Staff Correspondent

Increase in service tax on products of small-scale industries criticised

What's goodAllocation of funds for rural infrastructureEmployment generation schemes for rural areasFinancial assistance to women self-help groupsReduction in excise duty and customs duty on certain products

MYSORE: The Hebbal Industrialists Association (HIA) has termed the Union Budget presented on Tuesday satisfactory though not beneficial for the industrial development of the nation.

In a release, association president P. Vishwanath and general secretary Suresh Kumar Jain have said that the budgetary proposals will not benefit industries in the long run.

Thrust on rural areas

They said that the focus on rural development and cottage industries has brought satisfaction to small-scale industries (SSIs). They said some proposals including Rs. 10,000 crores allocation for development of infrastructure in rural areas, special financial assistance to women self-help groups, employment generation schemes for rural areas, drinking water supply to rural areas and rural electrification scheme will all help in revival of rural and cottage industries thus generating employment.

Further, they said reduction in excise duty on packaged food items, pasteurised milk and reduction in customs duty on packaging machinery will help small-scale and cottage industries. Mr. Vishwanath and Mr. Suresh Kumar Jain, however, have said that SSIs have been ignored under the Raitha Mitra schemes, which entails low interest rate on short-term borrowings.

Besides, they said that it is unfortunate that the service tax on products of small-scale industries has been raised to 12 per cent from 10 per cent. The service tax has witnessed an increase during the last three budgets also, they added.