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Business News/ Budget / Budget Expectations/  Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: ITR, tax slabs, HRA, Auto, healthcare and other sectors voice their wishlist
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Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: ITR, tax slabs, HRA, Auto, healthcare and other sectors voice their wishlist

Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates: With the Union Budget 2024 just around the corner, all eyes are on the Finance Minister's briefcase to see what it holds for various sectors crucial to India's growth and development. 

Pre-Budget 2024 expectations: This year's budget is expected to be an interim budget owing to the upcoming elections (Bloomberg)Premium
Pre-Budget 2024 expectations: This year's budget is expected to be an interim budget owing to the upcoming elections (Bloomberg)

Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: As anticipation builds for the upcoming Budget 2024 in India, a diverse array of sectors eagerly await FM Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements and fiscal policies that will shape their respective landscapes. From agriculture, infrastructure, and healthcare to education, finance, and manufacturing, each sector carries its own set of expectations for allocations and reforms. The fiscal agenda, these sectors collectively voice their aspirations for a budget that fosters growth, innovation, and societal well-being.

24 Jan 2024, 08:03:55 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Steps should be taken to unlock savings invested in gold, says Nilesh Shah, MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC

"The Vote on Account should focus on growth and inclusion. Growth should be boosted through investments lead by Road, Railway, Water, Renewable energy, digital education and healthcare. The same should be funded through asset monetization and divestment so that path of fiscal prudence can be achieved. Steps should be taken to unlock savings invested in gold to provide internal resources for funding Growth and reducing reliance on global capital," Nilesh Shah, Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra AMC said.

Catch Budget 2024 Expectations Live Updates

24 Jan 2024, 07:03:21 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Seek simplifying the processes associated with tax compliance, says Dhiresh Bansal, CFO, Meesho

“Anticipating the Union Budget 2024, Meesho remains optimistic about the government's commitment to fortifying India's growing startup ecosystem. Acknowledging the pivotal role startups play in steering India towards a 5 trillion-dollar economy, we recognize the need for sustained government support. India's technological contribution to GDP is growing but remains in its early stages compared to other nations. The government's involvement in encouraging venture capital and angel investment is commendable, and we believe that further emphasis on these initiatives will gradually elevate the number of startups in India.

To foster continuous expansion, we advocate for an all-encompassing strategy. Moreover, simplifying the processes associated with tax compliance and lowering tax rates, especially during the initial operational years, will ease the financial strain on startups, cultivating a more advantageous business environment. Lastly, with regard to talent attraction, a reduction in taxes related to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), presently standing at around 40%, will heighten the attractiveness of startups to skilled professionals, thereby contributing to the development of our vibrant ecosystem. This multifaceted approach aims to establish a conducive environment for startups, nurturing innovation, job generation, and sustainable economic," says Dhiresh Bansal, CFO, Meesho. 

24 Jan 2024, 07:00:54 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Govt should promote incentives for Educational institutions to diversify their programs, says Amit Prasad, Founder and CEO, SatNav

“The IT sector foresees the 2024 Union Budget emphasizing digital infrastructure investments and providing incentives for research, skill enhancement, and nurturing innovation hubs. Hopes encompass augmented funding for cybersecurity, backing for cutting-edge technologies such as AI, IoT, and 5G, and revisions in tax policies to stimulate IT exports. Streamlined regulations for startups and increased focus on digital education initiatives are also expected. The industry aims for a favorable climate supporting growth, emphasizing improved business processes and global competitiveness, intending to solidify India's standing as a leading force in the global tech arena."

“With IT Services business taking a hit due to varying market conditions and the imminent impact of Artificial Intelligence on low end programming, hiring has been significantly down for Software Engineers this year, unfortunately this is expected to continue. For almost 3 decades the Indian education system has been focused on producing Engineers who go and take up jobs in the IT industry. The Government should proactively promote incentives for Educational institutions to diversify their programs and for IT Product companies who can fill the imminent gap that will arise. Also, the accounting laws for IPR valuation can also be further clarified to help companies show that investment in the balance sheet rather than the practice for all investment to be written off without any benefit, showing up as accumulated losses. Valuing IPR can also help to raise funding and loans from banks as the networth and reserves would then be favorable," says Amit Prasad, Founder and CEO, SatNav.

24 Jan 2024, 06:58:50 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Seek cohesive policy framework to protect user privacy, says Amit Relan, Co-Founder and CEO, mFilterIt

“Last year’s Union Budget had a significant mention of the advancements in technology and fostering the digital economy. For the upcoming budget announcement, we are expecting a significant share of focus on critical issues concerning data protection, cybersecurity, and digital infrastructure.

With the introduction of the data protection bill, we are expecting to see stride movements in the regulation of data privacy aligning with global standards, a cohesive policy framework to protect user privacy and also stimulate innovation in the digital economy. Alongside privacy and protection, we expect to see some wave movement around emerging technologies like AI and the nation’s take on leveraging its power to empower further digital advancements.

