M. Soundariya Preetha

  • Revolving fund of Rs. 100 crore for project development welcomed
  • Focus on education sector and training institutes will make available trained manpower to industry

    COIMBATORE: Industrial bodies in Coimbatore have said some of the Union Budget announcements will specifically benefit this region with the large number of textile, engineering and gem and jewellery units. According to the chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore, Jayakumar Ramdass, it is an `inclusive budget'. Mr. Ramdass welcomed the initiative of a revolving fund of Rs. 100 crore for project development. While the idea of using foreign exchange reserves for infrastructure development was good, the real problem was the lack of a shelf of bankable projects.

    While the increase in Central investments in agriculture and social sectors was laudable, there was concern about the efficiency in implementation of these schemes. "Implementation is the key to outcomes," he said.

    The president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, D. Balasundaram, said that extension of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme and reduction of duties on raw materials and capital goods for the gem and jewellery sector would benefit the units in Coimbatore.

    The heads of the chamber, CII, Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association, South India Small Spinners Association, Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA), Coimbatore Industrial Infrastructure Association and Kural addressed the press here on the budget proposals.

    The CODISSIA president, C. Muthusami, said that the focus on the education sector and Industrial Training Institutes would make available trained manpower to the industry. To increase the economic growth, the association had sought more depreciation benefits, which had not come through, he said. According to R. Kuppusamy, president of the South India Small Spinners Association, announcement on the extension of the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme was a relief to the textile sector. However, the budget gave no impetus to cotton. "This is discouraging," he said.

    The Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association president, C.R. Shanmugasundaram, said that increase in the excise exemption limit for small-scale industries from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.5 crore would benefit the small-scale units. Extension of the rural job creation scheme to 330 districts was a welcome move. However, the Central Sales Tax should be brought down to 2 per cent.

    The president of the Coimbatore Industrial Infrastructure Association, G. Rajendran, expressed disappointment that the engineering units' plea to bring down the import duty on copper and aluminium to zero per cent was not met. The increased allocation of farm credit was a welcome move and "we welcome the 100 per cent irrigation subsidy to small farmers." The joint secretary of Kural, N. Krishna Kumar, said the focus on education and healthcare and the increased allocation to agriculture were welcomed by the organisation.

    According to K. Annamalai, former president of the Coimbatore Stock Exchange, having Permanent Account Number as the sole identification number for dealing in securities market was laudable. Increase in dividend distribution tax would definitely affect the corporate sector and investors too. Increase in educational cess across the board may have an adverse impact, he said.

    SALEM: The general public and the business community here welcomed the Union Budget 2007-08 for focussing more on education, rural development and health. Salem City Chamber of Commerce General secretary A. Jayaseelan said the budget was `people-friendly' and allotment of more funds for education would fuel the social and economical progress of the nation. He also welcomed the increase in the allocation for health and the reduction of duty for the import of medical equipment. "But we are disappointed on the ceiling announced for Income tax. We expected that income up to Rs. 1.50 lakh would be exempted from tax for the individuals. But the ceiling was fixed at Rs. 1.10 lakh in the budget," he said.