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February 28, 2001                                       Feedback  

    - EXIM POLICY '00



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A valiant effort: Karnataka CM

BS Bureau

Under the present difficult and trying circumstances, the finance minister has given the limitations he was under, he has performed a reasonably good job.

Though I am yet to get all the details about the share of the states from this Budget, the budgetary support has been hiked by 16 per cent to the states and if one takes into consideration, a 8 per cent inflation, then the states will be left with only 8 per cent. Hence, the support for states should have been hiked by 2 per cent at least.

If the interest rate for infrastructure projects had been reduced to 9 per cent, it would have been meaningful and would have boosted infrastructure activities. Though I don't take away the credit from him about whatever finance minister has done for the infrastructure sector.

There are two worries which needs to be tackled: agriculture and the small scale sectors. Not enough has been done for the small scale sector. My immediate reaction is that not enough has been done.

We are of course happy with the concessions and benefits, the infotech industry has received. It will give a real boost to the industry.

As far as PDS is concerned, which is now the responsibility of the states, we can now monitor its distribution properly though the finance minister should have left sugar prices alone. The WTO should not indulge in double standards when it comes farm subsidies.

Though I never expected big ticket reliefs, considering the fact that the finance minister had to contend with the Gujarat earthquake, it has been a valiant effort from him.

As far as reducing the size of the government is concerned, I think the Centre has taken a lead from us as we have already started rightsizing the government.

I am in agreement concerning relaxation of labour laws and divestment of PSUs are concerned. The situation has changed, the priorities have changed.

We are supportive of divestment.The kind of impact it will have on the making of our state budget cannot be gauged now neither would I want to rate the budget because I have not gone into full details of the budget.

Source: Business Standard

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