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Budget should increase the availability and accountability of startup funds

We need better management, a digital platform, and a known manager to manage the startup funds as similar as mutual fund managers. We also expect a lot of incentives as we create employment and startups should be rewarded.

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Last Updated: Jan 31, 2020, 11.46 AM IST
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We also expect a lot of incentives as we create employment and startups should be rewarded.
By Anil Prasanna

We need a rational budget 2020 and one whose focus should be on measures that can revive the struggling economy. With the continued slowdown in the economy and job losses, this has to be a blockbuster budget for the common man and to shore up the economy.

GST Cuts
We thank the government for reducing GST for the Hospitality sector, but would like them to review and lower the tax rate as it is still higher compared to tourism economies like Thailand, Singapore, Dubai etc. I would prefer GST deducted at the source from the buyers/service users. Currently, the trader/business pays based on Invoice and he gets payment between 90-120 days, but he has to pay the GST with his own funds in the same month. This makes limitations for people to do business and put stress on the economy due to cash crunch. The reference is applicable mostly to the B2B business.

Startups
Increase the availability and accountability of startup funds. Most of the funds allocated are not used in a transparent manner and even such as CGMTSE loans are ridiculously difficult for a startup to get it processed. If smaller venture capital funds are able to have success stories, with such large funds allocated why we do not have one? We need better management, a digital platform, and a known manager to manage the startup funds as similar as mutual fund managers. We also expect a lot of incentives as we create employment and startups should be rewarded. There is a lack of knowledge and complete ignorance, with many financial institutions that are supposed to issue such funds and loans.

Travel & Tourism
Most of the successive governments have not considered the complete tourism potential India has to offer. Smaller countries that have so much less to offer are having higher tourism arrivals than India. Tourism statistics in India are completely distorted as most of the high arrivals shows from the US, Bangladesh, and Europe, which are most likely a transit traffic, or visiting friends and family, business/trade visitors. We do not have a story about tourism and like startups, here again, there is no transparency and productivity initiatives by the tourism department, including state tourism boards. A budget for focused marketing and accountable team to deliver this would help the country improve its foreign currency deposits. The only state tourism board which has been active and has put the effort into bringing tourists and selling a story is done by Kerala Tourism.

More money in the hand
What will also help is if the Government is able to come up with relief and income tax cuts to boost liquidity and take the economy forward. The cost of education vs tax exemption limit should be fair. The majority of taxpayers are unable to meet the growing expenditure on education, housing, medical, etc.

We hope this union budget 2020 delivers more than expected and the path to make India a $5 trillion economy.

( The writer is Co-founder & CEO, Axis Rooms.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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