The Hindu Business Line holds panel discussion
Higher allocations for highways and emphasis on infrastructure beneficial
Budget is pragmatic as it has taken into accountpressing issues, he asserts
VIJAYAWADA: The Union Budget for 2010-11 has a positive appeal in general, though some proposals could be a cause for concern to different sections and groups of society, said speakers at a panel discussion organised by The Hindu Business Line in association with the Andhra Bank here on Wednesday.
Confederation of Indian Industry Andhra Pradesh chairman Y. Harish Chandra Prasad, Andhra Bank Deputy General Manager T. Ramakanth and progressive farmer Goriparthi Narasimha Raju Yadav were the speakers at the discussion organised for the benefit of students of business management of P.B. Siddhartha College of Arts and Science. The students actively participated in an interaction session that followed the presentations by the speakers.
Mr. Prasad listed higher allocations for national highways and emphasis on rural infrastructure as the factors that could be beneficial to the State, though it was certainly disappointing that no irrigation project had been declared a national project nor any languishing project been given viability gap funding.
The Finance Minister's indication that the Software Technology Parks would be considered for being given the status of SEZs would surely augur well for the small and medium size IT companies that dominate Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Prasad, however, felt that the time had not yet come for the rollback of stimulus packages.
Also, increase in the Minimum Alternative Tax, hike in the excise duty on petrol and diesel and delay in introduction of Goods and Service Tax and the Direct Tax Code were not correct.
Mr. Prasad said that the Budget was pragmatic as it had taken into account several pressing issues and problems like inflation, interest rates, fiscal deficit, 13th Finance Commission's recommendations, environment and internal security.
Throwing light on what the Budget meant for the banking industry, Mr. Ramakanth said that proposals relating to recapitalisation were good, while the earlier proposals pertaining to consolidation of banks appeared to have been dropped in view of the global experiences.
The proposal to give licences to Non-Banking Financial Companies to set up banks would no doubt increase competition and, thereby, competence.
The postponement of debt waiver and extension of the concession scheme for home loans were also positive features in so far as the banking industry was concerned.
Mr. Yadav regretted that successive governments have neglected agrarian sector, though it was known very well that rural development would suffer without profitable agriculture.
He called for fixing the price of agricultural produce in tune with the cost of production.
Rajesh C. Jampala, professor and head, department of commerce and business administration, PG centre, P.B. Siddhartha College of Arts and Science also spoke. K. Chandrasekaran, Regional General Manager, The Hindu, Vijayawada, welcomed the gathering.