The Confederation of Indian Industry, Tiruchi Zone, sees the Union Budget as a balanced one fostering economic growth.

Summing up a discussion on the Budget with industry members, the CII Tiruchi Zone Chairman Leo J. Ananth welcomed the increased allocations for education and infrastructure, and concessions for the agriculture sector.

During the discussion, the participants were appreciative of the enhancement of taxable income limits for individuals, the Rs. 1,900 crore allocation made for Unique ID card, doubling of allocation for power sector, direct tax concessions worth Rs. 26,000 crore, increase in allocation for education to Rs. 31,036 crore, and the scope provided for additional deduction of 20 per cent over the existing one lakh rupees on tax savings through investments in long-term infrastructure bonds.

Observing that positive impact of allocations for education and skills development will be felt by the industry in the coming years, the former Chairman of CII, Tiruchi Zone, B.V. Ramanan, felt there must be a proper feedback mechanism to ascertain the efficacy of money utilisation. The Chairman and Managing Director of Harihar Alloys R.T. Arasu, praised the Budget for the encouragement provided for solar energy generation.

Doubling of outlay for the power sector will result in more public-private partnerships, the participants felt. They also welcomed the auditable turnover limit for small industries from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh, and the enhancement of allocation by 30 per cent for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.

Mr. Leo Ananth, however, felt the increase in Minimum Alternative Tax from 15 per cent to 18 per cent will be difficult to digest for IT companies. From nil tax three years back, the increase has been quite steep, he said. Members also opined that interest concessions for the industry sector on the lines of agriculture will help in reducing Non Performing Assets.

Over 20 industrialists and senior executives took part in the discussion. They included M. Somasundaram, Managing Director, Amman TRY; Karthikeyan, Chief Finance Officer, Cethar Vessels; R. Gururajan, Senior General Manager – Finance, Dalmia Cements; and Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Indian Welding Company.