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Budget disappointing, says Kerala industrialists

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Budget disappointing, says Kerala industrialists
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Kochi: The budget presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday failed to address the core issues facing the economy, according to leading industrialists and bankers from the State.

At least 30 odd industrialists, who participated in the budget viewing session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here, expressed their disappointment over the main proposals of the budget.

CII (Kerala) Vice-Chairman C J George said that "given the seriousness of the economic context in which the budget is presented, the finance minister did not have sufficient measures for revitalizing the economy and its growth".

Though he tinkered with the economy here and there, the proposals like the taxing of the super rich and the tax on corporates will have a relatively 'dampening' effect, he said.

The proposal to make mutual fund agents members of the stock exchange was a surprise element in the budget. The commodity exchanges and the commodity market could take a beating due to the commodity transaction tax (CTT), he said.

Shyam Srinivasan, CEO, Federal Bank, described the proposal to start a women's bank as a "headline item".

He however said the interest subvention on agricultural loans that was extended to cover private sector banks would help to increase agricultural finance in a state like Kerala where private sector banks are strong.

Shivdas B Menon of Sterling Farms said the proposal to increase allocation for the coconut replantation scheme will help Kerala. Coir industry will also benefit due to the incentives given to handmade coir carpets.

Sanjay Vijayakumar, Managing Director MobMe, said the incubation centres will benefit due to the proposal to allow companies donate to such centres as part of their CSR activities.

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