Kerala budget will propel progress, growth: Banking and industries sector

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Kochi: The banking and industries sector in Kerala on Friday hailed the State budget for the fiscal 2023-24 as one which would propel development and growth.

State Finance Minister K N Balagopal presented the budget.

The key sector's appreciation comes amid widespread protest against the Left government over its decision to impose cess on petrol, diesel and liquor.

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CII) welcomed the announcements made by Balagopal and lauded the special attention the startups and the 'Make in Kerala' initiative got.

Bankers said the budget was progressive and inclusive as it showcases the pro-business policies of the Left government.

Terming the 'Make in Kerala' initiative as a boost to innovation and entrepreneurship, Adeeb Ahamed of LuLu Financial Holdings and Twenty14 Holdings said the budget would help tap the potential strength of the State.

"By fostering an eco system that combines market research with a strong foundation of our small and big industries, we can become a net exporter to the rest of the country in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing and IT services among others, and narrow our trade deficit," Ahamed said.

Joy P V, senior vice-president and head – Planning of the Federal Bank, said there are a slew of initiatives announced for infrastructure, higher education, research and development, inclusivity and social welfare.

"Kerala government has come up with a progressive and inclusive budget which will help propel the State in terms of development and growth going forward. Make-in-Kerala project is a welcome move which will not only augment the industrial growth of the State, but also will create more employment opportunities," Joy said.

K Paul Thomas, MD and the CEO of ESAF Small Finance Bank, too, echoed similar views. He said the proposal to take the turnover of Rs one lakh from newly incorporated businesses to the Rs one-lakh-crore mark in four years is laudable.

"The focus on infrastructural development and exports is another commendable step. If the policies of the government to develop a smart pro-business eco system for entrepreneurs fructify, it will put the State on a high growth trajectory and go forward," Thomas said.

Cochin CII president P M Veeramani said the growth of 12 per cent achieved in the last financial year, the buoyancy in tax revenue, thrust on infrastructural development and exploration of possibilities of utilisation of CSR funds which is innovative plus the implementation of the industrial policy should help the State in becoming more investor-friendly in the coming days. PTI

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