GUWAHATI, March 13 - Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) has welcomed the first e-Budget presented in the State Assembly on Monday.
FINER President Pabitra Buragohain lauded the State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s attempt to include almost every sector in the Budget. The FINER Taxation Committee headed by Vinod Lohia presented an analytical view on the Budget, its industrial as well as socio-economic aspects. The industry body appreciated setting up of MSME Credit Guarantee Scheme with a Rs 100-crore fund and 50 per cent of loan amount being covered with a maximum loan of Rs 50 lakh, which is critical for industrial development of Assam and fuelling entrepreneurship .
“Exemption from payment of cess on green tea leaves is a substantial relief to tea growers who can now look forward to be competitive and cost-effective. Increasing the slab for agricultural income tax from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh will be a relief to taxpayers,” FINER said. It also lauded the revival of APOL, old-age pension scheme, sanitation support to women, improvement of tea garden roads, among other initiatives.
“State Level Mega Skill Scheme will be a major initiative towards creating an ecosystem conducive to improving skill level of the youth. This will need to be supported by skill development mechanisms and institutions both in government as well as private sector,” it added.
The industry body, however, felt that increase of 1 per cent stamp duty could have been avoided as it would be an added burden to the middle class and also considering that the real estate sector has not yet come out of the impact of GST.