Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 1, 2021)

YourStory presents this daily roundup of the latest startup news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, Feb 1, 2021.
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Government fully prepared to facilitate economic reset, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the nation’s first-ever paperless Budget 2021 based on six key pillars and says government is fully prepared to support and facilitate economic reset.

In welcome move for Indian startups, FM proposes one-person company without any restriction on paid-up limit (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday proposed the incorporation of one-person companies, with no restriction in paid-up capital and turnover, as well as an update to the definition of small companies under Companies Act, 2013.

Startups get tax holiday, capital gains exemption by one more year (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has proposed to extend the eligibility of tax holiday for startups by another year. Further, the capital gains exemption for startups has also been extended by another year.

Digital payments get Rs 1,500Cr scheme; fintech gets new hub in Gujarat (Budget 2021)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a Rs 1,500 crore scheme to develop, promote, and accelerate digital payments in India, following the sharp rise in online payments during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Budget 2021 has the vision of self-reliance; villages and farmers at its heart: PM Modi (Budget 2021)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed the Union Budget 2021, saying it has the vision of "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliance) and addresses all sections of the society, while keeping farmers and villages at its heart.

Iamge Credits: YS Design team

Budget 2021: Reactions from India Inc and startups (Budget 2021)

On the heels of Budget 2021, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, here's a look at what Indian entrepreneurs, startups founders, investors, and other stakeholders from the Indian startup ecosystem had to say about Budget 2021.

Public-private partnerships, logistics, transport and infra (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shared that the government has prepared a National Rail Plan for India – 2030, and that major ports will be moving from managing their operational services on their own to a model of Public-Private Partnership.

FM announces increase in agriculture credit target; allocation to Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to Rs 40,000Cr (Budget 2021)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman said the government was allocating Rs 75,100 crore for the farmers of the country, announcing an increase in agriculture credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in FY 2021-22.

No ITR filing for senior citizens aged 75 and over earning only pension and interest (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a tax filing waiver for senior citizens during the tabling of Union Budget 2021 in the Lok Sabha. This means that senior citizens who are aged 75 and above do not have to file Income Tax Returns anymore, and the tax will be directly deducted from their accounts.

FM rolls out scheme to set up seven mega textile parks in India (Budget 2021)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of the Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) scheme to make the textile industry globally competitive, attract large investments, and boost employment generation.

FM proposes central university in Leh, legislation on Higher Education Commission, details on NEP rollout (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget 2021 speech that the legislation for setting up of the Higher Education Commission of India will be introduced this year. "It will be an umbrella body, having four separate vehicles for standard-setting, accreditation, regulation, and funding," she stated.

Rs 35,000 Cr allocated for COVID-19 vaccination expenditure in FY22 (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided Rs 35,000 crore towards COVID-19 vaccination in 2021-22 fiscal. The country launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what PM Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

Finance Minister announces the launch of Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 Cr (Budget 2021)

While presenting the Union Budget 2021, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore. The finance minister allocated Rs 2,83,846 lakh crore for the healthcare and wellness sector, marking a 137 percent increase.

Smartphones to get costlier as FM proposes 2.5 pc custom duty on chargers, camera modules (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a 2.5 percent custom duty on mobile parts and sub-parts. Items that had ‘nil’ custom duty until now would be charged the above custom duty starting April 1, 2021. These include inputs, parts and sub-parts of printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), mobile chargers or adapters, camera modules, and connectors, and battery packs.

Govt using Artificial Intelligence to track GST tax evasion (Budget 2021)

Budget 2021 saw Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasise on the use of AI technology to enable compliance, adjudication of disputes on Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

FDI in insurance increased to 74pc from 49pc; LIC IPO to commence (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in insurance sector to 74 percent from 49 percent in an attempt to attract more overseas insurance players to India.

LIC's IPO to come in 2021-22, FM says(Budget 2021)

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will float shares for the initial public offering of India largest life insurance company LIC in 2021-2022, finally putting to rest months of speculation by investors around when the high profile listing would take place.

