Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan has commended Union Budget 2012-13 saying it is extremely beneficial for the port and shipping sector and, for the first time, several initiatives have been taken.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, he said that the growth-oriented budget aimed at all-round progress while combating inflation. “It will be the bedrock of development in the country.”

He said that Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had fulfilled most of the demands of his Ministry.

For instance, countervailing duty on ships and vessels, including dredgers, had been withdrawn with retrospective effect. This would encourage the import of such vessels. Mr. Mukherjee had allowed ports to raise Rs.5,000 crores through tax free infrastructure bonds.

With reference to inland water transport of cargo, he pointed out that service tax had been withdrawn. This would give a boost to the sector. For the North-East, provisions had been made to the tune of Rs.80 crore for improving inland waterways.

Later, former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president E.V.K.S. Elangovan released a compact disc on the Kudankulam project in a bid to create awareness among people.

It was received by Mr.Vasan and TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan.

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