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Gujarat Budget: Bizmen laud focus on infra, environment

The govt has also made a provision of Rs 2,275 cr for a pipeline for deep sea discharge of industrial effluents to create infrastructure of Common Effluent Treatment Plants

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Businessmen in the state have welcomed the Budget, saying that it focuses on infrastructure and environment. Since this is a Vote-On-Account, they hoped that the final Budget will make provisions for a comprehensive policy on retail trade and abolition of Professional Tax in order to improve Ease of Doing Business in the state.

"The proposal to build 80 flyovers and underpasses in cities would go a long way in easing traffic woes. With Metro train beginning operations in 2020, traffic will further ease in the city," said Jaimin Vasa, President of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The government has also made a provision of Rs 2,275 crore for a pipeline for deep sea discharge of industrial effluents to create infrastructure of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs), a proposal welcomed by industry as the latter is fighting a tough battle to control pollution. "These are sincere efforts of the government in its commitment to control the rising pollution," said Shailesh Patwari, chairman of Naroda Enviro Projects Ltd (NEPL). The pipleline will be constructed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

Traders' representatives said that they had expected the Professional Tax to be abolished and a comprehensive policy for retail trade in the country. "Perhaps the government is handicapped because of the fact that this is a Vote-On-Account. We expect that whenever the government comes up with a full-fledged budget, these aspects will be accommodated," said Jayendra Tanna, President of Gujarat Traders Federation. The government had recently amended Shops and Establishment Act wherein shopkeepers will not be required to renew licences. However, Tanna said that getting a licence is itself a big hassle and efforts should be made to make the process easier.

GCCI said that the announcement to have an international airport in Rajkot will improve air connectivity of Saurashtra region with rest of the world. The proposal to create world's largest solar energy park at Dholera will also give a big boost to the growth of renewable energy in the state. Vasa also welcomed the proposal to convert Gandhinagar Civil Hospital into a multi-specialty hospital as well as one to create desalination plants in Amreli, Bhavnagar and Porbandar.

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