GUWAHATI, May 17 � Tea manufacturers of the State have pleaded for enlisting the tea manufacturing factories as orange category industries under the State�s 2014 Industrial and Investment Policy.
They have also called for urgent steps to issue Tax Clearance Certificates to the tea estates and factories in time and make them valid for a period of one year.
In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) has pointed out to the fact that the tea manufacturing factories of the State has not been listed under the 2014 Industrial and Investment Policy of the State as orange category industry.
However, the Government of Assam through a notification on May 17, 2010 (CI.133/2007/Pt/34) had included tea manufacturing factories or industries in the �Orange� category, argued the tea producers� association.
Moreover, as per the Assam Value Added Tax (Third Amendment) Rules, 2009, (notified through the Finance (Taxation) Department Notification No. FTX.55/2005/Pt.-VI/41 dated November 03, 2009), tea industry is not a manufacturing industry, it said.
Since Assam is known world wide for its tea industry, it would be a self-defeating act on the part of the Government if it fails to recognise this industry as a manufacturing one and continues to keep it outside the purview of Industrial and Investment Policy of the State. The purpose of this Policy will then be upset, said the Association.
It further argued that the tea industry fulfils the definition of "manufacturer" as communicated by DC (SSI), Ministry of Industry, Government of India (vide No. 4/93-SSI Bd.& Policy dated August 26,.1993).
In the meantime, the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and the Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP) have in a joint letter to the Tax Commissioner of the State regretted that delay in issuing the tax clearance certificates to the tea estates and factories has been causing problems for them in sending consignments of their products to outside the State destinations. This has been resulting in serious problem of cash flow for the tea manufacturers, they said.
Moreover, since the tax clearance certificates are valid only generally for a period of one month and in some rare cases for a period of one and half a month, the transporters of the tea consignments of the State are also facing problems, they said.
Under such a situation, the tea manufacturers� associations have requested the Tax Commissioner to issue Tax Clearance Certificates to the tea estates and factories for a period of one financial year (April to March) after completion of necessary formalities to issue Tax Clearance Certificates.
The failure of the Tax Department to issue road permits to the tea estates and factories to bring in their spare parts from outside the State has also been affecting tea production, said the tea manufacturers� associations.
They, therefore, pleaded for steps to issue a book of road permits duly approved by the Tax Department in advance to the tea estates and factories to enable them to issue road permits from their end to their suppliers. They in turn will submit a half yearly or yearly return along with deposited challan of tax amount with counterfoil to the Tax Department, the associations said.