There was a glimmer of hope when the government kick-started the long-pending startup seed fund with a corpus of INR 945 Cr just two days ahead of this year’s Union Budget. The ecosystem was duly thrilled after years of waiting and hoping with every mention of startups in policy announcements. Founders and investors saw it as a prelude to bigger reforms, to be brought forth by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman when she would present a never-before budget on Feb 1.
But there was darkness at noon. The budget speech was replete with generic promises and there was nothing exciting in it.
T.V. Mohandas Pai, former Infosys CFO and partner at Bengaluru-based VC fund Aarin Capital, was among the few big names from India Inc who expressed his disappointment with the 2021 Budget when it comes to startups. According to him, the government has once again missed an opportunity to boost the startup sector that is flourishing on its own but needed a mild boost from the authorities.