Staff Reporter

Tuticorin: The Union budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram on Friday has evoked a mixed reaction here with many industrialists terming it “populist and election-oriented without any thrust for overall growth.”

Xavier Fernando, chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Tuticorin branch, has welcomed the move to reduce central excise duty from 16 to 12 percent, “which will be a boon to the manufacturing sector.” The decision to write off debts of small and marginal farmers could provide immediate relief to them but the move would prove to be a deterrent to reform process in the long run.

There should have been a reduction in corporate taxes to leave more money with industrial houses for big investments. Likewise, sops could have been announced for the textile sector that was encountering stiff competition from international players after the export quota was phased out in 2005, he said.

A. A. Maria Celine, commerce lecturer of St. Mary’s College, complimented the decision to increase income tax exemption limit for women assesses from Rs. 1.45 lakh to Rs. 1.8 lakh.

S. Rajeswari, a postgraduate commerce student, was happy over slabs for personal income tax having been revised with the exemption limit being raised from Rs. 1.1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh.