BHUBANESWAR: The NDA Government’s first Budget exercise has evoked mixed reactions from the industry and commerce bodies in Odisha even as there is a broad consensus that it lays a roadmap for revival of the economy with thrust on reforms while encouraging both manufacturing, consumption and infrastructure development.
The Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) has alleged step-motherly treatment to Odisha in terms of allocations and grant of projects and schemes. Though Odisha has been accorded with an IIM, it has been handed a raw deal in comparison to states like Assam, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern States who will derive the benefits of Agro Technology universities, National Industrial Corridor, Port Infrastructure Development, Handloom and Textile parks, airports, etc., vice president Binod Dash said. The Budget also fails to lay out concrete plans on controlling price rice, which has impacted the lives of common man seriously.
On the positive front, though, the Finance Minister has announced a slew of initiatves to put the economy back on track. A unique feature of this Budget is the constitution of an Expenditute Management Commission for looking into expenditure reforms. There has been a general increase in tax reforms and plans to introduce Goods and Service tax (GST) and Direct Tax Code (DTC) this year are steps in the right direction, Dash added.
So far as individual tax payers are concerned, marginal increase in tax exemption to `3 lakh for senior citizens and `2.5 lakh for others along with exemption for investment in financial instruments from `1 lakh to `1.5 lakh will provide some relief. The Budget also lays focus on infrastructure development, agriculture and job creation. The Odisha Industries Association (OIA), however, was enthusiastic saying the MSME sector has been provided with the much needed impetus. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement to review the definition of MSME to provide for higher capital ceiling is a major step along with the proposed `10,000 crore fund to boost capital flow to start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The FM has also announced to formulate an entrepreneur-friendly legal bankruptcy framework to enable easy exit for SMEs. “With more than `40 lakh crore worth of litigations, the SME sector will surely benefit from the initiative,” OIA president Abani Kanungo said. OIA secretary Rajesh Kanungo said the investment allowance of 15 pc on investment of more than `25 crore in plant and machinery will boost the SME sector.