e-Commerce Sector’s Expectations From The Upcoming Interim Budget 2019

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As we welcome 2019, activities for developing an attractive interim union budget have also started. There are many demands and many expectations that the finance ministry is getting from almost every segment of the industry. MSMEs have managed to take the center stage of policy shift and a lot is getting framed around making this sector happy.

E-commerce is one such sector which is facing a lot of changes in the policy framework. Getting a list of budget-related demands from e-commerce sector gives us a clear picture that what is needed in ensuring a better shape of Indian e-commerce sector.

With more than 66,000 paid service providers + verified local service businesses registered on Sulekha is making this platform India’s one of the flagship digital platform for local services. And almost the entire base of Sulekha is formed by the MSMEs. Satya Prabhakar, CEO, and Founder of said, “The move of the Govt. of India to increase the GST exemption limit to Rs. 40 L is a path-breaking pre-budget move. Given the small nature of MSMEs, the Govt’s move to also increase the annual turnover of the GST composition limit to Rs. 1.5 crores will also aid a tremendous number of SMEs. Sulekha serves 67,000+ paid SMEs throughout India and a significant portion of them do a turnover of a few Rs. crores p.a. – this move of the Government will aid thousands of them to file annual returns and pay a simple quarterly tax.”

Further Satya also mentioned some key demands from the finance minister for this year’s union budget that, he said, “Sulekha expects the Govt. to unveil several such steps in the upcoming Feb 1st budget including a possible provision of value-added services like marketing fees, advertising, and other such promotions to be considered under a progressively lower GST tax structure. The Govt. can also consider increasing online accounting and online tax calculation procedures for thousands of MSMEs who will benefit from an easy compliance regime.”

Given the success rate of digital payments that constitute more than 70% of Sulekha’s business, Satya hoped that “the budget would provide further impetus for digital payments like UPI, credit card and debit card payments by incentivizing them vis-à-vis cash or cheque payments.”

Another young company in the field of targeted and niche e-commerce, HipBar which is a tech-enabled alcohol E-tailing platform. HipBar is the RBI-approved mobile wallet exclusively meant for transacting adult beverages.

Expressing his demands from the union budget, Prasanna Natarajan, Founder and CEO of HipBar said, “We look forward to a business-friendly budget in general. With regard to our domain, we request the Finance Minister to dedicate significant funds for alcohol de-addiction programs and for rehabilitation of persons with a history of alcohol abuse. While state governments enjoy the excise revenues, funds are not deployed for structured counseling programs for those dependent on alcohol. Programs and campaigns for the prevention of alcohol abuse, especially amongst the youth and fostering of safe drinking norms will require sustained efforts and investment. This is the right time to push the agenda, as millennials are entering adulthood and are prone to taking up the habit.”


Faiz Askari

Faiz is a mediapreneur specialised in Small Business and Technology domain.

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