of co-working looks bright in India.

Overall, the Budget is focused on people, progress & prosperity and should augur well for the Indian economy by providing a growth impetus through a boost in consumption.

Positive Budget:  Keeping the growth of the nation in mind, the overall budget seems to be quiet positive, said Harkirat Singh,

Managing Director, Woodland Worldwide

We appreciate the government’s decision to provide 2% interest subvention on fresh loans to MSMEs upto Rs 1 crore and reduce 5% tax for small and medium companies.

Talking about GST, the government will further simplify GST to a single monthly return, e-Invoice System will be introduced. Legacy dispute resolution scheme proposed for the closure of pending litigation in GST cases. It will be interesting to see the new changes.

Looking holistically, the Union Budget 2019 is reformist and growth-oriented. The measures outlined in the budget for giving a boost to the infrastructure as a huge amount of Rs 100 lakh crore investment for infrastructure over 5 years will boost the growth of the business. Also, to discourage the practice of making business payments in cash, the government has proposed to levy TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore a year from a bank account. It will move India towards a ‘cashless society’ which will help facilitate retail trade as well.

Boost EVs: Income tax deduction of 1.5 lakh rupees on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase EVs will motivate EV buyers in big way and banks will aggressively step into EV financing. GST rate on electric vehicles (EV) from 12% to 5% will motivate manufacturers of EV #Budget2019, said Abhijeet Sinha - National Programme Director EODB at ASSAR.



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