SIA-India Seeks Bold Reforms for Fiscal Year 2024-25 to Drive India’s Space Program in the Pre-Budget Memorandum

New Delhi : Space Industry Association – India (SIA-India), the premier industry association for India’s space sector proudly announces the release of its Pre-Budget Memorandum for the fiscal year 2024-25. This comprehensive document seeks for transformative and bold reforms for the space sector aiming at catalyzing India’s space program, fostering innovation, and enhancing global competitiveness to accrue socio-economic benefits to the country.

In a rapidly evolving global landscape where space activities play an increasingly pivotal role, SIA-India envisions a roadmap aligning with the aspirations of a burgeoning space sector, poised for sustainable growth. As we stand on the brink of technological breakthroughs, this memorandum underscores our commitment to advancing the interests of the commercial space sector.

“The proposed budget reforms outlined in the memorandum are crucial for fostering innovation, ensuring global competitiveness, and propelling the Indian space industry to new heights. SIA-India remains dedicated to collaborating with the government to develop a vibrant and competitive satellite launch and manufacturing sector hub. These reforms pave the way for India to solidify its position as a key player in the global space arena, fostering technological advancements and economic growth.” – Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri, President of SIA-India

“This comprehensive pre-budget submission focuses on pivotal measures aimed at propelling the Commercial Space Sector, with a special emphasis on nurturing and supporting deeptech space startups. Recognizing the transformative potential of the space industry, these recommendations span financial, taxation, regulatory, and infrastructural domains. Emphasizing the imperative of increased funding, we propose a substantial boost in India’s space budget, aligning it with global standards. Financial incentives, interest rate subsidies, and collaborative frameworks between academic institutions and startups are advocated to nurture innovation.” Anil Prakash, Director-General of SIA-India

The Association advocates for several key taxation reforms, including extending tax holiday periods for startups and deferring Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). Customs duty exemptions, GST relaxations, and capital gains tax waivers aim to enhance the financial flexibility of deep tech startups. Regulatory suggestions encompass a Comprehensive Space Activities Bill, quantifying the space economy, and encouraging CSR funding for startups.

Infrastructure-wise, our proposal advocates for local certification facilities, streamlined visa programs, and specialized R&D hubs for deep tech startups. This strategic roadmap aims to fortify the foundation for sustainable growth in the Commercial Space Sector, recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by deep tech space startups. The adoption of distinct regulations for startups within the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) framework will create an enabling environment for startup growth and innovation.

In summary, these recommendations aspire to fortify India’s position in the global space arena, fostering innovation, economic growth, employment, and achieving sustainable development goals.

However, prior to implementing financial stimulus and regulatory measures, the space sector requires a comprehensive Quantitative Analysis and delineation of Space Economy Sectors, akin to the OECD framework or the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) framework. Establishing a “Satellite Account” or “National Accounts Statistics” as best practices would enable a better understanding of the size and significance of the space sector in the overall economy. This analysis is crucial for comprehending the economic impact of space activities, guiding focused policies, and facilitating investments for enduring and sustainable growth.

SIA-India extends its gratitude to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his visionary leadership in uplifting the space economy and positioning India at the forefront of the global space race. The emphasis on promoting private entities, encouraging youth participation, and nurturing deep tech startups aligns with the ambitious goals of creating India’s space odyssey, with a moon landing by 2040 and a space station by 2035. These milestones serve as powerful motivation for the entire space community.

We also express our gratitude to the Ministry of Finance Smt Nirmala Sitharaman for the landmark space reforms that have fostered a vibrant ecosystem, positioning India as a key player in the global space race as highlighted in her speech during last year’s budget session.

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