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TN to make public VAT provisions soon
September, 21st 2006
Allocation of registration numbers would start soon after -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VAT move The Government has started the process within its departments and once the provisions of the VAT Bill are in the public domain there would be wider consultations. The plan is for the Government to notify the draft Bill in the gazette, which is provided for under the rules, enabling wider consultation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The provisions of the proposed legislation on value added tax (VAT) will be made public within a fortnight and Tamil Nadu is on schedule to shift to VAT from January 1, 2007, according to senior Government officials. The message from industry and trade was clear. VAT was an imperative and any delay in shifting to VAT would have proved `disastrous' to the State as an investment destination. That was also the reason for the Government to set the date as January 1 instead of the conventional start of the next financial year, they said. The Government has started the process within its departments and once the provisions of the VAT Bill are in the public domain there would be wider consultations. Allocation of registration numbers to those covered under VAT would start soon after, they said. The plan is for the Government to notify the draft Bill in the gazette, which is provided for under the rules, enabling wider consultation. The Bill can then be taken up once the Assembly meets for a short-duration session before the end of this calendar year. Officials led by the Chief Secretary, Mr L.K. Tripathy, were interacting with presspersons at a meet on Tuesday to highlight Government's programmes. Private projects The Industries Secretary, Mr Shaktikanta Das, said that in the last four months the State Government had entered into agreements with private investors for five projects with total investments of Rs 2,235 crore. These would directly generate over 24,000 jobs apart from indirect employment opportunities of 26,000. Mr Tripathy pointed out that these were concrete proposals on which work has started and they would be in operation before 2007-end. Mr Das said the "many more proposals were coming in, response from industry was encouraging and the overall investment climate in the State was buoyant. Enquiries were coming in on a daily basis." Investments were also happening in rural and economically backward areas, he said referring to Growth-Link, one of world's largest manufacturers of sports shoes, deciding to invest over Rs 300 crore to set up an SEZ in Cheyyar. This represents over 15,000 new jobs most of them for the women in the surrounding areas. Infrastructure needs were also being addressed. The Finance Secretary, Mr K. Gnanadesikan, said the Government plans to spend over Rs 6,432 crore on drinking water projects, road and power during the current year. Power situation Mr Tripathy said that the power situation in the State was comfortable with an installed capacity of 10,061 MW against a demand of 8,000 MW. In 2007-08, the installed capacity would increase by 4,000 MW and an additional 8,000 MW was under consideration to be in place by the end of the 11th Plan. According to Mr K. Allaudin, Highways Secretary, the allocation for road infrastructure during the current year was Rs 2,436 crore towards capital works against Rs 4,543 crore in the last five years. Road works were being expedited in the smaller towns and cities which were also the focus for development as investment destinations. The Information Technology Secretary, Dr C. Chandramouli, said the State was creating an environment for the sustained development of information technology. Infrastructure needs, trained manpower and e-governance initiatives were being addressed. Bid to close the `communication gap' A press meet by the Chief Secretary and a team of senior bureaucrats. In Tamil Nadu, an unprecedented move. To mark the occasion, the Rajaji Hall in the Government Estate, the venue, was done up in serial lights brightening up the cloudy, sombre evening, as journalists and officials gathered. The master of ceremonies set the tone. He said the experience from this evening would decide whether more such meetings would be held. Mr L.K. Tripathy, Chief Secretary, explaining the reasons said that the Government has initiated a number of development projects and needs to reach out to the people, to communicate - the print and visual media was important. The communication gap has to be addressed particularly when everyone has been given the right to know under the Right to Information Act. But the message was clear. The official machinery was finally opening up to the idea of a formal channel of communication to get its message across.
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