Barring travel and tourism industry stakeholders, small, medium and big business and industry stakeholders in Goa welcomed the announcements made in the budget for 2021-22, underlining no major fresh tax levies and focus on infrastructure and health sectors as the key initiatives taken by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"There has been no increase in taxes on or education cess, this comes as a relief... The government also appears to be focusing on reducing government interference in governance, which is a welcome sign," Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Sandeeep Bhandare said while reacting to Sitharaman's budget speech.
Chairman of National Council for MSME of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India Manguirish Pai Raikar said that MSMEs stand to benefit on account of the increased import levies.
"Imports will be curbed due to additional levies and which will in turn help MSMEs... A lot of employment was lost due to Covid-19, so the efforts to generate employment as seen in the budget is encouraging," Raikar said.
Damodar Kochkar, president of the Goa Small Industries Association said that the focus on infrastructure spending was a good sign for the small industries. "This expenditure on infrastructure will also help to push employment," Kochkar said.
Goa's travel and tourism industry, however, gave the budget speech a thumb down, saying there was nothing in it for the twin industries.
"Tourism industry has been the worst hit with Covid. In Goa, only 25 per cent of the registered hotels are open. Tourism industry expected more from the budget. There was a demand for hotels being given industry status. There is nothing in the budget for travel and tourism," vice president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa Jack Sukhija said.