Staff Correspondent

HUBLI: The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Wednesday has evoked mixed response in the twin cities.

Although most people are happy that there are no new taxes, the salaried class was not. The income tax ceiling was increased, but education cess was increased nullifying the effect of the relief given, they said.

Basavaraj Byali, a businessman said: "Budget nanage enu kottilla" (the budget has given me nothing). Although the Finance Minister said he had reduced the Central Sales Tax (CST), it had not given any relief as the reduction of CST was a promise made while announcing the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT), he said.

Chartered accountant N.A. Charantimath said the Union Budget was heading in one direction, while the economic policies of the Union Government were moving in the other.

What Mr. Chidambaram had said at the release of the Economic Survey report was not visible in the Budget presented by him. The Minister had spoke on the need for investment in power projects. But nothing related to that was in the budget, he said.

Mr. Charantimath said the budget was not a growth-oriented one. Much was expected from the Finance Minister, but he failed to meet the expectations, he said.

Vasanth Ladwa, former Syndicate member, welcomed the budget as no additional taxes were levied. However, he said the CST should have been further reduced.