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Union Budget 2019: Experts press for more startup funding, incentive-based credit

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 July 2019, 8:00 IST

Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget, companies in the financial sector are seeking measures like increased funding for startups and incentive-based credit facilities to help the manufacturing sector.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman will be presenting the first full Budget of the Modi 2.0 government Friday amid high expectations from the industry for a big push to the slowing economy.

Increase in facilities for seed and growth equity funding for startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), provision of simplified and incentive-based credit facilities to help the manufacturing sector grow should be among the top priorities for policy makers, said Nilyanka Bhushan, Managing Partner and Co-founder, Sigma Ventures.

"This will catalyse the innovation and entrepreneurship that are India's natural strengths," Bhushan said.

According to Kumar Abhishek, CEO and Co-founder, Amazon backed ToneTag, while the Startup India scheme has definitely provided multiple benefits to startups in the form of easy licence clearance, tax cuts, and minimum regulatory interference, there is still scope for many more reformative policies.

Credit inclusion for MSMEs is a critical imperative to enable growth and job creation in India, said Alok Mittal, CEO and Co-founder of Indifi Technologies said.

"We expect the upcoming budget to define concrete steps to mobilise access to financial services and empower the fintech companies that facilitate them," he added.

Companies in the financial sector were also of the opinion that the government should focus on the generation of employment through growth targets that exceed the past 20-year performance.

With technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics disrupting the very nature of industries, there is an urgent need for upskilling and reskilling the Indian youth, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Absolutdata, Sudeshna Datta, opined.

"Therefore, we hope more funds will be allocated towards the development of tech-based skill-building and training programmes," Datta said.

Dilip Modi, Founder and Chairman of DiGiSPICE, said there is a great opportunity to use Aadhaar as an authentication platform to drive financial inclusion across semi urban and rural India.

Emphasising that fintech has the potential to address the barriers to financial inclusion, Gaurav Jalan Founder and CEO of mPokket, said that there is expectation of a better infrastructure that encourages and facilitates digitalisation of transactions in the rural and remote areas.

This will enable fintech companies to cater to the under-served segments, thus driving true financial inclusion in India, Jalan added.

Parliament had approved an interim Budget for the current fiscal in February in view of the general elections held during April and May.

Now, with the new goverment in place, Sitharaman will present the full-year Budget later this week.


First published: 5 July 2019, 7:33 IST