Staff Correspondent

`No special package announced for development of region'

  • Budget's attention to agricultural development praised
  • Benefits announced for income tax payers welcomed

    GULBARGA: The Hyderabad-Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI), while welcoming most of the proposals in the Union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday, voiced its doubts on the measures proposed to contain inflationary pressure on the economy.

    In a statement issued here, HKCCI president Umakant Nigudgi criticised the Finance Minister for neglecting the development of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, which, he said, was considered to be one of the most backward regions in the country. He said that neither had the budget spelled out any measures to remove regional imbalances prevailing in the region but had also not provided any special package for its development.

    Mr. Nigudgi said that the "liberal" exemptions on customs duty and the reduction of excise duties would only help multinational companies but not Indian industries. He welcomed, however, the proposals made under the Bharath Nirman programme.

    He said the budget had kept in view the predominance of agriculture in the economy, and welcomed the funds to be provided for the training of farmers and setting up of rainwater harvesting models at each of the 32 selected agricultural universities and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) institutes in the country. It was also proposed for training to be imparted to 100 instructors and 1,000 farmers every year at each of these institutes, he said.

    Mr. Nigudgu said the proposal to provide interest-free loans of Rs. 3 crore to each of these institutions so that they could create a corpus fund was another welcome measure.

    The association welcomed the proposal of the Finance Minister to launch a Textiles Provision Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks by increasing the allocation for them from Rs. 189 crore to Rs. 425 crore.

    Mr. Nigudgi said the proposal to introduce a scheme for upgrading 1,396 industrial training institutes as centres of excellence at a cost of Rs. 750 crore was good.

    He also welcomed the enhancement of the threshold limit of exemption for all income taxpayers and the other benefits announced for them.