Focus on innovation and protection will strike the ideal balance to foster the digital infrastructure of the nation," says Amit Relan, Co-Founder and CEO, mFilterIt.

24 Jan 2024, 06:56:05 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Seek enhanced budget allocations for digital health infrastructure, says Saurav Kasera, Co-Founder, Clirnet

“The Union Budget holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare accessibility in India's remote areas. Ongoing training and upgradation for all healthcare professionals are vital to a patient-centric system. A blend of incentives to make healthcare training more affordable and accessible can hold the key. These could include bringing healthcare education under a special GST category with lower or nil rates (currently no set off available as medical services carry Nil GST), offering deductions in direct taxes for healthcare training expenses, and providing financial benefits/grants to institutions offering such training. Moreover, enhancing budget allocations for digital health infrastructure and telemedicine will ensure that quality healthcare reaches every corner of the country.

Together, these initiatives promise to build a more robust, inclusive, and skilled healthcare workforce in India, ultimately leading to improved patient care and health outcomes across the nation," says Saurav Kasera, Co-Founder, Clirnet.

24 Jan 2024, 06:38:59 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Look forward to the govt to prioritize the healthcare sector, says Ritu Mehrotra, Founder & CEO, United We Care

“In the upcoming budget, it’s crucial for the government to recognize the growing importance of mental well-being. Mental health affects us all, and with the rise in stress and anxiety, addressing it is a societal and economic necessity.

We need to prioritize mental wellness and make it accessible to everyone. Offering mental health insurance is like giving people a sense of safety for their minds, ensuring they can get help without worrying about the cost.

Now, technology, especially called generative AI, can make a real difference. It’s like having smart tools that understand and assist with our mental health. We expect the government to allocate resources to mental wellness and insurance, showing that they value the mental health of the nation. By doing so, we take care of people’s minds and make a wise investment in a happier, more productive society.

Let’s look forward to the budget as an opportunity for the government to prioritize the healthcare sector and leverage technology for a brighter future," says Ritu Mehrotra, Founder & CEO, United We Care.

24 Jan 2024, 06:33:24 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Hope climate change budget is taken forward with more emphasis on nature based solutions, says Shailendra Singh Rao, Founder & MD, Creduce

“This budget would be a vote on account, hence there wouldn't be too much of an expectation from the present government. But considering the fact that the election results seem to be predetermined towards a certain party we hope that the present budget takes the good work forward."

"We hope the Climate Change budget is taken forward with more emphasis on nature based Solutions. More job creation opportunities are shared in this process. And most importantly technological advancements are encouraged in this sector which would not only help Bharat but also the world," says Shailendra Singh Rao, Founder & MD, Creduce

24 Jan 2024, 06:31:19 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Seek innovative policies that accelerate sustainable mobility solutions, says Greg Moran, CEO and Co-Founder Zoomcar

"Last year’s budget paved a path to higher adoption of EVs in India resulting in a sharp shift of customer mental models to make more greener & smarter choices. With the rise of marketplaces and digitisation in India, it is becoming a convenience first nation that is also setting high benchmarks globally. This year as a public listed company, we at Zoomcar anticipate the Union Budget 2024 to pave the way for innovative policies that accelerate sustainable mobility solutions and drive economic resilience which will help customers with cost effective solutions and mobility apps to support the evolution of transportation in the automobile industry," says Greg Moran, CEO and Co-Founder Zoomcar

24 Jan 2024, 05:39:42 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Anticipate strategic investments and policy reform incentives, says Sourabh Deorah, CEO & Co-founder, Advantage Club

“In this interim budget, we anticipate strategic investments and policy reform incentives that will foster a thriving ecosystem for the startup sector. Empowering startups with favorable tax structures, facilitating access to funding, and fortifying the digital infrastructure would really help entrepreneurs. A forward-looking budget that echoes the pulse of the startup ecosystem will not only foster economic growth but also position India as a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship," says Sourabh Deorah, CEO & Co-founder, Advantage Club

24 Jan 2024, 05:22:11 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Crucial to analyze the technicalities and expectations surrounding the SME IPO market, says Manick Wadhwa, Director at SKI Capital

“The Indian economy has experienced an exceptional growth trajectory within the SME IPO market throughout 2023. As the Union Budget for 2024 is on the horizon, it is crucial to analyze the technicalities and expectations surrounding the SME IPO market, especially in light of the unprecedented success witnessed in the previous year," says Manick Wadhwa, Director at SKI Capital. 

He said: 

The Remarkable Year of 2023:

In 2023, the Indian SME sector observed a record-breaking number of IPOs, with 162 companies going public. Impressively, out of these, approximately 75% IPOs concluded with positive outcomes. This remarkable performance not only underlines the robustness of the SME sector but also indicates the growing investor confidence and the maturity of the market.

