The Coir Board Chairman Mr V S Vijayaraghavan has suggested removal of VAT on coir products and introduction of a uniform 4 per cent VAT on rubberised coir products.
Speaking at the Coir Board's review meeting in New Delhi, the Chairman pointed out that presently VAT on coir products in other States varied from 12.5 to 14.5 per cent, while it is levied at zero per cent in Kerala. Similar is the case of rubberised coir products which is fixed at only 4 per cent in Kerala whereas it is higher in other states. He sought exemption on excise duty for coir products and machineries supplied to beneficiaries under various Central Government schemes.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Udaya Kumar Varma, Secretary, Union Ministry of MSME, has stressed the need to reorient the Board's marketing strategies and welfare schemes with a view to enhancing exports, increasing domestic market consumption and improving productivity in the coir sector.
Mr Varma also suggested bestowing greater attention on implementing schemes such as Rejuvenation, Modernisation and Technology Upgradation (REMOT) and welfare measures beneficial to the workers at the grassroots level.
Later, at a pre-budget discussion involving the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and Coir Board, Mr Varma elicited proposals from the Board for inclusion in the budget estimates to be presented during the next fiscal (2011-12).
The Director General of Foreign Trade, Mr Anoop Poojari, also held a sectoral performance review meeting with the Coir Board Chairman and other officials of the Board at which the DGFT exhorted the need to achieve coir products exports worth Rs1,000 crore during the current fiscal.
The Board Chairman suggested enhancement of export incentives to the coir sector similar to those available under the special focus product schemes extended to the handloom sector.