Union Budget 2023: Start-ups get warm hug from govt, IT-benefits extend till March 31 next year  

In her Budget speech on Wednesday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government proposed an extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from 31 March 31 2023 to 31 March 31 2024.

According to the Union Budget, the government also said it would provide the benefit of carry-forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to 10 years.

During her Budget speech in Parliament today, the finance minister also announced an agriculture accelerator fund that will be set up to encourage agriculture based start-ups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. This will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices and increase productivity and profitability.

In her speech, Sitharaman also added that a similar digital document wallet will be launched for business entities as well. “An entity DigiLocker will be set up for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), large businesses and charitable trusts. This will be towards storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed with various authorities, regulators, banks, and business entities,” Sitharaman said.

According to government data, DigiLocker has onboarded more than 14.6 crore individuals on the platform, and issued 5.6 billion documents. Among the top issued documents are Aadhaar Card, policy documents, PAN verification records, and insurance policy for two-wheelers.

The Finance Minister said that to unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out, which will enable access to anonymized data.

Sitharaman announced that an Entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, large business and charitable trusts for storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed, with various authorities, regulators, banks and other business entities. 

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