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NRIs welcome Budget proposals

Vimala Vasan

Abu Dhabi , March 1

NRIs in the UAE have welcomed the Union Budget 2006-2007 as balanced and favourable, though the absence of any NRI specific references has caused some measure of disappointment here.

The Indian Business and Professional Council in Dubai held a seminar on Tuesday at which various aspects of the Budget were discussed by professionals and businessmen.

Step in right direction

According to the council President, Mr Suresh Kumar, President, the Budget proposals are steps in the right direction that will help the country achieve 10 per cent annual growth. Rationalisation of excise and customs duties, reduction of indirect taxes and new incentives in infrastructure and education will help boost the people's standard of living. NRIs have, however, not been given any specific references, he said.

The Abu Dhabi-based Mr B.R. Shetty, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, New Medical Centre, said the Budget is balanced and growth oriented. "Rationalisation on fringe benefit tax is welcome. No change in the taxation and withdrawal of 1 out of 6 criteria are welcome. This will increase the compliance of taxpaying to about 12 per cent from the present 10 per cent of GDP. Lot of allotments to infrastructure, education, health and rural employment would take care of the poor and downtrodden sections of the society. This would help achieve the planned 10 per cent growth of the economy on the back of high rates of growth achieved in the past three years. The damp squib is ignoring the airport & other infrastructural development in Bangalore. Mr Chidambaram has vindicated the faith of stock market, NRIs and the rural sectors," he said.

Mr K.V. Shamsudheen, Director, Barjeel Geojit Securities, said it is one of the best Budgets presented in Parliament. "The most important aspects are no change in direct taxes, reduction in customs duty and excise duty of a large number of items, emphasis on education by enhancing the fund to 31 per cent, further emphasis on agricultural sector, infrastructure and industrial sector. The Budget has a farsighted vision which will help economic growth,'' he added.

Mr Kamal Vachani, Regional Director, ESC, said it would give a big boost to exports from India as more incentives have been offered to export-oriented units. The incentives offered are in the form of reduction of duties for selling the goods in the DTA area.

Will boost local industry

Reduction of import duties from 15 per cent to 12 per cent is a welcome step taken by the Finance Minister. This will boost the local industry to compete with the international market.

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