Match Manufacturers urge Centre to stop illegal units

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Madurai, Mar 14 (UNI) Various Hand-made Match Manufacturers Associations today urged the Central Excise Department to reintroduce physical control and verification of production and clearance of matches manufactured by about 200 semi-mechanised match units, which were functioning illegally in Tamil Nadu.

Talking to newspersons here, D Bhaskaran, President of Tiruchirapalli Match Manufacturers Association and representatives of various Handmade Match Manufacturers Associations said the fully- mechanised units were functioning under the guise of semi-mechanised units and this would be clear, if their production output was verified by the officials.

They said production by the illegal units affected 10,000 small-scale units, where 20-lakh workers were employed. The number of units had come down to 6,000, he alleged.

The levy of sales tax at the rate of ten per cent that was in force upto December 31, 2006, and 12.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) brought into effect from January one, 2007 was not applicable to Hand-made sector, which were exempted from levy of excise duty. The illegal semi-mechanied units were availing an improper sales tax concession without paying anything.

They claimed that they come under Hand-made and partly machine- made category.

They urged the Government to take steps to confiscate 300 machines set-up illegally in semi-mechanised units.

They also urged the State Government to restrain the Indian Tobacco Corporation (ITC) from procurement and marketing of match-boxes.


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