Bikky Khosla | 05 Feb, 2024
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week presented the Interim Budget 2024-25. It
is her sixth consecutive Budget which overall talks about India’s growth potential
and the importance of policy continuity, with focus on areas like inclusive growth,
modern infrastructure development, capital expenditures, etc. There are praises
as well as criticism, and as far as the MSME sector is concerned, the reactions
seem to be mixed.
The Budget allocates Rs 22,137 crore to the MSME ministry. Allocation
for the ECLGS
has been reduced to Rs 10,162.92 crore – by some 4000 crore – but an amount of Rs
450 crore has been allocated for establishing new technology centres, Rs 400
crore for development of Micro and Small Clusters and Rs 4,824 for the PM
Vishwakarma scheme. However, some sections expected a lot more from the Budget,
particularly some new schemes on credit and technology upgradation.
Similarly, the Budget offers certain
tax benefits to the startup sector by way of extension of exemptions. No doubt,
schemes like Fund of Fund, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee, etc. are
benefiting the sector immensely, but again, according to some, a lot more could
have been done for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.
According to some experts, the Budget lacks concrete steps both for startups
This was not a full Budget, however.
The Prime Minister publicly declared it as an Interim Budget, adding that the
Centre will bring a full Budget when a new government is formed. We expect
that the next
full Budget will unveil some comprehensive measures for both MSMEs and startups.
In the last few years, a lot has been done in this regard and I hope this policy
will continue in the coming years as well.
I invite your opinions.