Expectations for the 2024 Budget:

Credit Access and Financing: The 2024 budget is anticipated to address the credit challenges faced by SMEs. Possible measures include the facilitation of government-backed loans and encouraging NBFCs to increase lending to SMEs. In 2023, access to credit was highlighted as a key growth driver for many SMEs.

Innovation and R&D Incentives: The budget may propose incentives for SMEs engaging in research and development, such as tax breaks or government grants, to stimulate innovation within this sector.

Sector-Specific Focus: Special attention might be given to sectors where SMEs are significantly active, like technology, healthcare, and renewable energy, through tailored incentives or support programs.

Creation of Mother Fund: A significant development in 2023 was the initiative by some state governments to create 'mother funds' to finance 'daughter funds' that invest in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). This move is aimed at providing a more structured and robust investment framework for SMEs, facilitating easier access to capital.

24 Jan 2024, 04:44:52 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Insurance industry advocates for a reduction in the GST on insurance products, says Rakesh Goyal, MD, Probus Insurance broker

"The insurance industry advocates for a reduction in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on insurance products, a move that would significantly benefit consumers across the nation. The current 18 per cent GST rate is deemed excessively high, and anticipation exists for a revision. Moreover, there's a call for greater flexibility for deductions from health insurance for personal use, family needs, and senior care. Additionally, there is a business plea for distinct deductions within Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, particularly for insurance, a measure that holds promising potential for long-term business growth. These proposed adjustments collectively aim to create a more favourable environment for both insurers and policyholders," says Rakesh Goyal, MD, Probus Insurance broker.

24 Jan 2024, 04:28:17 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Maximum loan amount available for studying abroad may be raised by the government, says Rohit Sethi, Director, ESS Global

“In the upcoming interim budget the maximum loan amount available for studying abroad may be raised by the government. This might be especially useful for programmes that have high tuition costs or are located in costly locations. To help students afford education loans, the government may provide subsidized interest rates.The government's priorities and the overall situation of the budget will be major factors in deciding whether or not education loans alter," says Rohit Sethi, Director, ESS Global. 

24 Jan 2024, 04:08:16 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Deepak Agrawal- CIO Debt, Kotak Mutual Fund expects govt to work towards its glide path of fiscal consolidation

“We expect Government to work towards its glide path of fiscal consolidation and accordingly fiscal deficit to GDP for FY25 is likely to be in the band of 5.3%~5.5%. Spending on capex is likely to be the focus area for the Government like last year. The borrowing requirements are likely to be met with flows from J P Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index to start from Jun’24," said Deepak Agrawal- CIO Debt, Kotak Mutual Fund.

24 Jan 2024, 04:01:23 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Ranjan Kumar- Head of Accounts & Finance, RupeeRedee seeks easier and more cost-effective credit access for fintech players

"We are looking forward to the upcoming Union Budget, especially because fintechs like digital lending platforms expect some important changes. One big focus is on making Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratios more flexible. Instead of sticking to fixed rules, lenders want to adjust them based on how the value of assets goes up and down. This change is meant to help lending platforms create more personalized financial solutions for the underserved. In order to stimulate growth in the fintech sector, it is essential to facilitate easier and more cost-effective credit access for fintech players. Simultaneously, the government's provision of tax breaks to fintech companies would create an enabling environment for innovation, empowering these entities to explore new avenues. These strategic measures are crucial for fostering a dynamic and thriving ecosystem within the fintech industry. Another thing we are hoping is to be part of a system where the data can be shared with consent. Even though we're not directly regulated by organizations like IRDAI, RBI, or SEBI, we want to join a system called the Account Aggregator framework. This would give us access to a wider range of financial data, but only if customers agree to it. Being part of this framework is crucial because it would help us use data more effectively. We believe it will make it easier to assess credit, manage risks better, and provide better overall service to the customers," says Ranjan Kumar- Head of Accounts & Finance, RupeeRedee.

24 Jan 2024, 03:59:12 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Yogesh Gupta, Chief Business Officer, Bimaplan seeks policies from the government that attract both domestic and foreign capital

"In the upcoming budget, we eagerly anticipate policies from the government that attract both domestic and foreign capital, fostering growth in our country's startup ecosystem. Offering tax credits for early-stage startups is crucial for incentivizing innovation and we are hoping that the government will address the ongoing concern on angel tax, paving the way for smoother operations. We also hold high expectations for substantial changes in medical insurance premiums, aiming for a more affordable and accessible healthcare landscape. Additionally, we hope for an extension of section 80D deduction, providing continued support for medical insurance premiums. Recognizing the importance of flexibility, especially for our seniors, we look forward to policies that cater to their unique needs, ensuring inclusivity in our financial framework," says Yogesh Gupta, Chief Business Officer, Bimaplan.

