Budget 2017 Expectations from 60+ Industry Leaders

The recent announcement of slashing home loan rates has increased our expectations from the budget, here we have curated 60+ budget 2017 expectations from the industry leaders, have a look

Ashok Pandey
New Update
Pre-Budget Expectations 2017

After demonetization, everyone is waiting anxiously for the government to present the budget. The recent announcement of slashing home loan rates has increased our expectations from the budget, yet we can’t forget that last year’s budget was focused on digital literacy. Our industry leaders have some expectations from the government as well, we have curated 60+ budget 2017 expectations from the industry leaders, have a look...


C M Grover, Executive Director, IBSFINtech India Pvt. Ltd.

Within few months of the demonetization, this is one of the most look forward to budgets from the government. The overall economy has been slowing down though there are few sectors such as FinTech, which are holding



and making a mark on the global economy.

Indian FinTech industry has proven to be a huge buzzword in the global arena in the year 2016 and is expected to continue doing so in 2017 as well.

One of the most critical inclusions in this year's budget would be to promote opportunities for implementing homegrown FinTech Products and services in government departments and PSUs. Government initiatives to deploy technology further promoting the Make-In-India movement and raise overall productivity could prove to be a step forward in supporting FinTech Industry in the country.


In addition, the tax relaxations and export duty relaxations should continue to ease the business costs.

Ms. Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director for South Asia at Intel

Over the last two years, the government has implemented several policy reforms aimed at improving the overall ease of doing business, increasing the adoption of technology in the startup and innovation ecosystem, and delivering government services to non-urban India. While these are right steps in the direction of accomplishing a knowledge economy, the expected benefits of government programs have not been effective because there is a gap between the initiatives and the actual intended outcome. For instance, in the area of skill building, which is a significant focus area of the PM, access to mobile phones, largely a consumption device, has been made easier, whereas the same incentives have not been extended to the other screen devices that actually enable skill building. As recommended by MAIT, the extension of concessional Excise and Customs Duty benefits should be extended to all ITA goods, including locally manufactured devices such as laptops and PCs will not only trigger innovations in design and manufacturing to address local needs, but also enable citizens to create productive content. Similarly, while there has been significant focus on ease of starting of a new venture and related support, the areas where significant hurdles still remain for startups and established companies are the regulations around latest technologies such as 5G, autonomous driving and drone deployment. Today, it takes a little less than one year for large companies to source an experimental license from DoT to work on new emerging communication technologies, so imagine the plight of startups. The hard truth is that we are running out of time, and the government has to look at implementing policies that are not just great ideas but also have great impact – whether it’s for boosting local R&D in the country, or for unifying the country through standard GST. Finally, while manufacturing is encouraged under Make in India, we should also look at encouraging Electronics Design through incentives, driven by public private partnerships.”

Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Ltd. and Hon. Treasurer, CREDAI NCR


The Indian real estate sector remained in headlines due to many policy level changes in 2016. RERA Act 2016), Benami Transaction Prohibition (Amendment) Act 2016, amendments in REITs regulations, GST and Demonetization, were the ones that were considered to have the potential to change the way real estate sector work. In 2017, the sector is eagerly looking forward to and has several expectations from BUDGET 2017. We look forward to real estate being given Industry Status. This will pave way for increased adoption of industry best practices by the developers and attract further investments in the sector. The long and complex process of obtaining approvals, leads to huge time and cost overruns. A single window clearance will go a long way to ensure that projects remain viable and corporate houses stay invested in the sector.”

The recent announcement of slashing home loan rates by the PM will be a boon as far as affordable housing is concerned and we expect the sops to be extended to the middle class home buyers as well. Lastly, the recent demonetization drive by the PM is perceived as a significant reform. In the long run, this measure along with others such as Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) will align the real estate sector to the international standards of doing business. However, despite the positive initiatives undertaken by the Government the real estate sector did not see the boom it expected. We hope that the Budget 2017 to have more constructive and definite reforms which will help in an atmosphere of growth and development in the real estate sector.”

Vinay Sinha, Head of Sales, AMD – India, Director – Commercial Business, AMD Asia Pacific-Japan


Last year’s budget saw the Government focus on digital literacy by setting up a scheme to cover 6 crore rural households. Along with the ‘national digital literacy mission’ and ‘digital saksharta abhiyan’, these schemes will help democratize use and familiarity with digital devices such as computers, tablet PCs, and smartphones, as well as internet usage. As a result, these trained workers can more actively and effectively participate in the cycle of development, thereby empowering start- ups and large organizations to experience digital transformation.

The rapid adoption of the Digital India policy aided by the strong, decisive, and time bound rollout of each of the related pillars fueled the demand for computers and mobility devices in the country. The government must continue to push these programs that proliferate digital services and digital inclusion to the common man.

The demonetization move resulted in slowdown of cash purchases, however, the balance of slowdown on cash purchases was offset to a small extent by increased online and B2B growth. The robustness of the digitization move and its impact will only be understood once we have enough data to measure the market movement.”


Mr. Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric & Power Ltd

We are expecting the Government to ensure proper and timely implementation of positive initiatives like the UDAY, IDPS Scheme and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Scheme for the power sector. A boost to these schemes in terms of funds and finances from the Government will be helpful to ensure best execution of these initiatives. We are also looking at a clearly defined roadmap for GST from the Government as this will help our sector, especially the trade, by clearing procedural delays. The market for LED products is growing exponentially and a check in custom duties on these products - raising the duties on finished goods and reducing it on raw materials - will give impetus to Make-in-India initiatives while also keeping a check on the influx of cheap products from other countries. Also a boost for R&D is required for development and updation of various technologies. Overall, a growth oriented budget which helps provide the required boost to the economy by investments in infrastructure & housing is what we are expecting from the Government.”


Tejasvi Mohanram, Founder and CEO, Rupeepower

The 2017 Union Budget is significant in many ways. It’s the first combined budget that will be presented since the cabinet led by PM Modi decided to scrap the separate Railway budget (doing away with a

92 year old

practice). Inline with PM Modi’s indication of an early budget,


being presented a complete month in advance which will help people plan better for the upcoming financial year, as well as allow newer schemes/changes to be applicable from 1st April.


is also being seen as a follow up to the much debated de-monetization drive undertaken by the government on 8th Nov.

The most anticipated change in the upcoming budget is the change in income tax slabs. Post de-monetization, the tax net is likely to be cast much wider, thus increasing the pool of people paying taxes to the government. With the increasing pool, the required taxation rates can be reduced, while meeting the total tax collection requirement to meet expenditures. However, I expect it to be a more gradual change and not a radical one.

