Interim Budget supports SMEs, but misses push for infrastructure, says Mr. Kalantri

All India Association of Industries welcome key initiatives taken by Government of India in its Interim Budget 2019-20 to support micro, small and medium enterprises, middle class consumers, farmers, SC and ST entrepreneurs and women-owned business.

“Various incentives given to agriculture, common man and other sectors are need of the hour. Relief measures given to real estate sector and increase in   income tax limits and TDS will give much needed boost to economy,” said Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President All India Association of Industries.

Exemption of individual income tax for salary earners upto Rs. 5 lakh annual income, increased standard deduction and other income tax exemption sops, Rs 6,000 direct income support to farmers holding upto 2 hectare land, pension scheme for unorganized workers are some of the schemes that will promote consumption.

The Interim Budget has also offered interest subvention of 2% for GST-registered SMEs availing incremental loan up to Rs 1 crore. The setting up of Ministerial group to review GST should rationalize the rates and simplify the rules will further increase revenue to the exchequer as this move will increase the base of taxpayers.

Government of India’s move to reduce tax compliance burden by allowing more than 90% of GST payers to file quarterly returns in the days to come is a welcome move.

In order to arrest slowdown in the real estate sector, the government has rightly amended relevant capital gains provisions in the Income Tax Act.

In order to promote Make in India programme, the Interim Budget has abolished customs duty on 36 capital goods. In yet another step towards ease of trading across borders, the government is also introducing end-to-end digitalization of export-import transactions, including use of RFID technologies.

The Government e-Marketplace (GeM), created by the present Government two years ago, resulted in average savings of 25-28% and the platform will now be extended to all Central Public Sector Undertakings. This will streamline the government procurement process and also promote MSMEs to participate in government procurement.

According to AIAI, the Government’s move to set up a new department for fishery sector will further strengthen India’s competitiveness in marine product exports. 

The government’s move to launch a National Artificial Intelligence Portal is a much needed step to fast-track India’s adoption of the fourth industrial revolution technologies.

While the above measures will support India’s economic growth, the government could have done more to promote investment in infrastructure sector. Mr. Kalantri feels that government has missed opportunity to support Infrastructure projects such as power, port etc by coming out with long term financial bonds.