For the past few days, the Startup generation in the Indian Ecosystem had been patiently waiting with its hope and expectations for the Interim Budget 2019.
However, the question of the budding ecosystem’s stakeholders – “what do we get?” – remains vaguely unanswered.
While Finance Minister Piyush Goyal did call India the second largest hub for startups, he didn’t offer much to drive this title to a number 1 position.
The few moves that this ecosystem can indirectly benefit from are the Digital villages, Tax redemption, pension scheme, tax exemption on second self-owned property.
The most important initiative, one that directly helps startups is the move to run a national programme on Artificial Intelligence. This programme targets to build a National Centre of AI with a network of centers of excellence in nine priority areas.
A portal is also slated to be developed for AI.
With strengthening of AI, the major benefits that can be expected, is an improvement in customer care services, for one. Further, with better availability of data and analysis, the behaviour of mobile applications, content and social media websites and applications can be improved.
This is where the role of Digital Villages syncs, providing another indirect benefit. With the reach of internet, spreading farther into villages, there will be a newer and more realistic form of data that the AI machines can process. This will further enable the startups using AI to provide better and more useful services.
Plus, of course, the number of users and consumers will also increase, making the scope of every startup even wider than it is.
The Digital Village policy, as per a Money Control report, entails that India will be working on spreading the facilities of mobile phones and internet to 1 lakh more villages in the next five years.
The other minor incentives of tax exemption to employees with salaries under 5 lakhs, and placement of pension schemes increases the disposable income with the population. This disposable income is what the Startup ecosystem relies on for its own revenue creation.
These are all still steps that startup system will benefit from in an indirect manner. A lot of expectations were crushed when there was no direct offering to grow the world’s fastest budding startup economy.
It seems that the entrepreneurs have to still look forward to the DIPP’s meeting on Angel tax scheduled in a few days for any direct consideration by the government.