If PM’s speech on the 31st Dec is to be seen as an indicator of things to come, one can expect more populist measures to boost sentiments. MSMEs and small traders can expect further sops in the upcoming budget.

Lowering of interest rates will increase credit offtake and have an overall positive impact on the economy. Fintechs like Rupeepower, that are helping digitize the credit origination process are likely to benefit and gain traction.

To take the startup revolution to the next step and promote young entrepreneurs, the government is likely to dole our tax sops, including concessions on ESOPs. These steps will help funding raising activities as investors sentiments will improve. Currently, a large number of startups chose to incorporate in foreign countries owing to the complex & opaque tax regime.

Mr. Uday Reddy- CEO, Founder, YuppTV- India's largest OTT player

"2016 has been an impressive year for the OTT industry in India. Given the 4G spectrum sales and increasing affordability of smartphones, India transformed into a mobile-first economy. In 2017, I expect Government to help us sustain the momentum. For the same, certain funds should be dedicated solely to boosting the reach of internet, especially to tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and towns. Since majority of OTT viewership is still subject to Wi-Fi, improving the broadband access and Fiber optics network shall also be considered under the budget."

Mr. G. V. Kumar Founder, CEO & Managing Director, XIUS, the telecom subsidiary of Megasoft

In the Union budget of 2017, we want to draw government's attention towards investment allowance being given under section 32 AC. At present this investment rebate is limited to companies that are in the business of manufacturing products. Other sectors, for e.g. developing and building an infrastructure facility, telecom infrastructure service providers, core telecom technology creators, creation of broadband facility etc., are equally important and the investment advantage should be extended to these companies. This allowance will create ripple effect and enable further investments in these sectors. This approach is vital when the Government is leaving no stone unturned in order to take forward the digital payments and other e-initiatives in our country.

Having said that, we wholeheartedly welcome e-governance initiatives like Digital India, which are entirely supported by technology and is a result of continuous investments by the technology companies in cloud, Cyber Security, IoT and the like. Going forward, we expect the Narendra Modi led government to offer incentives in the form of weighted deduction on R&D costs similar to sectors, like Pharmaceutical and Automobile.

Mr. Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec

"As India digitalizes rapidly, holistic approach to cyber security is a prerequisite to foster and sustain trust of all the stakeholders – consumers, businesses as well as government. Widespread, persistent, and sophisticated cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure including but not limited to government organizations pose threat to national security and economy. With this background, cyber security ought to be part of the design architecture itself and not an afterthought.

Similar to the decision in 1998 to set aside a specific budget for IT across government projects paved the way for induction and adoption of technology throughout India, the government should consider setting aside at least 8% of its overall IT budget specifically for cyber security starting with the upcoming budget. Alongside investment in infrastructure, we need to focus on developing a world-class and competent work force. To this effect, Symantec has partnered with NASSCOM towards building a cadre of certified cyber security skills in the country. Such endeavors will not only improve the understanding of cyber security within the country but will also enable India to emerge as a truly digital nation.”

Mr. Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director – Pacific India

In 2016, the Realty and Retail sectors remained in headlines due to policy level changes - RERA Act 2016), Benami Transaction Prohibition (Amendment) Act 2016, amendments in REITs regulations, GST and Demonetization drive to name a few.. These along with the ongoing economic changes, relaxation in FDI are considered to have the potential to change the way sector will shape up in 2017. We are very optimistic about the upcoming budget and pinning our hopes on the Finance Minister. Affordable housing is the key to emerge the sector from the current crisis and our PM’s announcement on reducing the home loans is worth the appreciation. I feel Year 2017 will be good for the Real Estate sector. I foresee 15-20% growth in the sector. The Overall impact will be good on economic growth and momentum.

Mr. Ajay Laddha, Co Founder, YMS Mobitech Pvt Ltd

The India consumption story, especially the sectors dealing in cash, faced a small roadblock when the government announced its demonetization move in November. We think the Finance Minister will try and reverse the negative sentiment with his Budget speech. While demand has been sharply hit, we are expecting a sharp recovery in the next couple of months.. The Budget may look to aid consumption by tinkering with personal income tax. We are also expecting incentives for e-payments and digital transactions, improving the share of retail business, hitting the grey market and leading to higher acceptance for e-based offline distribution.

Mr. Akshay Munjal, President, BML University

There is a pressing need for structural reforms in the education sector. We are optimistic that this years’ budget will increase the focus on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and mathematics) in schools and colleges. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. It is clear that most jobs of the future will require understanding of math and science. A significant improvement can be seen in the education facilities throughout the country, particularly in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities owing to new schools and higher education institutions which have been set up in the last few years. This needs to be bolstered with a further increase in the overall education budget along with an increase in funds allocated for the students from economically weaker sections of society. Further enhancing of faculty development and training will have a multiplier effect. The government needs to focus on teacher training through internship programmes, structured short duration modules etc. I believe that the Finance Minister needs to reallocate funds to tier 2-3 autonomous Government institutions as they require investments on up gradation of infrastructure, attracting world class faculty, building R&D labs etc.”

Mr. P S Choudhary, Head Sales & Marketing, LML Limited

Owing to number of factors, this union budget is expected to be a blockbuster one in many ways than one. Considering the phase the auto industry is currently passing thru and the potential ahead, I have two wishes.

1. Some reduction in the excise duty particularly in the small commercial vehicle segment, because besides affecting the auto industry recovery it would also help generate some employments for the people at the bottom of the pyramid which in turn will boost the auto sector in particular and the overall economy in general enhancing the demand.

2. Significant allocation of funds in the social infrastructure of healthcare and education which would – besides nation building – improve employ ability big time. After all the biggest asset any nation could ever have is its people with world class efficiency. This can offer real demographic dividend to India.

Mr. Pavel Maco, CEO, Home Credit India Finance Pvt. Ltd.

Very rarely in recent history has a single policy decision in the financial world had such an immediate impact as India’s move to retire old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. With focus on digitization and push towards a “less-cash” economy, India now has the perfect platform to push for a common and universal Aadhar-based eKYC system for all financial instruments and lending activity. The budget 2017 can announce the contours of a roadmap for moving into a comprehensive Aadhar-based eKYC system. Apart from saving time, it will create a data base for the government to bring those who are outside the banking net into the formal, legitimate financial system”.

Mr. Aniketh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Solutions Infini

India Union budget is one of most important event. With so much of expectation and multiple opinion its highly impossible to meet everyone expectation.

Indirect taxation

Simplification of Taxation across the country is the biggest expectation for the companies.

Today we have many issues around the current tax regime companies which are registered the first ones targeted by tax authorities.

IT / ITeS services

Funds transfer from Headquarter from India to branch office outside should not be taxed in India it will help the industry and improve ease of doing business.

