The budget brings focus on reform which is good. The agri and rural sector seems to be rightfully in focus, with Rs 87,000 crore allocation. Hopefully this will spur rural economy which has been stressed over the past year. The dairy sector — which is of specific interest to us as we are a startup that works to develop the best innovative packaging formats and dairy products for our consumers — has huge rural economy impact potential and also nutrition security implication. It’s a positive sign that the FM has put specific focus on promotion of dairy farming, including e-marketing portal for breeders.

Cows on pasture in sunset

In line with energising startups, the government needs to channelise this focus not just via co-operatives but also via private sector ventures to bring about a multiplier effect in channelising these impetuses given to farmers.

After the high decibel Startup India initiative, the budget could have followed up with some specific incentives for entrepreneurial risk. However, the focus on reforming Company Law to reduce over-regulation and compliance for startups will certainly be helpful in freeing up bandwidth so they can focus on building great products and building scale.
The narrative around the ease of doing business signals strong intent and will certainly have an impact on ground-level policies and implementation as an enabler for a vibrant startup ecosystem.

Financial sector reform, however, fell short of addressing the need of startups in accessing debt capital. This is something that needs to come to the table sooner rather than later. Overall, Budget 2016 is a good one, keeping in mind the opportunities and limitations of the current economy.