CHENNAI: Around this time last year, the central government came up with a slew of measures to rev-up the start-up engine and enable technological innovation. Twelve months down the line, implementation of these measures is in a limbo.
Since the start-up policy went live, there has been little forward movement to usher in India’s revolution. Mundane restrictions and lack of clarity in the programme have resulted in start-ups not being able able to get going. However, experts say that given the favourable policy environment and likely tax incentives in the upcoming Budget, these budding firms may emerge as a major job creator in the country.
“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,” said Abhiraj Bhal, co-founder, UrbanClap. Minimum governance is actually very good, he added. Vishwavijay Singh, co-founder of SaleBhai, said that while a tax holiday of not less than five years would help start-ups, even the three-year relaxation for those set up between April 2016 and March 2019 lies under-utilised because of a tedious registration process.
Another much-needed change is a policy for start-ups in both private and government banks. “Apart from help in opening accounts, there isn’t anything on offer. We hope to see some dramatic changes and concrete steps being taken.”
From the wishlist, the industry expects that the Budget would be a precursor to a simplified tax regime. The government’s intention to lower corporate tax to 25 per cent announced in FY16 has raised hopes for a further plunge.
Some anticipate a drop up to 18 per cent, including all surcharges and cess, with withdrawal of all tax incentives, concessions etc, said Sunil Kumar Gupta, founder and director, ExportersIndia.com. “With cashless economy and given trends of incentivising cashless transactions, it seems that more such schemes encouraging digital payments in FY 17 may be announced,” he added.
One aspect of the Startup India programme with potential was industry-academia partnerships through the setting up of incubators. However, progress has been static. But, experts say it’s important to ensure they remain on track.