Stalin bats for SEZ tax concessions

July 24th, 2010 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) A proposal to discontinue tax incentives to special economic zones (SEZ) is causing concern to developers and prospective investors, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said here Saturday.
Speaking at the 55th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), the country’s top policy forum convened Saturday, Stalin said: “The SEZ policy is beginning to yield results. The proposal to discontinue tax incentive to SEZs in the revised DTC (direct tax code) is causing concern among the developers and prospective investors.

“We are of the opinion that concession already formulated under SEZ policy, should continue and amendments proposed in the revised DTC needs to be modified,” he said.

He said as many as 575 SEZs have been approved by the board of approval out of which 358 have been notified in the country. Out of 70 SEZs approved in Tamil Nadu, 57 has been notified.

Requesting provision of early coal linkages to the power projects coming up in Tamil Nadu, Stalin hoped that Kudankulam nuclear power project is commissioned early so that the state would get its share of 960 MW.

He said the average demand of power in Tamil Nadu is 11,000 MW. The availability is 8,000 MW. Projects in pipeline are expected to create around 6,500 MW of additional installed capacity by 2010-11.

Referring to intra-state rive linking projects in Tamil Nadu, Stalin urged the central government to provide substantial funds and also initiate talks with southern states for interlinking of rivers for efficient use of water for irrigation and drinking water purposes.

He also requested a share of Rs.5,000 crore fund earmarked for environmental protection for Tamil Nadu to increase the carbon absorbing capacity of the forests for mitigating global warming.

According to him, Tamil Nadu has spent Rs.47,500 crore till 2009-10 out of the approved Rs.85,344 crore under the Eleventh Plan. He said during 2010-11, an outlay of Rs.20,068 crore will be incurred.

“There has been a shortfall, in achieving the targeted overall growth rate, due to erratic monsoon, and global economic slow down. Now the economy is showing, signs of revival, and we are expecting, higher growth rate,” he said.

Citing Tamil Nadu government’s housing and insurance schemes, Stalin suggested the union government to implement similar schemes across the country.

Under the Kalaignar Veetu Vasathi Thittam scheme, the Tamil Nadu government will replace 21 lakh thatched houses with concrete ones at an outlay of Rs.18,000 crore.

The state also implements an insurance scheme covering 1.44 crore families each for Rs.100,000 for specified life threatening diseases.

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