Budget 2017-18: Incentives For Small and Medium Enterprises

A number of measures revolving around government’s key schemes of Mudra, Start-up India, Make in India and Digital India have been announced. These relate to increasing access to capital, promoting domestic manufacturing and increasing tax compliance of small businesses.  Details are enumerated below.

Increasing access to capital

  • A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set up with a corpus of Rs. 8,000 crores.
  • Lending target under Mudra scheme has been doubled to Rs. 2.44 lakh crores in 2017-18 from Rs. 1.77 lakh crores.

Clean India/digital India- Incentives for filing taxes

  • The corporate income tax rate for companies with a turnover of less than Rs. 50 crores has been brought down to 25% from 30 % earlier.
  • Corporate income tax rate for companies with a turnover of less than 2 crores: Such companies are not required to maintain books and currently 8% of their turnover is assumed to be their profit and is liable for taxes. The presumptive rate of 8% has been reduced to 6 %, for turnover received by non-cash means (Sales receipt received through bank account or other digital means).
  • Start-ups: These benefits are available to start ups registered between April 2016 to April 2019, under start-up India scheme
  • The time period for availing 3 year income tax holiday[1] by a start-up has been extended to 7 years as against 5 years earlier, thus providing start-ups a longer window to claim the benefit.
  • Also, condition of original promoter holding 51% shares of voting rights for start ups for claiming the tax deduction against carry forward losses has been relaxed. As per the new condition, original owner only needs to continue to hold a stake in the start-up.

Make in India – Incentives for manufacturing in India

  • Renewable energy: Customs duty on a number of components that go into making solar power panels /modules has been reduced.
  • LED: Excise duty on components/fixtures of LED lights has been reduced.
  • Water purifiers: Customs duty for parts of RO membrane for household filters has been brought down to facilitate domestic manufacturing of RO membrane. The custom duty on import of RO membrane has been increased.
  • Devices for cashless transactions: Customs duty concessions have been announced for import of POS reader, micro ATMS, finger print reader, Iris scanner.

For detailed information on the changes in excise and customs duty, please click here to refer the Budget Sheet 2017-18.

Conclusion

Budget incentivises small businesses to manufacture locally and to pay their taxes. These are good steps as such and would help the industry in the long run.

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[1] As per start-up India scheme, the start-ups are eligible to claim 100 per cent income tax deduction under section 80- IAC, however they are liable to pay MAT (minimum alternate tax ,paid on book profits), which can be set off in later years

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