Various industries and trade bodies in the region have welcomed the union budget presented by union finance minister Piyush Goyal Friday, particularly the announcement of Rs 6,000 per year for the farmers having below two hectares of land. The scheme would benefit millions of cotton farmers, as the crop got affected in certain states and the amount announced would benefit the farmers, chairman of Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) P Nataraj said.
Also, he welcomed the announcement of the pension scheme for the workers in the unorganised sector enabling them to receive Rs 3,000 per month as pension after attaining the age of 60. Most of such workers were in the textile sector. Nataraj said the scheme would largely benefit the weavers of handlooms and power looms and also the workers of several other small, micro units from other segments of the industry.
He welcomed the decision of doubling the income tax exemption limit and enhancing the standard deduction to Rs 50,000 which would benefit several lakhs of middle-class employees of the textile industry.
However, the substantial reduction in the budget allocation for a rebate on state levies (ROSL) and amended technology upgradation fund benefits would have a serious impact on the textile industry, he said.
President of the local chapter of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lakshminarayanasway, welcoming the interim budget, said it was focused on major relief for farmers and the taxpayers. The chamber welcomed nil tax for those with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh, increase in gratuity limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, and mega pension scheme for unorganised workers whose salary was below Rs 15,000.
The trade body, however, said the finance minister did not concede too much on the fiscal consolidation goals since the fiscal deficit for 2018-2019 was seen at 3.4 per cent of the GDP.
In a press release, president of Tirupur Exporters’ Association Raja M Shanmugham termed the budget as people- oriented. He welcomed the announcement of Rs 6,000 per annum for the small and marginal farmers and increasing the income tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to the individuals.
Shanmugham expressed disappointment over the rebate on state levies allocation of Rs 1,000 crore which was lower since the apparel exports per annum were hovering around Rs 1.10 lakh crore.
He said he was happy over raising the interest equalisation scheme allocation from Rs 2,600 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, which would meet the recent increase in interest equalisation for micro, small and medium enterprises from three to five per cent.