Guwahati, Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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State Cabinet clears bamboo & cane policy
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, Nov 19 - The State Cabinet today approved the Assam Excise (Amendment) Bill 2019 that seeks to bring molasses in the list of excisable items. The Bill will now be placed before the State Assembly.

The Bill seeks to amend section 2(h) and section 84(2)(d) of the Assam Excise Act, 2000 such that the list of excisable articles will be expanded to include molasses as an excisable item. It also seeks to regulate import, export, transport or possession of molasses. A new section will be inserted to define the term molasses for the purpose of the Assam Excise Act.

The amendments in the Excise Act will facilitate the introduction of necessary rules to control and regulate the production, storage, distribution, possession and sale of molasses in the State to deal effectively with the challenges posed by the rampant production, trade and consumption of the spurious liquor.

Molasses are largely used in Assam for production of illicitly distilled liquor which is consumed by a section of people across the State posing not only a serious threat to human health and life but also eroding the excise revenue base of the State.

The State Cabinet also approved the Assam Bamboo and Cane Policy that aims at sustainable development and utilisation of bamboo and cane resources in the State through scientific management and stakeholders participation. Incentives will be provided for establishment of various bamboo-based industries, processing units and development of traditional sectors like handicraft and furniture making.

Among other incentives are 50 per cent capital investment subsidy on eligible plant and machinery and internal electrical installations subject to a ceiling limit of Rs 5 crore and for startups in bamboo & cane sector a grant of up to Rs 5 lakh for innovative ideas.

Quality planting material will be provided through tissue culture at the Jorhat-based Rain Forest Research Institute, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and forest nurseries.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet made it compulsory for industries and factories to keep sanitary napkins for women employees.

The Cabinet also approved the policy for financial autonomy to veterinary farms, pig breeding policy and goat farming policy.

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