GUWAHATI, July 17 - The State unit of the North Eastern Small Scale Industries� Association (NESSIA) has demanded a new separate Central policy for the micro sector industries in the northeastern States.
Addressing a press conference at Guwahati Press Club today, Sailen Baruah, State president, NESSIA, expressed resentment over the lack of a separate policy for the 35,000-odd micro enterprises of the region, which were providing livelihood to two lakh people.
�The micro sector is the largest employer with two lakh people engaged in it. It is a matter of regret that there is no separate policy for this crucial sector. A separate policy for the micro sector is all the more imperative in the Northeast given that 90 per cent of the industries in the region have now slipped to the micro sector following the enhancement of the micro sector limit from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh on investment of plant and machineries,� he said.
In 2007, the Union Commerce Ministry announced the North East Industrial and Investment Policy, and on the strength of the policy, 7,924 micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) units have been registered with the DICCs from 2007 to 2012, providing employment to 61,166 persons.
�Out of that registration, 7,185 belonged to the micro sector, while 697 were in the small sector and 42 in the medium sector,� Baruah said.
The year-wise breakup is: 2007-08 � micro units 1,714, small 94, medium 3 (total 1,811); 2008-09 � micro units 1,546, small 154, medium 11 (total 1,711); 2009-10 � micro sector 1,511, small 155, medium 12 (total 1,678); 2010-11� micro units 1,341, small 162, medium 3 (total 1,506); 2011-12 � micro units 1,073, small 132,medium 13 (total 1,218).
Accordingly, Baruah added, the Government of India also released subsidies on various heads � CCIS: Rs 139.7 crore, insurance: Rs 8.97 crore, interest: Rs 106.1 crore, and transport: Rs 1,644.25 crore, totaling an amount of Rs 1,899 crore. The �NESSIA opposed the North East Industrial and Investment Policy-2007 which was mainly announced for big industries and not for the micro sector industries, and this in no way helped the micro sector in Assam, with the lion�s share of the subsidy comprising transport/freight subsidy, CCIS, insurance, etc., taken by a few medium and big industries.
�Even no separate DIPP guidelines were there in the NEIIP for processing CCE�S claim for the micro sector. Due to the requirement of a large number of documents as well as time and cost involved in obtaining the documents, the micro sector units have not been able to avail the benefit of the policy. Therefore we strongly oppose such type of policy,� Baruah said.
The NESSIA welcomed suspension of the NEIIP-2007 by the Union Commerce Ministry, which has vide letter 10(1)/2014-DBA-/NER has suspended registration of all new schemes under the NEIIP-2007 with effect from December 1 ,2014.
�The NESSIA demands complete scrapping of the policy. No doubt we have all along been demanding development of industries but not at the cost of exploiting government fund in the name of industry. Hundred per cent employment of local people was also mandatory as per the policy and it is highly doubtful how many locals got engagement under it,� Baruah said, adding that physical verification of employment by competent groups/NGOs should be carried out, as Assam has 17,29,000 registered job-seekers.
The NESSIA also claimed that micro sector industries were non-polluting and has no involvement with transport subsidy, excise benefit, etc., except for capital investment subsidy on plant and machineries which is considered to be a promoter of first-generation entrepreneurs and hundred per cent income tax relief.
The NESSIA also demanded permanent infrastructure development in roadways, railways and water transport rather than �exploiting public money for the benefit of a few industries on transport/freight subsidy year after year which never pass on the benefit to the consumers/public�.