NEWS FROM STATES

States Agree to retire High-cost Debt this fiscal

16 major states have decided to use small savings funds for retiring high-cost debt. The Union finance ministry has therefore, decided to begin the debt restructuring exercise within the current financial year. 

According to sources in the finance ministry, the debt-swap scheme will involve 20 percent of the small savings proceeds accumulating from September 01, 2002, onwards. It will also include an additional Rs.10,000 crore market borrowing by states in the fiscal. 

The government had announced in the budget this year that entire small savings proceeds will be transferred to states - up from the earlier 80 percent. However, transfer of additional 20 percent amount to states, estimated at Rs.10,000 crore in the fiscal was linked to its use for retiring high-cost debt.

Rs.100 cr loss for states in implementing VAT

Nationwide implementation of value-added tax from April is estimated to lead to a revenue loss of Rs.100 crore for states. VAT can be gainful for states as it would increase compliance significantly and a number of measures are being taken to ensure better compliance, "An interstate information sharing system - VAT Information System (Vinxys) - is being set up which would act as a clearing house for collection of VAT from all over India," sources said. 

Kerala to get first tranche of $ 600 m ADB Loan by January

Out of the $ 200 million loan, approved for Kerala by Asian Development Bank(ADB), the state will receive the entire first tranche of about Rs.600 crore ($125 million) by January 2003. 

The state will have however, flexibility in utilising the funds the state finance minister said. The state government had specifically sought for `more flexibility' in implementation, easing from the `project-specific' nature of the loan. 

Chhattisgarh to develop export market for its silk

Chhattisgarh has taken up a project to greatly expand the number of weaving looms in the state's underdeveloped areas to set up the state silk production and get into the export market.

"Economic development of the weavers engaged in fabric manufacture in rural areas is the target", Shri Motilal Dewangan, Chairman of Chhattisgarh state Handloom Development and Marketing Co-operative Federation Ltd. (CSHDMCF) said.

In the last 2 Years, silk worth Rs.25 crore has been exported from Chhattisgarh. To stay up to date with shifts in demand preferences of customers, weavers were being educated so that they developed better knowledge of design. As part of this process, the state was imparting training to weavers as well. 

Maharashtra clears 1000 MW power project for NTPC

The Maharashtra government has given an in-principle clearance for a 1,000 MW coal-based power project by the state-run National Thermal Power Corporation in the coal rich Nagpur region. 

Rajasthan exports at Rs.4,558 cr in 2001-02

Exports from Rajasthan touched Rs.4,558 crore during 2001-02, against the previous year's Rs.4,228 crore. 

A wide variety of products, including handicrafts, carpets, readymade garments, 

textiles, and gems and jewellery, are being exported from the state. The state now has started exporting non-traditional items also.

Among the exports of the industrial units in the state during the last financial year, the highest share came from dyeing and printing, and other garments. 

The state's garments, which are becoming famous in other countries, amounted to over 25 percent of the exports, Precious and semi-precious stones and jewellery, with exports of Rs.871 crore, were the second biggest category. Agro and food products accounted for Rs.354 crore, engineering goods Rs.329 crore, marble and granite Rs.198 crore and electronic and electrical goods Rs.111 crore. 

The state's exports are rising because significant attempts are being made, like setting up of dry ports and export promotion parks. The exports reached a level of Rs.4,558 crore in 2001-02 from Rs.422 crore in 1990-91. The state has an export promotion industrial park in Jaipur while another is coming up near Jodhpur in Boranada.

The state government will make a focused endeavour to develop the ability of exporters to design, produce and market goods and services better than their competitors, in the national as well as in the international market, an industries department official said. Also, in a bid to promote technological dynamism, the state government is set to start a technology mission for certain thrust areas in export promotion. 

The mission will look at every stage of the process to assess industry's needs and provide solutions to technological obsolescence. Engineering colleges and polytechnics would undertake sponsored research projects to modernise the products of the exporting units. 

Rajasthan plans investment meets

The Rajasthan state government is offering incentives, like reductions in stamp and electricity duties and plots at concessional rates to entrepreneurs to promote itself has a favoured investment destination. 

Discussions have been held for projects worth Rs.350 crore at a meet organised at PHD House. The Escorts group has proposed to set up a Rs.90 crore state-of-the-art hospital in Jaipur. 

Amity International School offered to set up a Rs.100 crore academic complex with institutes of law, engineering, bio-technology, information technology, telecom, journalism and insurance management. 

A Rs.30 crore project for injection moulding for engineering applications, a Rs.12 crore food processing unit at Neemrana, a Rs.26 crore tourism resort at Swai Madhopur, an exempansion project for refrigerants, and a copper items project worth Rs.40 crore were some of the other projects which came up for discussion. 

The Rajasthan State industrial Development and Investment Corporation also allotted four plots, two each at Bhiwadi and Shajanpur worth Rs.44.23 lakh, during the meet in December in New Delhi which was organised by the bureau of Industrial Promotion, RIICO and the Rajasthan Financial Corporation. 

MP exempts traders from tax assessment

The Madhya Pradesh government had exempted traders with an annual turnover up to Rs.40 lakh from the process of tax assessment according to a notification issued by the commercial tax deptt.

