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Union Budget: SIA-India wants PLI scheme for space sector, seeks tax benefits

The Centre in its Union Budget for fiscal 2023-24 should introduce a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the space sector, provide a tax holiday regime and Goods and Services Tax (GST) incentives for companies working in the sector, and offer clarity on the taxation jurisdiction over space activities, according to the SatCom Industry Association-India (SIA-India).

SIA-India said in a statement on Friday, while citing reports, that the Indian space economy is set to grow to $12.8 billion in 2025 from $9.6 billion in 2020, adding that the country has over 100 space technology (spacetech) startups currently. The funding in the spacetech startups increased 196% year-over-year to $68 million in 2021, as per SIA-India. It said that the Make in India and the “AtmaNirbhar Bharat” initiative policies are expected to spur small satellite manufacturing growth owing to increased demand for small satellites and have inspired “confidence in the health of the commercial space economy in India”.

In this context, a PLI scheme will help Indian spacetech startups and the existing manufacturers developing spacecrafts, small/nanosatellites, satellite communication components, and control systems, sensors, modules, launch vehicles, propulsion systems, and others, to enter and expand into the commercial market segment. This will enable India to become an export hub in the sector, as MSDE to train 4,000 technical staff of ISRO 9d Microsoft seeks to bring internet to millions in Africa by satellite 10d Consultation paper on satellite spectrum pricing in January: Trai 9d Indian satcom set to rise to higher orbits 10d OneWeb acquires 10,000 Hughes LEO terminals

“An extension of corporate tax incentive or tax holiday under the provisions of the Income Tax laws along with policies on Space Tech parks/existing manufacturing setups be treated as deemed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) would help initiate the development of the space industry,” the Delhi-based association said.

“It is imperative that the question of jurisdiction to tax is specifically laid down in taxing statutes as activities that are otherwise outside the jurisdiction of India, could, for purposes of national security, be treated as falling within India’s jurisdiction in other legislations,” it added.

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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