Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Jalandhar, February 1
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the much-awaited Union Budget 2023-24 today, and tax exemption for the people with salary up to Rs 7 lakh has come in for praise. City traders and industrialists said it was a good step, but in the same breath most of them added that “there is nothing for the industry”.
They had several expectations from the government. Gursharan Singh, a senior industrialist said there was no relief for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “Small industries provide employment and generate huge revenue, but their condition is not good at all,” he said, adding that there was no subsidy at all. “Also, Punjab doesn’t have its own raw material and labour. Overall, it’s a big disappointment,” he said.
No mention of R&D centre sought by us
Amid rising inflation, taking a decision regarding income tax was necessary. However, there is no mention of an R&D centre that we had been seeking. The setting up of a tax intelligence unit is like a sword hanging over one’s neck. Ravinder Dhir, Khel Udyog Sangh Convenor
Big disappointment for small enterprises
Small industries provide employment and generate huge revenue, but their condition is not good at all. Also, Punjab doesn’t have its own raw material and labour. Overall, it’s a big disappointment. Gursharan Singh, Industrialist
GST issue of rubber manufacturers remain
We had been demanding the reduction of the GST from 12 to 5 per cent on rubber slippers, but there was no mention of it in the Union Budget. Our industry is nowhere right now. Neeraj Arora, Rubber manufacturer
Echoing similar sentiments, another industrialist, Tajinder Bhasin, said: “I can’t find anything for the industry. There is fluctuation and variation of steel prices, last year the prices varied from 30-40 per cent. We wanted some regulatory body, but nothing of that sort happened.”
Rubber industry manufacturer Neeraj Arora said they had been raising their demands with the Central Government of reducing the GST slab from 12 to 5 per cent on rubber slippers, but there was no mention of the same in the Budget. “We appeal to the government to listen to this demand because our industry is nowhere right now,” Arora said.
Harvinder Singh Chitkara, president, Rubber Association, Punjab, said it was important to bring down the GST slab from 12 to 5 per cent. “Otherwise, it is a good Budget. For the first time, a taxpayer has been given the right regard,” he shared.
Ravinder Dhir, convener, Khel Udyog Sangh, said: “We have been demanding R&D centre, but there is no mention of it. Also, to tackle tax evasion, the setting up of a tax intelligence unit is like a sword hanging over one’s neck,” he said.
Some also appreciated the Budget. GNA Gears Ltd CEO Gurdeep Singh termed the Budget a balanced one. “The Budget has proposed greater opportunities for auto sector, infrastructure and skill-based education. The focus of the government to manufacture hydrogen-based vehicle has opened more vistas of opportunities. Incentive of less taxation to cooperatives for opening manufacturing units till March 2024 will also boost the manufacturing sector and supplement the ‘Make in India’ regime of the government,” he shared.
Industrialist Balram Kaur also gave the thumbs up to the Budget, saying it envisions a prosperous and inclusive India in which the fruits of development reach all sections and citizens, specially youth, women, farmers, middle class, OBCs, SCs and ST.
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