With the Union Budget 2021 less than a week away, various sectors are expecting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to make some big-ticket announcements. While the focus is likely to be on the revival of the economy hit hard by the pandemic, the startup sector has its own expectations.
Take a look at what startups want
Ram N Kumar, Founder, NirogStreet
There is a dire need to focus on creating a robust ayurevda ecosystem, make Ayurveda Atmanirbhar and mainstream it for future generations to accept it as the first call of prevention and treatment. This is the right time for the Union budget to allocate funds to create a robust ecosystem supporting world class research, product development and drug discovery in the Ayurvedic sector. A significant price drop in Ayurvedic and immunity boosting medicines can promote the consumption of natural and ayurvedic products. This is only possible if Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be waived off for ayurvedic medicines and products. We expect the upcoming Union Budget to focus on creating a unique ecosystem for tech enabled startups who are reinventing and reimagining the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to make it more acceptable and palatable for millennials. India is the knowledge and talent hub for Ayurveda. There are over 4, 00,000 Ayurveda practitioners in India and over 350 Ayurveda medical colleges producing over 20, 000 medical graduates every year. The education budget must specifically address the gaps and the need to nurture more and more Ayurveda practitioners and scholars backed by modern research, drug discovery and evidence based medicine knowledge.
Danish Ahmed, CEO, Hospals
The Travel and Tourism sector has been badly hit in Covid, and Medical travel is the surest way to take this worst hit sector on the recovery path. Millions of people in Asia and Africa consider India as the healthcare center of the world. Thousands of patients have applied for visas, despite covid, and are waiting for flight volumes to increase .These patients contribute to revenues of hospitals, hotels, pharmacies, restaurants, airlines, taxis and indirectly provide employment to over 2 lac people. We hope the budget will allocate significant funds to promote medical tourism to India for allopathic and AYUSH related treatments. Governments in Turkey, UAE, Korea and Malaysia are spending millions to develop their medical tourism sector and give tough competition to India. We hope the India government will ear mark a fund of 1000 crores for investment and promotion of medical travel companies and medical value travel startups across India, enabling them to go out and attract foreign patients to India.
Tarun Lawadia, Founder & CEO, PumPumPum
India’s automotive growth story is waiting for the much-needed booster shot from the upcoming Union Budget 2021. Relief in the direct and indirect taxation, reduction of GST rates on vehicles, enhancing the disposable income of the salaried class, further incentives to make the auto manufacturing Atmanirbhar, incentivising EV manufacturing along with various policy-level initiatives can spur consumer demand and motivate the sector to drive faster on the road to recovery. Steps to curb rising raw material and fuel prices will aid both vehicle manufacturers and auto component makers in the long-term. In addition the budget should encourage the startup ecosystem for new consumer trends such as used car leasing, car rental, car subscription models etc. which are going to be the promising industries of the future and can boost the growth of Indian auto sector. As the pandemic has pushed the need for personal mobility, a huge population of first time vehicle buyers can be attracted by making cars cheaper by temporarily reducing the GST rate to 18% from the existing 28% and reducing the compensation cess rates. The government’s recent announcements on the promotion of EVs in India, especially for government use and public transport, is encouraging. The need of the hour is to put right policies, incentives, and charging infrastructure in place so as to introduce more and more EVs on the road.
Sparsh Garg, Founder and CEO, Educlouds (Edtech startup)
To bridge the digital divide and strengthen India’s promising edtech startup ecosystem, we expect the government to provide better internet infrastructure, robust data protection systems and more tax exemptions in the upcoming Union Budget. By ensuring round-the-clock reliability of electricity supply, accessible and affordable high-speed internet, deeper penetration of cheaper connectivity devices such as notebooks, laptops, smartphones etc. to every nook and corner of the country, Government can support India in becoming the Global Hub for Digital Education. By creating a unique ecosystem combining traditional and online learning, the government can take Indian education system to newer heights. By incentivising the edtech sector, Union Budget can strengthen its roadmap of offering quality education accessible to all through simple and affordable tech innovations. 100% FDI in the inventory-based model will encourage capital for R&D investing disrupting new tech platforms for parents, students, teachers and educators. Considering the huge contribution of the edtech sector in assuring accessible and affordable education amid the pandemic, the existing 18% GST slab for the edtech sector can be further reduced to make quality digital education a reality for every Indian student.