Traders who have done trading of fully tax paid goods or tax exempted goods, would be exempted from tax assessment process. Under the scheme exemption would be applicable in cases relating to assessment year 1999-2000 and 2000-2001

New deal for Kashmir units 

The finance ministry has tailored a deal for units located in Jammu & Kashmir. New Units

established in specified areas after June 14, 2002, and units going in for substantial expansion after the date, can get a refund of the amount of excise duty less the duty paid by availing the central value-added tax (CENVAT) credit. The scheme will be valid for 10 years. 

According to the scheme, the manufacturer will have to submit a statement by the seventh of every month, showing the duty paid through PLA during the previous month. After due verification, the assistant commissioner will refund the duty paid through PLA or cash before the 15th of the next month. If the assistant commissioner expects a delay in verification he will provisionally grant the refund and then carry out the necessary verification and adjustments, if any. 

The scheme covers 20 specified products for units located in Jammu & Kashmir. These include food processing, agriculture-based industries, leather processing and leather goods, silk yarn, wool and cotton, floriculture etc. The list of goods eligible for exemption mentioned in notification number 57/2002, dated November 14, 2002, includes "Eco-tourism : hotels, houseboats, resorts, adventure and leisure sports, amusement parks, cable car guest-houses only in Ladakh. 

With a view to encourage manufacturing activities in Jammu & Kashmir, items like sports goods, computer hardware and electronics, automobile ancillaries and handicrafts have also been included in the list. Floriculture and green-houses in Ladakh have been included as well. 

The explanations to the notification makes it clear that the exploration of crude petroleum will not be covered under the expression "exploration of minerals". In respect of units already established before June 14, 2002, atleast 25 percent of the expansions in installed capacity will be required to be eligible for claiming the exemption. 

The government has simultaneously amended the rules for Cenvat 2002 to ensure that the exemption notification granted to units in Jammu & Kashmir, the Northeast and the Kutch district does not impact the Cenvat credit available on duty paid on inputs and capital goods procured by the units. 

8 sub-stations to be built in Haryana

The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam is to construct eight 33 kv sub-stations and increase the capacity of 21 sub-stations to ensure quality power supply to farmers. The corporation has earmarked Rs.18.44 crore for the purpose during 2002-2003. 

The sub-stations would be constructed by the Rural Electrification Corporation under the Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme and Nabard Schemes.

The corporation had commissioned 33 kv sub-stations in Jhansa and Jakholi villages and in Karnal this year. More sub-stations would be constructed in Murthli, Naissi, Padda, Manjura, Seawah and Kutani villages. The construction of a 33 kv sub-station in Khewra villages near Sonipat would be taken up shortly. The capacity of sub-stations at various sub-stations would also be increased. 

Maharashtra Sugar bodies to help boost exports

In a move that would weed out the fly-by-night sugar exporters, the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) and Maharashtra Sugar Growers' Federation would jointly help the government to increase sugar exports through transparent procedures. This procedure would be strictly monitored through a special sugar exports cell that was set up in December. The guidelines for boosting sugar exports were finalised in consultation with the national body Import Export Corporation of India. 

The setting up of the sugar export cell is primarily aimed at avoiding the earlier experience of `sugar export scandals' that saw large quantities of sugar meant for exports diverted to the local markets.

The state's sugar export cell would be headed by the state sugar commissioner Shri Bijay Kumar. MSCB Managing Director Shri H.R. Shinde and the sugar federation Managing Director, Shri Prakash Naikmavare would be two other members of the Cell. 

The export cell aims to export 2 lakh tonne of sugar by the end of December, "The timing of setting up of the cell is most appropriate especially because till early January 2003, there will be no exporter of white sugar in the global market, and therefore, a good price was expected for it. 

The MSCB, has under its vigilance around 4 million tonne of sugar produced by the state's sugar co-operative mills. It is currently finalising the set of guidelines under which it will release for exports the pledged sugar. 

Jharkhand 

Industrial activity

Major industrial activities in large and medium sectors have already taken place in Jhardkhand. Besides, it would have a strong and diversified industrial base capable of creating large scale productive employment opportunities. 

The major industries located in the state are iron and steel, automobile, non-ferrous, fertilizers, chemicals and cement. Large scale investments in both public and private sectors have been made in basic and heavy industries. 

Besides, that there are about 63,000 units of small scale industries with an investment of about 415 crores which provide employment to two lakh persons. 309 units of large and medium sector with an investment of nearly 12000 crores provide employment to about 74000 persons. 

An investment of about 3000 crores has been received, 20% of which has been implemented since creation of the new state. To promote easy flow of finance to industrial units, twin function Industrial Finance & Infrastructure Development Corporation with assistance from SIDBI, ICICI, IDBI & Commercial Banks has been established. 

Mining

The Jharkhand state is rich in the mineral resources. It has large deposits of minerals with 40% of the total minerals of the country available in the state. Jharkhand is the sole producer of coking coal, uranium and pyrite. It has got first position in the mining of coal, mica, kynite and copper in the country. The state Govt. has formulated some policies which would ensure that the mineral wealth is not haphazardly exploited but developed in a sustainable maner consistent with the targetted levels of economic growth. In order to ensure a proper mining scenario in Jharkhand the state Govt. has decided to enforce legislative measures to check the pollution hazard associated with the mining sector and strengthening the machinery to enforce the Eco-discipline. The state is to upgrade the exploration technology with latest and modern technology with participation of the target minerals with a view to locating, mining and processing such minerals. 

 

'A good leader makes the impossible, possible' The softest pillow you can sleep on is a clear conscience. My most prized possession is my conscience. - N.R. Naryana Murthy