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Sunday , July 6 , 2014
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Special status on industry wish list

Patna, July 5: Industry bodies of the state have high expectations from the Union budget 2014-15 to be presented by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on July 10.

Prominent industry bodies submitted a memorandum to Jaitley containing a long wish list. They have pitched for special category status and special packages for Bihar to help it catch up with other developed states.

In his pre-budget memorandum, Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) president P.K. Agrawal said: “Bihar had been neglected by the Centre and had not been getting its justified share in central allocations, making the state economically and industrially backward. Bihar must get special category status to fulfil its long-cherished desire of the people, especially traders and entrepreneurs.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Bihar Industries Association (BIA), another industry lobby representing manufacturing and service sector industries, made a vociferous demand for special category.

“Bihar, being a least developed state — as rated by the special committee under the chairmanship of Raghuram G. Rajan, then adviser (finance), Government of India — has great expectations about the forthcoming Union budget and therefore, it requests the finance minister to kindly consider Bihar’s case for according special category status to it and a basket of special packages to catch up with other states,” said BIA president Arun Agarwal in his memorandum.

Apart from special category status, the industry bodies made a slew of demands from the finance minister for all-round development of the state. It includes allocation of funds for various mega projects such as power and railway. They have been lagging much behind their scheduled deadline because of funds crunch.

BCCI said adequate funds should be allocated for the growth of sugar industries, thermal power plants, agro-based industries, food processing industries, steel and engineering units and tourism.

BCCI president Agrawal demanded cent per cent exemption from income tax for the state’s industrial units in the light of its industrial backwardness. BCCI demanded the income tax exemption limit of Rs 2 lakh be raised to Rs 3.5 lakh for individuals, while BIA demanded that the exemption limit of income tax be enhanced from the current Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

BIA president Arun Agarwal, in his memorandum, demanded the introduction of loan insurance policy for the micro, small and medium enterprises sector. It submitted a list of pending rail projects, which require the Centre’s urgent financial attention.

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