Union Budget gets mixed response from coastal districts

Source: TNN | Published on 2nd February 2023, 7:47 PM | Coastal News |

MANGALURU: While there was not much gain for the coast, the common man, especially the salaried class, considering it was finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s last full Union Budget of the Modi 2.0 government, captains of industry here offered divergent views on its impetus on growth and job creation.

While, M Ganesh Kamath, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, termed it as a very progressive budget, with focus on growth, sustainability and job creation, BA Nazeer, president, Canara Plastic Manufacturers & Traders Association (CPMTA), doubted its employment generation potential, saying there should have been schemes for increasing employment, as jobs have been affected by economic slowdown, and industries are still unable to create employment.

However, Nazeer stated that the finance minister presented a budget with new ideas, by giving impetus to infrastructural development. “The focus of the budget is infrastructural development.

The approach is driven by inclusive development,’’ he added. Kamath added that the government has steered clear of populist schemes, and instead given impetus to startups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), tourism, green energy, youth power and women entrepreneurs.

Regarding the finance minister’s new sub-scheme under the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, with a targeted investment of Rs 6,000 crore, the fishermen leaders said they will comment once they read and understand the fine print. Nirmala said this sub-scheme will enable activities for fishermen, fish vendors and small and medium enterprises (SME) vendors, while also helping them to expand markets.

Aditya Mohan Jadhav, dean and professor, TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Bengaluru, said that it was clear from the budget, that the government was trying to push all the taxpayers to the new tax regime.

“All the changes in the personal tax, benefit the new tax regime users. Citizens who have made long-term investments based on the old tax regime, are not benefiting from these relaxations.

The government is expected to treat all taxpayers equally, and this bias is a disappointment,’’ he added. He appreciated the focus on digitisation, with various digital initiatives in agriculture, Digilocker, 5G app labs in colleges, healthcare and PAN, as common business identifiers, to name a few.

Nitin J Shetty, chartered accountant, said that PAN will be utilised as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government entities, and will ensure quicker KYC process, stop multiple submissions, ensure faster registrations, filings and clearances for businesses, because the basic data is already provided at the time of allotment of PAN. “This is a great measure for ease of doing business,’’ he noted.

Regarding healthcare, physician Dr Srinivas Kakkilaya noted that when 80% posts of specialist doctors are vacant in community health centres (CHCs), there’s hardly any increase in allocation for healthcare. Push for millets as a healthy food is not well founded, he added.

Industrialist and entrepreneur Lata Kini observed that the MSME sector unfortunately is always only mentioned in a highly praiseworthy and patronising manner, with only an appreciative pat on the back, and very little to cheer about.

The various new schemes being announced every year, just adds to the list of innumerable schemes that are yet to be implemented, and is a mere eyewash, Kini said. The rightful steps for thrust in digital economy, and momentum provided for the startup arena is encouraging, pointed out Kini.

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