By SM .01 Feb, 2021
NEW DELHI: Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced Rs 65,000 crore support for the development of 1,100 km of National Highway (NH) roads in Kerala. The Minister also announced Rs 1,957 crore for the development of the second phase of Kochi Metro. The second phase will lead to the extension of 11.5 km of Kochi Metro.
The budget proposal by Sitharaman for exemption of people above 75 years from filing Income Tax (IT) returns has gone down well with the senior citizens. The exemption is for pensioners as well as those getting interest from bank deposits. A.N.K. Nair, a retired official with the Indian Railways, while speaking to IANS said, "This is a good decision on the part of the Union Finance Minister. Allowing senior citizens above 75 years not to submit the Income Tax returns is a big relief to many of us."
Premanand, an engineer and the owner of a Vedic mathematics start-up, while speaking to IANS said, "The Union Finance minister has announced huge financial support to the start-ups and I have to study in detail about the allocations. However, on a first look, I feel that people like us will be benefitted".
The budget proposal of a single-person Non-Resident Indian (NRI) company has also been accepted well in Kerala which has a robust NRI population. Sajeev Thomas, a Dubai-based NRI who is now in Thiruvananthapuram, said, "It"s a good decision, one can start a company individually. As I don"t know the details of the proposal, I have to check and study it in detail and will then venture into it as I am planning to return to my hometown here and open a new company."
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) Minister, G. Sudhakaran, while speaking to the media said, "The allocation of Rs 65,000 crore for the highway roads development in Kerala is a welcome move. The excellent work the state government has done in completing the Alappuzha by-pass will be one of the reasons for this allocation it seems. I will have to study the budgetary allocation in detail for further comments." State Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac was unavailable for comments. Kerala unit Congress President Mullappally Ramachandran while speaking to IANS said, "I have not seen the budget in detail but the Modi government moving ahead with disinvestment policies is indeed leading to a major crisis for the country. This is not correct financial management and the government is trying to disinvest LIC which is a profit-making body."
The reduction in customs duty on gold from 12 to 10.5 percent will help to bring down gold prices in Kerala which is one of the highest consumers of gold.