VIJAYAWADA: Industry and Trade have expressed cautious optimism over the 2015-16 Budget presented by Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu in the AP Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
Though the industry representatives felt that liberal allocations for some other sectors could act as a catalyst for the economy to look up, they were unhappy over the meager allocations for some sectors.
Federation of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) Executive Director Potluri Bhaskara Rao said that the budget was a reflection of the effort of the Finance Minister in coming out with the best with limited financial resources. “it is a step in the right direction,” he added while addressing newsmen here.
“Economic growth was 7.1 per cent despite poor rainfall and the havoc caused by the Hudhud cyclone. The projection of 10 per cent growth rate has raised hopes of an early economic recovery,” he said and added that the allocation of `3,600 cr for the power sector was a positive feature. More than anything, the allocation of ` 3,200 cr for the construction of the new state capital showed that the government was serious about it, he added.
Setting apart `300 cr for the Metro projects for both Vijayawada and Visakahpatnam too was a heartening development, he said. He welcomed the move to set up a Finance Board to help the industry grow in the state.
He, however, felt unhappy that there was no mention of the Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor. He recalled that the Asian Development Bank had stated that it would advance upto `400 cr as a soft loan if either the Centre or the State government came up with remaining ` 200 cr required for it. Similarly, the mining sector had very little allocation of about Rs.40 cr to Rs.50 core, he rued.
Dasari Ramakrishna, Managing Director of Efftronics and member of FAPCCI, welcomed the liberal allocations of Rs.20,000 cr to the health and education sectors. He, however was skeptical as to how the government would use the funds. He said it was time that the government realised the need for revamping the education system so that students would be ready for society and industry needs by the time they came out of the educational institutions. “People-business-technology’ was the buzzword all over the world and the government had to do a lot of “design thinking” to usher in reforms in the education sector,” he added.
AP Lorry Owners’ Association president YV Eswara Rao said that the Budget had created hopes for the people, particularly those in the transportation sector. Allocation of `2,960 cr for road infrastructure was a welcome development, he said. He wanted the government to lay more stress on road safety and set up three more driver training institutes in addition to the one that is already existing now.
Allocation of `120 cr was not enough to ensure road safety, he said and added that the Vijayawda-Machilipatnam road should be taken up immediately.
Quickening the pace of land acquisition for the Vijayawada airport and grounding of works relating to the Machilipatnam port would go a long way in giving an impetus to transportation sector, he said.