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Something for them to cheer about

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THE DAY'S AGENDA: Members and office-bearers of the FKCCI at a screening of the Budget presentation, in Bangalore on Wednesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
THE DAY'S AGENDA: Members and office-bearers of the FKCCI at a screening of the Budget presentation, in Bangalore on Wednesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Special Correspondent

Cut in excise and customs duties will help small and medium enterprises: FKCCI

Bangalore: Higher social sector spending can impact on industry, if the views of office-bearers and members of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) are taken as an indication.

The proposal to upgrade and expand the training in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and spend more on them would over the coming years address the shortage of skilled manpower being felt by medium-scale industries. The enhanced spending on education on the whole would certainly help create a more employable workforce.

FKCCI president R.C. Purohit remarked: "The Union Budget should not be viewed only as a taxation exercise with cuts and increases. It has now become a pointer to the economic policy the Government wants to follow over the next few years. On the whole, it has been a good Budget with enough for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to feel cheered about.''

"The revenue neutral budget has provided tax concessions to companies earning less than Rs. 1 crore a year in profits by removing the surcharge on corporate tax but an additional education cess has been announced. The cut in various excise duties and customs duties on items such as plastics and chemicals will help the SMEs which are almost the backbone of the State's economy,'' several members said.

The Finance Minister's proposal to create a fund for reviving the plantation sector was welcomed by many because the State accounted for close to 80 per cent of the country's coffee production. Continuing the technology upgradation fund for the textiles sector with more funding was a good augury for the State' s textile mills, which had gone through a bad phase.

"The Finance Minister has shown he knows where to put the money, keeping in mind the needs of the country's future,'' was the afterword from Mr. Purohit, heading a trade body which predominantly represents the SME sector in the State.

`Intention to check prices'

Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) welcomed several features in the Union Budget, which, it said, would promote faster growth.

BCIC president Venkat Kedlaya said: "The reduction in duty of fuels is a pointer to the seriousness in containing prices and the success of value added tax (VAT) and the decision to phase out central sales tax (CST), starting with a one per cent reduction this year, are welcome.''

The Finance Minister's concern about proactive steps to create qualified workforce for the industry is pro-active and an area the States should follow, he said.

"BCIC will help in the private-public partnership to upgrade Industrial Training Institutes. It is involved in it. But the success of this depends a great deal in bringing ideas and resources from the private sector into the running of the institutes,'' he said.

Reduction in revenue deficit and fiscal deficit would also drive growth.

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