Delhi trading community disappointed by Union Budget

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) The General Budget for 2008-09 unveiled by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha today may have been hailed as pathbreaking for providing tremendous relief to the common man and the disadvantaged sections of society but it has left the trading community in Delhi disappointed.

In its reaction to the Budget, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex body of the traders in India, said,''the trading community of the country feels betrayed with the Union Budget as it has failed to address the issues of internal trade and small industries which has been forced to a tough global competition.'' ''The non withdrawl of Fringe Benefit Tax and steep increase in short term capital gain tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent will adversely affect the money market and will prove to be a blow on small investors,''CAIT Secretary General Parveen Khandewal said in his reaction to the budget.

Mr Khandelwal said it was most surprising that the Budget contained no steps regarding restriction of entry of multinational companies in big corporate houses in retail trade. Also suprising was absence of any regulatory steps on forward trading in commodities or for simplification and rationalization of tax structure.

The CAIT regretted that though allocations have been made for different sectors of economy, no allocation has been made to streamline and strengthen the internal trade of the country.

However, the reduction of Excise Duty and announcement of tax concessions was hailed as a welcome step.

He said the Budget has also ignored development of cities and infrastructure development like airports, sea ports. It has also not taken care of infrastructure development in metro cities.

In totality, the Budget appears to be a deviation from urban development to rural spending, CAIT said.

President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and industry and the Managing Director of JSW Steel Limited, Sajjan Jindal described the Union Budget for 2008-09 as a "neutral budget" and one that was ''good for the common man''.

''It is a neutral Budget and good for the common man. Industry, in any case, was not expecting too much from this Budget as elections are round the corner,''Mr Jindal said and rated the Budget as between 6.5 and 7 on a scale of 10.

Welcoming and appreciating the announcements made in the Budget, Chairman of Indian Institute of Finance, J D Agarwal said, ''the Budget 2008 is excellent, in tune with the need of economy and the people. It will take the country forward. The Finance Minister has distributed largesse to all sections of the society, much beyond the expectations of the people.

He has been generous to provide massive relief to farmers, poor and others, which will go a long way in providing the much needed support to the needy.

''However, the allocations for insurance for labourer is appreciable but it deserve more attention as farmers, soldiers and labourers are the backbone of the economy,'' Mr Agarwal said.

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