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Startups want GST implementation, scrapping angel tax

Indian entrepreneurs’ expectations from the government have risen ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the action plan for the ‘Startup India, Standup India’ campaign.

So what do startups expect from the forthcoming budget, which will be announced on February 29?

In a panel discussion conducted by VCCircle, entrepreneurs operating in different sectors and with a variety of business models outlined their expectations. They discussed issues related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), angel tax, capital gains tax, IPO laws and service tax.

Danish Ahmed, co-founder and CEO at Shopsity, favoured the implementation of the GST at the earlier as it would help logistics businesses flourish. “The GST will solve a lot of problems. It will drastically change the way how India trades,” he said.

Samik Sarkar, who co-founded Zakoopi with Shashank Agnihotri, suggested developing more accelerators and incubators. This would eventually help develop the startup ecosystem, he said.

Sarkar also said that the angel tax, which startups need to pay when they raise funds from investors, should be abolished. “The angel tax should be done away with. These are the guys who are actually driving the ecosystem,” he said.

Shailesh Mehta, who runs an e-commerce startup for organic products, wanted tax incentives to encourage the use of natural or organic products.

While most entrepreneurs wanted lower taxes, Sakshi Vij, founder and CEO of car rental startup Myles, suggested imposing a new levy—congestion tax—to nudge people to not buy a car but rent one to meet their requirements.

“A lot of cities across Europe and the US have a congestion tax which enables cities to reduce congestion on specific routes in the city [and] that enables people to own cars for specific periods of time, which reduces the number of cars added in the city progressively. The congestion tax is important,” she said.

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