As India recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, India Inc and startups hopes from Budget 2021 were clear: resurgence and revival. As expected, this was a Budget like never before, fully focussed on complete economic reset.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third Budget in the Lok Sabha on Monday, February 1, replacing the Swadeshi ‘bahi khata’ with a tablet as she readied to present India’s first-ever paperless Union Budget.
In her speech, the Finance Minister laid emphasis on six key pillars which are:
- Health and wellbeing
- Inclusive development
- Development of human capital
- Minimum government, maximum governance
From announcing bad bank to extending social security benefits to the gig workers, and from boosting infrastructure to healthcare and renewable energy, the budget initiated positive sentiments across all sectors.
The revision of definition for small companies under the Companies Act, Rs 15,700 crore boost for MSMEs, Rs 50,000 crore boost to strengthen the R&D sector are some of the key takeaways from this budget.
Here’s a look at what Indian entrepreneurs, startups founders, investors, and other stakeholders from the Indian startup ecosystem had to say about Budget 2021.
The budget is extremely positive – Anup Jain, Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners
- Big focus on Infra which is key to driving India’s overall development. Also, means reviving construction industry which has a domino effect on employment and GDP per capita. This is extremely positive
- Hiking FDI to 74 percent is a revolutionary move that opens up the insurance sector for a big leap improving access to India’s underinsured citizens
- Incorporation of one-person company allowed without any restriction on paid-up limit is a welcome move for startups as two directors were NEC at a minimum and founders were forced to co-opt others under the Companies Act
- Flexibility to convert company to any form — LLP etc is another welcome step in ease of doing business”
Overall a booster for Indian economy – Padmaja Ruparel, Founding Partner of IAN Fund
Budget 2021 opens up opportunities for startups across health, hygiene, water, clean air, sanitation, etc. The vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat with a focus on good governance and women empowerment will lead to a boost for Indian Economy.
The Indian Startups have a great opportunity to innovate and help to sustain the Indian Economy. Non-conventional energy boosted with a focus on solar and Non-renewable sources.
Applaud the commitment to infrastructure development – Mihir Mehta, Senior Vice President, Ashika Capital
Allotment of a massive capital expenditure corpus in order to enhance and support national highway projects, roads, and other ancillary infrastructure shows the continued commitment of the government to strengthen connectivity across the country which in turn will largely improve supply chain and logistics over the next few years.
Also, allotment of corpus to states and independent bodies will hopefully lead to better utilization of funds across states and ensure that projects that require immediate attention from a financial capital perspective, are taken up on priority.
Putting healthcare at forefront is commendable – Harshit Jain MD, CEO and Founder, Doceree
This year’s budget by Hon’ble Finance Minister is pragmatic, positive and committed to the healthcare sector which needed a deliberate boost post unprecedented virus outbreak last year.
- The announcement of centrally funded scheme – Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana – with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over six years in addition to National Health Mission is a welcome step towards strengthening primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in the country.
- Setting up of 15 Health Emergency Centres shows the government’s intent to be future-ready to address any healthcare crises. It is commendable that the government has put healthcare on the forefront, putting the focus on curative and preventive health and wellbeing.
- The allocation this year is likely to be around Rs 2,23,846 crore which is whopping over 130 percent rise from the budget last year.
- The proposals would make quality healthcare accessible and affordable, besides standardizing healthcare infrastructure across the country.
Welcome the initiative to establish 7 textile parks – Anuj Mundra, Chairman & MD, Nandani Creation
With a focus on Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the announcement of the establishment of seven textile parks by Modi government in Budget 2021 should be welcomed with open arms. It’s a big boost for the local textile industry. And, this will help India become a world leader in the textile sector.
Hon’ble Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2021 has clearly conveyed a message that this government believes in giving a big shot in the arm of textiles and local manufacturing with special focus on Vocal for Local.
Appreciate the steps taken to boost warehouse business – Abhilash Pillai, Partner Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
Proposal to complete Eastern and Western Freight corridors by June 2022 will scale up warehouse business. Hope the govt will bring up a single-window clearance for setting up more warehouses, which currently takes more than three months to have all approvals in place. Further,
- Expansion of Phase 2 metro in 5 cities will witness mixed-use development around these metro corridors. This will also help SmartCity missions and create more job opportunities.
- Govt’s decision to monetise surplus lands of CPSE’s, through sale or concessionaire model, will make prime commercial properties for development. This is expected to aid the birth of more business districts.
Better connectivity and job opportunities with better infrastructure – Avinash Raghav, Co-founder & MD, Shift Freight
The new economic corridor to boost road infrastructure and the decision to award 13,000 km of roads under the Bharat Mala project are welcome moves by the Centre. This will not only create better connectivity but will add to job opportunities at the grassroot levels. Better connectivity will translate into better service to customers looking for quick and seamless service from logistics support providers
Appreciate the focus on improving connectivity – Rhitiman Majumder, Co-founder, Pickrr Technologies
The infusion of money for road development in four states is a welcome move for smooth/faster logistics transport. This move will further ensure greater connectivity in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in these states. This is a very welcome move from the respected Finance Minister. Further, the highest financial package for railways will add to the smooth connectivity between different points of the country and easy and faster freight movement.
One Person Company initiative can be a game changer – Moin Ladha, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
One Person Company (OPC) requires only one person as a subscriber to form a company and such a company is treated as a private company under companies act. The primary advantages include complete control, lesser compliance burden coupled with limited liability. Allowing NRIs to invest through this route can encourage startups and smaller business set up without the concerns of a larger compliance framework or minimum capital commitment.
137 percent rise in healthcare spending has made this budget like “never before” – Ram N Kumar, Founder and CEO, NirogStreet
The introduction of Aatmanirbhar health programme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 Crores in addition to national health mission in the Union Budget 2021 is a step forward in ensuring a Healthy India and claiming its position as an undisputed leader on global health and wellbeing platform. We expect Aatmanirbhar health programme to consider Aatmanirbhar Ayurveda as its integral part. Other laudable initiatives are:
- Strengthening India’s sankalp of Nation-first, health and wellbeing being one of the six pillars
- A 137 percent of tremendous rise in healthcare spending
- Special emphasis on preventive and curative healthcare
- Proposed establishment of 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres in the country
“We further expect special incentives from the huge healthcare spending outlay to create a robust ecosystem supporting world class research, product development and drug discovery in the Ayurvedic sector so as to mainstream it for future generations to accept it as the first call of prevention and treatment.”
For YourStory’s multimedia coverage of Budget 2021, visit YourStory’s Budget 2021 page or budget.yourstory.com
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