Presenting some pre-budget wish lists from businesses.

Archana Srinivasan, Chief Financial Officer, iOPEX Technologies: We are not expecting major changes as it is most likely to be a vote on account. Inflation-targeted rate mechanism should continue with liquidity for necessary events. Focusing on digitization is the need of the hour in the IT industry. We are witnessing a runaway increase in labour costs, and this affects the IT industry. Keeping the interest intact among smaller companies, the government should come up with specific schemes related to the IT sector. This is similar to measures like the PLI scheme for the manufacturing sector.

Umesh Singh, Founder & Director, Tara Candles: The MSME sector eagerly anticipates the Union Budget, with a focus on key provisions crucial for our growth and sustainability. Foremost among our expectations is enhanced access to finance, including easier credit availability and lower interest rates to facilitate business expansion. In Tax reforms we are looking for Section 194R introduced last year April 2023 has made an impact on lower sales turnover to the MSME segment catering to the gifting industry leaving them in vulnerable conditions. This section should be reformed to boost the MSME gifting industry. Infrastructure development remains a priority, urging increased funding for essential facilities like roads and logistics. We seek government support for technology adoption, innovation, and streamlined regulatory processes to ease operational complexities. Skill development initiatives and collaborations with educational institutions are essential to enhance our workforce capabilities. Additionally, we advocate for export promotion, cluster development, and risk mitigation measures to boost competitiveness and resilience. Our commitment to environmentally friendly practices also prompts a call for incentives for sustainable operations. As economic conditions evolve, we emphasize the dynamic nature of our expectations, underlining the importance of a budget that addresses the ever-changing needs of the MSME sector. Business associations and industry groups continue to play a crucial role in articulating and advocating for our specific needs during budget discussions.”

Aneesh Jain, CEO & Founder, Gram Unnati: Most schemes to enhance productivity, improve price realisation and ensure sustainability are already there in place. However, each of these schemes alone will not be able to move the needle. What is required now is for the states, districts and blocks to develop production clusters where all of these schemes converge. This will help farmers to experience the grand impact of the vision under which these schemes were envisaged. The upcoming budget should focus on setting up these integrated pilots.