R DUTTA CHOUDHURY
GUWAHATI, April 16 - The Government of India has formally notified the North East Industrial Development Scheme, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet on March 21 and the scheme will be effective from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2022. An empowered committee will examine all the claims made by the industrial units before the units receive the benefits. All the states of the North East including Sikkim will be included under the scheme.The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India issued the gazette notification of the scheme on April 12 after the scheme was cleared by the Union Cabinet.
The notification said that an empowered committee headed by the secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will be constituted. The other members of the committee will include secretary of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, representative of the NITI Aayog, secretaries of the concerned ministries and departments of the Government of India, chief secretaries or industry secretaries of the concerned states, etc., for the selection of beneficiaries under the scheme. While considering the proposals, due consideration will be given to factors like cost disadvantage, project viability, employment generation, promoters’ risk, etc., while preference will be given to the industrial units under the micro, small and medium enterprises.
The North East Industrial Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi) will be the nodal agency for the disbursement of the benefits under the scheme. The NEDFi will release the funds only through e-transfer to designated bank accounts of the eligible industrial units. The claims under capital investment scheme and transport incentive received by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be pre-scrutinized by a recognized independent audit agency. The NEDFi will also conduct post-audit of 10 per cent of the claims released every year, while, the chief controller of accounts of the DIPP will post audit 20 per cent of the claims.
On the eligibility criteria, the notification said that all new industrial units other than those included in the negative list would be eligible for the benefits under the scheme. Biotechnology and hydel power generation units up to 10 MW located in the North East states would be eligible for receiving the benefits under the scheme. But the maximum limit of benefits to be received by each unit will be Rs 200 crore. Plant and machinery for the service sector industrial units will also include the cost of construction of building and all other durable assets including the cost of land.
The incentives to be provided to the industrial units on reimbursement basis include central capital investment incentive for access to credit, central investment incentive, central comprehensive insurance incentive, goods and services tax reimbursement, income tax reimbursement, transport incentive and employment incentive.
To become eligible to receive the incentives under the scheme, all industrial units will have to register themselves with the DIPP through the portal. An online application process will be developed to enable the units to submit applications with the detailed project reports. The empowered committee will consider issues like prima facie eligibility of the industrial unit, availability of budget, etc., to decide the eligibility for registration. No industrial unit will be eligible to claim benefits unless it is approved by the Central Government and no interest on account of delay in payment of incentives can be claimed by any industrial unit.
The units will have to start production within 18 months of approval, while, the units, which started production on or after April 1, 2017 will be allowed to register with the DIPP on or before September 30, 2018.