Reduce Direct Tax

India is an emerging economy the scale at which its operating is huge.

direct Tax should be reduced the from 30% to 25% which will help Indian companies grow and can invest in Research & Development.

Tax Deduction at Source

Reduce withholding tax rate of 10 percent to 1 Percent on payments to SMEs and Start-up software companies, given the low margins in the industry or Complete abolition of current TDS mechanism to boost growth through faster refunds.

Digital Transformation

1. India should be the New Digital Economy. We Should encourage all financial transaction under digital inclusion.

2. Encourage and support Start-up community provide them with Capital and infrastructure to solve problems across in sectors like education, agriculture & Transportation.

3. Easy of doing business with simple one window mechanism.

Mr. Amit Sharma, EVP and President, Asia – American Tower Corporation

The Cabinet Committee of Infrastructure (CCI) recognized the importance of ‘telecommunication towers sector’ and included it in the Harmonized Master list of Infrastructure sectors vide its gazette notification dated 27th March, 2012. However, till date, no tax or fiscal benefit has been granted to Telecom Infrastructure sector.

2016 was power packed with significant developments such as 4G rollouts across the nation which jump started the data growth in the country. Meeting the rapidly growing demand for 4G data will require Carriers to continue to upgrade networks in 2017/18 and in turn this will need significant rollout of new and infill sites.

Unprecedented increase in adoption of digital services like payments, e-governance and entertainment will necessitate further investments in the telecom infrastructure sector. Without infrastructure status benefits like tax / financing benefits, the industry will not be able to afford these long payback investments. Hopefully, the new budget will correct that as pre-budget expectations are mentioned below.

· Relaxation of ‘refinancing’ and ‘end use’ of External Commercial Borrowing (ECB): Telecom Infrastructure sector be allowed to refinance the existing ECB loans meeting loan conditions. Further the ‘end use’ of ECB should also be relaxed to include brownfield investments and acquisitions. The sector should also be made eligible for issuing Tax Free Bonds and access to long term low cost debt from Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs).

· Inclusion of telecom infrastructure service providers within the meaning of the term ‘industrial undertaking’ for the purposes of section 72A of Income Tax Act: To allow accumulated losses and unabsorbed depreciation in the hands of the Telecom Infrastructure companies similar to the benefit granted in 2002 to Telecom Service Providers.

· Increase in tax depreciation rate from 15 per cent to 65 per cent on batteries for industrial or commercial use (used as power back up for telecom towers) to ensure cost recovery within three years' economic life of the batteries

· Petroleum and diesel to be brought within the ambit of GST so that the duties paid on it are available as 'credit'

Mr. Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder, Staqu

I am expecting a stronger push towards the entrepreneurial ecosystem from the budget this year. While last year, the Government of India supported our cause with the Startup India, Standup India initiative, amongst Make in India and Digital India, we need to now tread on the uncovered grounds.

Startups continue to invest their time and effort into sorting several tax-related and regulatory issues, which makes the operations further cumbersome and challenging. By extending the tax-free regiment to 5 years and taxing ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership) at the times of sale, would really give a boost to the startup environment today. Since RnD happens to be a crucial part of our operations I expect government should also consider tax relaxation to those startups which are collaborating with academic institutions for RnD related purposes as it will not only improve the country’s ranking in “global innovation index” but will also produce world-class researchers and companies in India.

OEMs further make up for a crucial leg of our operations. Hence, I expect a reduction in the bureaucratic formalities and tedious procedures for manufacturers. The government should consider streamlining the current processes, in order to let OEMs focus on further disrupting the status quo and bringing newer innovation in the mainstream foray!"

Mr. Sanjeev Bhatia, CEO of Zopo India and Managing Director of Adcom

"We expect the government to look into the direct / indirect taxation slabs. We propose that the tax free slab should be raised from current level to about 5 lakhs and there should be a tax rate cut for personal and corporate taxes. Also, as GST is on the move, we are looking forward to its implementation for smooth and simplified taxation procedures which will boost manufacturing industry and will benefit all. With reference to government’s vision of Digital India, we believe that technology will rule and provide ample amount of benefits to common man. With the Electronics and Telecom industry penetrating deeper, it will boost the Indian economy and help it in becoming a strong global power. Today, smart phones are playing a key role in the economy of any country. People are getting more facilities and options with the help of smart phones. It’s time for government to give a boost to the manufacturing sectors. This will ensure that the latest technology is available for all at affordable price making the country’s economy powerful”.

Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. (Kodak TV India)

Keeping in mind the success of the ‘Make in India’ campaign across industry verticals, the government needs to take a microscopic view of the Indian consumer tech vertical which has emerged as a powerhouse in terms of providing job opportunities and developing cutting edge technologies for the domestic and global market. If make in India initiative has to be successful we have to start focusing on make in India technology. To compete that our infrastructure and taxation system need to be competitive. We are on the right track, India is the fastest growing economy and we should make full use of our market size.

It needs to be taken into consideration that the short term effect of demonetization was bitter-sweet for OEM’s, however we look forward to a conducive business environment once the GST is rolled out across the nation. Additionally, the budget needs to provide a supporting structure and ecosystem for investment in infrastructure, R&D and taxation. The budget should also address the prime minters vision of digital India and smart India, by encouraging indigenous players to upgrade their capabilities and evolve into a ‘smart Indian business community’. Lastly, the govt needs to unleash the latent potential inherent in the Indian business houses by providing a stable and favorable professional/corporate environment.

Mr. Satya Prabhakar – Founder & CEO, Sulekha

To further the cause of digitization and boosting the digital ecosystem, the government should abolish service tax on Internet-related services such as broadband services, internet advertising, food delivery, so on. This will encourage the adoption of the same and also allow for payments to be become digital.”

Mr. Harsh Marwah, Country Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions

In recent years, the Indian Government has made consistent efforts and undertaken initiatives to foster the growth and development of the Indian IT sector, which has enabled the sector to lead the economic and the digital transformation of the country. While the Union Budget 2016-17 took the right steps towards boosting new businesses, it needed to do more towards addressing the industry’s pleas on software tax reduction and on the allocation of budget for the development of the digital infrastructure. The Union Budget 2017-18 is expected to be distinctive as digital currency, GST and demonetization play an integral role in improving the digital infrastructure of the country.

The development of digital infrastructure:

The Indian IT industry continues to embrace new innovative technologies in support of corporates’ advanced demands. With the Digital India initiative, innovations such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, unified communications and the basic internet services are increasingly being made accessible to small and medium businesses in tier two and tier three cities. It will be important for the Government to continue to encourage technology research and development into digital infrastructure in the new budget.