24 Jan 2024, 03:23:14 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Roshan Shah, Co-Founder & CEO, VoloFin seeks policies for digital lending sector

"In the realm of financial evolution, Budget 2024 holds the key to unlocking the full potential of the digital lending industry. Companies hope for taxation relief to facilitate financial transactions and government benefits. The digital lending sector eagerly awaits policies that promote responsible lending practices, enhance data security, and ensure equitable access to credit. A forward-looking budget can catalyze the industry's growth, positioning it as a dynamic force driving economic resilience and fostering a digitally inclusive financial landscape for all," Roshan Shah, Co-Founder & CEO, VoloFin said. 

24 Jan 2024, 03:13:06 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Ramneek Singh Ghotra, Chief Growth Officer, Finvasia Group seeks improved access to capital for women

"The previous budget introduced strong women-centric policies, including Free Skill Development, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and Digital Skilling Initiatives amongst others. As we approach Budget 2024, I anticipate continued progress, emphasizing economic opportunities, social safety nets, and health-centric empowerment. I hope for a more robust focus on skill development, rural entrepreneurship, and improved access to capital for women. Strengthening social security, enhancing safety, and prioritizing accessible healthcare and financial inclusion will contribute to a more positive and empowered society," Ramneek Singh Ghotra, Chief Growth Officer, Finvasia Group said. 

24 Jan 2024, 03:00:22 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Barkha Amin, Trustee, Bhailal Amin General Hospital, Vadodara seeks healthcare infrastructure at the rural front of Gujarat

"As Bharat continues to prosper as a global healthcare destination, there is a considerable vacuum at the rural front of Gujarat and India, when it comes to a healthcare infrastructure. As an industry, we seek 3% of GDP allocation towards uplifting the medical and healthcare ecosystem, especially in the rural counterparts. Secondly, we expect the honourable Finance Ministry to consider a cut on custom duties on imported medical devices to 2.5%, to enable the hospitals and other healthcare institutions to derive the benefits of input tax credit on the imports. This will further drive a wave of motivation for healthcare ecosystem not just of Gujarat, but overall country to upgrade to technology-led hospitals. This in turn, will further strengthen the position of India as a healthcare destination across the world," Barkha Amin, Trustee, Bhailal Amin General Hospital, Vadodara said. 

24 Jan 2024, 02:40:24 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Jyoti Prakash Gadia, Managing Director at Resurgent India seeks privatisation of select PSU banks

Jyoti Prakash Gadia, Managing Director at Resurgent India seeks:

1) The banking sector has shown revival and resilience recently and can take up the growth path with greater vigour. Climate change funding and green finance, the need of the hour for the economy will require budgetary support. Therefore we can expect a mechanism of tax incentives and subsidies applicable to the banking sector to attract green deposits from the general public and promote financing of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities of corporates and other entrepreneurs. Infrastructure funding is also expected to be provided continued thrust. Privatisation of select PSU banks can also be taken forward, further to the announcement in the previous budget.

2) The MSME sector continues to play a crucial role in contribution towards GDP growth and employment generation and therefore requires special treatment by way of facilitating cheaper finance and support in supply chain management. Provision for timely payment of corporate debtors of MSME is still a challenging issue that needs to be addressed through fiscal support. Further expansion of ODOP (one district one product) plan at the national level with suitable incentives is also expected for the MSME sector.

3) NBFCs are an important integral part of the Indian financial system and need to be supported with adequate fiscal incentives. The recent RBI guidelines of RBI for additional risk weights on NBFC funding will make procurement of funds by NBFCs costlier, impacting their operational cost and Net interest margins. The NBFCs will expect to be suitably compensated with tax incentives and wider role for NBFCs with deeper opportunities in microfinance and trade finance.

24 Jan 2024, 02:38:24 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Manish Rathi, co-founder and CEO, IntrCity SmartBus seeks govt to consider a budgetary framework for development of centralized bus terminals on NHs

“As the 2024 budget announcement approaches, we are focused on driving significant improvements in the private bus sector, which is projected to be the dominant mode of long-distance public travel in India. While the Government has done a remarkable job in the development of the highway networks across the country, this has set the stage for now creating a framework for development of essential public transport infrastructure, to help drive consumer adoption. The lack of convenient boarding infrastructure is one of the biggest roadblock in shifting travelers from private cars to public transport," Manish Rathi, co-founder and CEO, IntrCity SmartBus said. 

"Along the lines of airport development, we would request the Government to consider a budgetary framework for development of centralized bus terminals on national highways, which can be used as transit points for inter-city passenger movement. We believe that this can be a significant game changer for India, and has the potential to be the global leader in promoting adoption of public transport worldwide, where private cars tend to dominate the landscape," Rathi said. 

“Second, for historical reasons, passenger buses are not allowed to carry commercial cargo. This is a national waste, as modern vehicles have spare storage space and adequate engine capacity, which can be used to carry the cargo at marginal extra cost. Both the Railways and airline industry already do so. We request the Government to allow carrying of commercial cargo in passenger buses which will eliminate the wastages on unoccupied space, and also help reduce the cost to consumers," he added. 

