As pace gathers for the upcoming Union Budget 2017, the noise around the demonetisation drive of the government is yet to die down. The industry, small scale sectors and farmers are looking forward for the government to give a balm of waivers and amnesty schemes.
In the Pre-Budget Panel Discussion
organized by ASSOCHAM UP in collaboration with Business Standard in the politically heated up capital city Lucknow saw variety of views merging at the idea of protectionism for indigenous industries, agrotech and rural sector.
The discussion started with the brunt that the agriculture and allied sectors have faced due to demonetization and how the government can make up for the loss. “The farmer populace has been the worst hit with selling of last season and sowing for the current has been impacted due to cash crunch. The government should provide loan waivers for the farmers to ease the pain,” said Sudhir Panwar, Member, Planning Commission (UP) and professor, Lucknow University.
The land of agri based industry, UP is facing a double sword of new state government coming at the same time when the Central government would announce its penultimate reformist budget this year. “The state specifically needs employment generation. For the entrepreneurs and the small scale industries, the government should contemplate for a tax rebate. This would go long way in building Skill India, Digital India and obviously Make in India,” said L K Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, K M Sugar Mill Group.
Adding to the list of ideas that will help upcoming industrial sectors, A K Gupta, Chairman, Taxation Committee – ASSOCHAMUP, said GST would be game changer and the Union Budget should set pace for it. “There needs to be clarity over the rates and reduction of stamp duty on real estate, low interest rates for new businesses, MSMEs as funds availability would be crunched in medium term,” said Gupta.
Emphasizing on the need for ease of doing business, Shailendra Jain, President, ASSOCHAMUP, said the government should sign strong trade ties with neighboring countries which benefits the local industry. “The tax net needs to be widened but the exemptions for the MSMEs needs to be relooked to promote Make in India,” said Jain. With respect to UP, he said that the dying sectors of textiles and handicraft needs to incentivize in order to promote them globally.
For specifically in UP, the industry unanimously agreed to have better facilitation for clearances. “Infrastructure creation is a key need of the time. Some of the country’s leading sectors are devoid of any investment. At the same time, small businesses are reeling under cash crunch. The Central government needs to push for infra growth to fuel the growth of the economy and invite private investment, which is shrinking,” said V K Agarwalm Managing Director, Shashi Cables Limited.
The interactive audience also pitched in with slew of reform ideas, mostly to improve public health and basic education in rural areas and also the urban poor. The audience comprising of former bureaucrats, industrialists and tax experts batted for reduction in MAT and regular tax for the MSMEs.