Congress President Rahul Gandhi during a rally. (Source: PTI)

Rahul Gandhi Says He’ll Make It Easier for Young Indians to Start Businesses

(Bloomberg) -- Rahul Gandhi, president of India’s main opposition Congress party, said his party will exempt new businesses from seeking permission and ease bank credit if it is voted to power.

The Congress will also scrap “angel tax,” a term used for the levy on fundraising by startups, Gandhi said on Twitter. The party will also give incentives and tax credits to new businesses based on their ability to create jobs, he said.

These incentives will be part of the Congress party’s manifesto, which has also promised income support of 72,000 rupees ($1,046) annually to poor families. Startups will just need to register their companies and will not need any other approval to begin operations. They have a three-year window to get all the permissions.

Congress party is seeking to wrest power from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition in the elections that will take place in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, with results to be announced on May 23.

Modi has been criticized by the opposition for not fulfilling his promise of creating 10 million jobs each year -- a pledge that helped him win over India’s youth in the 2014 election. In the absence of timely and credible data, it’s difficult to estimate the number of jobs created during Modi’s term.

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • Modi is scheduled to interact with people, who have pledged their support for a campaign -- "I too am a watchman" -- from 500 places via a video conference on March 31
  • India’s communist party to halt sale of state companies if it wins elections
  • Election Commission is likely to decide on whether Modi violated election code of conduct by addressing the nation to announce that India had demonstrated its capability to target satellites

POLITICAL ALLIANCES:

StateBJP AllianceCongress AllianceOthersRemarks
Uttar Pradesh--SP, BSP, RLD
Tamil NaduAIADMK & othersDMK & others-
MaharashtraShiv SenaNCP
BiharJD(U) & LJPRJD & RSLP-
PunjabSAD--
KarnatakaJanata Dal(S)
JharkhandAIJSUJMM & JVM
Assam & North EasternAGP, BPF, NPP, NDPPINPT
Jammu & KashmirNational Conference

IN THE MEDIA:

  • Land, air or space, we had courage to do surgical strike: Modi
  • Busting 5 concerns about Congress ’ income scheme: Mint
  • Electioneering hits new low in Uttar Pradesh: PTI
  • Battle for 39 seats in Tamil Nadu could be closer than predicted: BQ
  • BJP no less ‘dynastic’ than Congress, Lok Sabha data indicates: BQ

ELECTION & MARKETS:

  • Outcomes in eastern and north eastern region of India will have a significant bearing on post-poll government formation, Amit Khurana, head of equities at Dolat Capital Market, said in a March 26 report.
  • BJP leadership believes the electoral results from the region will help it compensate for expected losses in other states, said Khurana
  • Commercial vehicle sales are likely to be “negative” because of surplus capacity and “purchase deferrals,” during elections, Emkay analysts led by Raghunandan NL said in a note on Thursday, recommending investors sell shares of Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors and Bajaj Auto
  • The rupee will remain “resilient on bunched-up inflows and the BJP’s improved re-election prospects,” Siddharth Sanyal, and Ashish Agrawal, analysts at Barclays said in a note on Wednesday
  • How to diversify as India vote rocks most-expensive Asian stocks

OPINION POLLS:

Rahul Gandhi Says He’ll Make It Easier for Young Indians to Start Businesses

LATEST COMMENTS:

  • "Your blessings allowed me to tolerate all kinds of pressures. That’s why I could run a decision-making government," Modi, said at a rally in Telangana, asking people to vote for a “new India”
  • "During the past five years, Modi has made several promises to the people of this country,” said Gandhi in an election rally in Haryana. “Wherever he goes, he spreads hatred"

ECONOMY:

  • Modi’s government in its budget pledged to transfer as much as 6,000 rupees a year to farmers. That is unlikely to have a significant impact on inflation, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, chief economist at State Bank of India said in a note. India’s inflation accelerated to 2.57 percent in February
  • Congress’ income support plan may be fiscally prudent is it offsets existing subsidies, which amount to about 3.2 percent of GDP, said Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi, economists at Nomura in a note on March 26.
  • The other options are to “compromise on capital expenditure,” worth 1.6 percent of GDP and impose additional taxes, Nomura said

BLOOMBERG EXCLUSIVES:

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    Quotas Set to Change the Balance of Power for Women in India
  • Young, Angry and ‘Untouchable’: India’s Low-Caste Threat to Modi
  • Tackling Rising Hate Speech in the World’s Biggest Election
  • India’s Gen Z Voters’ Call for 2019 Election: More Jobs, Please

QUICKTAKE:

  • Your Guide to India’s Upcoming General Election
  • Why Election Goodies Await India’s Struggling Farmers
  • Why India’s Lower Castes Could Hold Key to Election

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