Staff Reporter

Malabar chamber says the budget skipped mention of development of the Beypore port

Kozhikode: Though organisations in Malabar backed the welfare measures in the State budget, they cited the lack of follow-up proposals and evaluation of projects announced in the last budget, especially the Rs.1500-crore Malabar package.

The green measures in the budget, decision to lower surcharge on stamp duty, refraining from raising taxes significantly, measures to boost agriculture and increase infrastructure spending came in for generous praise.

The Malabar Chamber of Commerce (MCC) said it was disappointing that the budget skipped mention of the development of the Beypore port; land acquisition for the Calicut airport; widening of 13 roads in Kozhikode; and national highway development.

The MCC expressed relief at the announcement that the JICA drinking water project would conclude next year. The move for complete electrification, increasing power generation, rice at Rs.2 for 35 lakh persons in the unorganised sector were all praiseworthy, the chamber said.

The Tax Payers Association welcomed the Rs.1000-crore corpus allocated for environmental protection measures.

The announcements regarding high-speed rail corridor, gas pipeline, Kochi metro rail would boost the State's profile, the TPA said.

The provision of Rs.8 crore for women's welfare, for women-friendly police stations and for providing basic facilities for women at KSRTC bus stands, was welcome, the association said.

The Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed most provisions in the budget but said that stimulus packages especially for sectors like coconut cultivation were needed. It said that more measures to revive the tourism and higher education sectors could have been included.

It said concrete steps for employment generation were missing in the budget.

The CCCI was also critical of the absence of measures to control the rise in prices of essential commodities.

The government could have achieved this by doing away with sales tax on rice and wheat, the industry body said.

The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association welcomed the Rs.412 crore allocation for the IT and tourism sectors.