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2020 budget highlights for entrepreneurs


In India, more than 6 crores of Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are experiencing around 29 per cent of India’s GDP, and they await the government to propose favourable plans and set aside massive finances for the improvement of MSMEs. Presently, out of 32,385 appeals filed by MSMEs, 2,031 appeals have been adopted by the ministry under the delayed payment control system known as MSME Samadhaan. Apart from the absence of connection to finance and infrastructure, experienced labour and energy transfer issues are some complications that trouble MSMEs in India. Thus, the Indian entrepreneur believes that the Union Budget 2020 will give some long-term advances to the MSME sector with a stronger approach to credit and lenient taxation rules…

Key Highlights of The Union Budget 2020

The headline-catching transformation has been in relation to the price cut for individual income tax, which is bound to create a lot of amusement to intermediate-income people in India. But beyond that, there has been a volume of modifications that seek to exclude the hurdles in compliance, tax and other regulatory conditions.

Seed Fund for Startups

The Finance Minister has suggested granting early-life funding for startups and setting up a seed fund to aid the ideation and expansion of early-stage startups.
Yet, it is uncertain if this is the same seed fund which the existing party had introduced in its pre-election proclamation. The NDA had disclosed plans to establish an INR 20,000 Cr Seed Finance to run with the Startup India fund of finances as one of its key features in the pre-election season.
Now, more than 415 venture funds have attracted initial early-stage startups in India. But back then, in 2019, the seed-stage financing proceeded to fall across the primary startup hubs in India. With $252 Mn in financing, the seed-funding deal benefit fell by 44% (when compared to 2018) as only 306 seed-funding contracts were recorded. When it comes to early-stage seed financing, the Indian startup ecosystem is progressing through a downtrend.

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Startups Get Tax Relief, ESOP Reforms

The most needed change by the startup ecosystem has been in the ESOP taxation scheme, as this is a key stimulus for startups in bringing top skills together. The Finance Minister indicated this in her address,  “During their developmental stages, startups generally use Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) to engage and hold highly talented employees. ESOP is a substantial factor of payment for these employees,”
Presently, ESOPs are taxable at the moment of exercise as well as the time of sale. This brings a cash-flow problem for employees who do not trade their shares directly and proceed to operate them over a lengthy time. “In place to give a push to the start-up ecosystem, I introduce to relax the burden of duty on the employees by setting aside the tax payment by 5 years or till they move out of the enterprise or when they trade their shares, whichever is beforehand,” the finance minister continued.

What is unclear is whether the waiving of tax on the auction of ESOPs at the Budget 2020 means the demise of dual taxation. In fact, the voice of the Union Budget 2020 speech does not breathe out the matter that increasing taxation has been removed — it simply reports about the deferred timeline for the appropriateness of tax.
ESOPs have become involved in the Indian startup ecosystem to cultivate high-value employees and recognize talent. The loves of Razorpay, BharatPe, Oyo, Flipkart, and Moglix have previously declared their ESOP plans and, indeed, their privileges. Moving forward, the tax exemption on ESOPs encourages businesses to establish ESOPs in their enterprises to a substantial degree, which will allow them to engage with business-class talent while maintaining employee costs in an inquiry.

In addition to this, the ministry has lowered the tax burden for startups. A startup with an advance up to INR 25 Cr is granted to withdraw 100% of its profits for 3 successive assessment turns out of 7 years. In the plan to extend this benefit to greater startups, the finance minister introduced an extension of the turnover limit for this exception from the existing 25 Cr Indian Rupees to 100 Cr.

Investment Clearance Cell and Boost for Entrepreneurship

The Finance Minister complimented the entrepreneurs who have blown the corporate growth to devote to India’s advancement through startups. “They are risk-taking and come up with troublesome results to festering demands,” the economic minister added.

27,300 Cr has been earmarked for the progress and promotion of enterprise and commerce for the duration 2020-21. To advance the support ecosystem and to promote prospects for such startups, the ministry will set up an Investment Clearance Cell portal to present “end to end” cooperation and encouragement, comprising pre-investment advisory, and to ease clearances.

To promote India’s indigenous manufacturing and engage large investments in the electronics quality chain, the Finance Minister submitted a strategy concentrated on supporting the manufacture of mobile phones, electronic apparatus and semiconductor packaging. The project is expected to be complied for producing pharmaceutical accessories.

