Source: The Tech Portal

The budget is out, and it has been a mixed one for startups. While there are significant announcements on women entrepreneurship, tax holidays and company registration, Government’s demeaning silence over Angel tax has hit the startup community like a thorn in the flesh.

We thus received quotes from the community’s biggest influencers. Let’s see what they have to say :

Ambarish Gupta, CEO – Knowlarity Communications

It is encouraging to see that the finance minister has given focus to startups and MSMes. The 100 per cent tax exemption for 3 years, Rs. 500 crore allocation for Standup India as well as easy and quick registration of startups are all steps in the right direction. We also welcome the government’s initiative in ensuring that at least one crore youth would be skilled, which would be vital in securing quality talent for start ups.

Alok Mittal, Co-founder – Indifi Technologies

This is a hard-working budget. We welcome the move to start rationalizing capital gains for investments in private companies, which will help create a level playing field relative to listed companies. However, the silence on the removal of angel tax has been deafening.

Anuj Srivastava, CEO – Livspace

Tax holiday for startups for three of five years of setting up the company and Amendment to the Companies Act to ensure speedy registration and boost start-ups are great indicators of the government’s move to promote the Start Up India movement and culture in India. Also the allocation of funds for multi skill development centres will ensure that the key gaps in acquiring the right kind of talent for startups are met commensurately.

Kiran Murthi, CEO – AskmeBazaar

Honourable Finance Minister has presented a business friendly budget which is encouraging for young and fast growing India. Taking the “Start-up India” action plan forward, the budget allocated Rs. 500 cr for SC/ST & Women entrepreneurs. The announcements made during the budget also include a 100 per cent tax exemption for 3 years for start-ups, which is a welcome step. The Minister also proposed an amendment of Companies Act to allow new start-ups to register in one day. These steps will help to create a favorable business environment in the country.

We welcome this budget as a progressive step in the right direction with an intention to promote entrepreneurship and encouraging start-ups in India.

Harpreet S. Grover, CEO – Cocubes

The Government’s two-pronged approach of job creation — Skill India and Make in India — are the focus of this budget. Simple but practical steps like adding more career centres and linking state employment exchanges to National Career Service portal will go a long way in helping skilled and assessed candidates secure jobs, which has been lacking in India that has the highest population of young people in the world.

Measures announced for healthcare, education, skill development, real estate, and entrepreneurship would all lead to job creation directly or indirectly. The government should have also looked at making start-up funding tax free in order to boost investments in start-ups which would in turn create new jobs.

Rajiv Kumar, CEO – StoreHippo.com

The FM has announced plans of 9 pillars for transforming India and one amongst them is EASE OF DOING BUSINESS to enable the people to realize their full potential. The govt has announced Tax holiday for Start-Ups for three of five years from setting up the company plus the Govt. has announced that it will introduce a bill to register Start-Ups in a day.

Saurabh Arora, CEO – Lybrate

One announcement that will help all startups across board is the Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India under which the government looks to cover around 6 crore additional household within the next 3 years. This is a great step towards digitizing rural parts of the country and when that will happen, it will provide the population residing there with the opportunity to benefit from online platforms like ours that enables communication between users and doctors from anywhere, anytime.​ ​

Also, the ‘National Dialysis Services Programme’ under National Health Mission is also a remarkable measure to fix the issue of non-availability of renal dialysis centres in the country. The government’s effort to introduce facilities of renal dialysis in every district hospital will save the hassles of many who have to travel to metro cities for getting the procedure done again and again​.

Arvind Pani, Co-founder and CEO, Reverie Language Technologies

Finance Minister in his budget speech this year has adopted a cautious tone and rolled out a mixed bag of initiatives for corporate and startup segment. The rural economy, however, has got the biggest push from the Budget. Startups have been on Government’s mind ever since they came to power and it was amply clear through Startup India announcement last month.

It is a welcome announcement that registration of new companies will now be done in one day as announced by the FM and exemption from Profit after tax for first 3 years is likely to benefit a small number of startups.

For us specifically, good news is that Mr Jaitley has charted out a clear plan for including more rural youth into Digital India mission. The Digital Literacy mission will involve at increasing computer literacy so that the rural youth has a better chance of securing a job. We believe local languages will play a key role in the success of this initiative as a majority of these users will be experiencing the world of Internet for the first time either through their smartphones or government funded computers.

Even digitization of land records at the state level will have a local language piece for the citizens and bureaucrats to make use of the information. There is no doubt in my mind that local language support whether for consumer internet or government sector will play an essential role to ensure the success of various digital initiatives and online platforms that government plans to roll out for farmers with an aim to double their income in the next 2 years.

No change in Service Tax other than Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sinchai Yojna is a good move, however, any reduction in such taxes would have been beneficial. But we believe that our government has the will and scope of making startup friendly announcements outside the purview of the Budget too and that will surely roll out.

