Staff Reporter

This unhealthy trend will affect State's economy, it says

MADURAI: Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed its "dismay and concern" over the absence of announcement on value added tax (VAT) in the interim budget of the State Government for 2006-07.

VAT is already under implementation in 24 States and Union Territories, including five Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled States. Under these circumstances, it was really perplexing why the State Government still preferred to remain isolated from the rest of the country and chose to remain non-committal on specifying a clear road map for implementing VAT, the Chamber president, S. Rethinavelu said in a statement.

"This unhealthy trend, if allowed to continue, would fuel unemployment, severely affect overall economy of the State and completely nullify the State's efforts to be among the top industrially advanced States attracting industrial investments in the country," he claimed.

The trade body, however, welcomed the announcement of various sops and relief for Rs.1600 crore announced by the Chief Minister and said this would benefit various sections including Government employees, teachers and farmers. However, it was regrettable that the interest of trade and industry, which contributed to the bulk of the revenue to the State's exchequer through collection and remittance of taxes amounting to about Rs.15,000 crore annually and enable the Government to grant these concessions, was conspicuously absent in the interim budget, Mr. Rethinavelu said.

Welcomes subway

The new subway to be established near the St. Mary's Higher Secondary School in the city by the Corporation would immensely benefit thousands of pedestrians, mostly school students, who cross the busy intersection during peak hours.

Mr. Rethinavelu suggested that the construction should be in such a manner that the public and students crossed the intersection safely and without any inhibition of walking through the subway. The authorities should erect as many windows as possible to offer a view of the subway from above, he said in another statement.