Here’s How India’s Startup Founders And Business Leaders Reacted To The Union Budget

The Indian government presented the Union Budget 2021 today, and expectations were high — the budget was the first full budget since the coronavirus pandemic had struck, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said it would be a budget unlike India had seen in a 100 years. And she seemed to have delivered — the Sensex rose 5% after the budget was announced, which is the highest budget-day increase in the Sensex since 1997. Here is what startup founders and entrepreneurs said about the budget.

Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl highlighted the fact that the budget was going to be presented with a tab for the first time. “Covid led digital transformation in one image,” he said.

“The Budget 2021 holds out various positives for the start-up sector. The move towards providing social security benefits for gig workers will add a much-needed safety net that will help this sector grow in a sustainable way and help the many millions that are a part of it,” he also said. “Reducing residency requirements for founders will allow talent to flow & will boost the start-up ecosystem. Extension of tax holiday for start-ups by 1 yr, boost to digital payments, increasing threshold for small businesses to Rs 2 Cr are other gains for the startup sector,” he added.

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal also hailed the budget. “Ola welcomes a progressive & growth oriented budget. Measures under Atma Nirbhar Mission will create global champions in automobiles, financial services and technology & foster an environment where India becomes integral to global supply chains. Increased investment in insurance & infrastructure will open new avenues of capital. We strongly support govt’s clean air focus with our EV plans that’ll accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable mobility,” he added.

Rehan Yar Khan of Orios Managing Partners said that the the major positive development was the ability to set up single person companies. He added that he was disappointed that capital gains tax parity between listed and unlisted entities hadn’t yet been achieved.

Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath said the budget had made it simpler for retail investors to comply with tax policies. Retail investors who trade actively are subjected to tax audits due to how turnover is calculated. This turnover limit going up from Rs. 5 crores to Rs. 10 crores will help this active community avoid unnecessary tax audits,” he wrote.

The budget was also hailed by Amit Jain, Head at QuikrJobs. “The Union Budget 2021 is development-oriented and focused on creating more job opportunities across areas like healthcare, education, metros, railways, roads & highways. All these along with proposed roll-out of airports in Tier II and III cities will create job opportunities,” he said.

MapMyGenome founder Anu Acharya said she was happy with the increased allocation to healthcare. “Great to see the increase in the healthcare budget increased by 137% this year. Glad to see the emphasis on prevention and wellbeing,” she said.

Anand Mahindra said that his expectations had been met from the budget. “In a time of unprecedented economic stress, the Govt’s responsibility was to spend enough to revive the economy or else face enormous human suffering. So I had one expectation from this budget: that we should be very liberal in terms of the targeted fiscal deficit. Box ticked,” he said.

Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank called it a budget for growth. “A Budget for growth with next-gen reforms. Focus on healthcare, infra, financial sector. A stable tax regime, higher borrowings for capex. Specific reforms: disinvestment & monetization, opening up of insurance, cleanup plan for stressed assets. Sign of a self confident India,” he wrote.