(Talking-Point)The tea industry can become a powerhouse for generating employment in India. It can employ a great proportion of the million-plus workforce of the country in a variety of roles. For this, the sector must become more viable through reduction in the costs of production and increase in selling prices. There is a need for a uniform GST of 5% to be applied on all products including flavored teas. This will help the industry in sustaining itself. Another major area of focus should be on increasing the budgetary allocation for infrastructure development and ease of doing business in India which will help attract more foreign investments.
On the e-commerce front, the government should look at lowering income tax and putting more money in the hands of the consumers to encourage domestic consumption in the economy. Small or home entrepreneurs should be freed from GST obligations and the government must ensure parity between online and offline suppliers that have a turnover below INR 40 lakh. Additionally, some clarity on e-commerce policies will set the pace for start-ups for the year ahead.