10 Feb 2017

Balanced and professional budget

Rakesh Shah, President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata giving his immediate reactions on the West Bengal Budget Proposals for 2017-18 presented by Dr Amit Mitra,
Minister-in-Charge, Department of Finance, Government of West Bengal at the State Assembly, this afternoon of 10th February, 2017, observed that:
“Dr. Mitra has admirably presented a balanced and professional Budget on the face of a year affected by demonetisation and slowing down of GDP growth. Concerted move to boost manufacturing units in the MSME sector and special thrust on tax administration will immensely help to continue with present growth trajectory of West Bengal. The Chamber also congratulates the Minster for fast tracking the GST implementation considering all the necessary reforms and safeguarding measures.
“Announcement to enhance the threshold for payment of tax to Rs. 20 Lakhs and a completely paperless e-registration would sufficiently support the business to a great extent. Besides, the proposal to completely abolish the provision of submission of separate VAT audit report would provide relief to business community and would synchronise the transition towards the GST as well.
“The Chamber congratulates the Minister for the success of the Fast Track Court in addressing the matters with due diligence and time frame. Besides, Extension of the Scheme of the Settlement of Dispute Schemes up-to 31st March, 2017, as proposed in the Chamber’s Pre-Budget Memorandum deserves special appreciation.
“The Minister deserves special accolades for continuing with the policy of the Government to provide housing for all and providing necessary relief to real estate sector through the reduction in the Stamp Duty and special incentives to early registration of property. These would sufficiently boost the sentiments of the purchasers and the sector in turn.
“According to Mr Shah, President while the increased emphasis on the further growth of the MSME is laudable, the required growth in employment opportunities is unlikely to be achieved in the absence of creation of large industries and integrating the MSMEs, he stated”. (President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata.)

MCCI welcomes positive budget
On ‘ease of doing business’ the Finance Minister has proposed a number of steps in relation to VAT which will be subsumed once GST is put in place. Extension of the date for Settlement of Disputes from 31st January to 31st March 2017 will provide an opportunity to the dealers. Disposal of all pending Refund cases under VAT by 31.12.2017 and the Extension of Composition Scheme to small manufacturers with an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh are positive steps.
Creation of a Special Fund of Rs 100 crore for farmers to mitigate their sufferings and one time grant of Rs. 50,000 to skilled workers who lost their jobs and came back to State as a fall out of demonetization indicates a humane approach of the State government.
Reduction of Stamp duty by 20 p.c. will incentivize the prospective buyers to get their property registered. Reduction of Stamp duty on Agreement of sale to 2 p.c. will encourage related parties to get the agreement registered.
However, Chamber feels that deficit target of Rs 5 crore may not be adhered keeping in view the resource constraints.

Practical pragmatic budget
Sanjay Budhia

The State Budget announced by Finance & Industry Minister Dr Amit Mitra and his able Team has very successfully adopted multiple strategies to address many issues simultaneously pertinent to overall development. It lists the extraordinary achievements of the Government in the last 6 years irrespective of challenging constraints. Expected increase in the State Plan of Expenditure by four times, Extension of waiver of Primary Education & Rural Employment Cess for Tea Industry, Increase in Honorarium by Rs 500 to around 50,000 Asha Workers and more than 2 lakh Anganwadi Workers, Allotment of Rs 100 crore to Special Assistance Fund for extending co-operative credits to farmers to aid them in harvesting agricultural produce are some significant moves that will ensure all round development of our state at all levels.
Reduction in Stamp duty from the present rate of 5 -7% to 2%, reduction in registration fee on all by 9%, Allotment of Rs 250 crore for lump sum payment of Rs 50,000 to 50,000 skilled artisans migrating from other states etc are enabling moves that will go a long way in outlining and strengthening the economic structure of West Bengal.
Simplification of online submission of Taxation and introduction of E-Taxation, Reduction/Relaxation in VAT for MSME manufacturing units, raising the threshold for payment of VAT from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, extension in provisions to include prompt resolution of Tax disputes and clearances of pending refunds through of Vat Audit Report to further simplify and enhance E-Governance etc are some of the positive welcome moves to smoothen and hasten industrial growth.
The Budget is Pragmatic, Practical and People Centric Budget which will have all round positive impact on the State Economy. (Managing Director – Patton Group)