VIJAYAWADA:The AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation leaders on Saturday said Arun Jaitley’s budget was quite disappointing.
The decision that hurts the people most is the increase in service tax to 14 per cent from 12.3. “This is not going down well with the people,” president-elect of the federation Muthavarapu Muralikrishna has said.
He felt unhappy that nothing has been promised in the budget for the state. “In the absence of any incentives for the state, there is no way one could attract investments. Post bifurcation, industry has been waiting for announcement of concessions to set up their units. As there are none, it is likely that they would go elsewhere in search of greener pastures,” he said.
“It is not the industry, but the State which will suffer,” he added. The federation felt that bringing uniform system of taxation from the next year in the form of GST is going to be a big burden. The way the Finance Minister chose to increase service tax showed that he was preparing the people and the industry for the GST which would be 25 per cent. Accordingly, even service tax could become 25 per cent. The proposed 2 pc hike in service tax is only to soften the future blow, he aid. Chairman of the Vijayawada branch of the South Indian Regional Council (SIRC) of ICAI S Akkaiah Naidu felt the service tax should have been reduced to 10 per cent instead of hiking it. There was no relief to the middle class section since income tax slabs have been kept unchanged. He, however, welcomed income tax exemption of Rs 1,600 per month on travelling allowance of employees.
Federation executive director Potluri Bhaskara Rao said injustice has been done to the state. There was no mention of the Vizag-Chennai industrial corridor nor the Kakinada to Chennai in-land waterway, he said.