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March 1, 2001                                       Feedback  

    - EXIM POLICY '00



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NRI industrialists welcome Budget

The slashing of duty on gold in the general budget, presented in the Indian Parliament by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha Wednesday, augurs well for the Dubai gold trade as it would spur the demand for the yellow metal, industry representatives in Dubai said.

''Gold imports into India will perhaps increase. More gold will flow to India from all places, including Dubai,'' D V Pathy, manager, Gulf countries at the World Gold Council said.

Pathy said even if difference in the price of gold in India and Dubai narrowed, the Dubai gold had its brand equity in its ''unquestionable quality.''

Gold traders in Dubai were confident that more gold and jewellery would now flow into India from Dubai. A leading jeweller said Dubai's fame for pure gold and lower customs duty would catalyse trade.

Meanwhile, leading non-resident Indian (NRI) businessmen and social activists have welcomed Sinha's fourth general budget, describing it as growth-oriented but regretted that there was no mention of NRIs in it.

Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman of the Overseas Indians Economic Forum, said the finance minister has satisfied all sectors of the Indian economy. However, he felt that the finance minister did not give any recognition to the role of NRIs in India's development.

'' I would call NRIs as national reserve of India and they must be harnessed for India's speedy growth,'' Shahdadpuri added.

Kamal Vachani, Convenor and Regional representative of the Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO), said the reduction of customs duty on it products would encourage manufacturers to bring out quality and competitive products.

The reduction in corporate tax and personal income tax ceilings were welcome steps, he added.

Bharatbhai Shah, NRI activist, however, stated that it was a ''political budget,'' drafted with an eye on the coming assembly elections in some states. Since the finance minister had not imposed any new taxes and levies, people at large would heave a sigh of relief, he added.

Yousaf Ali, Managing Director of the EMKE group, welcomed the ''growth-oriented and market-friendly'' budget but regretted that there was no mention of NRIs in it.

K V Shamsudheen, Director of a Leading Securities Company, observed that though there was no mention of NRIs in the budget, revival of the stock market would give them good opportunities.


The Budget 2001-2002 Special

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