Truly a budget for Amrit Kaal. This budget was chock full of announcements that would make small business owners, digital-first brands and the middle class in India – very happy.
Our finance minister – Nirmala Sitharaman started the speech with our most notable achievements for the year:
- The per capita income of Indians has doubled to ₹1.97 Lakh since 2014.
- India’s economy has become the 5th largest in the world.
- Our current economic growth is estimated to be at 7% despite the global slowdown and a war
- Digital payments continue to find wide acceptance. In 2022, they show an increase of 76% in transactions and 91% in value.
This budget looked at a future where India’s economy was technology-driven and knowledge-based. Calling it the ‘Saptarishi‘ that would guide us through the Amrit Kaal, these were the 7 sections that required focus to achieve our mission of India@100:
1) Inclusive Development
2) Reaching the Last Mile
3) Infrastructure and Investment
4) Unleashing the Potential
5) Green Growth
6) Youth Power
7) Financial Sector
Let’s look at the 8 most important takeaways from the Union Budget 2023 for MSMEs and digital-first brands
A package of assistance has been conceptualised for traditional artisans and artists. This community, even though an integral part of India’s economy for centuries, has often been neglected.
This new scheme will help improve the quality, scale and reach of their products and will also integrate them with the MSME value chain.
The scheme will include:
- Financial assistance
- skill training
- Knowledge of modern digital techniques
- Green technology adoption
- Linkage with local and global markets
- Digital payment adoptions
- Social security
As a handmade artist or a brand that is sourcing from rural artisans, keep an eye out for this scheme and its provisions.
There are plans to implement many programmes for green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment, and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors.
Startups and D2C brands that are working in the clean sector and are providing innovative green solutions are going to be at the forefront of government benefits and support.
Digital public infrastructure for agriculture
Digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open source, open standard and inter-operable public good.
The announcement encourages support for the growth of the agri-tech industry and start-ups. This is also a very good opportunity for farmers to go digital to build sustainable long-term solutions and income opportunities.
The government will also set up an Agriculture Accelerator Fund that will help agri- startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The Fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers.
Related read: Top 5 Government schemes for farmers in India
Investments in logistics and regional connectivity
This year continues upon the Gati Shakti Scheme announced last year. The government would stress critical transport infrastructure projects for last and first-mile connectivity.
Fifty additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity
With the increasing adoption of eCommerce in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, this would come as a welcome step. This would improve delivery timelines and would also help accelerate accessibility for newer pin codes.
Ease of doing business
As part of improving the ease of doing business, 39,000+ compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalized.
The government has also introduced the Jan Vishwas Bill that would amend 42 central acts and further trust-based governance.
The KYC process will also be simplified by adopting a ‘risk-based’ instead of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Another recommendation is that the PAN will now be used as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies.
Innovation and digital transformation
The Indian government has continued its focus on making India a digitally robust and future-proof country. Here are some of the proposed policies:
The government will release a National Data Governance Policy that will enable access to anonymized data.
To embrace India’s futuristic vision, three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions to further – “Make AI in India” and “Make AI work for India” missions.
An Entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by MSMEs, large businesses and charitable trusts to This will be towards storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed, with various authorities, regulators, banks and other business entities.
The date of incorporation of start-ups has been extended to 31.03.24, so to ease access to income tax benefits.
Relief for MSMEs
In a huge supportive step for the MSMEs, the central government has promised to return 95% of forfeited amounts In cases of failure by MSMEs to execute contracts during the Covid period.
Smt. Sitharaman also announced that the credit guarantee scheme will be revamped. This revamped scheme with an infused corpus of ₹9000 crores will come into effect from 1st April 2023. The cost of the credit will also be reduced by about 1%.
MSMEs with a turnover up to ₹3 crores and professionals with a turnover up to ₹75 Lakh, can avail of benefits of presumptive tax presumption, provided their cash receipts are no more than 5%.
This is the right time for entrepreneurs to launch their service-based businesses. For maximum resilience, build an online brand that is not geographically limited. Get started by building your own landing pages on Instamojo.
Upskilling the youth
The Government will launch the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 to skill lakhs of youth within the next 3 years. The scheme would include on-job training, and industry partnership, and will align courses according to the needs of the industry.
The scheme will also cover new-age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, and soft skills.
The Union Budget 2023 was a budget that emphasised the importance that the government is willing to give to entrepreneurs, MSMEs, inclusive development and digital innovation and growth. Be a part of this new India. Be a part of the Amrit Kaal.