"For the Union Budget, I will give a mark of seven out of ten for the country as a whole. However, for Odisha, the mark is five only out of 10. As Bihar and West Bengal have been given special assistance as has been done for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, but Odisha is deprived," lamented Ramesh Mohapatra, president, Utkal Chamber of Commerce of Industry (UCCI)..
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Further, the heritage sites such as churches in Goa, Elephanta Caves near Mumbai, Varanasi temple town and also Hampi in Karnataka are to be given funds for development, landscaping etc, but Konark and Puri are not included in the list, he added. He also hailed the proposal to slash corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over next four years. On the increase in service tax rate from 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent, Mohapatra said, it will affect the services sector and the consumers. However, it is perhaps a step in the direction of introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax) from April, next year.
The Budget proposals are quite positive to boost exports. The reduction in corporate tax rates, deferment of General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) for another two years, focus on infrastructure would bring in competitiveness for exporters to do better, said G Mohanty, president, Seafood Exporters Association of India (Odisha region). The interest subvention scheme for fishery exports have been discontinued for two years, so also for SME sector for one year. This has affected the competitiveness of exporters. It would be appropriate to reintroduce competitive interest rate at par with global economy, Mohanty added.
"Overall it is a good Budget facilitating ease of doing business and I am particularly happy about the focus being laid on infrastructure, rollout of GST, social security measures, micro-finance and a move towards cash-less transactions," said Ansuman Das, chairman, CII Odisha State Council and CMD, NALCO.