After special economic zones (SEZs) and auto hubs, it is now the turn of industrial parks to provide India Inc with additional tax breaks and quality infrastructure.
The commerce & industry ministry has designed a new industrial parks scheme which will entitle developers to a 10-year income tax holiday. The income tax benefit can be availed for a 10 years block anytime in a period of 15 years. Christened Industrial Park Scheme 06, the new window has now been submitted to the finance ministry.
If the new scheme is approved, developers will have to move fast to file applications as tax holiday is available only till 09. In the 06 Budget, the government had extended tax holiday for industrial parks till 09. This effectively means that new projects in industrial parks should be started before 09.
In case a developer transfers operation and maintenance of the industrial park to another undertaking, the tax benefits will be extended to the transferee for the remaining period. The scheme shall be applicable for any undertaking that develops and operates or maintains and operates an industrial park from the date of its notification.
The developer will have to provide common facilities including roads, effluent treatment plants, telecom network, power generation and distribution facilities, convention centres, canteens, security service, air-conditioning for all units and medical facilities.
These facilities have been defined by the ministry as common facilities the provision of which is mandatory for the developer. The completion certificate to the builder will be issued only if all these provisions have been made. As a part of the scheme the government has committed to make time-bound clearances.
A minimum number of three units should exist in the park for it to qualify as an industrial park with a minimum coverage of 5,000 square metres. Moreover, no industrial unit will occupy more than 50% of the allocated for the industrial park.
The government has further stipulated that 66% of the total area allocated to the park shall be used by industrial units and the area for commercial use shall not exceed more than 34%.
Industrial activities slated for the industrial park include manufacturing, software supply, publishing and consultancy, data processing and research.