Assam industrial policy to check fly by night operators

Economy


Guwahati: What is aimed at keeping at bay fly by night operators, the new industrial policy in Assam has provided that benefits of tax reimbursement under the policy shall be subject to the condition that unit after having availed the benefit shall continue its production or operation at least for the next five years not below 75 percent of the average production for preceding five years.

In case the unit violates this condition it shall be liable to make, the full amount of tax.

There have been allegations that several fly by night has moved out taking advantage of the fiscal benefits offered by the fiscal package for Northeast India and state industrial policy.

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Coke, tea and saw mill are some activities which has been put in the negative list of state industrial policy.

Assam’s Additional Chief Secretary Industries & Commerce, Ravi Capoor told ET, “The clause pertaining to continuing production or operation at least for the next five years will be implemented strictly and we will ensure there are transparency and no scope for non-serious investors.”

Local industry body, Federation of Industry and Commerce of North East Region (FINER) has welcomed the new state industrial policy.

FINER stated, “The policy marks a shift in so far as it showcases the “Locational Advantage” of Assam,emphasizing its geographical proximity to the ASEAN and South East Asian countries and places the state as a hub for manufacturing and services for the larger South East Asian Market. The policy re-calibrates the focus on the strengths of the region, as against the historical premise of locational disadvantage of the region, post partition of the country and closure of traditional trade routes through Bangladesh. The policy also for the first time works on a vision on creation of Brand Assam.”

FINER added that the state industrial policy will complement North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017. “We are asking the state government to provide some incentives to existing units if they are planning to take upmodernization and expansion”.

Pabitra Buragohain, President, FINER said that a major benefit is being mooted for industrial growth and development of Assam with special attention to employment of people of Assam.

The State Industrial Policy for the very first time, includes direct incentives for generation of Local Employment and Entrepreneurship, and provides and one-time incentive to the units, Rs. 10000 per employment created for the local youth. Special attention has been given to assure availability of quality power.

Director of FINER, Sandeep Khaitan said, “Adequate monitoring mechanism has been formulated to check fly by night operator.”

Reacting to including Tea in the negative list of the policy, Khaitan added, “ Perhaps some benefits could have been allowed to existing industries to expand and modernize, and cover of Small Tea factories in its ambit.”

Assam produces 52 percent of India’s tea. In 2018, Assam’s production touched 692 million kgs. According to Tea Board figures, about 49 percent of tea produced in Assam is from the green tea leaves of small tea growers.



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