Much was not expected from the Indian policymakers at the Union budget 2024, but watershed moments boosted the mood in startup and technology sectors, marking a critical point for the country's growth.
Surajit Bhattacharya, Vice President & Executive Director (Asia)
"The interim budget for FY 2024-25 lays a strong foundation for economic growth and resilience through major impetus on infrastructure development. At Louis Berger, we are pleased to see the emphasis on this sector which will be a catalyst in ensuring equitable access and participation in economic opportunities across the nation. We welcome the increase in capital expenditure on infrastructure for the fourth consecutive year to 11.11 lakh core. This will accelerate the efficient use of land resources, enable adequate resources for existing and upcoming urban infrastructure, enhanced availability and affordability of urban land, and, most importantly, job creation.”
The Government of India continued its contribution towards the startup ecosystem as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman increased the tax benefits for the sector, as well as for the funding added by sovereign funds. The budget extended the tax exemption on particular incomes of IFSC elements until next year, on 31st March that showcased the government's commitment towards maintaining stability in the sphere.
The budget appreciated startups focusing on new-age technologies and the metamorphic impact it has had on citizens and businesses, describing them as the stimulus behind adaptation and innovation. The interim budget has also set up a special fund to assist startups in its infancy, providing pivotal financial assistance and helping them create more employment. It also emphasized on establishing a corpus of Rs. One lakh crore, which will provide a fifty-year loan without interest. This has been done to encourage R&D and innovation to private enterprises, while ensuring a prolonged financial plan for them.
All these initiatives will assist the Indian youth in the longer run, whose technological prowess will be showcased to the world as more jobs are created. Technology-based startups such as Revamp Moto, Suraasa, Yantra and QuackQuack have been creating more employment opportunities to India's exceptionally trained young professionals, and considering the inroads made by the budget 2024, more of them will be indirect recipients of the opportunities these initiatives create.
Technology and startups are intertwined in need of support
Pritesh Mahajan, Co-Founder Revamp Moto, focuses his attention on the support the startup technology-focused companies received by saying, "For our country's vibrant youth, the government's unwavering dedication to fostering entrepreneurship is demonstrated by programmes like PM Mudra Yojana and extensive support from Fund of Funds, Startup India, and Start Up Credit Guarantee schemes. These initiatives, which have sanctioned loans worth `22.5 lakh crore, empower young entrepreneurs and promote growth. Within the electric vehicle industry, this kind of support acts as a spark for innovation. In addition to advancing us towards a sustainable future, the budget's priority on building up the EV ecosystem, manufacturing, and infrastructure for charging EVs puts Revamp Moto and other EV businesses at the vanguard of green growth. This budget steers us closer to a future of sustainable employment, ground-breaking discoveries, and good economic effect as we navigate the rapidly changing field of green technology."
Education startups buzzes in the aftermath of new initiatives
Rishabh Khanna, Cognitive Scientist & CEO of Suraasa, commended the interim budget for the initiatives taken in the education sector by saying, "The recent budget's emphasis on youth empowerment and skill development is a testimony of the Indian government's commitment to advancing the nation's educational landscape. The strategic initiatives aimed at addressing teacher shortages and implementing transformative reforms under the National Education Policy 2020 are commendable. The anticipated support for technology-enabled education, particularly in tier 3+ towns, and the emphasis on digital infrastructure, teacher training, and vernacular education, is expected to significantly enhance the learning experience of our students. At Suraasa, we remain dedicated to skill development of teachers for the 21st-century and transforming their careers. This budget aligns seamlessly with our objectives, and we look forward to leveraging these opportunities to further empower our educators and contribute to the growth of the education sector."
Ravi Mittal, Founder and CEO of QuackQuack, believes in the initiatives which are focusing to assist the growth of the startup ecosystem in India, as he quipped, "As the Founder of a startup, I am thrilled to witness the visionary steps taken in the Union Budget 2024. The allocation of a One lakh crore fund for long-term, low-interest loans towards deep tech in defence is a testament to the government's commitment to fostering innovation. With 43 crore loans sanctioned through PM Mudra Yojana, totaling 22.5 lakh crore, our youth's entrepreneurial aspirations are also being significantly supported. The extension of tax benefits and continued support through schemes like Fund of Funds, Start-Up India, and Start-Up Credit Guarantee until March 2025 further exemplifies the government's dedication to empowering startups. At QuackQuack, we are excited about the opportunities ahead.
Vikram Bhandari, Founder & CEO of Yantra, applauded the new interim budget of 2024-25 which was evident in his words, "I think the impact of the new age technologies will bring about much excitement for the sphere. We at Yantra remain deeply committed to discovering new economic opportunities that will allow more Indians to join the workforce and benefit from it. Yantra's goal remains to impart state-of-the-art yet affordable services to everyone out there, with a special focus on those who couldn't manage it before. The budget 2024-25 indicates that the potential of India is reaching an all-time high and we stand ready to contribute to it through innovation and entrepreneurship. Our futuristic solutions promise to imitate India's new-age solutions throughout the world and I'm sure that Yantra will make a significant contribution to Digital India and the honorable PM's vision of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas."
The latest budget stresses over 'Atmanirbharta' or self-reliance once again, which holds the ability to usher in a golden period for both startups and India's job-hunting youth. The process holds a promise for a better future for India, which will become the third largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $5 trillion by 2027, as projected by the Ministry of Finance. The initiatives announced in the interim budget evidently aims to increase the number of unicorns (currently 111) in the startup and technology ecosystems, assuring to bring a new dawn for Indian businesses on the global stage.