24 Jan 2024, 02:36:21 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations Live: AI sector expert shares wishlist

"I think the government should allocate separate budgets for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Metaverse, just as it has done successfully with the Startup India program. Similar to how companies receive DPIIT certification under Startup India, specific companies working on advanced technologies like AI and the Metaverse could be granted certification and funding. With this kind of recognition in place, it would be easier to implement regulations for AI and Metaverse technologies as they evolve.", Ajay Setia, CEO InvincibleMeta.AI

24 Jan 2024, 02:32:42 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Economist calls for introducing tax benefits such as tax credits or exemptions for investments

“The government can allocate more funds for subsidies and incentives to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. This can help reduce the upfront costs and make renewable energy more affordable," said Akash Kalra, Subject Expert on Transfer Pricing and International Economics.

Tax benefits: Introducing tax benefits such as tax credits or exemptions for investments in renewable energy projects can incentivize businesses and individuals to shift towards clean energy alternatives. This can attract more private investment in the sector.

Research and development funding: Allocating a significant portion of the budget for research and development in renewable energy technologies can support innovation and help develop more efficient and cost-effective solutions. This can accelerate the growth of the renewable energy industry in India.

Infrastructure development: Investing in the development of renewable energy infrastructure, such as transmission lines and storage facilities, is crucial for the integration and expansion of renewable energy sources. Allocating funds for such infrastructure projects can facilitate the effective deployment of renewable energy across the country."

24 Jan 2024, 02:02:44 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Gautam Khanna of P.D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre calls for increased allocation in the healthcare sector

“While the government's initiatives over the past couple of years like ABPMJAY, ABDHM, focus on telemedicine and enhancing healthcare infrastructure have been commendable, a lot still needs to be done. India has one of the lowest public health expenditures relative to GDP in the world. While India’s population has grown nearly 15 per cent over the last decade, this growth has not been complimented by an equitable growth in healthcare spending. The upcoming budget should focus on increasing healthcare expenditure aiming for 2.5 to 3.5 per cent of the total GDP in order to move closer towards universal health coverage," Gautam Khanna, CEO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, said.

24 Jan 2024, 01:48:54 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Priority sector status to gold loans and allowing a Gold linked credit line via UPI, says, George Alexander Muthoot, MD, Muthoot Finance

“Indian households possess up to 25,000 tonnes of gold which lies idle and can be leveraged as an immediate and reliable source of financing to meet immediate personal or business needs. Granting ‘priority sector status’ to gold loans and allowing a ‘Gold linked credit line via UPI’ can go a long way to help households/small business owners meet their financing needs and monetise idle gold jewellery," George Alexander Muthoot, MD, Muthoot Finance, said.

“We believe giving priority sector status to eligible gold loans will benefit the bottom of the pyramid and enhance financial inclusion. Typically small borrowers need loans under 50,000 (about 20 grams of gold collateral) for short durations like a year. Herein gold loan NBFCs can play an important role to fulfill the needs of small borrowers, self-employed, micro business owners, and help address their finance needs or working capital needs. Gold loans against jewellery are also vital funding sources for MSMEs. Gold loans provided by banks to farmers do get priority sector status, but not gold loans provided by NBFCs. Extending priority status to all micro gold loans (under Rs. 50,000) by removing the current distinction between NBFCs and banks can enable gold loan NBFCs access to increased funding," Alexander added.

24 Jan 2024, 01:20:46 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Market expert bats for rebate on FPI, cap on CGTMSE Scheme

"Building on our recent economic performance, and creating a strong roadmap to accelerate the growth should be the topmost priority for the government in the upcoming interim budget. And this will require fortifying the MSME sector, a critical pillar of the economy, accounting for over 29% of GDP and serving as the second-largest source of employment in the country. The government should enable initiatives and policies that facilitate the seamless flow of resources, particularly capital, to the sector. Some of the key areas that require immediate attention and can have a profound impact on the MSME sector are, according to Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO, Kinara Capital are:

● Reinstating the tax rebate for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)

The NBFC sector has been playing a pivotal role in addressing the credit needs of MSMEs. In fact, this has been reiterated by the recent report from RBI, according to which, there is a threefold rise in credit growth from NBFCs to the MSME sector. Apart from banks, FPIs are one of the key sources of capital for NBFCs. Recently, the government removed the tax rebate extended to FPIs on interest earned on bonds. The 5% tax rate on interest was hiked to 20%. This rise in tax rate is likely to raise borrowing costs by 30-40 basis points for MSME lenders, which in turn, can lead to a liquidity crunch. Restoring the earlier regime will ensure that the cost of borrowing remains unaffected, enabling fintech NBFCs focused on MSMEs lending to bolster capital access for the sector.

● Removing the cap on the CGTMSE Scheme to enable last-mile MSME financial inclusion

In 2023, the CGTMSE cap was revised to allow for MSME loans to have interest rates not exceeding 21% per annum. While this is an improvement from the previous cap of 18%, it still excludes MSMEs that require unsecured small-ticket loans, restricting financial inclusion at the last mile. A reconsideration of the interest rate cap and guarantee cover under the CGTMSE scheme is essential to enable the scheme to deliver its full potential. It will encourage more lenders to come on board and offer loans to even smaller MSMEs, and at the same time improve loan terms for end borrowers.

