Read here what CEOs want from Union Budget 2017

Tomorrow, budget will be out. For the first time Union Budget will be presented on February 1 instead of February 28. Also, for the first time, there will be no separate Rail Budget from this financial year. This budget have more expectations than ever, as just three months have passed after demonetization.

Here Read the expectations of CEOs of IT industry just before Budget:


Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder, Staqu

I am expecting a stronger push towards the entrepreneurial ecosystem from the budget this year. While last year, the Government of India supported our cause with the Startup India, Standup India initiative, amongst Make in India and Digital India, we need to now tread on the uncovered grounds. 

Startups continue to invest their time and effort into sorting several tax-related and regulatory issues, which makes the operations further cumbersome and challenging. By extending the tax-free regiment to 5 years and taxing ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership) at the times of sale, would really give a boost to the startup environment today. Since RnD happens to be a crucial part of our operations I expect government should also consider tax relaxation to those startups which are collaborating with academic institutions for RnD related purposes as it will not only improve the country’s ranking in “global innovation index” but will also produce world-class researchers and companies in India. 

OEMs further make up for a crucial leg of our operations. Hence, I expect a reduction in the bureaucratic formalities and tedious procedures for manufacturers. The government should consider streamlining the current processes, in order to let OEMs focus on further disrupting the status quo and bringing newer innovation in the mainstream foray!”

Staqu, is a Gurgaon-based Artificial Intelligence startup.


Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India
Ahead of the union budget, we expect the government to come up with ample budgetary provision for turning our cities into truly world-class Smart Cities. India’s Smart Cities Mission is the government’s highest-profile program, providing assistance to 100 cities for infrastructure modernization Metropolitan cities with million-plus populations are India’s engines of growth. As per a McKinsey report, about 77 percent of India’s economic growth from 2012 to 2025 will come from 49 clusters of districts with metropolitan cities at their nucleus. We expect the government to continue its focus on building better infrastructure and services, creating secure, safe and smart cities which will be magnets for investment and job creation.

Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops networked visualization products for the Entertainment, Enterprise and Healthcare markets.

Ambarish Gupta, Founder and CEO of Knowlarity – “Over the past few months, one of the major talking points and a bone of contention between central and state governments is the enigmatic Goods and Services tax, popularly known as GST. While the intricacies of GST are still not crystal clear, it is definitely being supported by numerous businesses as it would enormously reduce the ominous task of estimating and filing their taxes. Also, the government’s hints of the entire value of demonetized notes not finding their way back into the economy will see the forthcoming budget giving a further boost to cashless transactions. The intention is evident in some of the steps such as discounts while using cards at toll booths, waiver of merchant discount rates while using debit cards at POS terminal, etc. which have been implemented although for a limited time period. It would be great to introduce additional benefits for users of cashless transactions through credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets. Certain benefits should also be announced to promote the usage of payment bank services in the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society,”


Manavjeet Singh, CEO & Founder, Rubique – “The startup ecosystem in India is flourishing every year. Some startups have seen a phenomenal growth & success towards implementation of their ideas last year. And for further boost to growth of startup economy, the upcoming budget announcement is very crucial. There is expectation towards various kind of exemptions on taxes like the exemption under the minimum alternate tax for startups​, tax concessions for the ESOPs, unlisted securities and convertible instruments​. ​Post demonetization, we have witnessed growing traction for technology startups, the government should also recognize their contribution in the digital economy vision of India by considering extra incentives/concessions”




Ranjit Punja, CEO & CO-founder, CreditMantri

“The general consensus is that the 2017 Union Budget will need to factor in the political and economic compulsions brought on by the demonetization initiative. There is widespread expectation that the Budget will usher in welcome changes in personal income tax, as well as corporate tax, and that there will be an easing of the tax rates on all income slabs. We will also probably see incentives that encourage greater adoption of digital payments and a move towards a cashless, or at least less-cash, economy. The NDA governments’s attention to the rural economy will continue with more rural and farmer-friendly development schemes.”


Satyam Kumar, CEO, Loantap – “This is going to be a very tough balancing act for government. So far middle class has been at the receiving end. Be it de-monetization, fuel prices, various cess and taxes. This segment has been expecting Direct (Income Tax) slab reduction from last two budgets. They also make some equity and real estate investments, which has received the burnt of executive decisions. Naturally, they are awaiting much needed break in tax slabs.On the other hand, there is widespread misery in agrarian community. Farmer suicide, mounting debt, crop losses and price reduction due to restricted goods movement during demonetization. SME sector is struggling to stay afloat as bank credit is at its lowest. And do not forget this is going to be the last budget sans election fervour. So, a very crucial one to watch out for. From sectoral point of view, we wish that tax on services (even under GST) to remain at 14% level, and additions cess and levies should be removed.”


Piyush, CEO & Founder, Rooter

1. Sports Industry budget was just increased by 50.87 cr in 2016 Budget as compared to 384 cr hike in 2015 budget. With the dismal performance of India in Olympics 2016, I really hope government will allocate substantial budget for development of sports, specific to few disciplines where India is likely to get more success.

2. I also believe that India is getting ready to host a lot of International tournaments, starting with FIFA U-17 World Cup in Oct 2017. So a substantial budget allocation to infrastructure development will be key to make more such events happen.

3. I also hope tax-free regime for startups will be extended to 5 years instead of 3 years currently.

4. The new budget should take special measures to upgrade the digital infrastructure in all parts of the country. More emphasis should be given on rural areas where high-speed internet network should connect all the cities, villages and towns altogether with uniformity in speed for the digital platforms to grow given the potential of the market.”


Pankaj Anand, CEO, Jivi Mobiles. 

“The recent demontization reform by the Government set the ground for a cashless economy. Mobile banking will become imperative for everybody, it will definitely increase the user base. especially low end smartphones will be on high demand and to support the rural population & low income strata, the Govt should give tax holidays on phones less than Rs. 5000. Similar support was offered by Chhattisgarh Govt in recent times.”


Abhesh Verma, COO, nexGTv – “I have great expectations from the Union Budget this year. Last year, the Indian Government issued a series of benefits for the startup community, including and yet not limited to Startup India, Standup India initiative, along with Digital India and Make in India. As a result, we see India transforming into a mobile-first economy, with a host of foreign players setting their base for operations in India. Besides, towards the end of the year, Government denouncing INR 500 and 1000 currency notes further pushed the economy towards digital transactions.

In 2017, I expect the government to continue to support and nurture the budding entrepreneurial infrastructure in India. To begin with, the government should consider extending the tax exemptions for startups. This is especially crucial given the state of economy post demonetization and infrastructural changes that are yet to be put in place. Furthermore, the Google tax is going to further increase the costs of operations and hence, the same should be checked, and startups should have enough incentives to grow and expand, without having to necessarily invest their resources in additional levies.

At last, I expect the government to reduce and streamline the taxes charged on e-commerce services and digital goods, such as games, music, and videos consumed online. The same would allow OTT players like NexGTv to grow our consumer base and provide the most simplified services.”


Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer, Paytm

The Union Budget 2017 is widely expected to encourage digital payments and universal access to financial services. It’s important for our country to create a robust infrastructure to offer high-speed, reliable Internet access to one and all. Improving access to digital services with tax rebates on the production of affordable smartphones and offering subsidized data will also go a long way in democratizing India’s payments sector. We need to focus on digital money to stay digital, by strongly encouraging digital payments of all forms, as compared to ATM machines. Waiving off transaction fees for low-ticket purchases and increased access to credit would also help bring millions of unbanked and under-banked individuals into the folds of the mainstream economy.”

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