Bhubaneswar, Feb 28: Several industry and business organisations in the State Thursday showed mixed reaction to the Annual Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Thursday. While measures in the sectors of agriculture, rural development, education, health care and women empowerment were highly commended, little offerings to small and medium scale enterprises (SMSE) and failure of Government in controlling deficit financing were criticised.
The business fraternity in Orissa was critical of the apathetic attitude of the Centre while allocating funds to the State.
Terming the Budget 2013-14 as growth and investment oriented Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Orissa said in a press release, “Budget has taken laudable initiatives in critical sectors such as agriculture, investment in manufacturing and infrastructure, MSME growth and capital market development among others. It (CII) welcomes the enhanced outlay on education, healthcare and skill development with a view to increase opportunities for the youth. The 15% investment allowance to kick start capital formation is also a commendable steps announced by the Finance Minister.”
Hailing the announcement made to boost micro, small and medium enterprises, the CII press release said, “The measures to encourage micro, small and medium enterprises should go a long way in helping these firms to scale up and invest in technology. The three-year extension of non-tax benefits after a unit attains medium size will encourage growth and employment creation.”
“Developments in promoting manufacturing and intent towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) are visible. Even increase in duty of imports of expensive cars and motorcycles is a positive decision”, said Chairman of CII Orissa State Council Suresh Thawani.
“Decisions like introduction of CTT (Commodities Trade Tax) on non – agri commodities, increasing the benefits of SME for 3 years, no increase in excise duty and women’s safety are some major steps conceived by the Government”, Vice Chairman of the Council M K Gupta said.
Meanwhile, Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) showed a mixed reaction to the Budget by giving it 5 on a 10 point scale.
The UCCI particularly welcomed the increased budgetary allocation for agriculture, rural development, Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Highlighting the positives of the Budget, UCCI President Ramesh Mahapatra said, “We appreciated the Finance Minister for increasing the budget allocation for protection of women and announcing the establishment of women banks.”
However, the Chamber is disappointed as there is little for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE), Mahapatra said. Besides, the Budget has neglected KBK by not giving it a special category status as expected by the Chamber, he added.
Terming the Budget as a “deficit budget”, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bhubaneswar Stock Exchange Debraj Biswal said, “The Budget announcements clearly show the Government’s concern for handling growing deficit. But with rise in crude oil prices in the international market the deficit will further go up. Again Finance Minister has not taken measures to curtail Government expenditure, which will further increase the deficit and push inflation.”
Besides, there is nothing much for manufacturing sector except 15 per cent tax incentives to industries with investment of more than Rs 100 crore in plant and machinery, he added.
Though he appreciated the increased outlay of Rs 80,000 crore for rural development and Rs 27,000 for agriculture sectors, he cautioned its successful implementation.
In his reaction to the Budget 2013-14, President of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Orissa Chapter D S Tripathy said, “There are certain positives outcomes of the Budget like deduction of Rs 1 lakh towards interest on first time home loan upto Rs 25 lakh and creation of housing funds in rural areas with Rs 6,000 crore and urban areas with Rs 2,000 crore.”
However, the Rs 1 lakh deduction will not benefit low and middle income groups who constitute 60-65 per cent of the total customers. Besides, the Budget has not considered abolition of service tax on purchase of home as it is a direct burden on these customers, Tripathy added. PNN