Industry lauds West Bengal budget
Kolkata, Mar 11 : Trade lobbies on Monday welcomed the state budget announced by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, saying his proposals were set to promote inclusive growth and investments.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Eastern Region welcomed Mitra's budget proposals as Regional Director Saugat Mukherjee said, "They are growth and investment oriented."
"CII Eastern Region is happy to note that West Bengal has registered a GSDP growth of 7.6% and industrial growth of 6.2% -- which is substantially higher than the national rates.
"This will definitely create a positive impression about the investment climate of the state among global investors and facilitate further investment," he further said.
"Twelve new horticulture crops have been brought under crop insurance which is a welcome step, as CII feels that horticulture has a high potential for growth and export.
"Allocation of Rs 1260 crores in health with focus on diverse aspects like maternal health, child health would help to take the state further ahead in human development index.
Allocation of Rs 270 crores for higher education would definitely boost the education sector, CII said.
The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said Mitra's decision to allocate Rs 585 crore to the Agriculture Department and Rs 181 crore to the Agriculture Marketing Department for the next financial year would boost agriculture.
The decision to increase the plan outlay of the Department of Panchayats & Rural Development to Rs 2990.37 crore in the next financial year. This will boost rural development, said ICC.
To promote the development of high quality private universities in the State, the State Government has also notified a policy on Establishment of Private Universities to encourage private investment in higher education with an emphasis on excellence and inclusion, the lobby added.
ICC also welcomed the decision to allocate Rs. 380 crore to the Transport Department for the year 2013-14 , and Rs. 895.43 Crore to the Public Works (Roads) Department in the next financial year.
The Bengal Chamber meanwhile said that the Mitra has placed a people oriented budget, mostly focusing on social sector development especially health, mother & child care, education, SC/ST development.
However, the increase in VAT rates is likely to have cascading and all round inflationary effect on all commodities barring gold and silver, and looks as though it would be detrimental to the interest of trade and commerce for the State, it said.
The lobby also said it was still not clear how the burgeoning revenue and fiscal deficits would be met by the Finance Minister, even though, he has painted a rosy picture of increasing tax revenues.
"The Finance Minister, however has left encouraging trends by announcing setting up of IT hubs in most districts of the State under PPP mode," the Chamber said in a release.