Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FM assures to consider industry demand on excise exemption

LUDHIANA, March 9:(Gurzent Singh)

The Union Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee today assured that he will look into the demand of various industrial associations seeking withdrawal of the excise duty on bicycles, hosiery, blankets, garments, sewing machines and other industrial products.

The assurances were given to a group of delegations of the industry which met the FM IN New Delhi today under the leadership of the Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari.

Later in a statement, released here today, Tewari said, Mr Mukherjee was kind enough to give a patient hearing to the industrial representatives. He disclosed that the FM said that he will definitely look into the matter and assured that the industries\' interest will not be allowed to be harmed.

The industrial representatives presented their cases separately to the FM. They included those from the bicycle, hosiery, garment, blanket and sewing machine industry.

Arguing for the industry Tewari put up a strong case with FM saying that the excise duty regime be made optional as it existed prior to the 2011-12 Budget and readymade garment and made-up of textiles, bicycle, sewing machine, blanket and garments should be retained under the optional excise duty regime.

The Ludhiana MP said, it will lead to lot of hardships to lakhs of small entrepreneurs across the country more so in his own constituency Ludhiana which is the hub of hosiery and bicycle industry.

He reminded Mr Mukherjee that it was in 2004 budget that the CENVAT duty had been withdrawn. Mr Chidambram, the then Finance Minister, had made it clear that there was a universal demand to free the handloom and powerloom sectors from the Cenvat regime and he had done it accordingly.

Tewari pointed out, lakhs of people depend upon this industry for their bread and butter. He said, the industry is of a very fragmented nature whereby it is impossible to really complete the Cenvat chain, hence it will be in the best interest of everybody to exempt it from the duty.

The delegation included Arun Ala Gapan, President All India Cycle Manufacturers Association, Pankaj Munjal, Girish Kapoor, DS Chawla, Vinod Thappar, Ajit Lakra, Darshan Dawer, Sudershan Jain, Sheetal Vij, Narinder Miglani, Ved Chugh, Nitesh Jagota, Mohinder Narang, Bawa Jain, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Pawan Dewan.

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