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Centre amends NE transport subsidy rules

By R Dutta choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 24 � Following widespread allegations of misappropriation of funds in disbursement of transport subsidy to industrial units of the North East region, the Government of India has amended the rules for disbursement of subsidy and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries recently issued a gazette notification in this regard.

As per the gazette notification, coke and fly ash have been put on the negative list along with tobacco, pan masala, plastic bags of less than 20 microns etc. Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that till recently, coke industries received the highest amount of transport subsidy, but there have been lots of allegations of misrepresentation of facts while making claims for the subsidy. A number of coke industries also facing charges of polluting the environment.

Sources said that according to information available, coke and coal industries received around 37 per cent of the transport subsidy among all the industries of the North East, followed by cement industry with around 22 per cent. Sources said that the withdrawal of transport subsidy, now called the freight subsidy, on fly ash would affect the cement factories to some extent.

The guidelines for disbursement of transport subsidy have also been made stringent and now the subsidy claims would have to be cross checked with the records of the Excise, Sales Tax, Transport and Electricity Departments and official sources admitted that checking of all such records would reduce the chances of misrepresentation of facts to a large extent. The Gazette notification further stated that any false statement made by an industrial unit or misrepresentation of facts would disqualify the unit from the grant of freight subsidy.

The role of the State Government in checking the claims made by the industrial units has been made more elaborate. The documents submitted by the industrial units supporting their claims to get transport subsidy would have to be first verified by the district industries centres before forwarding those to the Directorate of Industries. The district centres would also have to go for physical verification of the industries from time to time to ensure that proper claims were made by the same.

As per the Gazette notification, the concerned State Government would have to prescribe a system for registration of industrial units, which seek to apply for Freight Subsidy. The State Governments would have to form a State Level Committee comprising the Principal Secretary or Secretary of the Industry and Commerce Department, Director of Industries and representatives of the Finance and Transport Departments to consider the claims and recommend disbursement of subsidies. The State Governments should draw up a mechanism for periodical checks of the industrial units to ensure that the raw materials and finished products are actually used or produced, the notification said.

The units not complying with the industrial standards or not receiving environment clearance would not be eligible for the subsidy.

It may be mentioned here that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had also pointed out large scale irregularities in payment of transport subsidy to industrial units in the North East and there was one case where the registration number of a two wheeler was shown as the vehicle used for transportation of materials.

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Centre amends NE transport subsidy rules

GUWAHATI, March 24 � Following widespread allegations of misappropriation of funds in disbursement of transport subsidy to industrial units of the North East region, the Government of India has amended the rules for disbursement of subsidy and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries recently issued a gazette notification in this regard.

As per the gazette notification, coke and fly ash have been put on the negative list along with tobacco, pan masala, plastic bags of less than 20 microns etc. Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that till recently, coke industries received the highest amount of transport subsidy, but there have been lots of allegations of misrepresentation of facts while making claims for the subsidy. A number of coke industries also facing charges of polluting the environment.

Sources said that according to information available, coke and coal industries received around 37 per cent of the transport subsidy among all the industries of the North East, followed by cement industry with around 22 per cent. Sources said that the withdrawal of transport subsidy, now called the freight subsidy, on fly ash would affect the cement factories to some extent.

The guidelines for disbursement of transport subsidy have also been made stringent and now the subsidy claims would have to be cross checked with the records of the Excise, Sales Tax, Transport and Electricity Departments and official sources admitted that checking of all such records would reduce the chances of misrepresentation of facts to a large extent. The Gazette notification further stated that any false statement made by an industrial unit or misrepresentation of facts would disqualify the unit from the grant of freight subsidy.

The role of the State Government in checking the claims made by the industrial units has been made more elaborate. The documents submitted by the industrial units supporting their claims to get transport subsidy would have to be first verified by the district industries centres before forwarding those to the Directorate of Industries. The district centres would also have to go for physical verification of the industries from time to time to ensure that proper claims were made by the same.

As per the Gazette notification, the concerned State Government would have to prescribe a system for registration of industrial units, which seek to apply for Freight Subsidy. The State Governments would have to form a State Level Committee comprising the Principal Secretary or Secretary of the Industry and Commerce Department, Director of Industries and representatives of the Finance and Transport Departments to consider the claims and recommend disbursement of subsidies. The State Governments should draw up a mechanism for periodical checks of the industrial units to ensure that the raw materials and finished products are actually used or produced, the notification said.

The units not complying with the industrial standards or not receiving environment clearance would not be eligible for the subsidy.

It may be mentioned here that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had also pointed out large scale irregularities in payment of transport subsidy to industrial units in the North East and there was one case where the registration number of a two wheeler was shown as the vehicle used for transportation of materials.

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