Approval for Chinese industrial park

In an attempt to revive economic growth, the government took two decisions — a six-month extension to the excise duty cuts announced by the UPA government in February and approval to sign a MoU with the Chinese for setting up an industrial park here.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government preferred to announce the extension of all those concessions right away rather than wait for the Union budget to be presented a fortnight from now. “Since the concessions given in February were valid only till June 30, the Finance Ministry decided to extend them for six months till December 31.”

When contacted, Mr. Chidambaram termed the decision “wise’’ and welcomed it.

Mr. Jaitley said the decision was unlikely to hit tax collections and expected it to boost the demand for these goods which in turn will push up revenues. The groundwork for a Chinese industrial park or zone was also done by the UPA government. While the Cabinet approval for an MoU was for one industrial park, government sources said three or four more were envisaged.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari will discuss the proposed MoU in Beijing on Thursday.