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Budget 2022 Wishlist: What Zerodha's Nikhil Kamat and other financial experts want from Nirmala Sitharaman

Let us look at what some top financial experts expect from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present her fourth budget on February 1.

Budget 2022 wishlist: Nikhil Kamath to many others, here's what financial leaders want RCB
Bangalore, First Published Jan 24, 2022, 11:59 AM IST

2020-2021 was a testing time for various sectors in the country, while many lost jobs, and some had to take salary cuts. However, some private sectors have come out strong in 2021, but a few are still struggling. Hence this year, the struggling sectors have high hopes from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's fourth budget, which will be presented on February 1. Asianet Newsable reached out to some finance industry executives and Nikhil Kamath, co-founder True Beacon and Zerodha to understand their hopes from the Union Budget. 

Let us look at some of the experts' expectations from FM this year.

Nikhil Kamath, Co-founder True Beacon and Zerodha (Largest stockbroker in India) 

"While companies reach out to the government requesting a change to existing regulations, allowing unlisted Indian companies to list abroad, I believe it is the right time to work in-house. The entry barriers for companies to get listed are high in India; however, once listed, the penalty for violations is minimal, making investors, especially retail, susceptible to a lot more risk. We should be looking at it the other way around to foster innovation while keeping a check on corporate governance. There is a strong case for easing the listing norms in India while tightening penalties for violation of laws.

The economy can also benefit from tax reforms around STT and LTCG. The investment industry will benefit if the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) is abolished, as both long-term capital gains (LTCG) and short-term capital gains (STCG) are in place. Nonetheless, if the government does not intervene with STT, it could look at removing the tax on long-term capital gains. Finally, bringing taxation of Category-III AIFs in line with Category-I and Category-II AIFs will be a shot in the arm for the budding hedge fund industry.On a separate note, the Cryptocurrency Bill will be interesting to follow to understand permitted use cases and the manner of taxation. Unfortunately looks like, we will have to wait for post-budget for the government's final stance."

Hussaini SF, FinTech & Innovation thought Leader expressed his expectations for this year's budget.

"Budget 2022 will be critical, given the continued unpredictable COVID situation, inflation and economic slowdown. The focus should continue to be on healthcare, technology and entrepreneurship. Technology and entrepreneurship will continue to play an enabling role across sectors, like FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, E-commerce, Logistics, etc. The government should further promote and provide more incentives on the lines of Start-Up India and not just for tier 1 but also for tier 2/3 cities. Enable ease of doing business and relief on regulatory processes for the tech ecosystem. There should be bold and focused efforts on promoting digital infrastructure leveraging new technologies that can enable progressive growth for the economy." 

Usha, one of the top executives in Oracle India, talked about salary, taxes, loans and more. Read on...

"Last year budget didn't bring any significant reforms for salaried people. So this year is the third year of a pandemic. The FM, Nirmala Sitharaman, can think of reform relief for the salaried class to increase the take-home paycheck. For example, by increasing the tax slab or reducing the tax rate regarding the slab, the government should probably reduce the tax burden on long-term capital gains. This will ease out the pockets of salaried employees thinking aloud about the future. Also, adding some tax exemption, like children's higher education loans, which are different from 80C and can be up to 1.5 lakh.

Usha also added, "There is still a bit of confusion on new tax and old tax regime. Hence, FM should consider increasing the tax slab to 20 lac from 15 lacs or allow certain exemptions to make the new tax regime more enticing."

Tamaghna Adhikari, Managing Partner, Benzai10 Investment Ventures, talked about tax equality between domestic and international funds and more.

"Tax parity between domestic and international fund managers will boost the AIFs operating out of India and encourage more domestic investors to participate in the Indian VC/PE ecosystem growth story. One uniform and comprehensive code will unlock the power of domestic investors."

Tamaghna also added, "Second is the parity of LTCG for listed and unlisted equity. A fund manager takes a higher risk by investing in a startup/unlisted company and holding its illiquid equity as compared to a listed company and should be encouraged."


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