Mixed response to Union Budget


The boost given to the agriculture and rural sector has been appreciated by one and all in the region. But industrialists maintain they have been left in the lurch as no incentives have been provided to industry. Tribune correspondent Shivani Bhakoo spoke to residents to get their views on the Union Budget.‘Excise duty on garments condemnable’”The overall budget is not bad as it focused on vital areas such as rural, agriculture and social sectors. At the same time, no significant steps have been announced for the MSME sector. Excise duty on garments priced over Rs 1,000 is highly condemnable. It will block payments of the MSMEs (manufacturers who are doing job work for major brands). There will be more implications and the government must withdraw this decision for the welfare of the small-scale garment industry.” Ajit Lakra, president, Ludhiana Knitters’ AssociationOne of the best budgets, says economist”Not everyone can be made happy but the Budget this year has been tremendous for agricultural and rural growth. The development of any nation depends on these two sectors. The Finance Minister has announced that by 2018, all villages in the country will have power, which is a very good indication of growth. Budget is prepared keeping in mind the overall recession, so there is no need to crib unnecessarily. It is one of the best budgets.” Prof MS Sidhu, economist‘Not much to offer to knitwear industry’”The Centre should have waited for the GST Bill and duty on garments could have been avoided, as this will burden manufacturers. Overall also, the Budget has got not much to offer to industry. We are going to face a labour crisis too.” Sudershan Jain, from Oner Knitwear

Cycle industry disappointed

“Today’s budget is for the lower class, middle class and agriculturists but certainly not for industry. The bicycle industry hoped that there would be an increase in import duty, 2% excise duty would be abolished and a steel regulatory committee would be formed but nothing was announced by the Finance Minister in this connection. The only relief for industrialist is that the scrutiny of their ITR returns, which takes a long time, has been made easy. Increased funds for the MGNREGA scheme will cause a shortage of labour in Punjab.” Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma, president, UCPMA‘Increased revenue targets to hit industry’ “The Union Budget 2016 is once again a damp squib. It is a directionless budget. The Finance Minister didn’t even discuss the GST in the whole budget speech and the MSME sector once again was fully ignored by him. Owing to recession and dipping exports, industry was expecting some relief whereas the government increased the target of income tax by 20% and central excise by 40%. In the coming years, these revenues targets may cause harassment to the industry. The target of Income Tax has been increased by 20% from Rs 2.99 lakh crore (revised target of 2015-16) to Rs 3.53 lakh crore. The association condemns the imposition of new excise duty of 2% on branded garments priced above Rs 1,000 and 1% on jewellery and infrastructure cess on vehicles from 1% to 4%.” Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association Servic tax hike uncalled for: Homemaker”Service tax has been increased in the current budget which is certainly not a welcome step. We will have to shell out more money now at salons and restaurants, which is uncalled for. Many service providers never give us bills, which means additional amount goes into their pockets. Service tax will also be levied on lawyer services.” — Suriti Verma, homemaker