● Provide greater encouragement to Gender Lens investing

Despite demonstrating their business acumen, women entrepreneurs often get overlooked when it comes to capital access. Financing for women-led businesses is mired by systemic and perception challenges. Even today, less than 1% of investment goes to women-led businesses, indicating that there is a critical need for focused efforts to be made to bridge this gap. The budget should look at incentivizing domestic as well as foreign investors for gender-lens investing in India. It should ease out the regulatory and policy impediments and encourage greater participation of women in the business landscape, as unlocking the power of women entrepreneurs would be crucial for India to achieve its goal of becoming a $30 trillion economy by 2047.

24 Jan 2024, 01:12:16 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Sports tech industry wishes for facilities to train and provide job opportunities to people

‘’This being a pre-election budget and as mentioned by the Finance minister herself, Startups in India can’t expect anything drastic and is largely to be a status-quo situation. However, it is noteworthy that the previous budget managed to attract an 100 Cr allocation for the National Sports University which I feel is a step forward in creating newer sports infrastructure. Of course, the development of the sector will need more capital, but it is an important step forward and can help lead to the creation of more jobs and facilities that can be the stepping stone for putting India as an important contributor in the World of Sports. We must create facilities to train and provide job opportunities to people. Coaches, Physios and other support staff are extremely important for the growth of a player, and enough capital must be allocated in the future to build this ecosystem," Sudeep Kulkarni, Founder, Game Theory said.

24 Jan 2024, 01:09:53 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Expert calls for allocation towards railways and defense

“This is a pre-election interim budget but will be eagerly looked at as the final budget because of the expectation of the ruling govt coming back into power. We expect the continuation of govt policies with a focus on infrastructure-led growth along with a focus on 'Make in India' an international manufacturing hub. Allocation towards railways and defense is expected to be very high and it will be watched very keenly by the market," Mukesh Kochar, National Head of Wealth at AUM Capital said.

“As it is pre election budget, we can expect some announcements about rural economies with a focus on farmers and the rural population which may boost consumer discretionary demand benefitting the sector. Overall we are very positive about the outcome of the budget. Any fresh announcement about renewable and semiconductors is possible. Some PLI scheme is also expected as govt is focusing on manufacturing which will bring the next level of growth. As it is an interim budget so deep details may not be announced," Kochar added.

24 Jan 2024, 12:58:56 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: National Green Hydrogen Mission  to economy towards low carbon intensity, say Venkat Mattela, CEO &Founder, Ceremorphic

“The semiconductor industry's tenacity and dedication to innovation, indicate bright development possibilities in the rapidly changing technological world as the 2024 budget draws near. And it's absolutely critical to give priority to a few joint government-organization projects in order to promote innovation throughout India's semiconductor industry," Venkat Mattela, CEO &Founder, Ceremorphic, said.

“With green energy and sustainability taking centre stage in worldwide efforts to cut carbon emissions, policies like the National Green Hydrogen Mission will help move the economy towards low carbon intensity and lessen dependency on imported fossil fuels for ecosystem-wide sustainable growth. Furthermore, the renewable energy industry has enormous potential for cooperation with semiconductor fabrication plants by offering assistance in establishing ESG norms for the manufacturing sector by including sustainable waste management practices and recycling water techniques, among other things. Speaking of core teach, we can anticipate a heightened emphasis on AI integration with research and development in various sectors, particularly in high-tech manufacturing like semiconductors, to ensure sustained progress," Mattela, added.

“At the grassroots level, such as in high schools and colleges across the nation, the government must also continue to support skill development initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 and Skill India Digital platform, with appropriate curricula to prepare the workforce for Industry 4.0 and beyond. And last but not the least, formation of industry think-tanks, in collaboration with the government, and support for semiconductor design startups will help provide a comprehensive outlook for promoting innovation in the space of AI, hence bolstering the semiconductor sector," Mattela further added.

24 Jan 2024, 12:54:45 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Semiconductor sector calls for quick rollout of SPECS 2.0

“The year 2023 has seen a lot of focus from the government to make India a semiconductor hub. As we step into 2024, the electronics and semicon industry expects a continued strategic focus on this sector," Prithvideep Singh, General Manager, Continental Device India Ltd, said.

“Our expectations are particularly high for the quick rollout of SPECS 2.0 and an expansion of the budget allocated to the India Semiconductor Mission. In addition, we advocate for a balanced distribution of funds. With multiple large projects seeking approval, the allocation will soon run out and MSMEs that are critical to building the semi ecosystem may miss out," Singh added.

“Simultaneously, we would like to see refurbished wafer fabs get covered under the Indian Semiconductor Mission given India's large demand for discrete, sensors and other active components. Older fabs will be able to serve this large market in India very successfully," he further added.

