VIJAYAWADA: The Interim Budget - 2019 presented by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government evoked a mixed response from industry bodies in the State. While populist initiatives announced -- income support for farmers, income tax relief for the middle class and pension for the informal sector -- were mostly done keeping the ensuing elections in mind, they said the industry sector did not get any major boost.
“The budget is disappointing. A few announcements like a new department for fisheries would help in giving a boost to the food processing sector in Andhra Pradesh, which is one of the highest producers of aqua products. The interest subvention to MSMEs may also help marginally,” opined Potluri Bhaskara Rao, president of Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Industries Federation and co-chairman of ASSOCHAM’s AP State Council.
The Vijayawada committee chairman of the Andhra Chamber of Commerce, Malineni Rajaiah, also felt the budget could have been better in terms of allocations to infrastructure and industry sectors. “The budget seems to have been conceived to satisfy only a few sections. The decisions on income tax slab relaxation and income support to farmers are appreciable, but they should be seen as only sops ahead of the polls. It would have been good had there been allocations to infrastructure and industry,” Rajaiah observed.
However, the Confederation of Indian Industry had a different view. It described the budget as a fine balancing act between the economic compulsions of fiscal consolidation and catering to the imperatives of inclusive growth in an election year. The Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of CII-Andhra Pradesh, RVS Rudraraju and Vijay Naidu Galla, lauded the farm income support scheme and the mega pension scheme.