Industry response in the western region of Coimbatore to the Interim union budget 2019 presented by Mr. Piyush Goyal in Parliament was a mix of elation and disappointment.
While knitwear and garment industry broadly hailed the interim budgetary announcements, small scale manufacturers put on a long face, saying they expected far more measures to boost industrial activity.
Mr. Raja M Shanmugham, president of Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA), broadly welcoming the budget said, “the announcement of Rs 6,000 per annum to the Small and Marginal farmers and increasing the income tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to individuals, and a monthly pension for unorganised sector workers are considered as better measures.”
However, he urged the centre to allocate adequate funds for textile and knitwear sectors. He said, “the total allocation to the textile industry is Rs 5,831 crore and out of this, allocation to Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) and Rebate on State Levies (ROSL) scheme are Rs 700 crore and Rs.1,000 crore respectively. The ROSL allocation is lower since the apparel exports per annum is hovering around Rs 1,10,000 crore. With the existing ROSL rate at 1.70 per cent, the amount required would be Rs 1,700 crore. The allocation may be revised upwards in the regular Union Budget 2019-20.” The increased allocation for the ‘interest equalization scheme’ from Rs 2,600 crore to Rs 3,000 core was also welcome to the MSMEs’, said Raja Shanmugham.
Mr. K V Srinivasan, chairman, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) termed the budget as growth oriented. Hike in the taxable income threshold, increase in standard deduction to Rs 50,000 are measures that would leave more disposable income in the salaried class, leading to more consumption including textiles, he said. This would have a positive impact on the economy, he said, and urged inclusion of cotton yarn and fabrics under ROSL scheme.
The president of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, V Lakshminarayanasamy, hailed the budget’s focus on two major reliefs including for farmers and general tax payers.
The general secretary of the South Indian collar shirts and Inner wears Small scale Manufacturers Association (SISMA), K S Babuji, said, “small scale industries are expecting the Centre to increase the cash transaction limit from Rs. two lakh, but the interim budget disappointed us. There is no adequate fund allocation and scheme for industrial development.”
Similarly, Mr. Ravikumar, president of Coimbatore Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs Association, said, “Though several announcements brings cheer to the public and big industrialists, the small scale industries are not happy with the interim budget, which did not considered the demands of the SSI sector.”
Echoing the same sentiment, K Maniraj, president of Kovai Power Driven Pumps and Spares Manufacturers Association, said small scale industries’ expectations such as GST rates reduction, subsidised and collateral free loans for SSIs’ did not figure in the interim budget.