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Budget reactions: On profit tax, GST, rural connectivity & more


Here’s looking at what Indian companies and startups have to say about Budget 2016-17:

Home services and real estate companies:

Anuj Srivastava, CEO and co-founder, Livspace – “Tax holiday for startups for 3 of 5 years of setting up the company and Amendment to the Companies Act to ensure speedy registration and boost start-ups are great indicators of the government’s move to promote the Start Up India movement and culture in India. Also the allocation of funds for multi skill development centres will ensure that the key gaps in acquiring the right kind of talent for startups are met commensurately.”

jason kothari

Jason Kothari, CEO, Housing – “.. We do welcome the government’s acknowledgement of the role startups play in job creation, and the tax holiday for the first 3 years of starting a company.

We expect the real estate sector to benefit from the government’s focus on the infrastructure sector, notably roads and highways, and its promise of a new more effective credit rating system of infra projects that will enable high quality projects to attract more funding. The digitisation of land records under the integrated land management system will go a long way in simplifying land acquisition for projects.”

Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO IndiaProperty

Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO, IndiaProperty – “.. For the real estate sector the budget 2016 hardly has any direct benefits. On one hand where the budget focuses on rural and BPL population, on the other hand it completely ignores the common man who are the main tax payers in the country. Restructuring of tax incentives given for home loan to suit today’s realty pricing, making home insurance mandatory, road map for implementation of the GST would have been some of the positive moves and were sorely missed in the budget.. Developers and other asset holders are now expected to soon announce the first REIT listing in India which would help revive the realty sector in India…”


Payments and finance companies:

rishi gupta finotech

Rishi Gupta, MD and CEO, FINO PayTech – “The Union Budget is clearly aimed at boosting rural economy and is directional in nature to build demand over a period of time for everyone, including corporates, to benefit..

Digital literacy to over 6 crore rural households, legislation of targeted delivery of financial services using Aadhar and increase in ATM and micro-ATM infrastructure in post offices, are big steps towards achieving the larger financial outreach…”

vijay shekhar sharma

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO, Paytm – “I am really happy for Aadhar and IndiaStack. Finally, the government has provided legislative backing that will unleash the full potential of such an incredible platform. With the focus on digital payments and incentives to startups, the Finance Minister has boosted our Prime Minister’s Digital India and Startup India plans…”

Bipin Preet Singh, CEO and co-founder, MobiKwik –  “.. It was good to note the Government encourages: Digital literacy by introducing schemes targeted towards rural employment generation and skill development in colleges and ITIs, importance of accountability on finance and taxation matters by introducing technology to reduce paperwork in government institutions.

It was good to note the growing focus on bringing rural areas into the financial and banking fold… At some stage, we expect the government to provide a detailed outline of the role digital payments would play towards a cashfree Indian economy.”


Pramod Saxena, Chairman and MD, Oxigen Services – “We are happy with the general direction of the budget as it lays emphasis on development of the rural sector, digitisation and reforms in banking. The digital literacy mission that has been announced which will target 6 crore households with financial literacy, with this the digital connect and payments connect will play an important role.

Also, statutory status to Aadhaar will play a very big role in promoting digital payments, social benefit transfers and allowing several services beyond banking & insurance to be also be brought into its fold, whether it is government subsidies or government payments it will open a way for more government payments and subsidies to flow into the financial inclusion program.”

Sandeep Ghule, Co-founder and CFO, TranServ – “..Looks like Government has stayed true to its commitment towards giving a big boost to the startup ecosystem of India. With resolutions like tax elimination , speedy registrations, government is definitely steering the startup movement in the right direction. Also with its announcement on Direct Benefit Transfer Program, it would be interesting to see how Fin tech companies can work with the government to make DBT transfers more efficient.”

Manish Kumar - Founder & CEO, GREX_2

Manish Kumar, CEO and co-founder, GREX – “We believe the Union Budget 2016-17 is well aligned with Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ campaign… The relaxation in capital gain tax for investment in Funds of Funds and reducing the time frame to two years from three for availing long term capital gain tax benefit in the unlisted space will further boost the investment in startups.”



