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Left hails Budget, expects more

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, MARCH 1. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its affiliated organisations in Rajasthan have welcomed the Union Budget for its rural and social orientation and provisions for generation of employment but felt that the budgetary allocations for these sectors are not proportionate. The expected accruals from taxes were pegged at unrealistically higher levels, which once left unfulfilled, would affect the thrust areas, they said.

Reacting to the Budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday, the CPI(M), CITU and the All India Kisan Sabha leaders here said the concern expressed for the farm sector in the Budget speech did not reflect in the allocations. They, however, welcomed the reduction of import and excise duties on kerosene and cooking gas but, again, expressed apprehension on the likely impact of the cess on petrol and diesel.

The provisions in the Budget might not help to achieve food grain sufficiency, Vasudev, the State Secretary of the CPI (M) said, pointing out that what appeared to be food grain surplus was not real as the common man had no capacity to buy it. The reduction in the custom duty on capital goods would pose a question mark on the investments in the private sector and also would pose a threat to the country's investment sector, he pointed out.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Northern Region, said the top five economic priorities set in the Union Budget suited the agrarian economies of north region States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. "The Budget outlined strong macro as well as micro measures to strengthen the physical and social infrastructure,'' Ajay S.Shriram, deputy chairman of CII, Northern Region, said.

Vikram Golcha, chairman, CII Rajasthan State Council, welcomed the Finance Minister's commitment to "Bharat Nirman'', the comprehensive project for improving connectivity, phone links, electrification and irrigation facilities in rural India. In overall terms the Budget had shown the Government's commitment to push forward the reform agenda while taking cognizance of equity considerations and the need for broad based growth, CII noted.

The Rajasthan National Forum's Sandeep Bhuthadia and Pradeep Chaturvedi welcomed the Union Budget hailing its thrust on education, specially on mid-day meals and in minority education.

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