PM's help asked for excise duty exemption in NE

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Guwahati, Jun 2 (UNI) The matter of restoring 100 per cent excise duty exemption to industries in the North East was placed before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a meeting in New Delhi.

Dr Singh's intervention in retaining the entity of Assam Oil Division (AOD) and granting special discount to the NRL, was also sought by Mr Gogoi during the meeting, a release informed here.

Dr Singh represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Gogoi requested the PM to retain separate entity of the AOD with its headquarters at Digboi in Assam as well as the 'charging red rhino' as its logo.

He also took up the matter of a special compensation package to Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) to arrest the huge losses the NRL was incurring during 2008-09 in the retailing sector due to unprecedented increase in crude oil price.

Such compensation is already available to other PSU oil marketing companies like IOCL, BPCL and HPCL.

The chief minister further requested Dr Singh to offer a special price discount of around 15 to 20 per cent on the Assam crude to NRL without affecting the royalty on crude oil payable to the state government.

He also requested restoration of excise duty relief to 100 per cent to NRL. The Assam government has an equity share of 12.5 per cent with NRL.

The Union Finance ministry had diluted the 100 per cent excise duty exemption in the new industrial policy for NE, which had set warning bells ringing for the industrial sector of the region.

Mr Gogoi requested the Prime Minister to withdraw the notification and maintain status quo and initiate further steps in consultation with the NE states.

Dr Singh, who was also briefed on the law and order situation in the state, promised to sympathetically consider all issues.

UNI SG PL NY HT1710

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