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GCII seeks extension of tax holiday for Kutch

Our Regional Bureau  |  Ahmedabad 

Various trade and industries' bodies of the state, under the umbrella of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), has demanded that the tax holiday for the earthquake-ravaged Kutch district be extended by two more years.
The special incentives for setting up industrial units in Kutch district were effective from July 31, 2001, to July 31, 2003, but these were extended to December 31, 2004, in the 2003-04 budget announcements made by the central government.
Chinubhai Shah, president of the GCCI, in a representation made to the Union finance minister P Chidambaram, said the chamber has asked the central government to continue the excise benefits given to new industries set up in Kutch, up to December 31, 2006.
Shah said in view of projects worth crores of rupees in the pipeline in Kutch, it would be fit to extend the tax holiday, as these industries have already decided to set up units in the district.
Following the tax holiday announced by both the central government and the state government, as many as 81 projects, involving investments to the tune of Rs 500 crore have already been commissioned in Kutch district. Additional investments of about Rs 7,000 crore are in the pipeline in the region.
Following the earthquake that destroyed a majority of structures of the district, a special package was announced for speedy growth of the region.
The Kutch region of Gujarat has the potential to attract investment of over Rs 10,000 crore for setting up industries, if the Congress led UPA government at the centre extends the deadline for excise exemption in the region for another three to five years, traders said.
Kutch has already attracted investments of around Rs 7,500 crore and the production of these units are expected to be commenced before December this year, said state industries minister Anil Patel recently.
Patel had stated that the Gujarat government too will make a representation to the government at the centre to extend the deadline for excise exemption in the Kutch region by another three to five years.
He said Gujarat was still receiving inquiries from the industries to set their units in Kutch.
The region already houses several industries.

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First Published: Fri, July 02 2004. 00:00 IST