NRIs disappointed over Budget

Written by Agencies | Dubai, February 29: | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 21:29pm hrs
Non-resident Indians in the UAE on Friday described the Union Budget as "populist" but were disappointed that it did not contain any benefit for the 20 million expatriate community.

Members of the large Indian community here met at a function organised by Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) this morning to listen the budget speech of Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Analysing the Budget proposals, Suresh Kumar, CEO of Emirates Financial Services and a former IBPC governor, said the budget lacks boldness. "Though it is goody-goody budget, it is not good enough".

Kumar said the finance minister should have given more emphasis to infrastructure and agriculture and try and repeat the urban growth story in rural areas where more than 70 per cent of India lives.

"We should have targeted 10 per cent agricultural growth which would have helped remove poverty in the long run rather than 3 per cent at present," he said.

Paras Shahdatpuri, a leading local businessman, said the budget ignored the contributions made by the huge NRI community.

"NRIs have huge financial and technical wealth, which can be used in the development of India in a better way. The budget has been silent on special economic zones, which has been a model of growth in China," he said.

"It is Indian-friendly, but not India-friendly and will not go a long way to lure the global investors," Shahdatpuri said.