The new draft manufacturing policy, aimed to reduce the compliance burden of the industry and putting India on the world map as a manufacturing nation, will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said. Mr. Sharma also said that the announcement to impose Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on SEZs (special economic zones) and its units came as a complete surprise and he would take up the matter with the Finance Minister urging him to review the imposition.

“We hope that we will be able to come out with the formal policy soon or within the next few weeks or next couple of months. We are ready with the draft,” Mr. Sharma said here.

He said that he had already discussed the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The same was referred to in the budget speech of the Finance Minister. “The government will come out with a manufacturing policy, which will bring down the compliance burden on the industry through self-regulation and help make Indian industry globally competitive,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

The government aims to take the share of manufacturing sector, which contributes over 80 per cent to the country's overall industrial production, in GDP from about 16 per cent to 25 per cent over 10 years. Under the upcoming policy, the government has proposed to set up integrated greenfield mega investment zones to attract global investment and latest technologies.

“MAT has to be imposed once the Direct Taxes Code kicks in, that would be next year, but the announcement this year has caught us by surprise. I am going to take it up once again with the Finance Minister to align it with the implementation of the DTC. I will surely urge him to review it,” Mr. Sharma added.

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