On February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. The budget will be significant because it will be the last full budget of the Modi government before it faces parliamentary elections in April-May next year.

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Ahead of the presentation of the government’s annual financial statement for the next fiscal year (April 1, 2023-March 31, 2024), HT’s sister publication Mint spoke with experts from the Fintech sector over its expectations from the budget.

Mandar Agashe (Founder, MD and VC of Sarvatra Technologies): “In line with the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative aimed at financial inclusion, we expect the momentum to continue in the upcoming budget. Serving the unserved and undeserved is the mission that should continue with UPI 2.0’s recent products, UPI 123 and UPI Lite, the two most crucial products that will help penetrate the urban and rural regions of India. At gram panchayat level or the village level, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) can also promote the usage of offline payments through UPI.”

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Kumar Shekhar (Deputy Country Manager, Tide India): “We expect the finance minister to unravel the budget with business-friendly tax policies encouraging smaller fintech businesses/startups by providing exemptions in GST till a certain limit on revenue. This will reduce the burden of tax, and challenges that startups face at the nascent stage. We also hope for amendments to create a push for fintech incubation centres across the country. To further strengthen the ecosystem, new guidelines compensating the UPI transactional cost for the industry will be a significant development and will provide impetus to the entire industry’s growth.”

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Monish Anand (Founder and CEO, MyShubhLife): “The sector can definitely do with some tax relief in the upcoming budget. We are hoping for a reduction in startup taxes, perhaps with no GST until a certain scale of business is achieved. Overall, the industry could do with more assistance from the government on liberalisation of both direct tax rates and GST.”

(The views expressed here are those of the individual analysts, and not of Mint or Hindustan Times)

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