Kochi | The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry today expressed displeasure over not giving more thrust to the industries demand in the Kerala budget presented by Finance Minister K M Mani.
…we expected more thrust for the Industry’s demand. We are surprised to see that there is no serious allocation for LNG project especially at atime when the government is trying to revive the project, the Chamber said in a release.
The Chamber also expressed dissatisfaction on the decision to hike sales tax on fuel, saying this will increase the oil prices which will be additional burden on the common man.
Although this budget has touched upon the major areas like agriculture, social welfare, industries, infrastructure etc, we fail to visualise the Finance Minister’s strategies to boost revenue, the chamber said.
Expressing concern over the reports that only 51 per cent of the allocations made in the previous budget were actually used, the Chamber asked the state government to carefully monitor these proposals at the time of implementation.
The Chamber, however, welcomed allocation made by the government for infrastructure master plan, Kochi Metro, Vizhinjam project and international airport in the budget, saying it will boost the infrastructure growth in the state. The Finance Minister has made allocation of Rs 2000 crore for Infrastructure master plan, Rs 940 crore for Kochi metro, Rs 600 crore for Vizhinjam project and Rs 650 crore for International airport in the budget.
The Chamber said the Rs 1,000 crore allotted to promote start-up companies in Kerala together with the contribution from the central government will encourage more people to turn entrepreneurs and thereby creating more jobs in the state. It noted that the budget has addressed all the major issues faced by the agriculture sector by providing allocations to rubber, paddy, coir, coconut and pepper.
Appreciating the government’s decision to establish the Rubber Price Stabilisation Fund of Rs 300 crore for purchasing 20,000 tonnes at a market support price of Rs 150 per kg, the Chamber said this will provide relief to the rubber farmers who are beleaguered by the recent fall in rubber prices. It is estimated that around 70 per cent of farmers had stopped rubber tapping due to the low prices.
The Chamber urged the state government to make necessary arrangements with tyre companies to start purchasing from the domestic market immediately.
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