Centre approves Rs 3000-crore special scheme for Northeastern states


NORTHEAST | March 23, 2018

Even as Andhra Pradesh continues to press for special category status, the Centre has cleared a Rs 3000-crore special scheme to incentivize the MSME sector and generate employment opportunities in the northeastern states.
The Centre took the decision to sanction the special package on Wednesday.

"MSMEs comprise the biggest chunk of industrialization in the northeast and so the focus of this scheme is on this sector. This sector is also the biggest creator of employment," Assam commerce and industry minister Chandra Mohan Patowarysaid on Thursday. He added that this is the only special policy in force in the country.

The scheme, called the North-East Industrial Development Scheme' (NEIDS) – 2017, is a successor to the Northeast Industrial Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP) which the NDA government had suspended in 2014. It did not renew it for nearly one year after its expiry last March.

The scheme has completely done away with transport subsidy by road in both private and public sectors, which was the primary loophole in the previous policies resulting in leakage of funds.

Patowary said, "The new policy has plugged all loopholes. It does not provide any subsidy on road transport subsidy. Instead, subsidy is being given to transportation of finished products by railways (20%), waterways (20%) and perishable goods by air (33%) within the boundaries of the country."

 Under this scheme, an investor can avail benefits up to Rs 200 crore in terms of exemption and subsidies per unit and any unit which is registered between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2020 will be eligible to avail these benefits for a period of five years. "We cannot give incentives indefinitely. One has to stand on its own feet," added Patowary.
The incentives offered include reimbursement of 58% of income tax and 58% of CGST and IGST from the date of commencement of production. Also on offer is subsidy of 30 % of the investment in plant and machinery with an upper limit of Rs 5 crore per unit. There will also be 3 % incentive on working capital credit advanced by eligible banks and financial institutions for the first five years from the date of commencement of commercial production by the unit. Besides, ther will be reimbursement of 100% insurance premium on insurance of building, plant and machinery for five years from the date of commencement of commercial production by the unit.
"For encouraging employment generation, this scheme provides employment incentive under which the government shall pay 3.67% of the employer's contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in addition to government bearing 8.33% employee pension scheme (EPS) contribution of the employer in the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY)," said Patowary.
Source: Times of India
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