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Jute sector relieved

Calcutta, Feb. 28: No news is good news. Or so it would seem as far as the jute sector is concerned. Jute industry leaders seem to be happy that the sector found no specific mention in Union finance minister Jaswant Singh’s budget presentation.

“The industry was fearing an imposition of excise duty and we heaved a sigh of relief that it did not come about,’’ said G. M. Singhvi, chairman of the Indian Jute Mills Association.

“That there was no additional burden on the industry is itself a good news,’’ he said.

The industry is also expected to gain from the introduction of the value added tax (VAT) regime from April and also reduction of central sales tax (CST) from 4 per cent to 2 per cent. According to Sanjoy Kajaria, a past president of IJMA, introduction of VAT should be able to greatly reduce the irregularities and confusion in the existing sales tax system.

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