FM proposes several changes to customs duties to boost local manufacturing (Budget 2021)

Presenting one of the most-awaited Budgets in Indian history, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of changes in customs duties in a bid to boost local manufacturing. She explained that since last year, the government is overhauling the structure of customs duties and has eliminated 80 outdated exemptions.

FM increases tax audit limit for companies that opt for 95 percent digital transactions (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a slew of changes within existing tax structures. One of these will offer major relief for companies that transact digitally. The limit for tax audit, which was Rs 5 crore turnover initially, has been raised to Rs 10 crore now. This step aims to incentivise digital transactions and reduce compliance burden.

What were the 4 mini-Budgets announced in 2020? (Budget 2021)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman explained the Aatmanirbhar Bharat packages and other post-COVID-19 economic relief packages were like “mini budgets" in themselves. She added the 2021 Budget is now an extension to the same effort.

Funding to be stepped up for NIP; National Monetization Pipeline launched: FM (Budget 2021)

Finance minister Sitharaman said NIP, which was launched in December 2019 with 6,835 projects, has now been expanded to 7,400 projects, and around 217 projects worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore under some key infrastructure ministries have been completed.

Dept of Space allocated Rs 13,949 Cr, almost Rs 4,500 Cr higher than last fiscal (Budget 2021)

After a steep cut last year, the Department of Space (DoS) has been allocated Rs 13,949 crore in the Union Budget, of which Rs 8,228 crore is earmarked for capital expenditure. New Space India Limited, a newly formed public sector undertaking (PSU) under DoS, has been allocated Rs 700 crore.

Women working in night-shifts to be offered adequate protection, says FM (Budget 2021)

At Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced safety measures for women in night-shifts, and Rs 1,000 crore for tea workers, especially women and children.

Social security benefits to be extended to platform and gig workers, says FM (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said social security benefits would be extended to platform and gig workers. Presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22, she said the government also proposed setting up of a portal to collect information on gig workers, and building and construction workers, among others.

FM announces One Nation One Ration, affordable housing, and other benefits to migrant workers (Budget 2021)

Under the third pillar of Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of the “One Nation One Ration Card scheme through which beneficiaries can claim their rations anywhere in the country.”

MSMEs welcome new custom duties and incentives for digitisation (Budget 2021)

In her Union Budget speech, FM Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs 15,700 crore to the MSME sector, besides laying a special framework of Data Analytics, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist the sector. 

Interest on employee's PF contributions over Rs 2.5 lakh to be taxed, 1 pc EPF contributors to be affected (Budget 2021)

Interest on employee contributions to the provident fund (PF) over Rs 2.5 lakh per annum would be taxed from April 1, 2021, a move aimed at taxing high-value depositors in the EPF. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Employee Provident Fund is aimed at the welfare of workers and any person earning less than Rs 2 lakh per month will not be affected by the Budget proposal.

National Hydrogen Energy Mission to generate energy from green power sources (Budget 2021)

The usage of clean and renewable energy will bring India one step closer to growth and sustainability. With that in mind, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced renewable energy initiatives during the Budget 2021 presentation. The finance minister highlighted that the National Hydrogen Energy Mission has been set up in 2021-22 for generating hydrogen from green power sources.

Startup ecosystem reacts to fintech provisions announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman (Budget 2021)

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2021 contained several incentives for the burgeoning financial technology industry, which saw monumental growth last year in areas, including digital payments, retail investments via online brokerage platforms, insurance buying, and digital banking, among others.

Ujjwala scheme to be extended to 1Cr more beneficiaries: FM Nirmala Sitharaman (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the free cooking gas LPG scheme Ujjwala will be extended to one crore more beneficiaries. So far, the scheme has aided over eight crore households in India.

India may have its first-ever mobile app-based census this year (Budget 2021)

India may have its first digital census where the census data or India's decadal headcount would be collected through a mobile app. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that that the government has set aside Rs 3,768 crore to conduct the national census digitally this year.

