The Finance Minister, in his speech, also acknowledged the role of MSMEs in the Indian economy and the challenges that they are facing due to regulations and the tough economic scenario worldwide.
Highlighting this year’s budget offerings for SMEs and start-ups, the Finance Minister announced, “SMEs can get listed in the SME exchange within closed user groups. SEBI will register angel investors under ‘Category I AIF’, which has a ‘tax-pass-through’ status.” This is being considered as a positive step towards the penetration and acceptance of the SME exchange among SMEs.
Sharing his reaction on the Union Budget 2013-14, Salil Singhal, Chairman and Managing Director, PI Industries, and ex-chairman of CII’s MSME Council, says, “The speech by Mr. Chidambaram clearly showcased the fact that the budget has been prepared in tough economic conditions. There is no clear roadmap for the economy to come out of this challenging time. I am sceptical about how we may come out of this tough time.”
Speaking about the influence of the budget on MSMEs in India, Singhal states, “From the perspective of SMEs, this is a positive budget. The budget gave more strength to SIDBI to support the MSMEs, and the Finance Minister himself made few points on creating a more business-friendly environment for start-ups and SMEs.”
The Finance Minister announced that benefits of preferences will stay with MSMEs for three years. Start-ups can avail of non-tax benefits for three years.
Sharing his feedback on the effect of the budget on the infrastructure segment, Neeraj Bansal, Director - Risk Compliance, KPMG India, says that he is disappointed. He says, “The budget did not meet the expectations of the real estate and infrastructure sectors. The benefits announced were muted, and were limited only to small incentives, such as deduction of interest of upto Rs. 1 lakh for a first housing loan of upto Rs 25 lakh. The infrastructure industry in India is at the threshold of a new success story. This time should be used to catalyse the growth of this segment.”