Ravi Kiran: The Budget2016 Is Real; Not Roaring. Inadequate understanding of the startup ecosystem

Ravi Kiran-venturenursery

The 2016 Budget is commendable as it decouples vision and policy from financial planning.

Many Government programs initiated and announced earlier–rural income, agriculture, infrastructure, social sector, small businesses, housing–got financial action supporting them. Government’s emphasis on usage of technology in many areas – land records, educational degree certificates, agri produce procurement, new company registration and even income tax records is commendable. The Rs 1000 crore Higher Education Fund and the decision to make 20 higher education institutions world class could have a transformative outcome.

It’s a Budget that aims to benefit our farmers, poor women, new employees, very small and small businesses. What’s good for the poor and the Economy cannot be bad for any business, including start-ups, says Ravi Kiran, Co-Founder, VentureNursery, India’s first angel backed accelerator, out of which have graduated companies such as OYO Rooms, Talview, Klip and InvenZone.

Inadequate understanding of the startup ecosystem

While the one-day company registration, SC-ST entrepreneurship, are useful, they are not sufficient. Income Tax waiver for 3 years for start-ups, reduction of time frame for long term capital gains to 2 years, waiver of capital gains tax if the gains are invested in Government approved Funds, and if the investment is made by an individual in a company majority owned by him, all look good as head line thoughts, but aren’t meaningful in the real world.

Measures to give fillip to start-ups reflect inadequate understanding of the start-up ecosystem by our policy makers.

The budget lacks any real attempt to increase the base of angel investors and corporate angels, and introduce incentives for people to take high risks and invest in disruption and innovation, adds Ravi Kiran, who in his personal capacity has been an angel investor for 4 years.

But as they say, the real work happens outside the speech. So I am hopeful!

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