Aatmanirbhar packages of Rs 27.1 lakh crore sped up the pace of structural reforms: FM Nirmala Sitharaman (Budget 2021)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government's Aatmanirbhar packages, totalling Rs 27.1 lakh crore to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerated the pace of structural reforms. She said the Indian "manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis" to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Sensex skyrockets 2,315 points as market cheers; bank stocks sparkle (Market)

The BSE benchmark Sensex skyrocketed 2,315 points, propelled by gains in financial stocks, as market participants cheered a growth-oriented Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. After touching an intra-day high of 48,764.40, the 30-share Sensex ended 2,314.84 points, or 5 percent higher, at 48,600.61.

Made in India tablet replaces 'bahi khata' as Finance Minister prepares for first paperless Budget (Budget 2021)

This morning, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made her way to the Parliament, a 'Made in India' tablet wrapped in a velvety red cloth in tow — a contrast to the traditional 'bahi khata' (ledger wrapped in a red cloth) that she'd been carrying in the past two years.

Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub, expects Budget 2021 to boost aspirations of Indian startups (Budget 2021)

Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub, says several measures announced in the Budget 2021 are likely to boost the aspirations of Indian startups, but believes lot more needs to be done in the areas of funding startups.

Omidyar Network India's Roopa Kudva welcomes emphasis on technology as an enabler for social impact (Budget 2021)

Roopa Kudva, MD, Omidyar Network India, welcomes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2021 for emphasising the use of technology to enable social impact and inclusion in important areas such as healthcare, education, and provision of benefits for migrant workers.

Budget 2021 lays immense focus on human capital: Dailyhunt founder Virendra Gupta (Budget 2021)

The government has laid “immense focus” on human capital in the budget for 2021-22 while also taking steps to make doing business easier, Dailyhunt founder Virendra Gupta said Monday. Speaking to YourStory, Gupta said it was “heartening” to see that the budget focused on human lives and didn’t just offer numbers and statistics.

Udaan Co-founder Sujeet Kumar

MSMEs’ situation improving, Budget 2021 to give a boost: Udaan’s Sujeet Kumar (Budget 2021)

Speaking to YourStory after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget, Sujeet Kumar said the government’s intention to revive MSMEs “very positive”. “The government has taken several bold steps for MSMEs,” said Kumar, who co-founded the business-to-business marketplace Udaan in 2016.

Budget 2021 ‘very good’, welcome changes in tax regime: TVS Capital’s Srinivasan (Budget 2021)

The Union Budget for 2021-22 is “very good” but could have done more to address the challenges that startups face, TVS Capital Chairman and Managing Director Gopal Srinivasan said Monday. The changes in taxation are “very welcome” and will go a long way in improving the image of tax authorities, Srinivasan said at an interaction with YourStory. The proposals will also help reduce “tax terrorism”, he said.

No news is good news on taxation, says Cleartax’s Archit Gupta (Budget 2021)

The government’s decision to not impose a new tax in the budget for 2021-22 is a positive development but it must look for ways to widen the tax base, Cleartax founder Archit Gupta said.

Budget 2021 sends right signals but will wait for execution: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Budget 2021)

The Narendra Modi government has sent the right signals in its budget for 2021-22 to revive economic growth and create jobs but implementation of the proposals will be critical to be meeting the targets, Biocon Ltd chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

Education initiatives interesting but implementation is key, says Vedantu CEO (Budget 2021)

The government’s budget proposals for the education sector are “interesting” but a lot will depend on their implementation, Vedantu Co-founder and CEO Vamsi Krishna said Monday. Speaking to YourStory, Krishna said he would love to see more investment in the school infrastructure to make them more enabled for online learning.

Vedantu CEO and Co-founder Vamsi Krishna

Govt moving in right direction, says Rajiv Khaitan (Budget 2021)

The Narendra Modi government has moved in the right direction with the budget for the next fiscal year laying the groundwork for reviving economic activity, ace lawyer Rajiv Khaitan said Monday. The government is spending heavily in sectors such as roads, hospitals and ports and is trying to raise revenue without imposing new taxes, said Khaitan, senior partner at law firm Khaitan & Co.

