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Business News/ News / India/  Union Budget 2023: India's private space sector seeks tax incentives, PLI scheme

Union Budget 2023: India's private space sector seeks tax incentives, PLI scheme

By 2025, India's space economy is expected to touch $12.8 billion, according to a report released by the ISpA and EY in 2022.

File: PSLV (ANI Photo) (ANI)Premium
File: PSLV (ANI Photo) (ANI)

To boost local manufacturing and spur research and development, country's private space sector has presented a wishlist of tax incentives and a production-linked incentive scheme in the upcoming Union Budget.

"In the 2023-24 Union Budget, we would like to request a space-based production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for space tech startups to help boost local manufacturing and encourage capability building within the country," Bengaluru-based space startup Pixxel's co-founder and chief executive officer Awais Ahmed said.

Earlier in 2022, Pixxel became the first Indian startup to launch its own hyperspectral imaging satellite, 'Shakuntala'. It onboarded SpaceX's rideshare rocket and followed it up with another similar satellite, "Anand", using the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) PSLV rocket. In future, the firm plans to have a constellation of earth observation satellites.

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"In the Union Budget 2023-24, we request a further 100 crore issuance as viability gap funding (VGF) to set up new infrastructure," DhruvaSpace's head of strategy and special projects Kranthi Chand said.

The Hyderabad-based startup in November 2022 also launched two satellites onboard the PSLV rocket and is planning to set up a satellite-manufacturing unit for a range of applications.

Apart from this, Chand wants the government to make a dedicated allocation of 1,000 crore for the Defence Space Agency (DSA) for the procurement of new technology from the industry.

Adding more, he noted that an acceptance of necessity (AoN) has been accorded by the Ministry of Defence and Services headquarters for several satellite and space technology projects.

As per Indian Space Association (ISpA) Director General Lieutenant General AK Bhatt (Retd), various suggestions were received from the space industry on tax policies and incentives to promote investment, research and development, and employment in the space sector.

According to ISpA, a PLI scheme for the speace sector will promote research and development in India and also provide incentives to entities engaged in the sector.

It also seeks the government to provide financial support through loans, grants and tax incentives to the companies and organisations in the space sector.

"Since the new space policy is in its final stages of development, the provision of tax exemption for startups should be continued till the time the incumbent policy is released or implemented," Bhatt said.

Bhatt also wants the government to set up space technology parks and form a group of experts for the use of the space ecosystem.

"We believe this allocation gives the much-needed thrust towards cutting-edge tech development by reducing the revenue risk to recover costs, while providing a financially attractive return for the private sector," Chand said.

By 2025, India's space economy is expected to touch $12.8 billion, according to a report released by the ISpA and EY in 2022.

With PTI inputs.

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Published: 15 Jan 2023, 04:32 PM IST
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