With schemes like Startup India and Standup India being launched and the Narendra Modi government supporting digital payments, the startup community is hoping to get considerable aid from the upcoming Union Budget which will be revealed on February 1. We speak to E-commerce startups and discuss their wish lists for the Budget.

Young women entrepreneurs 2 SheThePeople
Young women entrepreneurs by SheThePeople

Ayushi Gudwani, Founder & CEO, FableStreet.com, a premium work-wear brand for women, says that although Startup India is a bold and great step by the Government enabling Startups ecosystem in India, its execution and allocation hasn’t come through. “There needs to be a consolidated effort on all fronts to enable the startup ecosystem to prosper – starting from simplification in registration, ease of documentation to GST implementation, to tax breaks and incentives for start ups for longer periods of time. Employee polices and ESOPs norms also need to be relaxed to enable talent to come in the system. Lastly, this needs to be executed with transparency and speed.”

Union Budget will be a litmus test for the Government as it must be aligned with the GDP growth expectations, as well as commitments made to the Startup fraternity post launch of the ‘Startup India’ initiative

Nidhi Agarwal, CEO and founder of Kaaryah adds, “The upcoming Union Budget will be a litmus test for the Government as it must be aligned with the GDP growth expectations, as well as commitments made to the StartUp fraternity post launch of the ‘Startup India’ initiative in January last year.

In addition to this, I would expect to see few tax incentives & increased funding for Start-Ups. The procedures involved in running small startups need drastic reduction e.g. Co law, sales tax, income tax, service tax, excise duty,  factories act, P fund, ESI among others.”

Also Read: Budget, Women And Taxes

Tax expert Sudha Bhushan hopes for more tax deductions specifically for women entrepreneurs. She says, “We recommend that 125% of profits (instead of 100%) should be given as deduction to encourage more women to set-up their own business.”

Government should ensure support to strengthen the ‘infrastructure and systems’ to enable Digitisation

Ayushi, who is a graduate and silver medalist from IIM Calcutta and worked with McKinsey & Co for more than 6 years before starting FableStreet feels that the Government should ensure support to strengthen the ‘infrastructure and systems’ to enable Digitisation. She says, “Govt. has already taken right set of initiatives to drive digitisation. However, the systems and infrastructure needed to support the same are not in place. There needs to be a clear plan and appropriate allocation for implementation. Also – the infrastructure to support B2B payments and B2C is different, and is governed by different rules – this needs to be considered.”

Tax Expert Sudha Bhushan feels that in order to encourage more women to be part of the mainstream economy the Government should provide incentives for women staffed organisation

There is only 17% contribution of women in GDP in India which is abysmally low in comparison to countries like China (41%). Sudha feels that in order to encourage more women to be part of the mainstream economy the Government should provide incentives for women staffed organisation. She informs, “Where in ‘women staffed organisation’ may be an organisation which employs more than 80% of staff as women. It should consider including this ‘women staffed organisation’ as the CSR activity of the bigger organisation as well.”

Ayushi adds, “This topic has been the talk of the nation at various levels over past 2-3 years and not directly related to the union budget, however,  we need a stronger push by govt. to enable this. It needs a consolidated and, an actionable plan – from incentivisation to supporting infrastructure to awareness building initiatives”

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