Withdrawal of incentives threatens 1 lakh jobs in J

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Jammu, Apr 14 (UNI) The sudden withdrawal of excise incentives in Jammu and Kashmir has totally shaken the confidence of the investors and, if not reviewed immediately, may lead to closure of large number of industrial units and retrenchment of over one lakh workers in the state, an Industry body today warned.

''Several business houses have indicated to put on hold all future investments while some industries, already in production, have started canceling their orders as suddenly their products have become expensive as compared to goods from other neighboring states,'' Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) president Mr Venugopal N Dhoot said in a statement.

''The government decision to suddenly withdraw the benefits notified on November 14, 2002 for a decade at curbing the surging unemployment will severely hit the profitability of majority industrial units and even pushing some companies into the red,'' Mr Dhoot lamented.

Mr Dhoot, who was in Jammu on April 6, had announced that the ASSOCHAM would be creating a special cell to help the state attract fresh investment particularly in food processing, pharma, tourism, handicrafts and infrastructure areas.

Apart from 100 per cent excise duty fund for new ventures and substantial expansion of the existing ones; the package offered by the government include capital investment incentive of 15 per cent within Rs 3 million ceiling; full reimbursement of insurance premium on capital investment; and 3 per cent interest subsidy on capital investment. This is in addition to a set of 24 incentives that state government offers under J&K's industrial policy.

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