According to experts, job creation can be a focus point of the budget initiatives through the Product Linked Incentive scheme especially in the manufacturing and technology sector.
In 2023 so far, nearly 1,600-2,500 people have been laid off by startups in India, according to data by Layoffs.fyi. A recent survey by marketing and data analytics company Kantar shows that one in four Indians are concerned about the threat of a job layoff.
The data suggests that the fear about layoffs is relatively higher in the affluent (32 percent), older 36–55 year-olds (30 percent) and salaried classes (30 percent). The report also suggests that the global economic slowdown and a potential resurgence of COVID are key areas of worry for Indians.
Further, increasing the basic income tax exemption limit (from the current Rs 2.5 lakh) is the most common expectation among consumers, followed by the increase in the threshold limit of the highest tax slab rate of 30 per cent (from the current Rs 10 lakh).
The former is notably higher amongst the salaried segment (42 per cent), while the latter is expected more by businessmen/ self-employed (37 per cent) and older 36-55-year-old (42 per cent) segments.
"Indians are largely positive about the country's macroeconomic performance in 2023. Belief in the Indian growth story amongst the older and affluent class is quite strong. However, the global economic slowdown might play spoilsport," said Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar.
Rana also said that most expect the government to play the role of a protector and take stringent measures to curb inflation to prevent the economy from slipping into a recession, as it directly impacts their household budget and job prospects. "As always, consumers are looking for some sort of a relief in the income tax regulations and a middle-class friendly budget overall," said Rana.
What can be expected from the Budget?
"The human resources sector is hoping that the Union Budget 2023-24 will lay out a plan for economic recovery that prioritises employee welfare, job creation, and sustaining the economy after the pandemic slump," Daya Prakash, Founder, TalentOnLease told CNBC-TV18.com.
According to experts, job creation can be a focal point of the budget initiatives through the Product Linked Incentive scheme, especially in the manufacturing and technology sector.
There could be some announcements to regulate workplaces after the economic downturn in 2022 and a shift in the idea of how workplaces operate in terms of layoffs, moonlighting, and quiet-quitting becoming popular last year.
According to Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO of edtech company Learnbay, "Work from Home allowance" can be anticipated from the Union Budget 2023. Additionally as businesses have been divided over the concept of moonlighting the government can issue notification outlining the tax consequences of this aspect.
Recently tech firms have been news for voluntary separation policies and not paying due severance amidst layoffs.
As per Vikash Chandra, COO of tech career platform, Cutshort announcements surrounding notice period, severance, job retaining and support and regulation of layoffs should be made in the Union Budget 2023. Further guidelines surrounding work from home and hybrid workplaces can be expected.