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GST may pose threat to small entrepreneurs
October, 01st 2011

This may be a shocker to small entrepreneurs but the Centre seemingly intends to bring those having a turnover of Rs 10 lakh under VAT. The government's Goods and Service Tax (GST) policy may end the facility of VAT exemption to the entrepreneurs with less than Rs 1.5 crore turnover.

This was stated by deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also chairman of the group of states finance ministers on GST, here on Thursday while addressing the annual meeting of Bihar Industries Association (BIA). "We are trying to press the Centre not to change the VAT policy by bringing entrepreneurs with a turnover of Rs 10 lakh under it, but a strong voice is needed to be raised by the industries associations," said Modi.

In his inaugural address, chief minister Nitish Kumar said greater urbanization and industrialization is needed in the state. He lashed out at the Centre for what he called attempts to keep Bihar in the dark zone. "Today we are purchasing 300MW of power to meet the demand to some extent and leaving no stone unturned in raising the just demands, including coal linkage, at proper forums. We, too, could be a surplus state but for that we have to continue our struggle," he said.

Continuing his broadside against the Centre, Nitish said, "Those traumatizing us will be ruined. The process has already started. Look, what is happening in Delhi. It is like a civil war." He was apparently referring to turmoil in the UPA over 2G and other issues and Union ministers targeting each other.

Nitish expressed confidence that the Inter-Ministerial Group would favourably decide on Bihar's demand for special category status. "If Congress gives us this status, the party will gain some political ground in Bihar, for we will definitely give credit for it to the party," he added.

Modi also announced relaxation for industrialists in procuring approval from the Bihar State Pollution Control Board and said now they would not need renewal every year. Clearance would now be given to them for three years. He said the government will soon take a decision on entry tax provisions on raw materials.

The CM hinted that Green Bihar campaign will soon be a government project named as Hariyali Mission in which forest, horticulture and engineering-related departments will be involved and tree plantation will be done by them. This will be apart from the plantation drive of JD (U). "With all these combined efforts, we will be able to extend state's green cover to 15%," he said.

Earlier, outgoing BIA president S P Sinha expressed concern over the problem of power and repeated 'tariff shocks' by way of retrospective fuel surcharges imposed on top of tariff increases. "There have been six instances of surcharge being imposed whose impact is enormous. This has threatened the very survival of industries in Bihar," he said.

On Sinha's criticism over the NTPC's policy of increasing power tariff by 77% in the last three years, Nitish said he has asked the energy department to look into the rate increases by NTPC.

Newly-elected BIA president KPS Keshri announced that BIA will adopt some identified villages for their overall development and also actively take part in tree plantation campaign. He demanded that local entrepreneurs should be given priority by the government in its purchases. Industries minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha also spoke.

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