Business heads from across sectors like e-commerce, OOH, and manufacturing give their expectations from the Union Budget 2015. Here’s taking a look at what they think are the most pressing issues that the government needs to address in their respective sectors and for India Inc.
M Lakshmi Narayan, Managing Director, Harman India:
We also believe that the government needs to look at specific policy changes for the electronic industry as there is a very large potential for “Make in India” in this sector. We hope all inbound duties on input materials used for electronic product manufacturing would be waived, as this would ultimately benefit the end consumer.
Monish Ghatalia, Founder of worldoo.com:
The budget will not be a populist budget as the government would focus on economic growth. However, manufacturing and IT may get a huge boost for exports revenue and foreign inflows respectively. Banking could be another sector which may catch fancy in the budget. There could be some relief in taxes concerning R&D and technology.
Arjun Basu, Co-Founder and CFO of mydala.com:
I have great expectations from the Modi government for the coming budget and hope that the government will focus on creating an eco-system for entrepreneurs to grow and flourish.
Start-ups in India are largely dependent on private investments from overseas investors – the government should make it conducive for investors to fund the ideas with great potential so that a great idea does not perish only because of the lack of funding. What start-ups need are certain tax exemption schemes for the initial couple of years, much on the lines of the Singapore tax exemption scheme. This hiatus will give them a boost and help them tide over the initial teething problems.
Also, entrepreneurial investments today are highly concentrated in the tier 1 cities, but if we focus on encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well as rural areas, you’ll realise that we are sitting on a potential goldmine and the opportunities are endless. Besides this, I’m hoping the government will launch some initiatives to encourage more women to think of entrepreneurship as a career option.
Sameer Parwani, Founder & CEO, CouponDunia.in
The aspect plaguing the affiliate marketing the most is the division of Royalty and Fees for Technical Services (FTS). The government needs to create clear distinctions for foreign payments to be charged against Royalty Tax or Fees for Technical Services. This distinction will solve the issue of tax complications in India. The reduction of Royalty and FTS tax rates to the earlier 10% from the existing 25% will also benefit affiliates largely.
Setting up clear taxations and regulatory policies will prove as a boon to the business. Allowing FDI in e-commerce will attract foreign investors to invest in India. Planning in advance for GST will help incentivise growth of SME.
Creating a proper framework of rules and regulations applicable for the e-commerce industry and allowing FDI are the two major aspects the government should focus on. Effectively solving the issues faced in the above mentioned aspects will not only allow foreign money to enter India but also boost the growth of the industry. The growth of the industry will also help the employment issues faced by the people currently.
Sundeep Malhotra, Founder & CEO, HomeShop18:
The government has announced the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes that will improve rural infrastructure and help in increasing internet penetration to transform the country into a digitally empowered economy. These initiatives will bring greater advancement to the virtual commerce sector. The proposals are also expected to encourage and advocate employment generation, especially with the increasing partnerships between government and private enterprises like the India Post and the handloom sector.
Pramod Bhandula, Executive Chairman, JCDecaux India:
We are looking forward to a considerably good amount of budget allocated to infrastructure development projects by the government such as the Smart Cities concept as well as the Swatch Bharat project. These steps will in turn ensure a regulated OOH environment in the cities which can certainly benefit the OOH industry to a great extent.
Nikhil D'Rozario, CEO of EveryMedia Entertainment Marketing and MD of Integrated Brand Solutions:
Though the entertainment sector looks very attractive from the outside, it has been going through some tough times and would require strong intervention in order to realize its optimal potential. A couple of immediate measures that would help and are desired through this budget are removal of the 12.36% Service Tax that has significantly added to the project and finance costs of the sector and introducing a national level subsidy to promote the entertainment industry again with stringent quality controls such as those by governments of countries like Germany, France and Canada.
A 3 year tax holiday should be introduced for new producers (movies and music) albeit with some stringent quality pre-requisites. This will not only go a long way in attracting new quality talent that finds the high entry costs a significant barrier but will also go a long way in attracting quality finances