Our Bureau

Hyderabad, March 1

THE Union Budget has brought cheer to entrepreneurs in Andhra Pradesh, with the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, laying emphasis on infrastructure, pharma, biotech, sugar, textiles, rural connectivity, and tourism.

CII-AP said that the Budget was growth-oriented. The `growth and equity Budget' made a good balance of welfare and growth. "It is a reconciliatory statement," said Mr M. Gopalakrishna, Convenor of CII (AP) Economic Council.

He told newspersons that CII expected the Minister to do something for the energy sector.

Mr M.K. Patodia, Vice-Chairman of CII (AP), said that the Government needed to bring down revenue deficit.

Welcoming the focus given to agriculture, he said that reduction of taxes and the decision to expand the service tax net were welcome. Duty cuts on imported machinery would also help the industry.

While appreciating the Finance Minister for the agriculture sector proposals, Mr Anil Kumar Epur, former Chairman of CII (Southern Region), said that it was to be seen how these ideas would get translated into action.

Stating that delivery mechanisms were not doing well, he said that the Minister should have addressed this issue. "Each village should have its own plan. The top-down approach will not do any good."

Mr D.V. Manohar, Chairman of Shrishakti group and former Chairman of CII (AP), said that the Minister did a good job, given the constraints. Appreciating the removal of duties on LPG, he said that the industry had been asking for this for over a decade.

He, however, added that the issue of subsidies on LPG was not addressed.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2005)
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