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`Budget pro-middle and lower classes'

By Our Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA, MARCH. 3. The chairman of the Southern India Regional Council (SIRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), P.C James, has welcomed the annual budget presented by the Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a seminar on `Finance Bill-2005,' organised by the Vijayawada branch of the SIRC here on Thursday, Mr. James hailed the budget dubbing it as `pro-middle and lower classes.' He said the decision to increase the Income Tax limit was beneficial especially to the middle class. "The Government has adopted a significant shift when compared to the earlier budgets by focusing on the rural economy."

Speaking about rationalization of the taxation policy, Mr. James felt that direct taxation should be promoted rather than opting for indirect taxation mode that burdens the common man. The SIRC secretary, M. Devaraj Reddy, spoke in favour of implementation of the value added tax (VAT). "It has been agreed upon by the high power committee constituted to look into the pros and cons of the issue. It is already being implemented by countries across the world and I feel no harm in the country following suit," he maintained.

The chairman of the SIRC, Babu Abraham, opposed the move of imposing tax on cash withdrawal from banks. He said the Government should reconsider its stand and withdraw the proposal. The SIRC members, G.V.V.Satyanarayana, G. Gopalakrishna Murthy, S. Sivaprasad, M. Shobhanadreeswara Rao, C.H. Prasad, Amar Sudheer and others were present.

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