The rise of digital currency:

The demonetization movement has momentarily inconvenienced the man on the street, but it has also forced people to consider adopting other forms of payments, and particularly electronic payment modes. While electronic payments have witnessed widespread adoption in the past few months, there is still scope for the industry to come up with innovative, easy and secure payment solutions that will empower the common man. It is hoped that the new budget will support continued innovation in this area.

Implementation of stringent cyber-security laws:

This sudden and impending growth of online transactions unfortunately has provided opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit individuals and enterprises, especially those with limited knowledge about cyber security threats. In 2016, various banks, corporations and the citizens were the victims of vicious cyber security attacks. As India is becoming a force to be reckoned with, the Government needs to look to finalise and issue the draft encryption policy which is so critical to ensure security of communication.

Overall, to create a regulatory environment fit for the digital age, what is required is a light touch regulatory approach based on regulatory simplicity, predictability and harmonization. This means a focused effort to harmonize laws that don’t single out particular parts of the increasingly interconnected, converged digital economy, and which simplify rules and obligations. By making it easy for tech companies to do business, and simplifying tech implementation, Government can foster the adoption of digital services. This is exactly what India needs to do if it is to attract investment, stimulate innovation, and ultimately stake its claim on a share of the global digital economy.

Mr. Manavjeet Singh, CEO & Founder, Rubique

"The startup ecosystem in India is flourishing every year. Some startups have seen a phenomenal growth & success towards implementation of their ideas last year. And for further boost to growth of startup economy, the upcoming budget announcement is very crucial. There is expectation towards various kind of exemptions on taxes like the exemption under the minimum alternate tax for startups , tax concessions for the ESOPs, unlisted securities and convertible instruments . Post demonetization, we have witnessed growing traction for technology startups, the government should also recognize their contribution in the digital economy vision of India by considering extra incentives/concessions"

Mr. Shailaz Nag, COO, PayU India

"The demonetization drive needs to be followed by strong, systematic and organized steps by the government, and we need to rope in users from tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and towns. My only expectation from the Union Budget 2017 is the availability of enough funds dedicated to imparting and increasing knowledge and creating awareness amongst Indian users, both merchants and consumers, on how to pay and accept payments digitally."

Mr. Ranjit Punja, CEO & CO-founder, CreditMantri

The general consensus is that the 2017 Union Budget will need to factor in the political and economic compulsions brought on by the demonetization initiative. There is widespread expectation that the Budget will usher in welcome changes in personal income tax, as well as corporate tax, and that there will be an easing of the tax rates on all income slabs. We will also probably see incentives that encourage greater adoption of digital payments and a move towards a cashless, or at least less-cash, economy. The NDA governments's attention to the rural economy will continue with more rural and farmer-friendly development schemes.”

Mr. Satyam Kumar, CEO, Loantap

"This is going to be a very tough balancing act for government. So far middle class has been at the receiving end. Be it de-monetization, fuel prices, various cess and taxes. This segment has been expecting Direct (Income Tax) slab reduction from last two budgets. They also make some equity and real estate investments, which has received the burnt of executive decisions. Naturally, they are awaiting much needed break in tax slabs.On the other hand, there is widespread misery in agrarian community. Farmer suicide, mounting debt, crop losses and price reduction due to restricted goods movement during demonetization. SME sector is struggling to stay afloat as bank credit is at its lowest. And do not forget this is going to be the last budget sans election fervour. So, a very crucial one to watch out for. From sectoral point of view, we wish that tax on services (even under GST) to remain at 14% level, and additions cess and levies should be removed."

Mr. Tarun Arora, Director, IG International Pvt Ltd.

"We, at IG International are hopeful that Government will roll out schemes that are beneficial for the industry at large. We would like to see investments in technology for warehouses and storage facilities in order to prevent wastage of fresh food/fruits and improved infrastructure including roadways and railways for better distribution management. The facilities will lend a hand to organise the industry thus, improving profitability and employment opportunities."

Mr. Peyush Bansal, Founder and CEO, Lenskart

2016 has been an exciting year for the Indian economy. The government has been making positive reforms allowing the e-commerce industry to move at a superlative speed. Government’s support in retail and e-commerce expansion has enabled us to reach out to the consumers in tier 2 and 3 markets. In this budget we expect the government to continue with positive policy announcements and look forward to the implementation of single window license regime in order to improve business environment and give strong push to start-ups in India. Being a new age industry we expect a futuristic tax policy(single tax regime through the roll out of GST) that will create grounds for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Mr. Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-Founder and CEO, Indus OS

Modi-led government transformed the Indian industry outlook by initiating multiple programs. Today, Make In India, Digital India, Standup India and Startup India programs not only enrich entrepreneurial dreams but also provide financial aid for making it viable to create long term sustainable impact. We expect focus on these programs to be maintained in this Union Budget as well for positive investor sentiments and overall long term growth. Additionally, India's cashless dream is expected to come alive basis policy changes to enable infrastructure for 4G smartphone growth, formalization of UPI digital payment mode for its widespread application and additional Govt. initiatives focused on regional smartphone users.”

Mr. Akshay Dhoot, Head, Technology & Innovation, Videocon

The smartphone sector is eagerly awaiting for a consumer friendly budget which will promote positive sentiment among the people and will help to further strengthen the economy. We believe that upcoming budget should address and encourage alternative ways for payments especially cashless transactions and offer additional benefits on digital payments. Further, we expect differential duty on mobiles to continue as it has helped the Make in India. Videocon believes that the government will announce a budget that will favor local manufacturing and support Government’s Make in India and Startup India campaigns.”

Mr. Abhinaya Singh, Marketing Manager, Bingo Technologies India pvt. ltd.

Explanation on GST

"Being a leading IT accessories player in India, we expect more clarity on the Goods & Service Tax (GST) and especially which slab our product(s), while the industry anticipates mobile handsets & accessories to be placed under 12% GST slab, the industry recommends that the CGST credits shouldn’t be allowed for imported accessories. For the locally manufactured accessories, a CGST at 0% should be applicable with no input tax credits. Meanwhile, consumer durable products should fall under the 18% GST slab as consumer durables products no longer are a luxury but a need in day-to-day lives.”

Manufacturing Push with 'Make in India' initiative

"While the government has given a drive to manufacturing through the 'Make in India' scheme, there are several gaps that need to be filled, The industry has potential and can support government this 'Make in India' initiatives with highly technical products after paying attention. Incentives to create sufficient technical manpower will lay the foundation of a strong and robust manufacturing base in India. Further, a clearly laid out research and development policy is necessary to succeed in a highly technical industry like ours and will help bring component manufacturing base in India to save precious foreign exchanges.”

