Union Budget: proposal to corporatise major ports hailed

It is hoped that the new policy on ports will lead to greater efficiency and faster evacuation of cargo.  

The Union Budget-2020 evoked a mixed response from the city’s entrepreneurs on Saturday.

The stakeholders in the port sector welcomed the proposal to evolve a framework and look at corporatising at least one major port.

“We wholeheartedly welcome corporatisation of major ports to increase their efficiency, which is pending for a long time,” Sravan Shipping Services managing director G. Sambasiva Rao said.

He hailed the announcement to unveil national logistics policy, make use of vacant railway land for encouraging agro products, and introduction of freight trains with refrigerated coaches.

A BOT operator of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust said the proposal would lead to greater efficiency and faster evacuation of cargo by removing bottlenecks.

CEO of Maple Software and former A.P. CII chairman G.S. Shiv Kumar said the new Income-Tax regime would help the middle income groups. He said that companies need not pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), which would lead to infusion of fresh funds.

Divestment target

He said 15% tax rebate for new power generation companies would help increase investment in the power sector and availability of power. He welcomed the decision to double the divestment target to ₹2.1 trillion from the next fiscal. He said statement on ‘no tolerance to tax harassment’ was industry-friendly.

Entrepreneur and former president of the Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce & Industry A.V. Monish Row said there were a few welcome announcements, but the outlays and source of funds were to be seen. The government was depending on the PPP mode for many of its schemes. Though there was some reduction in direct taxes, the GST remained unchanged, he said.

‘Credibility gap’

“Fewer than 17% of India’s graduates are readily employable, and 100 million will need to be educated in the next decade requiring 50,000 colleges. While there is no magic bullet to pull India out of the present economic mess, the Union Government will require more honesty in recognising the issues and gaining trust of the investors,” he added.

“A huge credibility gap exists and needs to be fixed not just by talk but by demonstrable action,” he remarked.

Mr. Row said the budget did not show any seriousness, which was disappointing.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 10:30:35 AM |

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