GUWAHATI, March 22 � Bemoaning lack of support at government level, the State's bamboo industry has called for VAT exemption without which it said the industry would not survive cheap import and rising bamboo prices.
�Two years back, we had approached State administration following which VAT was exempted but it expires on March 31 this year. We feel that if VAT is imposed at 13.5 per cent, most of the bamboo industrial units will close down,� Rajib Goswami, president of the Federation of Bamboo Industries of Assam told The Assam Tribune.
Reasoning that by exempting VAT the State Government would not lose much revenue but a step on the contrary would cripple the bamboo industry which involves a number of small bamboo producers, Goswami said that an indigenous industry utilizing local raw materials and employing local youth needed some protection.
�We feel that extending the VAT exemption by at least
another ten years would do a world of good to the fledgling bamboo industry. The resultant loss to exchequer because of this waiver will be meagre but if this is not granted, many units will become unviable and go out of production, rendering thousands unemployed,� Goswami said.
Many of the bamboo products manufactured in Assam like bamboo round stick, bamboo blinds, bamboo flooring, and bamboo skewer are all import substitutes.