Improvement in Digital Infrastructure

2016 has been really a transformative year for the country as there was a massive thrust from the government to encourage people to adopt digital services. Now as the step has taken, there must be actions in the budget to improve the digital infrastructure in the country so that the level of digital literacy is improved. Overall we expect that upcoming union budget will be a growth-oriented budget and introduce policies which will motivate us to do business easily and improve the digital infrastructure to enable growth of the industry”

Mr. Girish Rowjee, Co-founder & CEO, Greytip Software

One of the expectations from the 2017 budget is that the direct tax rate is reduced and / or deductions increased. Since government would want to spur spending and because of demonetisation spending in certain sectors has slowed down, we expect the government to lower the tax rate as well. This will put more money in the hands of employees and individuals which we believe will help spur spending and lead to a positive effect on the economy.

Also with the GST coming in, we may also see certain changes in the IT industry where the IT industries like us will get rationalised. If you see, we are paying two types of taxes one being the service tax and the other is the VAT. With respect to GST being rolled out, there will be a lot of rationalization of tax especially for the IT industry which would help us significantly.

We are expecting that the rate of taxes on domestic software & IT services are brought down as this will help lower costs of these items and lead to increased adoption. This will have a significant impact in helping the Govt. achieve is vision of a Digital India. Government may also bring in more stress on the insurance schemes. Like for instance, they may bring more variation on the NPS schemes as the PF rates are coming down and the NPS plans are pushed through. We expect the Govt. to take special steps to augment or help develop specific skills which will now be needed as a large segment of population is moving online.

These are the some of the changes which we expect to happen in the 2017 budget.

Due to demonetization and the stress on a less-cash economy, a large number of transactions will move online. In 2017 budget this will be further supported by the government which is definitely a benefit for the IT industry as they can now provide new and innovative solutions to help businesses and individuals in this process.

Since demonetization is not restricted to just the cities, businesses and individuals in the smaller cities would also need to adopt various IT / IT enabled services. This will lead to opening up the market (which is now generally restricted to the larger) to the Tier –II and Tier-III cities also. Along with the prospect of providing the solutions, the IT Industry would also need to figure out how to help first time business IT adopters to move to these solutions. In addition to the DeMo announcement, there have also been directives from the PF Department and Labour Commissioners asking businesses to pay their employees through Bank Transfers and cheques. This coupled with other announcements regarding increasing in ESI Wage limit, etc. would mean that the compliance requirements of organizations would increase. So at Greytip, we see this an opportunity to help small businesses in big and small cities be compliant and reduce the time and effort that they would need to spend to achieve this. Of-course, this is in addition to ensuring that all the calculations are done accurately and as per the latest laws and amendments. This being the situation, the IT sector will play a critical role going forward in helping businesses adopt to the new reality.

Since we will be getting on to online transaction and operations online, the infrastructure in these platforms has to be improved and changed. Availability of electricity, telecom infrastructure, internet & broadband, smartphones & digital literacy are very important aspects that needs to be accessible to everybody and the government needs to address these issues. We also feel that the Govt. laying stress on improving digital literacy would help larger segments of the population move online.

If these amenities are fulfilled by the government then service providers like us can make use of this infrastructure, build and cater solutions for everybody.

Mr. G. V. Kumar Founder, CEO & Managing Director, XIUS, the telecom subsidiary of Megasoft

In the Union budget of 2017, we want to draw government's attention towards investment allowance being given under section 32 AC. At present this investment rebate is limited to companies that are in the business of manufacturing products. Other sectors, for e.g. developing and building an infrastructure facility, telecom infrastructure service providers, core telecom technology creators, creation of broadband facility etc., are equally important and the investment advantage should be extended to these companies. This allowance will create ripple effect and enable further investments in these sectors. This approach is vital when the Government is leaving no stone unturned in order to take forward the digital payments and other e-initiatives in our country.

Having said that, we wholeheartedly welcome e-governance initiatives like Digital India, which are entirely supported by technology and is a result of continuous investments by the technology companies in cloud, Cyber Security, IoT and the like. Going forward, we expect the Narendra Modi led government to offer incentives in the form of weighted deduction on R&D costs similar to sectors, like Pharmaceutical and Automobile.

Mr. Suman Reddy, MD, Pegasystems India

From an IT employee perspective, there is an anticipation of increasing the minimum limit for taxable income. There is also a need restructuring of the tax slabs (currently 10% charged on 2.5 lakhs - 5 lakhs, 20% for 5 -10 lakhs and 30% on income above 10 lakhs) given the inflation over the years, increasing the limits will certainly help create a better consumption economy. The government could also re-look at the increasing the exemption limits on allowances such as house rent, travel, education, medical reimbursement etc.

Within the IT community, the focus on ‘digitization’ continues to remain a focal point. Transforming citizen services to become 100% digital will require a significant investment targeted towards upping our current technology capabilities and infrastructure in the country. As for the startup front, building of a cohesive ecosystem for entrepreneurs is a continuous process and we hope to see relief for the start-up community in the form of tax slabs expansion. Additionally, rationalization of MAT (minimum alternate tax) in special economic zones is another area where we can expect some traction.”

Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Founder & CEO of Swipe Technologies

Governments have an important role to play in creating conditions that promote industry and entrepreneurship their intentions and inclinations are typically manifested in their budgets. As an entrepreneur and the representative of the company’s mobile handsets manufacturing sector, I have certain expectations from the forthcoming budget to be presented by the hon. Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley on 1st February 2017.

Home-grown mobile handset manufacturers face stiff competition from the global players as well as from the low-cost handset manufacturers from China. For an industry that has significant bearing on the society and the economy, we strongly feel that the local manufacturing of mobile handsets must be encouraged by the government with the right kind of incentives for the domestic players.

On the macro front, we feel that the government should provide definitive timeline on implementation of the Goods & Services Tax (GST), which is India’s biggest taxation reform since independence, which aims to create the national market for goods and services and make India an attractive destination for foreign investments. The country will gain from the implementation of GST, as it would promote exports, raise employment and boost growth. In the GST system, both central and state taxes will be collected at the point of sale. Both components (the central and state GST) will be charged on the manufacturing cost. From the perspective of mobile handsets, the implementation of the GST will benefit individuals as prices are likely to come down. Lower prices will lead to more consumption, thereby helping all mobile handset manufacturers.

On the micro-level, importers of full-fledged mobile handsets get unfair advantage in terms of low customs duties. We feel that the domestic mobile handset manufacturers of mobile phones could be provided a level-playing field by way of a fair quantum of countervailing duty on imported handsets.