Vinod Murali, MD, Innoven Capital – “Given the enormous debt burden on Indian corporates, measures which help in improving overall credit health of the economy are welcome…There is more sensitivity to entrepreneurship which is a good start but this area needs more attention in the years to come.”

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder, Venture Catalysts – “The union budget 2016-17 is a welcome sanction for the startup ecosystem with major relief announcements such as tax exemption for three years after setting up the company… However, it would have been great if the FM had included some reforms in order to accelerate angel investment model as well. Nevertheless, we hope this year will prove to be a good start towards taking the Indian startup industry to the next level.”



Pushpinder Singh, CEO and co-founder, Travelkhana – “Constitutional amendment to the Goods and Service Tax will be beneficial as a whole to the entire industry…

We welcome the initiatives announced for improving the transport sector. Entrepreneurs having a free policy to start inter state buses will really benefit the sector and the travelers as a whole.”


e-Medical and Pharmacy:

Shashank ND, founder and CEO, Practo – “.. The ease of registration process and the hope to complete the task in 1 day is a welcome measure along with the 3 year Tax holiday for startups. At least this will allow a speedy way to setting up a venture and help startups to focus on the building disruptive products and services  without worrying about profits or losses.

It also good to see aspiring entrepreneurs to get access to quality education and training through various newly built colleges, schools, government ITI’s and vocation training centers through massive open online courses…

With regards to the infrastructure improvement and focus on electrification of all villages will help to promote connectivity and give rural India access to internet.”

saurabh arora

Saurabh Arora, founder and CEO, Lybrate – “.. One announcement that will help all startups across board is the Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India under which the government looks to cover around 6 crore additional household within the next 3 years.”

Ritu Singh, co-founder, CareOnGo – “.. There has been no relaxation in angel tax and MAT guidelines stating 18.5% tax even when the companies are not making profit, making the journey difficult for the technology startups…”


Hotels, travel and online aggregators:

Prafulla Mathur, founder and CEO, WudStay – “.. It will be a great opportunity for startups to utilise these (Startup India) funds into further scaling its business and operations. Also, the Finance Minister’s decision to relax taxes on capital gains for investors, will generate a positive sentiment amongst the VC community which could help entrepreneurs looking to raise funds.. Overall, I believe this is a decent budget with no negative implications for the startup community.”

aloke bajpai

Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-Founder, ixigo – “The Union Budget 2016 has laid out big investments for the infrastructure sector which include allotment of funds for the development of roads and highways and an action plan to revive 160 non-functional airports. These steps come as a welcome move for the travel and tourism sector.

The focus on travel and tourism is further reaffirmed with the Finance Minister announcing the annual programme “Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat” which will aim at linking states and districts through exchanges in areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism..”


Dinesh Goel, co-Founder and CEO, AasaanJobs – “.. The future plan involving the setting up of 1,500 skill institutes should be done in tandem with the industry expectations of skills required in various job roles today. For job creation in India to scale up, it is imperative that there is a constant realignment of skill expectations for jobs available in the market for all the stakeholders involved –job seekers as well as recruiters –with the changing nature of job descriptions today.”



Sairee Chahal

Sairee Chahal, co-founder, Sheroes – “From a startups point of view, profit tax exemption for first three years is a good step, though most startups won’t make money in the first three years…

Change in the definition of SME, focus on GST bill to be passes and added infrastructure spending are all boosters for the economic environment and startups stand to gain from them.. Overall, it seems like a mild budget with no major signs of reform or deviation.”

Shaifali Holani, founder and CEO, EasyFix – “The Budget booster dose under the Stand Up India scheme for women and Dalit entrepreneurs will specially be helpful for our sisters in rural India.​..

Added to this is the mandate handed over to the banks to support up to two micro-enterprises each to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs, will, apart from giving them level-playing field across the socioeconomic divide in the country, create economic independence, reinforce rights and make them more active participants in nation building.​”

Image Credit: Tax Credits under CC BY 2.0

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