GUWAHATI, Feb 28 – The Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) termed the Union Budget(2013-14) presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram today as a ‘reasonably good one under difficult circumstances’.
“Given the phase country’s economy is going through, the Union Budget presented by P Chidambaram was an ‘Okay’ one.” said RS Joshi, chairman, FINER while sharing his thoughts on the budget with the media.
The Federation today organized a live viewing of the budget which was followed by interaction among economists and representatives from various sectors.
Joshi said that from the common men’s perspective, the Union budget did not put any fresh tax burden on them, which should please the common men.
“Further, the increased allocation for social schemes is a welcome decision especially those targeting youth, women and the poor,” Joshi said.
“We are disappointed that the Finance Minister has not exceeded to the request of the Federation to restore the spirit of NEIIPP 2007 by doing away with unilateral and arbitrary dilutions made in the implementation of the policy,” Joshi, although the decision on the MSME has been hailed.
Economist MP Bezbaruah, who was also present in the meeting, opined that the Finance Minister has done reasonably well within his limits although it was far short of a dream budget. The global economic slowdown got reflected in the budget.
Most of the speakers, however, were unanimous in welcoming the State specific allocation and proposals which include allocation under Green Revolution to Eastern India States including Assam, road linkage of North East with Myanmar as part of the Look East Policy and Rs 100 Crore for Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, among others.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has welcomed the proposed increase in budget outlay in social sectors, viz., rural development, education and health.
“More than Rs 1,80,000 crore has been earmarked on these three sectors which will definitely benefit the weaker segments of society, particularly those in rural areas. The proposal to extend agricultural credit of Rs 7 lakh crore is a step in right direction, which together with the budget of Rs 1,000 crore to the eastern States for the agricultural sector should benefit the farmers of Assam, provided sufficient number of Kisan Credit Cards are issued in time,” CII said in a statement.
CII added that in spite of a slowing economy, the Finance Minister had resisted any major increase in tax rates, and “we support this stability in tax rates. However we would have been happy if more concrete steps were announced for implementation of Goods & Service Tax (GST) and Direct Tax Code (DTC).”
CII expressed disappointment over the lack of focus on infrastructure. “For the north-eastern region CII believes that Infrastructure creation should be a priority for the Government and earmarking of funds should have been announced,” it said.