24 Jan 2024, 12:11:54 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Healthcare sector calls for innovation, tailoring manufacturing practices

"The budget should be strategically allotted to promote innovation and tailoring manufacturing practices to meet the rising demand projected in the market while being at par with international standards. On similar lines, to further accelerate the growth of the pharma industry, the upcoming budget should incessantly focus on bolstering the R&D capability to strengthen the manufacturing landscape with the integration of cutting-edge technologies and highly efficient equipment." Said Mr. Deepak Pahwa, Director, Delair

24 Jan 2024, 12:09:53 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Automobile expert call for import duty relief

“The industry is keenly awaiting an announcement on import duty relief which will have a positive impact on the raw material costs thus helping to stabilize the cost of commodities. This will in turn help in boosting growth and competitiveness in the automotive industry, especially the export market. Even with the focus on localization, there is a need for fair competition while safeguarding domestic interests. Streamlining import processes and reducing bureaucratic hurdles in India can attract foreign investments and enable the smooth flow of technology. A nuanced policy that boosts local manufacturing but does not unduly burden the segments of the automotive industry that are import-dependent is necessary," Prashanth Doreswamy, CEO and President, Continental Automotive India, said.

24 Jan 2024, 12:08:13 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Renewable energy sector expert calls for focus on green hydrogen and natural gas

“The energy sector is eagerly anticipating the interim Union Budget, focusing on a cleaner and sustainable future. With hopes for a spotlight on green hydrogen and natural gas, the oil and gas industry seeks reforms to boost natural gas consumption and support the adoption of renewable energy. There's a plea to bring petroleum products under GST, and the power sector emphasizes the need for incentives in green hydrogen and energy storage solutions. Industry players are urging for lower interest rates to enhance competitiveness globally. While Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget may be a vote-on-account, the energy sector anticipates crucial allocations for the transition to cleaner fuels and sustainable practices," Kunal Gala, Partner, Deal Value Creation, BDO India, said.

24 Jan 2024, 12:06:04 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: We anticipate that the budget will give greater emphasis to investments in developing healthcare technology, says Vaibhav Kapoor, Pristyn Care

“We anticipate a budget that strengthens the healthcare foundation of our country. A strong and resilient healthcare ecosystem is a critical deciding factor for India’s economic growth. We anticipate that the budget will give greater emphasis to investments in developing healthcare technology and infrastructure and creating a skilled medical workforce. Strengthening these foundational factors will enable better healthcare services and ensure that the most underserved regions and people from low-income groups are adequately covered," Vaibhav Kapoor, Co-founder, Pristyn Care, said.

“Appropriate healthcare investments in the form of insurance are crucial for the protection of individuals' health and advancement of the nation. At least 30% of the population or 40 crore individuals – called the missing middle-- are devoid of any financial protection for health insurance. Special attention should be given to easier access to healthcare financing with regard to affordability and simplicity. The existing GST rate on health insurance should be reduced and the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit should be increased to 100%. We hope that the budget will exhibit a forward-thinking commitment to the health sector, ensuring a healthier future for all," Kapoor added.

24 Jan 2024, 12:03:34 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Garima Sawhney of  Pristyn Care, expects government to provide interest-free loans for women entrepreneurs

“For the upcoming budget, women entrepreneurs in various sectors of the country have great expectations from the government regarding credit support for women-led businesses. It is essential to relook at investments for health leadership to be inclusive and diverse. In the upcoming budget, the female workforce, especially female entrepreneurs, expect the Centre to give extra incentives and Production Linked Incentives (PLI) schemes to support them. The women entrepreneurs also expect the government to provide interest-free loans, and offer funds dedicated to women entrepreneurs, along with provide low-cost funding to early-age start-ups founded by women to position India as an innovation-based economy. A viable women-centric industrial policy is the need of the hour to get prominence for women entrepreneurship development. The startup sector would expect the budget for 2024 to continue with stability in the policies," Garima Sawhney, Co-founder, Pristyn Care, said.

24 Jan 2024, 11:59:26 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: EV sector calls for more incentives and support from the government

“Our main expectations center on more incentives and support from the government for the electric vehicle (EV) sector. We anticipate seeing laws that support environmentally friendly mobility, like tax incentives, subsidies, and the construction of infrastructure to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) by the general public and neighborhood street vendors. A concentration on funds for research and development could also hasten EV industry advancements and contribute to a cleaner, greener future," Pritesh Mahajan. Revamp Moto, said.

24 Jan 2024, 11:45:39 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Prioritizing capital expenditure in key infrastructure projects, financial incentives like PLI, tax benefits, says Rampraveen Swaminathan, Mahindra Logistics

“The upcoming interim budget offers a unique opportunity to balance economic growth priorities and fiscal consolidation. Prioritizing capital expenditure in key infrastructure projects, alongside financial incentives like PLI, tax benefits, and subsidies, can drive innovation in logistics. Building a 'One India' logistics ecosystem and integrating initiatives like the National Logistics Policy and Sagarmala Project are crucial to enhancing India’s global Logistics Performance Index ranking," Rampraveen Swaminathan, MD & Chief Executive Officer, Mahindra Logistics Ltd, said.

