Himachal extends Central Sales Tax concessions for industry

In a significant decision to protect the industrial units from effects of the economic downturn, Himachal Pradesh government today extended the Central Sales Tax (CST) concessions for industrial units up to 2013.

The concessions of 1 per cent CST, earlier granted to the industrial units both small and large-scale units lapsed on March 31 and could not be extended because of the model code of conduct.

Industry department sources said nearly 35,000 industrial units will be benefited by the decision. The decision, taken in the meeting of the state Cabinet, presided over by CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and held for the first time after the elections, is seen as Himachal government's fresh move to raise the issue of extending industrial package up to 2013.

The 10-year industrial package announced by the NDA government in 2003 was cut down to 2007 but later raised to 2010. The BJP government has been asking the Centre to restore the package.

"Once the new government takes charge, we will approach the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to seek extension of the Central package," Dhumal said.

Also, for ex-servicemen and Army personnel, to buy vehicles and IT equipment etc from Canteen Store Departments (CSD), the Cabinet decided to reduce the VAT from 12.5 per cent to 4 per cent. The Cabinet also decided to amend the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojna, raising the income limit from Rs 7,500 per annum to Rs 15,000 per annum.

Letters of Intent for three new private universities Kota - Gopi Bai Foundation Trust for Hamirpur district, K D Education Trust, New Delhi for Indora and Sri Sai College of Engineering and Technology (Society), Badani for Palampur, were also given.

The Cabinet decided to serve final notice to the private sector companies which were allotted hydro projects and failed to deposit the upfront premium. All such companies will be required to deposit the upfront premium by June 15, 2009, failing which the allotments made will stand cancelled.

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