Excise duty on coir may be reviewed

Staff Reporter

Chidambaram promises to look into the issue

Levying excise duty on coir will hit the coir industry hardCoir is included in the Union Government's CMPCoir exports from the country register a marginal riseExport of coir products during April-December 2005 was Rs.363 crores

KOCHI: Union Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram has promised to look into the plea for withdrawal of Central Excise Duty on coir from the Coir Board.

The assurance came when Board Chairman A.C. Jose met Mr. Chidambaram in New Delhi last Thursday, said a press release from the Coir Board here.

The Budgetary proposal for levying excise duty on coir will hit the coir industry hard.

Considering the large-scale employment provided by the coir sector, the Union Minister has assured Mr. Jose to take a second look at the excise duty proposal.

Mr. Jose pointed out that coir had been included in the Common Minimum Programme of the Union Government putting out a definite plan of action for the regeneration of the industry to achieve sustainable allround growth of the sector.

Exemption for coir and coir products from the purview of Central Excise Duty has been in force vide Government of India notification in April 1975, the press release added.

Meanwhile, coir exports from the country have registered a marginal rise in terms of value so far during the current financial year.

Between April and December 2005, export of coir and coir products stood at a total of 97,168 tonnes worth Rs.363 crores.

During the same period in the last fiscal, the quantity was 87,020 tonnes worth Rs.354 crores.

The increase in value is 2.31 per cent and the increase in quantity is 11.66 per cent.

During the whole of 2004-05, coir and coir products export had touched 1,22,927 tonnes worth Rs.473.40 crores.