Union Budget 2022-23 Expectations: Event Industry Must Get Status of Organised Sector

 - Sakshi Post

After the initial blow of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is little doubt that 2021 continued to disrupt the world of events. Those businesses directly related to mass events are facing tough times. With the event industry facing an anomalous situation, we have a lot of expectations from the government to look into its revival and help the event industry strive in these challenging times. The industry is remaining stagnant for almost two years now and the livelihood of millions of people has come to a standstill. Just when we thought we could see some light at the end of the tunnel, we’re back to where we began. Rising covid-19 cases and fresh curbs and lockdown have left the events industry staring at a dismal future yet again. The industry has crashed and still the government doesn’t see the need to protect livelihoods as event industry has been completely ignored. Each state has its own set of protocols making it difficult to organise or plan anything.

In the recent past, the association representatives have regularly shared a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the government, highlighting our readiness for conducting events as well as the importance of the sector in kick-starting the economic engine. The industry has requested the government to take immediate measures to rescue and revive the sector which had come to a standstill due to the Covid-19 related restrictions. Be it a labourer or a contractor, a fabricator or a florist to people who actually get the industry going, there is no relief given to us. We do not come under the purview of any ministry that is looking into us and actually taking cognizance of what we do. The event industry which is trying to get the due recognition that it deserves to stay afloat in these dire times needs to get the status of an organised sector, for us to be heard. Hence industry status is absolutely important for us to stay afloat & excel going forward.

We also hope that the startup-friendly policies should be made simplified to register and there should be a relaxation in the taxation policies and simplified GST returns as well in the upcoming budget. The startup sector will continue to look for the government’s support in helping ease of access to capital, encouraging domestic investment environment, scaling up the business, easy exit processes, and reducing regulatory and compliance burden on startups.

The constant on-again off-again approach that we can't avoid is having an impact. We know one thing for sure, events will never be the same. However, the interpersonal communication, fostering connections and pleasure associated with physical events can’t be savored in the online space. Also, revenue generation and ROI of virtual events are difficult to gauge and achieve. The core values of events and functions have not changed, and there is a hope that they will be the same in the future either. It’s on all of us now to be ready to produce and execute based on the current landscape. The biggest opportunity now is that we lived through the worst. This time has tested our ability of innovation and agility. Thankfully, now things seem to be far better while we are still, probably not out of the woods completely. It’s amazing to see how the pandemic has brought people together, created unity and given us perspective on how we could be more responsible. Hope we are able to keep supporting each other the same way because it will only mean that we get back on our feet much quicker.

The government should introduce policies that are more inclusive of the private sector and enable their participation more. This will not only be an economically progressive step but will also bring in more transparency into the system. It is also essential that top priority is given to job creation and boosting entrepreneurial activity. The increase in tax slab limit can offer some relief to the common man by giving them more disposable income which in turn will help spur consumption, thereby benefitting multiple industries. Overall we expect that the budget is expansionary and focuses on the nation’s growth, bringing a positive sentiment to the overall economy. 

The article is authored by Sharad Chaudhary, Founder, Dreamz Production House

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