Guest Column: Rajiv Talreja, Transformational business coach
Over 80 million of India’s skilled workforce today is employed under the MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) segment, be it agriculture or Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). Just as Google is the search engine of India, similarly, MSMEs are the country’s job engine. While it’s the general election season, it’s okay for the government to seem populist, but they need to keep their focus on being realistic, as the budget has to be #IndiaFirst.
Having mentored over 5,000 entrepreneurs in India, I expect the budget to focus on three key areas of challenges, which are also the three key areas of growth - Taxation, Technology & Trust.
With taxation, the government has taken bold decisions, but the implementation still seems to be a challenge. Look at the flip-flops in GST slabs, Angel Tax, the slow-paced implementation of One Nation - One Road Tax and BSE Listing of Start-Ups. I hope, the implementation challenges are taken care of, before adding any more avenues of taxation.
With technology, India has always been a powerhouse. There’s a lot more which needs to be implemented on the ground though, under the “ease of doing business in India” for MSME for the next 5 years.
Our lawmakers here need to understand that there are already millions of people employed in this MSME, and while creating new jobs is certainly great, the lack of upliftment of already those who provide jobs (MSME), needs a serious relook.
Hence, the need of the hour for the government is to step in and assist MSMEs, which is the backbone of the economy, both through financial incentives like taxation, reducing the interest rates on loans, and further ensuring adequate capital infusion. The Indian economy can only hope to thrive if MSMEs succeed, and right now, that seems to be a limited case.