To speed up industrialization in the Northeast, the government approved a new policy which extends existing tax sops to a slew of new industries, including tobacco, tobacco products, pan masala, plastic bags and goods produced by refineries.
Following the Cabinet’s approval to the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007, these industries too will now be eligible for 100% income tax and excise duty exemption.
All new and existing units in the Northeast, including Sikkim, when they go in for “substantial expansion”, will be eligible for these incentives for 10 years.
The criterion is that the unit must begin production within 10 years after the policy is notified.
Industries will qualify for these incentives if they expand investment in capital goods by 25% or more, instead of 33.5% at present.
Also, the policy will allow 100% reimbursement of insurance premium under the Comprehensive Insurance Scheme for Northeast-based industries.
In other decisions, the Cabinet has approved exchange of information on financial fraud by the Financial Intelligence Unit in India with similar units abroad.
Information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said that the government has also approved a proposal of the overseas Indian affairs ministry to sign a memorandum of understanding with Kuwait on helping workers move between the two countries for employment.
The MoU will make employers “unequivocally” responsible for arranging work permits for workers and prohibit any changes in contracts that could harm them.