FINER alarmed at new excise refund norms for NE

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Guwahati, Apr 5 (UNI) The Union Finance Ministry's recent decision of excise duty refund to manufactures of the North East region at presumptive predetermined percentages in place of total refund of duty paid in cash has nipped industrialisation of the region in its bud.

Taking strong exception of the Union Ministry's March 27 notification, Federation of Industries and Commerce for North Eastern Region (FINER) president RS Joshi here today said, ''If the new norms are followed, the industrial units in NE will suffer heavy losses and many would also have to be closed down.'' The refund of only duty paid on value-addition will be admissible to a manufacturer at presumptive predetermined percentages in place of total refund of duty paid in cash.

''Units using local raw materials, which were not excisable inputs, stand to lose the most, along with the FMGC production units,'' Mr Joshi said.

He pointed out that the provision for getting relaxation in units by approaching the Commissioner of Central Excise was a cumbersome process and amiable to differences in accounting perceptions.

The FINER took a dig at the Union Finance ministry for its "anti-NE" stand and alleged that a lobby was working against the interests of the region.

They pointed out that Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh stood gain in case of NE's loss this time also, as has been the case in earlier instances.

The FINER claimed that with the new notification, which was formulated with consulting representatives from the NE, would defeat the case of industrial growth of the region and the special investment policy for NE would hold no god.

Mr Joshi informed that the FINER had approached Assam and Meghalaya Chief Ministers, Assam Industries Minister and NE MPs, who have all assured of taking up the matter at the highest level.

He urged the Union Ministry to keep the notification abeyant till a consensus was reached on making modifications in it to rectify the disadvantages for NE.

UNI SG LL DB1744

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