The Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman presented the much-awaited Budget on 05 July 2019 in Parliament. As expected, the FM unveiled various provisions and amendments focussed on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Startup sector in the country. Here are the key highlights announced during the presentation:
- The government has proposed to provide loans up to Rs 1 crore within 59 minutes to improve the availability of credit for MSMEs. The loans will be provided through a dedicated online portal.
- In order to eliminate the delay of government payments to contractors and suppliers which in turn is directed towards MSMEs and SMEs, a payment platform will be established. The platform will be a one-stop solution for MSMEs where the filing of bills and payment thereof can be done on the platform itself.
- Over Rs 350 crore has been allocated towards 2% interest subvention on new and progressive loans for all GST registered MSMEs under the Interest Subvention Scheme.
- Under the new Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme, the government has decided to offer pension benefits to over 3 crore small shopkeepers and retail traders. However, in order to be eligible under the scheme, the beneficiary must have an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore. The government has also simplified the enrolment process under the scheme with beneficiaries required to submit only the Aadhaar and bank account details.
- The Finance Minister proposed to launch a new television programme exclusively for startups under the Doordarshan bouquet. The programme shall facilitate the promotion of startups, reeling in investors, etc.
- In order to curb undesirable practices involved in the income tax department’s present scrutiny assessment system, the government has proposed to launch a faceless e-assessment. This ensures a single point of contact between the department and taxpayer during the scrutiny assessment.
- Special administrative arrangements will be introduced by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for startups. The Assessing Officer will no more have the right to inquire/verify cases related to pending assessments or grievance redressal without his/her Supervisory Officer.
- In order to encourage women enterprise, the FM proposed to strengthen the Women Self Help Group (SHG) interest subvention programme across all states. Under the MUDRA Scheme, a woman from every SHG shall be eligible for a loan up to Rs 1 lakh. In the same line, all women SHG members are also eligible for an overdraft of Rs 5,000 from the Jan Dhan Bank.