As industry standard, a mobile handset is made of various components – larger and small. A number of component makers set up manufacturing in India, attracted by the size of the markets. However, the import of full-fledged mobile handsets still dominates in Indian market. As the major player in the country’s mobile handsets market, we are concerned about the state of these mobile components manufacturers, who are yet to achieve economies of scale due to preference of mobile handset makers to import than make or assemble in India. To address this anomaly, we urge the Finance Minister to provide some kind of incentives so that they can survive the difficult period. A time-bound concession in terms of duty waiver or incentives in terms of tax breaks to the mobile handset components maker will go a long way in ensuring the Prime Minister’s dream of “Make in India.

Mr. Narayan, Founder and CEO, Power2SME

About one-third account of the country’s GDP is contributed by more than 48 million MSMEs in the country who, acknowledged as backbone of Indian economy, are further expected to contribute significantly towards growth of the economy. The sector will inevitably support India to improve nation’s financial inclusion and mitigate the urban rural divide. Also, it is expected that by 2020, India will have largest job ready, youth population in the world and with favorable business ecosystem in the manufacturing sector it will not only generate employment of significant level but also become hot bed of entrepreneurial activities.

In this light, it is crucial for India to tap the potential of MSME segment as it embarks on the new wave economy. The MSME segment is in dire need of level playing field, with not only great policies and campaigns but also with proper implementation of those policies. We suggest that government must consider two aspects with regards to policy development for SME sector:

· The government must focus on reforms that not only encourage new businesses in the manufacturing sector but also affect the existing SME players that are wide spread in the country

· The government should also devise policies that help SMEs step up and ensure that the sector is able to participate as expected, in ambitious government initiatives such as GST Bill, Demonetization, Digital India, Make in India and others.

Mr. Vivekanand Venugopal, Vice President & General Manager, Hitachi Data Systems, India

‘’As we advance towards an economy under the Digital India initiative, we are optimistic the upcoming budget will create opportunities keeping innovation in the heart of every policy. To efficiently drive the journey of Digital India, the focus should be to modernize infrastructure as this will boost growth across sectors, especially technology. In the wake of large scale Digital Transformation, Data is becoming increasingly valuable.

To stay relevant it is important to institute industry friendly policies to better manage data through centralized data hubs and drive smarter decision making with help of data analytics.

The Government’s efforts such as GST is a definitive step towards accelerating digitalization. The policies and measures taken by the Government should help bring in economic stability, investment-friendly policies, increase ease-of-doing-business, improve long-term tax incentives, along with timely deal-closures and project clearances. Additionally, corporates and enterprises are expecting a cut in tax rates at various levels to grow more business opportunities in India to further allow the Make in India dream come true. ‘’

Mr. Rajeev Sharma, Head-Corporate Services & Strategic Planning, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd.

The Economy has positive potential with a decent GDP growth rate since the last couple of years. We expect this budget being the 3rd of the existing government should be about execution and implementation of the schemes announced in the past. Simplified tax norms, increased spending on social infrastructure, policy to boost “Make in India” are the key things we expect.”

Mr. Ranjit Punja, CEO & C0-founder, CreditMantri

The general consensus is that the 2017 Union Budget will need to factor in the political and economic compulsions brought on by the demonetization initiative. There is widespread expectation that the Budget will usher in welcome changes in personal income tax, as well as corporate tax, and that there will be an easing of the tax rates on all income slabs.

We will also probably see incentives that encourage greater adoption of digital payments and a move towards a cashless, or at least less-cash, economy.

The NDA governments's attention to the rural economy will continue with more rural and farmer-friendly development schemes.

Mr. Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder, UrbanClap

"Keeping the startup industry in mind, the most important thing for a government to do, is to steer clear of setting too many policies and rules as well as making doing business very straightforward and easy. Minimum governance is actually very good."

Ms. Shylaja Shreedharan, Head of Finance of Timesaverz

"Government is being sustained with high tax collection due to demonetization hence expect the budget to propose low personal & Corporate tax rates. Start-up India Campaign Initiatives which kick started in last year would yield and benefit, if more of Indirect and Direct tax incentives are announced by the government. "Digital India" a buzz word after demonetization drive - expect some tax exemption for digital transactions which will be a good incentive for E commerce startups"

Ms. Sairee Chahal,Founder & CEO,

We look forward to more investment in healthcare and education sector. It would also be nice to see some work around lowering women tax and making the items affordable there by working on gender parity. And lastly, would be great to have support for the startup world.”

Mr. Rajiv Vij, MD & CEO,

"On various occasions the Government has spoken about its strong agenda around ‘Smart Cities’. It will be a welcome step on the Finance Minister’s part to spell out specific initiatives to be implemented during the course of the year along with related budgetary allocations and measures to address the crowded metro cities’ rampant urbanization in the past by bringing about planned development, which match global standards of modern cities in developed economies. This will go well for the estimated $150 billion foreign investment the sector needs.

The major concern in the development process is inadequate infrastructure, congested roads, parking problem and increasing pollution levels ,where the solution lies in the introduction of shared economy in urban mobility complemented by technology to encourage change in car ownership pattern. This can remove 25 on road cars with one car – thus reducing traffic woes and easing pressure of creating parking infrastructure for exploding population of automobiles owing to improving economic profiles of households. Introduction and clarity of policy and regulatory framework in urban car rental services’ formats, like self-drive/ car sharing will help the cause and also encourage investments in the segment. Allowing private car owners to share their cars with others using car sharing platforms and removing inter-state entry tax on cars/taxis will be welcome steps”

Mr. Sunil Kumar Gupta, Founder & Director,

"With the demonetization drive and the digital push, it has dawned on the SMEs that shifting their business online is the need of the hour and they are looking ahead expectantly on the upcoming budget. The government’s intention of lowering Corporate Tax to 25% announced in FY 16 has raised hope for a further plunge this year anticipating a drop up to 18%, including all surcharges and cess with withdrawal of all tax incentives, concessions etc. This would not only boost the overall tax revenue, lead to job creation but also turn India into an attractive international investment destination. With cashless economy and the given trends of incentivising cashless transactions on focus, it seems that more such schemes encouraging digital payments in the FY 17 may be announced that are sure to set the cash registers ringing for online businesses. GST is one of the best things to happen to B2B E-commerce; its early implementation and addressing issues related to Tax Collection at Source, treatment of refunds and cancellations etc. should spur the growth of SMEs. Additional measures to strengthen the Government initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Start up India’ and ‘Skill India’ is sure to be in consideration and will boost the growth of entrepreneurial SMEs."

Mr. Aditya Loomba, Joint Managing Director, ECO Rent A Car

"I expect this year's budget to be a special one focusing on key growth agendas of our government. I hope that this years budget provides much needed stimulus to tourism, road infrastructure and the hospitality industry. The performance of the car rental industry in FY16 has been varied. It is crucial to bring more power in to related sectors like transportation, tourism, automotive, construction, etc. which will help to boost the GDP of the Country.

