Budget 2021

With no new sops, MSMEs feel disappointed

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on February 01, 2019 Published on February 01, 2019

The incentives announced for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) — such as sanctioning of loans up to ₹1 crore in 59 minutes and 2 per cent interest rebate on loans — in the Interim Budget for 2019-20, are all part of the package already extended to the sector in November 2018.

“The only new measure is that small traders and small service providers can now file their GST returns quarterly instead of monthly. This will save costs and time,” said Anil Bhardwaj from the Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

In his interim-Budget speech, stand-in Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Recently, a scheme of sanctioning loans up to ₹1 crore in 59 minutes has been launched. GST-registered SME units will get 2 per cent interest rebate on incremental loan of ₹1 crore. The requirement of sourcing from SMEs by government enterprises has been increased to 25 per cent. Of this, the material to the extent of at least 3 per cent will be sourced from women owned SMEs.”

But absence of anything new has led to disappointment, especially amongst traders.

“The Budget has something for all — be it unorganised labour, the salaried or farmers. Only traders have been ignored. This is unfortunate and needs to be rectified,” Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, Confederation of All India Traders, told BusinessLine.

Digital drive

With the government’s increased stress on digitisation, Khandelwal said the traders had sought a subsidy for purchasing computers and also waiving of banking charges on digital transactions. CAIT had also made a case for extension of accident insurance for traders on the lines of the one provided by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Bhardwaj said that while MSMEs haven’t directly benefited from the budget, there could be indirect benefits as demand will get a boost due to more disposable income with people as a result of the other budgetary sops.

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Published on February 01, 2019
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