Rahul Agrawal, CEO – Mebelkart

Budget 2016 comes with a huge boost for start-up ecosystem. The government fund announced today will provide SC/ST and women entrepreneurs with easy access to funding. Budget 2016 focuses a lot on ease of doing business. With tax exemption in the first three years and ease of registering business, it becomes easier for start-ups to focus on growth in their critical years.

The development of skill development centre will create more employable talent and will bridge the demand-supply gap in the ecosystem. In terms of infrastructure development, budget comes as relief and will enable e-commerce companies to have access to different markets. We welcome the budget and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Parminder Gill – Co Founder, EduSports

The Government’s plan to give a fillip to skill development is an extremely positive signal which will channel the energies of the youth constructively. We hope that the different State Government’s would take advantage of this and come forward to implement Skill development programs in Physical Education & Sports as well to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled physical education & sports teachers. Also the Government’s push to start-ups and entrepreneurship is a welcome sign. Hope that the execution of the plans is also given as much importance.

Mr. Sandeep Ghule, Co-founder & CFO TranServ

Great Stuff. Looks like Government has stayed true to its commitment towards giving a big boost to the startup ecosystem of India. With resolutions like tax elimination , speedy registrations, government is definitely steering the startup movement in the right direction. Also with its announcement on Direct Benefit Transfer Program, it would be interesting to see how Fin tech companies can work with the government to make DBT transfers more efficient.

And while the new-age India Inc. has given its verdict, let us see what veteran businessmen have to say about this year’s Budget.

Pankaj Munjal, Chairman And MD — Hero Cycles

The Finance Minister has chosen to deliver a budget that charts a new direction to the economy with renewed reforms and resurgence. The government’s commitment to keep fiscal deficit in check is a very assuring move so is the focus on improving ease of doing business.The emphasis on road infrastructure in particular would pave the way to a robust economy as well. At Hero Cycles, we are committed proponents of cleaner modes of transport and in this light the pollution cess on vehicles is an extremely encouraging step.

Overall a mature and well balanced budget designed to ramp up an overall and inclusive growth of the economy.

Rana Kapur – CEO & MD – Yes Bank

FY17 Budget has provided a strong growth direction to the Indian economy. The Finance Minister has managed to balance the need to prioritize social sector requirements with economic and business imperatives. The segmented 9-Pillar Approach with well carved out deliverables will ensure execution clarity and focus.

By adhering to fiscal deficit aim of 3.5% the Budget creates room for complimentary monetary policy rate cut of 50 bps in the near term and 75-100 bps in 2016, conditioned on favorably evolving macros.

Key measure to increase the allocation to infrastructure with an impressive outlay of INR 2.2 lakh crore will help to re-energize the growth multiplier, while the specific measures to improve ease of doing business and favorable tax treatment for start-ups and MSMEs will go a long way in boosting job creation.

Vipul Jain, CEO – Advancells

My first reaction is of a bit of disappointment from the budget proposals. There is hardly any thing announced for the healthcare sector. Though the coverage of rupees one lac per family and a top up of 30,000 for senior citizens is a good move towards getting India towards a universal healthcare system but there is no roadmap laid for any healthcare sector reforms that the country badly needs.

there is no additional announcement or clarity towards the proposals already made in Start up India and Make in India initiatives of the government that are already announced nor there are any incentives for innovation and research.

Some tax exemptions are a welcome move but we had expected a lot more.

Neeraj Mittal, Joint MD – Bonita India

Union Budget 2016-2017 seems to be in favor of startups with the aim to accelerate entrepreneurship in India and make it a robust part of the economy. 100% tax exemption for three years except MAT will motivate start ups to gain momentum in their respective businesses. The budget also caters to ensure speedy registration to boost start-ups with the succor from companies act .

It is an year of boosting entrepreneurship for SC/ST & women and encourage entrepreneurship skills among the socially backward sections of the society. Stand-Up India scheme seems promising for potential budding ideas with the bank’s assistance. Start up enterprise is an indispensable section of the business fraternity which helps not only in exploring potential business opportunities but also plays a substantial role in job creation.

Rajesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Limited

The budget’s special thrust on the rural economy and farmer welfare is very encouraging, particularly at a time when the agricultural economy has been affected because of deficit rainfall. There is little doubt that with 60% of our population into the agriculture and allied activities, a boost to this sector can accelerate the Indian monsoon. We can say that the government has shed its perceived urban bias and delivered a pro-farmer budget with a substantial allocation of Rs 35,984 for the distressed agriculture sector as well as farmer welfare.

Lack of irrigation is a major problem confronting the excessively rainfall dependent agri sector in India. In this context an important budget announcement has been on the front of increasing area under irrigation by 28.5 lakh hectares as well as a commitment of Rs 6,000 crore for recharging of ground water specially in drought hit areas. Apart from this, the Rs.15,000 crore allocation for interest subvention for agri loans will certainly offer relief to a large chunk of distressed farmers and help in reviving the rural economy.