It is equally important to put a thrust on the improvement of the road infrastructure as this will benefit the mobility services providers, like us, as people will see improving road network enable them to plan their travel by road, reduce travel time, de-congest the existing roads as alternate routes will be developed.Also, this will boost the car rental sector and encourage people to undertake more trips via using self-drives or other options of car-rental services."

Mr. Vishwavijay Singh, Co-founder,

"We still have to see proper implementation of the slew of initiatives announced in the last Budget session. While a tax holiday of not less than five years would help startups, even the three-year relaxation for those set up between April 2016 and March 2019 is underutilised because of the tedious registration process.

I feel the government also needs to set aside indigenous funds to support the startup ecosystem in the country and decrease its current dependency on foreign funds.

Another much-needed change is required in the banking sector. Both private and government banks need to have a policy in place for startups. Apart from help in opening accounts, there isn't anything on offer. We hope to see some dramatic changes and concrete steps being taken to help startups, especially e-commerce, from the upcoming Budget."

Mr. Shrutam Desai, Co Founder,

"This budget is very important as we are expecting it to be the foundation stone for GST rollout. Govt should step forward and provide more clarity over dual layer GST structure - state GST & centre GST. We expect government to make TDS claims process easier. Service tax eats big chunk of the profitability right now. and there are instances where we are seeing dual taxation on the same service. Govt should act upon the same. Though govt cannot force state governments at this juncture but central govt must push state govt to abolish entry taxes which are being levied by different states.'

Mr. Vinaya Varma, CEO of mjunction

"I look forward to a budget which carries forward the Prime Minister's vision of a Digital India in the truest sense of the term. Let e-governance be the order of the day, and let e-payments and digital wallets be more incentivised in order to eradicate corruption from its very roots. I am also looking forward to implementation in letter and spirit of the Prime Minister's Startup India programme. This will boost innovative thinking and fresh ideas so crucial for India's economy now."

Mr. L C Singh, Vice Chairman & CEO (Founder) at Nihilent Technologies

As IT enabled services industry embrace the influx of enterprise applications and cater to the modern business requirements, the sector expects unvarying support from the Government to promote R&D practices in the country. To maintain its leadership position, the sector looks forward to continued support from the Government to not only ensure the financial viability of the sector but also to trigger a wave of innovation particularly on the backdrop of the digital demand from global organizations.

Lastly, the demonetisation measure has triggered a positive impact on adoption of digitization and Digital India has set foot in a true and meaningful sense. On this backdrop, Government support in terms of tax rebates, concessions for new-age technological innovations would serve a long way towards further enhancing India’s position in the global Intellectual Property (IP) landscape.”

Mr. Dewang Neralla, MD & CEO, Atom Technologies

With the backdrop of demonetization, upcoming Union Budget holds key for the digital payments industry. Considering the current scenario, I think it is perfect time that payments should be treated as core infrastructure and payment gateway providers also should be provided tax breaks on service tax, on corporate tax etc. for a limited period and government should also mandate digital payments for specific industry segments such as C2G payments etc. To minimize risk and fraud, a central KYC registry for merchants should be set up and insurance scheme to be created for handling merchant and/or transactional fraud which is non-existent now. Government should also look at creating Payment Technology Parks where facilities and benefits can be provided similar to STPs"

Mr. Vinaya Varma, CEO, mjunction

"I look forward to a budget which carries forward the Prime Minister's vision of a Digital India in the truest sense of the term. Let e-governance be the order of the day, and let e-payments and digital wallets be more incentivised in order to eradicate corruption from its very roots. I am also looking forward to implementation in letter and spirit of the Prime Minister's Startup India programme. This will boost innovative thinking and fresh ideas so crucial for India's economy now."

Mr. Suvro Banerjee, Managing Director, Fuzzy Logix

Recent government policies like Demonetisation and the aggressive push towards a digital economy will make Big Data Analytics increasingly mainstream. The phenomenal increase in digital transaction volumes will translate into opportunities in understanding customer behaviour, prevent fraud and money-laundering, predict risk with higher accuracy, and raise alarms for prevention of chronic illnesses like diabetes. Businesses will leverage this knowledge to optimise their budgets and resource allocation, thus driving dramatic improvement in operational efficiency. Governments will be able to maximise tax collection and target tax-evasion cases much more accurately and proactively, and deploy resources more effectively through electronic transfer of funds. We can expect policies in the Union Budget that provides incentives for innovations in digitizing the economy to new heights. Ultimately, our entire society will benefit because of more efficient use of valuable resources, financial and human.”

Mr. Bipin Preet Singh, CEO and Founder MobiKwik

Expectations from the Union Budget 2017

1. The Budget must announce measures to upgrade digital infrastructure across the country. This will encourage more merchants and consumers to transact on non-cash, online platforms.

2. Digital India is a laudable initiative. We need to improve digital literacy and connect cities, towns and villages with high-speed internet networks so that every citizen is empowered with access to a mobile broadband connection.

3. Access to online services should actually be a fundamental right. This will move a large portion of cash transactions to formal economy.

4. The Budget must reduce corporate tax for start-ups and companies promoting digital payments ecosystem. At the moment, it is flat at 35 per cent.

5. There should be reduction in income tax for individuals and companies promoting secure digital payments.

6. The Budget should announce sops for fin-tech companies providing data protection.

7. We need to see visible action on government initiatives like Make in India, Skill India, Start-Up India and Stand Up India.

8. The Budget must announce steps to tone up physical infrastructure. We need good roads, good connectivity with rural areas where 65 per cent of Indians live. India needs world-class seaports and airports.

9. Implementation of GST from April 1 may be deferred to help businesses and overall economy recover from demonetisation. Clear, uniform taxation for all goods and services is important. India should be a tax compliant society. At present, not even three per cent of people pay any income tax.

10. Transactions worth one trillion dollars are done in the country annually. Of these, barely 10 per cent are on digital platforms. Mobile wallet providers have thus clearly a larger role to play.

India is poised for high growth. By 2030, it could become the world’s third largest economy after the United States and China.

Mr. Rajeev Jain, CFO, Intex Technologies Ltd

The mobile handset industry is the fast growing Industry and has become an imperative part of our everyday life. India is moving towards a digital economy and mobile banking. Smartphones will play a crucial role in supporting this vision. The recent demonetisation reform by the Government has further laid the ground for setting a cashless economy. The entire country is looking forward towards mobile banking which shall create a new user base and fuel the growth in mobile Industry. As an industry, we expect a long-term and stable policy on mobile manufacturing in India. The industry has huge potential and can supplement government initiatives of ‘Make in India’ with highly technical product if focused. Incentives to create sufficient technical manpower will lay the foundation of a strong and robust manufacturing base in India. Further, a clearly laid out research and development policy is necessary to succeed in a highly technical industry like ours and will help bring component manufacturing base in India to save precious foreign exchange. In the end, to create a truly inclusive digital economy, affordable mobile handset or consumer durable items up to certain value should be given a concessional duty treatment.”

