by February 28, 2013 0 comments

The finance minister presented the union budget for 2013-2014 today which has some proposals to drive in investment that can benefit SMEs. For the electronics’ manufacturing industry, the National Electronics Policy (NEP) 2012 is intended to promote domestic manufacturing of equipment. Semiconductor industries such as those into manufacturing wafers will get incentives.

The finance minister noted that MSMEs have a large share in the creation of jobs but too many of them do not grow as desired. To encourage them to grow, MSMEs will now be allowed to retain with them benefits of development schemes for 3 years after moving out of the MSME category. Assitance given to SIDBI for this purpose will increase from Rs. 5000 cr./year to Rs. 10000 cr./year. The FM added that tool rooms and technology development centers(TDCs) have done well in the field of technology upgradation for SMEs and has made a promise to get assistance from the World Bank to the tune of Rs. 2200 crore in order to set up 15 additional TDCs.

SMEs will also be permitted to list on the SME exchange without the requirement of IPOs subject to meeting certain investment conditions.

Coming to IT hardware, the import duty for set-top boxes has been increased from 5% to 10%. The FM noted that about 60% of the domestic mobile phones manufactured are those that sell for less than Rs. 2000. For them, the excise duty remains the same. For others, the duty has been raised to 6%.

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