Special Correspondent

ICCI commends Finance Minister for balanced approach

Says pragmatic measures to help IT, tourism

Hails loan package for SMEs

KOCHI: Anilkumar N. Prabhu, president, Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), said here on Friday that Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had made a commendable attempt for a balanced and sector-wise growth of the State within his limited resources. The State budget contains pragmatic measures to help the IT and tourism sectors during the present situation and to equip them meet the anticipated needs after their resuscitation, he said.

Proposed projects such as electronic hardware park, petrochemical industries park, water transport network, elevated bypass between Aroor and Edapally, sustainable development zone at EdaKochi, multi-storeyed industrial estate at Edayar and KSRTC venture for modern city bus services will help to accelerate the economic growth of Kochi and its suburbs.

A loan package of Rs.500 crore to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), provision for a venture capital fund of Rs.100 crore to set up innovative SMEs and the proposal to constitute an empowered committee to ensure time-bound implementation of mega projects such as the Vallarpadom transhipment terminal and Kochi Metro are welcome. Earnest efforts are to be made to ensure the economic viability of existing public sector units along with schemes for implementation of expansion schemes. The Minister’s statement about considering the applications from private investors to invest about Rs.20,000 crore is encouraging.

The notable increase in VAT revenue is, of course, a remarkable achievement.

Not enough: CCCI

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) congratulated the Finance Minister for non-imposition of new taxes and simplifying procedures in the collection of taxes. Satish Murti, president of the chamber, said though a Rs.10,000-crore package was announced, clarity was lacking in the implementation of the schemes. Good intentions are often not translated into practice by people down the line.

Kerala chamber plea

The Kerala Chamber of Commerce hailed the budget for making maximum allocation ever for infrastructure projects. Chamber chairman K.M. Abdulla said the special package to face the economic slowdown was praiseworthy, but it was not clear as to how the resource mobilisation would be made.