For Gujarat industries, the Union Budget was a mixed bag, especially since incentives for the healthcare sector fighting the pandemic were expected.
“The healthcare sector has suffered immensely due to the pandemic. Some specific relief measures or incentive schemes were expected for the sector,” stated Hemant Shah, president of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
Though the GCCI appreciated the provisions made for the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme and the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises, it felt the minimum investment limit for availing benefits of the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) Scheme should have been reduced to benefit MSME units, and a specific sum should have been allocated from the total allocation for MSME units.
“Income tax rates should have been rationalised in view of the inflationary trend,” Shah added. GCCI also appreciated the extension of tax exemptions for start-ups, new Act for SEZs and announcements made with regard to GIFT City.
Geeta Goradia, co-chair of FICCI in Gujarat, welcomed the budget but felt that increased spending in social sectors such as healthcare, education, and direct benefit schemes such as MNREGA and PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana was required.
“Specific interventions are needed for incentivising R&D in sectors such as healthcare, pharma, biotech, greentech and futuristic areas like AI, Internet of Things, etc. We will continue to engage with the government on these issues,” Goradia added.
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) at Anand, welcomed the reduction in alternate minimum tax for cooperatives from 18.5 per cent to 15 per cent, and surcharge from 12 per cent to 7 per cent for cooperatives having an income Rs 1 crore-10 crore.
“The decision will boost development initiatives of dairy cooperatives and ensure better remuneration to millions of farmers,” said Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB.
Rasna Group Chairman Priuz Khambatta largely applauded the budgetary provisions for infrastructure, agriculture and natural farming. “The industry was expecting more in terms of tax breaks for the middle class and more cash transfers for rural poor that would have led to more growth in consumption. The same is missing in the budget. Having said that I am sure, India deserves this progressive budget,” he stated.