Our Bureau

Bangalore, March 1

MR Ravi Uppal, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of ABB India, has expressed surprise about the Budget proposals remaining silent on power sector investments. However, he welcomed the Finance Minister's announcement on strengthening rural electrification with a proposal of Rs 1,100 crore.

The investment directed towards strengthening the 33/11 kV substation and rural distribution backbone, under Bharat Nirman Yoga, aimed at benefiting 1,25,000 villages and around two-three crore households was good.

Although the idea of a special purpose vehicle for long-term financing of infrastructure projects in select sectors was a good move, "we would have liked to see more focus on infrastructure investments in areas such as power and airports'', he said.

Mr Chidambaram has talked of urban renewal focus and mentioned a few intentions such as the Bangalore and Mumbai metros, development of Mumbai as a regional financial hub etc., but "we would have liked him to go further in terms of concrete infrastructure development plans. Further there are no significant announcements on reduction of Government expenditure and the budget is quiet on areas such as disinvestment and labour reforms.''

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