By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 4: In a partial respite for the industry in Northeast, the Union Fince Ministry has said that industrial units in the region would continue to enjoy excise duty benefits under the Centre-sponsored North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).
The Central government had in December last year suspended registration of new units under NEIIPP due to paucity of funds.
On Wednesday last, the Fince Ministry said in a notification that existing units undertaking “substantial expansion” after December 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 (the date when NEIIPP expires) will continue enjoying excise duty exemption. It also said new units registered during the same period too would be eligible for the excise exemption.
“Doubts have been raised regarding availability or otherwise of central excise duty exemption under notification No.20/2007 dated 25.04.2007 to new units or units undertaking substantial expansion after 1.12.2014 in the Northeastern region, including Sikkim, pursuant to the suspension of fresh registrations....under NEEIIPP. The matter has been examined by the ministry (fince) in consultation with department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). It is clarified that new units or units undertaking substantial expansion shall continue to be eligible for excise duty exemption," said the Union Fince Ministry notification.
Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) chairman RS Joshi welcomed the decision and said this notification has at least brought “clarity" amongst the industry as “people were apprehensive if they would be eligible for availing benefits under NEIIPP further".
He, however, said there are still doubts and uncertainty among the people regarding other benefits of NEIIPP.
The existing units would enjoy excise duty benefits only if they undertake “substantial expansion", which, Joshi said, meant at least 25% capacity expansion.
Under NEIIPP, which came into force from April 1, 2007 with a validity of ten years, industrial units in Northeast were eligible for 30% capital investment subsidy, income tax subsidy, excise duty exemption (varying from goods to goods), reimbursement of insurance premium paid on capital assets, among others. Industrial units could enjoy these benefits for a period of ten years.