CII, Chamber welcome Kerala Budget

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Kochi, Mar 6 (UNI) Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Kerala State Council today welcomed the State Budget presented by Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac terming it as 'social welfare-oriented.' In a statement here, Council Chairman Umang Patodia said ''the Budget is in the right direction providing various welfare schemes for farmers and fishermen like pension scheme for unorganised sector and health insurance, which will facilitate inclusive growth.' Efforts to promote public-private partnership in infrastructure development, revamping of PSUs to make them profitable, financial support for Kerala State Road Transport and decision to make it a commercial enterprise and BIFR model institutional set-up for Small and Medium Enterprises will go a long way in improving and promoting efficiency in administration, Mr Patodia added.

He said Fast Track Assessment Procedure, One Time Settlement, and simplification of compounding procedures will facilitate better tax compliance and tax revenue realisation.

Commitment for timely land acquisition for Kannur Airport, Industrial Park in Kannur, City Improvement Programmes for Calicut and overall focus on the Malabar Region will give thrust to North Kerala's economic development, Mr Patodia noted.

''The one per cent cess on VAT is against the spirit and commonly agreed principles of VAT and any tinkering of the tax will send wrong signals to potential investors and traders,'' he said.

Mr Patodia also expressed concern on the Budget proposal to start a PVC factory in Chavara as such sectors should be left to the private sector.

Indian Chamber of Commerce&Industry President R Mohandas said he was for the proposals to support sectors like education, art and culture, literature, sports, health and those for the welfare of the deserving sections of society.

Mr Mohandas welcomed the proposals to simplify the provisions for compounding for works contracts, to extend benefits to dealers who voluntarily came forward to take registration, reduction of tax in respect of aviation turbine fuel, used cars, machine tools and cycle parts.

The proposal to continue Grand Kerala Trade Fair to promote trade and tourism and simultaneously protect and expand ancient commercial centres in the State, including Fort Kochi was encouraging, Mr Mohandas added.

UNI MA GM AK BD1835

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