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Small and medium businesses disappointed with budget


New Delhi : The small-and-medium enterprises (SME) sector was disappointed with the national budget for 2008-09 because it had proposed nothing to reverse the economic slowdown, said a representative trade body.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the budget for coming fiscal beginning April 1 in the Lok Sabha Friday.

“The SME sector was expecting the finance minister to bring down borrowing cost for it, which presently stands at 13-16 percent,” said Anil Bhardwaj, secretary-general, Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The SME business was also expecting cuts in interest rates on home loans so that demand for raw materials could rise back,” he said.

Besides, the sector had hoped the finance minister would make a 4-percent across-the-board cut in excise duties so that the country could move towards the composite Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime, he added.

The finance minister has slashed excise duties by 2 percent.