Mr. Anil Valluri, President - NetApp India & SAARC

The previous two budgets have systematically gone about creating frameworks and processes to give wings to the dreams of multiple sections of the society like Startup India, Standup India and shrink wrapped with a larger vision of Digital India. With the recent move of demonetization trying to shift our cash driven economy of 1.2 billion people and getting them to leap frog to the digital world is unprecedented in history. This is a significant leap towards becoming a digital economy and the budget now needs to focus on how digital can become entrenched and become a way of life, while continuing to focus on growth and providing adequate support to the various pillars of each program so that the economy is on a sustained growth path.”

Mr. Aloke Bajpai, CEO & CoFounde, Ixigo

India is on a high growth path and with tourism friendly policies of the government, we hope to see more and more developments in the coming year as well. Among other things, we believe that post demonization, it is necessary for the government to come up with measures that will help boost cashless transactions, in turn facilitating seamless and easy online travel bookings for the masses.

This year the Railway Budget will be presented alongside the Union Budget and we are hoping for the government to announce developments in terms of security and modernization to eliminate incidences of derailment and other accidents! We still look forward to the introduction of more high speed trains on popular routes in order to reduce travel time. The development of more airports in tier 1 & 2 cities will also benefit both the aviation industry and travellers at the same time. We also anticipate a lowered GST on travel related services and the government investing heavily in the development of travel infrastructure.

Mr. Pulkit Punj, Director at AnG India Ltd.

With the immense focus on smart city projects and uptight security in banks due to demonetization, the security and surveillance market is looking profoundly favorable. In the year 2017 we expect the Government to continue the progress in infrastructures and investments in advanced technologies, as we firmly support the belief that a country’s infrastructure is insufficient without high quality surveillance cameras and security systems. With governments mandatory move of CCTV cameras installations, centrally monitored systems and solutions in huge numbers in verticals like banking, transportation, public places and more, the budget should invest significantly in video surveillance solutions and quality cameras in various segments to make India a safer and smarter country for our citizens specifically for creating a safer environment for women and children. . The Electronics industry can play a key role and the government should continue to offer necessary incentives, eased tax framework and infrastructure support, reductions in import duties of security equipment's with a proper oversight and resources for dealing with threats and attacks.”

Mrs. Shilpa Mahna Bhatnagar, CEO & Co-Founder Evoxyz Technologies.

Today, India is going through an Economic reformation. This means each sector of Industry should benefit from the initiatives that are being taken by the government of India. Entrepreneurs are trying to change the face of India on the world map and The innovative start-ups are impacting the lives in a big way by generating job opportunities, inviting capital in the form of investments and bringing innovation to the door step of a common man.

Hence a favourable budget which means

A tax holiday is given to Start-ups for up to 6 years and Contribution of Government of India in the early stage Start-ups through a simple seamless process.

Also extremely negligible or Zero import duties on goods that need to be re-traded in India will give a big boost to the Start-up ecosystem and help them to flourish in a big way.

Mr. Mayank Bhangadia, Cofounder and CEO Roposo

"Taxing start-ups at early stages of investments has put a limitation to their performance and morale. Startups are a very risky proposition wherein only less than 1% actually manage to become successful. Angel funding is the very first resource, the very first encouragement for a start-up, and tax levied on the same acts like a major deterrent to the growth of many novel ideas. With the new budget, early stage investors should definitely be protected against archaic policy measures like the angel tax - which should be completely done away with. Also, the government should help startups in reducing their cost in the early years rather than offering tax holidays for the first three years because most startups don't make profits in their early years. For example, , lowering income tax slabs for startup employees should immensely help startups reduce their cost. This year, we look forward to some significant tax exemptions, that would give a great boost to all existing and upcoming Indian startups." - Mayank Bhangadia, CEO and CoFounder, Roposo.

Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO, Ziox Mobiles

With the roar in the market on new upcoming budget, the telecom industry definitely has a lot of expectations from it. These expectations will help bring change in the scenario of the mobile companies in the Indian market. As compared to the foreign market, the Indian companies receive less support from the government in terms of budget liabilities. The Chinese and foreign companies are assisted by their government in every aspect that helps them increase their sales and demand in the market at a higher scale. However, in India the scenario is different to that of the foreign market. It is extremely important to gain the same support from the Indian government to boost domestic manufacturing at the components level. To maintain the demand of our brands in the market these factors are supremely essential. Apart from this, companies also expect tax benefits from the upcoming Union Budget. The government should also come up with new policies especially for the start-ups. The upcoming budget can also help ease the current situation of demonetisation which has recently hit the country by introducing easy options for digital payments and create a new revolution in this era of digitalization”.

Mr. Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India

Ahead of the union budget, we expect the government to come up with ample budgetary provision for turning our cities into truly world-class Smart Cities. India’s Smart Cities Mission is the government’s highest-profile program, providing assistance to 100 cities for infrastructure modernization Metropolitan cities with million-plus populations are India’s engines of growth. As per a McKinsey report, about 77 percent of India’s economic growth from 2012 to 2025 will come from 49 clusters of districts with metropolitan cities at their nucleus. We expect the government to continue its focus on building better infrastructure and services, creating secure, safe and smart cities which will be magnets for investment and job creation.

Mr. Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer, Paytm

The Union Budget 2017 is widely expected to encourage digital payments and universal access to financial services. It’s important for our country to create a robust infrastructure to offer high-speed, reliable Internet access to one and all. Improving access to digital services with tax rebates on the production of affordable smartphones and offering subsidized data will also go a long way in democratizing India’s payments sector. We need to focus on digital money to stay digital, by strongly encouraging digital payments of all forms, as compared to ATM machines. Waiving off transaction fees for low-ticket purchases and increased access to credit would also help bring millions of unbanked and under-banked individuals into the folds of the mainstream economy.”

Mr. Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay

"With India moving towards becoming a less-cash economy, there are a lot of expectations from the payment industry, the key expectation being complete exemption of service tax. The existing waiver of 15% of service tax on digital transactions up to Rs 2,000 does not encourage universal acceptance of the online payment ecosystem. I expect that the 2017 Budget will completely exempt service tax from transaction fee in digital payments. This will help bring down the cost of products & services, leading to more merchants doing business digitally, thereby promoting online commerce and boost financial inclusion in India."

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