There are no specific proposals to boost the tyre and rubber industry in the Interim Budget 2019 presented by Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the Lok Sabha.
On the other hand, the proposal to cut the allocation for Rubber Board to Rs1.70 billion from Rs2.11 billion earmarked in 2018-19 is bound to affect the disbursement of subsidies as well as research and extension activities of the Board.
However, the big push for infrastructure development and incentives for the MSME sector are expected to throw open growth opportunities for the tyre and rubber industry, according to industry circles.
The Budget proposes to promote road transportation by building 27kms of highways per day, which will make India the fastest highway developer in the world.
Describing the Interim Budget as growth-oriented, Anant Goenka, Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), said the tyre industry being an integral part of transport and growth ecosystem will benefit by the big push to infrastructure, particularly for improving connectivity and infrastructure development in North East where efficient transport of rubber to consuming centres in other parts of the country has been an issue.
He hoped that other issues raised by the industry such as the inverted duty structure will be addressed in the full-fledged Budget to be presented later.
The decision to source 25% material from SMEs in government projects, 2% interest subvention on MSME loans, the promise of further exemptions in GST, the GEM (Govt E-Marketplace) platform where MSMEs can showcase and sell their products etc are expected to help empower the MSME sector in which many rubber processing and manufacturing units are functioning.