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Saturday, Mar 02, 2002

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`Bold steps in Budget to push reforms further'

Our Bureau

KOCHI, March 1

THE trade and industry have reacted carefully to the Union Budget saying that it has thrown up a mixed bag of results.

Mr V.R. Nair, President of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Finance Minister had taken bold initiatives to push through agricultural reforms through measures such as de-control and de-regulation, improvement of agricultural credit delivery, establishment of a new corporation for agricultural insurance and an increased allocation for agricultural research.

He said the commencement of an infrastructure equity fund of Rs 1,000 crore and the announcement of privatisation of eight ports and private sector participation in green field airport projects was a positive move.

However, Mr Nair said the chamber dismayed at the fact that none of the international airports in Kerala did find a mention in the Minister's statement regarding additional outlays for improvement of facilities.

Also, the Vallarpadam Container Transhipment Terminal project had no mention in the Minister's speech.

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