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Karnataka - Mysore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Mixed reaction from people; BJP fumes

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, FEB. 28. The Union Budget for 2005-06 presented by the Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, in Parliament on Monday has received both bouquets and brickbats in Mysore.

If the wide-ranging concessions in excise and customs duty has thrilled the industry, which is gearing up to face the challenges of globalisation, the proposal to levy 0.1 per cent charge on withdrawals of deposits above Rs. 10,000 a day has been severely criticised.

The Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Mysore Zone, Ashok Rao, preferred to describe the budget as a mixed bag.

Though the emphasis on infrastructure, which is the driving force for the automobile industry, should be welcomed, the absence of excise cuts for the sector does not appear very encouraging, he said.

The president of the Nanjangud Industries Association, Ramprasad, said the reduction in excise and customs duties on import of raw material as well as manufacturing equipment will be welcomed by export-oriented units.

"On the whole, it appears to be a good budget," said M.G. Basavarajaiah of the Department of Economics, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Centre, Mandya, University of Mysore. The sops offered by Mr. Chidambaram should encourage the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), which is a healthy trend for the growth of Indian economy. The economically weaker sections too have been taken care of by Mr. Chidambaram, he said.

BJP's reaction

A. Ramdas, former BJP MLA, criticised the Budget for "its failure to control inflation."

"With no elections scheduled this year, the people of the country expected a progressive budget aimed at nation-building. But the Union Finance Minister has disappointed them," he said.

The increase in prices of essential items has been one of the main features of the Indian economy during the past one year. "There is absolutely nothing in the budget to control the trend," he said.

GDP growth

The country's gross domestic produce (GDP), which had been growing by 8.5 per cent during the NDA's tenure, came down to 6.5 per cent the previous year. "The anticipated growth in the GDP for the coming year is only 7.4 per cent," Mr. Ramdas said.

At a time when the country is facing an estimated 30 per cent shortage of power supply, the budget remains silent on measures to improve power generation by setting up hydel power generation plants.

Mr. Ramdas criticised the Union Budget for its "metro-centric" approach to the growing problem of urbanisation in the country.

"The Union Budget has announced schemes to improve infrastructure in only six metropolitan cities. On the contrary, during the NDA rule, all urban centres with a population of more than 1 lakh had been brought under an urban development scheme to provide drainages and sewage treatment plants.

The absence of protection for farmers from the impact of the World Trade Organisation has been a major lapse on the part of the Union Finance Ministry, he said.

Public reaction

The people have taken exception to the levy of 0.1 per cent charge on withdrawal of Rs 10,000 and above a day. "Though it is claimed that the move is to check circulation of black money, even honest taxpayers will be forced to cough up Rs. 10 for every Rs. 10,000 they draw. It is a retrograde move," Ramanand Bhat, a retired Government officer, said.

The proposal to levy 50 paise cess on a litre of petrol for the Golden Quadrilateral project is very unscientific, Sagar, a sales representative, said. "Why should people, who use two-wheelers on poor roads in cities and towns, compensate for the travel of heavy traffic vehicles on highways connecting major metros?" he sought to know.

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