Farmers’ body criticises Budget, MSME Council finds it “industry-friendly”

The Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Monday elicited both brickbats and bouquets from different sections of the society.

While President of Karnataka State Sugarcane Farmers’ Association President Kurubur Shanthakumar, who is also the President of Federation of Karnataka State Farmers’ Association, criticised the Budget for not having any schemes for the development of the agriculture sector, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Council termed the Budget as “pro-development” and “industry-friendly”.

Mr. Shanthakumar said the Union government’s promises to increase support price for agriculture produce and enhance the farmers’ income appear to be assurances given only for the sake of publicity. Also, he said the Budget does not spell out any loan policy nor makes any promise to waive the interest on crop loans of the farmers, who are in grave difficulties.

Mr. Shanthakumar said the Budget does not provide any clear picture about crop insurance. With regard to the levy of agriculture infrastructure cess, he said the farmers will have to wait and see if it benefits them.

If the Centre withdraws the three farm bills that are inimical to the interests of the farmers of the country, it will be of great help to the farmers, he added.

Meanwhile, MSME Council’s President Ravi Koti and General Secretary Suresh Kumar Jain, in a joint statement, welcomed the introduction of pre-paid electricity meters, allocation of ₹27,000 crore for the industry and ₹1.7 lakh crore for creating basic infrastructure for transport in the country.

However, the MSME Council has criticised the Budgetary proposal to sell the shares of LIC and IDBI.

The Mysore Industries Association (MIA) has criticised the Union Budget. President of MIA Vasu, in a statement, has expressed disappointment over the Budget failing to provide financial assistance at a concessional rate of interest to the the industrial sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises that were reeling under the impact of COVID-19.

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