Union Budget 2019: “Reform, Perform, Transform”, affirmed finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman as India listened to Budget 2019 with bated breath. Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to lay the roadmap for India to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024. “We have set the ball rolling for a new India”, she stated, giving credit to a rejuvenated Centre-State dynamic, cooperative federalism, Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, and commitment to fiscal discipline.
This new India focuses on widening the tax net, ensuring smooth compliances, digitizing the country, promoting a cash-less, green (pollution free) and blue (water secure) economy. The vision laid out in the interim budget announced in February 2019 had a key focus on Make In India, the flagship program of the NDA government, with particular emphasis on MSMEs and startups to drive investment and push for growth. Key highlights of the impact of Budget 2019 on the MSME sector are noted below.