By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 6: Citing that Assam imports over Rs 10,000-crore worth commodities which otherwise could have been produced in the State, a small scale industry body today asked the Sarbanda Sonowal-led government to take initiatives to encourage local manufacturing units.
According to the North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA), the State annually imports fish worth Rs 1,800 crore, flowers worth Rs 350 crore, dairy & poultry products (including broilers) worth Rs 1,400 crore, pulses worth Rs 2,600 crore and other products worth Rs 3,450 crore.
The NESSIA feels that if proper attention is given to sectors such as fishery, hatchery, dairy, floriculture etc, a considerable part of the State’s demand can be fulfilled without having to import these products from outside.
“There is an urgent need to develop rural industries which will not only generate large-scale employment, but contribute to huge revenue savings,” the organization said.
Pointing to the BJP’s poll promise to create employment for 25 lakh people, the NESSIA said the government alone cannot employ all the unemployed youths in government jobs.
“This problem can, somehow, be resolved by setting up of micro-sector industries. One of the major factors for achieving growth and development of the State is rapid industrialization, especially through micro and small scale industries,” it said in a slew of suggestions to the new government.
The association suggested that initiatives should be taken for development of demand-based and market driven skill development training and entrepreneurship development programmes. Skilled workers data bank through ‘job studio’ should be introduced to ensure adequate supply of workers to industries, it said.
“The government should also declare a clear and effective procurement policy for preferential purchase from MSE sector. Bogus industries should not be entertained,” it said.
“To avoid huge tax evasion, the issue of statutory forms such as road permit, delivery note, C-forms, E-forms etc., should be stopped under work contract for purchasing materials (except plant and machineries) from outside the State. This will not only increase revenue savings of the State but will also help local manufacturing units to develop,” it added.
The NESSIA suggested that to encourage local manufacturing industries, any items (finished goods) manufactured by local units in the State, should not be allowed to be brought from outside, and if allowed, additiol entry tax equivalent to VAT should be levied on those goods.