The Union Finance Ministry has clarified that industrial units in the northeastern states will continue to get central excise exemptions under the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) even if they are not registered under the scheme.
Doubts had arisen on the eligibility of the excise benefits after the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which comes under the commerce ministry, suspended registration of industrial units under the scheme from December 1, 2014.
In a circular issued on Thursday, the finance ministry said the DIPP has only suspended registration under the scheme and not the package of incentives offered under it. It also said that the central excise notification issued on April 25, 2007, “does not mandate registration under NEIIPP to avail of the excise duty exemption thereunder”.
Industry lobby groups and governments of northeastern states have protested against the DIPP decision to suspend registration under the NEIIPP, which was launched by the previous Congress-led United Front government in March 2007 with an aim to provide an enabling environment to speed up industrialization of the region.
Industry bodies have said that investment in the region has dried up since the DIPP suspended registration under the scheme.
Officials said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who belongs to Arunachal Pradesh, is drafting a new fiscal incentive policy for the region, which is expected to plug the loopholes of the NEIIPP.