Mixed bag, say industry, chambers – The Hindu

CHENNAI , February 02, 2018 00:47 IST
Updated: February 02, 2018 00:47 IST
While some welcome pro-poor, pro-farmer tilt, others feel MSMEs have been ignored
Though there was not much on offer specific to Tamil Nadu, industrialists and chambers of commerce have given a fair rating to the 2018 budget.
  1. Ravichandran, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Tamil Nadu State Council, said: “They have increased customs duty on imported mobile phones; this has pushed the chances of reviving the Nokia plant (near Chennai). We (the industry) are also looking for someone to come and invest in Nokia.”
“The State government is looking to set up three food processing parks and the impetus given in the budget will help. The announcements pertaining to animal husbandry and seafood will benefit people involved in this business in Tuticorin and Kanniyakumari belt,” he added. Regarding Railways, Mr. Ravichandran said, “We were looking for a night train from Coimbatore to Bengaluru, which has not happened.”

C.K. Ranganathan, chairman and managing director of CavinKare Pvt Ltd, said that the budget has introduced many path- breaking pro-farmer and pro-poor initiatives.

“The introduction of long-term capital gains tax at 10% is not only warranted but is essential to address the gap between the manufacturing/trading and financial market activities. Similarly, reduction of the corporate tax to 25% for MSMEs with a turnover of up to ₹250 crore is a right decision,” he said.

‘Smart budget’
The Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) commented that this was a ‘smart budget’, balancing both the welfare and development agendas. The noteworthy and laudable point of the budget is that it packs in a lot of welfare without an excessive dose of subsidies and concessions. The chamber also felt that there are some concerns in the budget.

Gayathri Sriram, vice president, MCCI, said, “Cess on imports, which has been increased from 3% to 10%, could lead to inflation as input tax credit cannot be claimed. Extension of the dividend distribution tax to mutual funds will lead to double taxation, as the dividends that a mutual fund receives from a corporate would have already suffered taxation before.”

Rafeeque Ahmed, president of The Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), gave a thumbs-up to the budget. “Though the budget is targeted at the rural segment of the society, the announcement on free power and gas for weaker sections in an era of reducing subsidies and elimination of freebies could have been avoided,” he said.

The Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (Tanstia) said that there was no major announcement for small and medium enterprises in the budget. Its president C. Babu said: “Non-performing assets are destroying MSMEs and this has not been dealt with.” Ditto was the opinion of The Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association. The State has over 11.5 lakh registered MSME units.

The Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangakalin Peramaippu expressed disappointment over the budget. It said traders have been totally ignored and the benefits of the Mudra scheme is not reaching customers.
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