Aadhaar-Based Tax Verification

The Finance Minister also offered to reduce tax assessment and verification of listed entities. With the help of Aadhaar-based verification  in picking out a dummy or non-existent systems. She farther said that a policy of cash compensation will be envisaged to incentivise customers to look for an invoice.
“Rich data analytics and AI machines are being utilized for the crackdown on GST input tax credit, compensation, and other scams and to establish all those who are seeking to game the system. Invoice and grant tax credit matching is being done wherein returns having mismatch more than 10% or above a threshold are determined and addressed,” the minister pointed out in her Budget discussion.

MSME Compliance Made Easier

The Finance Minister said that an app-based invoice financing policy for MSMEs would be introduced so that such small and medium firms can avail themselves of favours from economic services providers on the basis of these invoices.
Further, to cut down the compliance burden on small entrepreneurs, dealers and the MSME sector as well as the assessment tests for the income tax department, the government has submitted a proposal to support the auditing threshold for MSMEs from INR 1 Cr in revision to INR 5 Cr. While this is a welcome measure, hardly a few MSMEs would be apt to avail themselves of these advances. The low compliance burden would be relevant to only those MSMEs that transact less than 5% in currency.

The number of merchants accepting digital payment modes has risen to over 10 Mn in a limited traverse of two to three years. This change can be traced to stimulating factors such as robust payment infrastructure, the expansion of form factors, the opportunity of organized data, the deviation in consumer behavior and the government’s idea of transforming India into a cashless economy.
In such a plot, digitized invoice payment is a vital move. Commencement of technologies like blockchain, AI and ML at the backend can weaken the pile of consent for MSMEs. Invoice financing is a process for businesses to adopt cash against the expenses due from customers. Invoice financing helps organizations improve cash movements, pay agents and interims, and re-establish in enterprises and rise sooner than they could if they had to wait until their clients paid their equities absolutely.

New Economy, Quantum Technologies Come into Focus

Focusing on developing technologies and the very known “modern economy”, the Finance Minister highlighted the desire to make innovations that disturb established business models in her Budget 2020 speech. “ Technologies like Artificial intelligence, IoT (Internet-of-Things), 3D printing, drones, DNA data repository, quantum computing, and further are re-creating the world’s monetary order. India has already taken up new paradigms such as the receiving economy with aggregator platforms displacing conventional firms.”
The government will release a scheme to set up private sector firms to set up data centre parks throughout the country. Further, all “public establishments” at the village level will be added with digital connectivity through the BharatNet program, which envisions linking up 100K gram panchayats this financial year with INR 6000 Cr allocated.

A huge part of the concentration on developing technology will be on quantum technology and computing. “It is predicted that crowds of commercial functions would develop from theoretical forms which are evolving in this area.  It is recommended to hand over a disbursement of INR 8000 Cr over a time of 5 years for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Functions,” The Finance Minister added.
The finance minister also claimed that Knowledge Translation Clusters would be batched up across different technology sectors, including unique and emerging areas, in extension to technology clusters, testbeds, and short-scale manufacturing resources.

Mega Logistics and Infrastructure Projects Envisioned

While talking about the massive infrastructure projects and ideas by the government in this view, the Finance Minister said, “A National Logistics Policy will be distributed shortly. It will establish a separate-window e-logistics market and concentrate on the generation of employment, expertizes and making MSMEs competitive.”
A comprehensive INR 1.70 Lakh Cr has been set aside for the transport Base in 2020-21. The public policy will cover the advancement of 2500 Km access control highway paths, 9000 Km of economic corridors, 2000 Km of seaside and land port lines and 2000 Km of important paths. The Finance Minister also said the government would complete the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway by 2023, while a Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway would farther be opened.
To raise revenue from toll rate, at least twelve portions of highway bundles would be monetized through the FAStag system over 6000 Km before 2024, as emphasized by the FM. Further in rail haul, the rail-line ministry intends to complete electrification of 27,000 Km of tracks, 4 station redevelopment projects and process of 150 passenger trains through public-private interests.

She also claimed that 100 more airports would be established by 2024 to aid the Udaan scheme.
Finally, the Budget 2020 speech indicated, “There is an argument for maximizing the advances of approaching economic corridors, revitalization of manufacturing enterprises and technology and the challenges of aspirational classes.” Concentrating on this convergence, the Indian government has urged the improvement of five new smart places in participation with states.


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