NEW DELHI, Nov 30 � Moved by the financial woes of the four refineries in the State, the North East MPs� Forum has decided to seek intervention of the Prime Minister in allowing excise duty concession.
The decision to take up the case of the four refineries was taken at a meeting of the Forum held on Wednesday. �The meeting of the North-East MPs� Forum has decided to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister,� announced general secretary of the Forum, Biren Baishya.
As reported by this newspaper, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in March had taken up the demand for concessions with the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry has been informed that the issue of 100 per cent concession to refineries of the North-east was examined in the past and it was not found advisable to support an enviable unit through fiscal instrument whose impact is always not transparent.
Further, it was felt that extending the North-east exemption to existing petroleum refineries would generate similar demands from other sectors.
The case of the deteriorating financial health of oil refineries in the North-east was also taken up by the Parliamentary panel. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has noted with concern the financial health of oil refineries in the Northeastern region is due to high landed cost of imported crude oil and the entry tax on crude oil being charged by the State Governments, which is affecting the profitability of the refineries.
In its latest report submitted in the Parliament, the Standing Committee has urged the Ministry to scrupulously implement the recommendations of the expert committee in all the refineries of the region to make them economically viable and profit earning.
Meanwhile, Forum at its meeting has also decided to take up the plight of the farmers in the State. A delegation of the Forum has decided to meet the Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar with a demand for direction to the Food Corporation of India to lift paddy in the State. They also want a Central direction to Jute Corporation of India to lift jute from the State�s farmers.
The meeting also decided to urge the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna on maestro Bhupen Hazarika. A meeting of the Forum had last year moved a resolution, favouring the Bharat Ratna. Subsequently, a delegation had petitioned the Prime Minister in this regard, said Baishya.