Industry, farmers in Mysuru not enthused by Union Budget

The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday has evoked mixed reactions from the industry sector in Mysuru.

It is neither sweet nor sour, said Mysuru Industries Association president Vasu, who is also an MLA, and secretary Suresh Kumar Jain.

They said barring announcements for overall economic growth, the budget doesn’t offer much to the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, which had a lot of expectations from it. The wishes of the sector remained unfulfilled with no support schemes and allocations following the impact of demonetisation, they said.

“MSMEs expected more schemes in the budget but there is no allocation for industrial infrastructure development. Moreover, there is no relief in interest rate for MSME loans while NPA (non-performing asset) norms for MSME have not been relaxed,” Mr. Vasu and Mr. Jain said in a statement. But they expressed happiness with the increase in allocation to the sector — from ₹5,463 crore in 2016-17 to ₹6,482 crore in 2017-18.

The association welcomed certain measures announced in the budget. The statement said the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana had contributed significantly to funding the unfunded and the underfunded. Last year, the target of 1.22 crore was exceeded. For 2017-18, it has been proposed in the budget to double the lending target to 2.44 crore, with priority to Dalits, tribals, backward classes, minorities, and women.

It also welcomed the announcement on the development of 600 Skill Development Centres under the Skill India Project, besides the 5% reduction in tax for the MSME sector.

‘Hopes dashed’

Meanwhile, farmers in Mysuru are disappointed with the budget.

“Farmers have been facing a lot of difficulties because of the drought and demonetisation. We had [hoped for] special announcements. But all our hopes were dashed and today’s budget has nothing much to feel elated about,” said Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association.

He said the budget should have announced some short-term measures to lift the morale of farmers who have been hit by successive droughts.

“We were looking for some immediate action. Over 50,000 farmers have died in the last year. This was a time they were looking earnestly towards the Centre for some benefits,” he said.

Mr. Shanthakumar added that the budget could have included loans of up to ₹3 lakh to farmers at zero per cent interest, since the government was now cash-rich, thanks to demonetisation.

He, however, welcomed the decision to develop lakes for rejuvenating groundwater.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 2:01:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Industry-farmers-in-Mysuru-not-enthused-by-Union-Budget/article17128746.ece

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