“To reinforce India's potential as a manufacturing powerhouse, the budget needs to focus on domestic manufacturing and prepare the logistics sector for service integration, growth in fulfilment logistics, and multi-modal transportation adoption. The government should also consider automation investments, especially in technologically advanced warehouses, which can position India as a logistics innovation leader," Swaminathan said.

“We anticipate government announcements for the EV industry, which may include tax incentives, charging infrastructure subsidies, and financial support for R&D. A holistic regulatory framework for last-mile delivery and formal recognition of the gig workforce under labour laws are essential for fair employment practices in the digital economy. A forward-thinking budget aligned with these expectations will enhance the logistics sector and contribute to India's global competitiveness and economic prosperity," he further added.

24 Jan 2024, 11:17:05 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE Updates: Realty expert calls for increasing the limit for tax deductions for home loan interest

“The upcoming interim budget remains pivotal, presenting a valuable opportunity to stimulate productivity, ease operations, and foster growth for the real-estate sector. At Kolte-Patil, we expect the government to support the current momentum by implementing initiatives that improve the affordability index like increasing the limit for tax deductions for home loan interest implementing the interest subvention scheme for urban housing," Rahul Talele, Group CEO, Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd, said.

“Given the prevailing price trends in some of the major metros, increasing the price limit for affordable housing will allow a larger base to benefit from government subsidies and reduced GST rates. Furthermore, the longstanding aspiration for infrastructure status remains, as it can facilitate developers' access to cheaper capital enhancing project viability. In summary, spending on public infrastructure, GST rationalization, reducing repo rate, industry status, single window clearances, and tax breaks can serves as catalysts for the real estate sector that will elevate allied economic activities, benefitting the overall economy," he added.

24 Jan 2024, 10:13:00 AM IST

Budget 2024 expectations LIVE: Market expert calls for increased allocation for programs like MNREGA

“As this is an interim budget, we do not anticipate any major announcements from it. Considering the elections are scheduled for May 2024, we expect the budget to feature actions that will appeal to the masses, like focus on the extension of incentives for housing loans to bolster the housing sector, support the sluggish rural economy through increased allocation for programs like MNREGA to raise the daily earnings of rural areas, provide incentives to farmers to stimulate farm production and also announce women-centric benefits, such as skill training programs, acknowledging the vital role they play in the population," Shruti Jain, CSO, Arihant Capital Markets Limited, said.

“To fortify overall food storage capabilities, the budget might include initiatives for warehousing and cold storage. Fiscal targets for FY26 GDP growth are optimistic, and the government may unveil strategies post the 2024 elections. Efforts to support domestic tourism, building upon successful initiatives in places like Ayodhya, may be part of the broader economic plan," Jain opined.

“Continuity in fiscal consolidation remains a key theme, along with potential incentives within the Vision 2047 program, particularly for infrastructure development in roads and railways. The government’s commitment to transition towards a greener economy that relies less on fossil fuels by focusing on renewable energy (like solar and wind), biofuels (like biogas, ethanol and green hydrogen), and electric transport is also expected to be a part of budget announcements," as per Jain.

“Recognizing the impact of inflation on the middle class, the budget may introduce tax incentives, potentially with expanded limits. As the government aligns its roadmap with the 2024 elections, the budget is expected to unfold post this crucial electoral process. Overall, the Interim Budget 2024 is poised to address key economic challenges while fostering growth across various sectors," she added.

24 Jan 2024, 09:19:45 AM IST

Budget 2024 expectations LIVE: Expert calls for streamlining the ITR process

“As we stand on the threshold of Budget 2024, the intricate dance between Income Tax Return (ITR) and fiscal policies unveils a canvas of economic intricacies. In my opinion, the symbiotic relationship between ITR and the national economy is undeniable. The upcoming budget carries the weight of shaping a financial landscape that not only fosters growth but also strikes a harmonious chord between taxpayers and the government," Shriyina Srivastava, Indus International Research Foundation, said.

“As we delve into the intricacies, let us not overlook the potential for simplification. Streamlining the ITR process can empower taxpayers and reduce the burden on both individuals and businesses. Leveraging technology for user-friendly interfaces could be a linchpin in fostering a tax regime that is efficient and accessible," she added.

24 Jan 2024, 09:17:10 AM IST

Budget 2024 expectations LIVE: Revisiting HRA policies could provide relief to many individuals, says expert

“Revisiting HRA policies could provide relief to many individuals. Adjusting HRA rates to match current rental trends will be beneficial, especially for those living in urban areas," Suman Bannerjee, CIO, Hedonova, said.

24 Jan 2024, 07:57:00 AM IST

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