Budget 2021 to help boost hiring across sectors: Randstad’s Viswanath (Budget 2021)

The Union Budget for 2021-22 will likely encourage companies to step up hiring with information technology and healthcare sectors leading the pace, according to Viswanath PS, Chief Financial Officer at recruitment consultancy Randstad India.

Budget 2021 ‘super-balanced’ with focus on health, infra, agri: Dailyhunt’s Umang Bedi (Budget 2021)

The Union Budget for 2021-22 is ‘super-balanced’ as it focuses on a range of critical sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure and agriculture, Dailyhunt co-founder Umang Bedi said Monday.

Stable, reliable and back-to-business type of budget: Cred’s Kunal Shah (Budget 2021)

The government has outlined a number of initiatives to drive India’s digital ecosystem forward in the Budget for 2021-22 but it must give entrepreneurs greater freedom to build businesses, Cred founder Kunal Shah said Monday.

No relief in internet memes as Twitter users digest India's first-ever paperless budget (Budget 2021)

From increasing healthcare spending to extending social security benefits to gig workers, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2021 was historical in more ways than one — coming right on the heels of an ongoing health crisis and an economic contraction. Naturally, memes followed.

SC seeks WhatsApp reply on plea for not sharing UPI data with any third party (Fintech)

The Supreme Court asked instant messaging app WhatsApp to file its response on a plea seeking a direction to the RBI and the NPCI to ensure that data collected on UPI platforms is not shared with the parent company or any other third party under any circumstances.

Twitter 'withholds' 250 accounts in view of the ongoing farmer agitation: Govt source (Technology)

Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) has directed Twitter to 'withhold' or block around 250 Twitter accounts that were using intimidatory hashtags and making fake and provocative tweets on January 30, according to sources in the government.

Ex-Uber finance director invests $150K in intercity transit platform GoTo (Funding)

Delhi-based intercity transit platform GoToMobility has raised $150,000 from ex-Uber finance head Jesse Lucas, at a valuation of around $11 million. Lucas was the 15th employee of Uber and took it up to the IPO in 2018.

GST revenues at record high of Rs 1.20 lakh cr in Jan (Government)

GST collections surged to an all-time high of about Rs 1.20 lakh crore in January as economic activities picked up after the withdrawal of stringent lockdown restrictions.

Amazon launches seller registration, account management services in Kannada (Ecommerce)

E-commerce major Amazon said sellers will be able to register on the Amazon.in marketplace and manage their online business in Kannada, a move aimed at enhancing the sellers' experience on the platform. The development will benefit over 35,000 existing Amazon sellers and lakhs of new sellers from markets, including Bengaluru, Mangalore, Hubballi, Kalaburgi, and Mysuru, among many cities in Karnataka.

Sensex rallies nearly 1,000 points as FM presents Budget 2021 (Market)

The BSE benchmark Sensex rallied nearly 1,000 points led by gains in financial stocks in the afternoon session on Monday as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021. The 30-share Sensex was trading 929.54 points or 2.01 percent higher at 47,215.31; and the broader Nifty surged 260.05 points or 1.91 percent at 13,894.65.

Sensex, Nifty open higher ahead of Budget presentation (Market)

The BSE benchmark Sensex surged over 443 points and the NSE Nifty advanced 115 points in opening trade on Monday, ahead of the Union Budget 2021-22 presentation in Parliament.

Indian women's hockey team holds World No.2 Argentina to 1-1 draw (Sports)

The Indian women's hockey team put up a spirited performance to hold World No.2 Argentina to a 1-1 draw and end its tour of the country on a high. Skipper Rani Rampal struck for India in the 35th minute while Emilia Forcherio scored for the home team through a penalty stroke on Sunday.

For YourStory's multimedia coverage of Budget 2021, visit YourStory's Budget 2021 page or budget.yourstory.com

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