Sharma to take up interest rates issue with RBI

In an effort to boost National Manufacturing Zones, the Labour Ministry is set to notify a common format for statutory reporting under labour laws, which fall under the purview of the Union Government.

This is one of key decisions which the Government plans to announce within the next three weeks.

At present there are 44 labour laws under which various industrial units have to report to the authorities. Among these, 13 pertain to the Union Government while the rest are administered by States.

There are different formats for reporting under various laws which makes things difficult for industry.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, “The Labour Ministry has assured that it has unified all the compliance requirements under the 13 Central Labour Acts, and a common format will be notified for reporting by the end of this month.”

He was speaking after the fourth meeting of the Government-Industry Task Force.

There was a view that cost of credit and land are posing a challenge for industry. In his response, the Minister assured that he is going take up the issue of interest rates.

“We will be urging the RBI to take an early view on the cost of credit because investment has to take place,” he added

About availability of land, he said that it was a complex, and to some extent emotive, issue. In the new Land Bill, the Commerce and Industry Ministry has already registered its views. It wants the manufacturing zones, the DMIC and SEZs to be included in what is described as the public purpose.

Industry’s Wish list

Participating in the meeting, CII’s President Adi Godrej talked about initiating a special drive to hasten the process of awarding contracts and commissioning new infrastructure projects to be offered on PPP basis. At the same time there should be expeditious implementation of big ticket projects such as IT Investment Region (ITIR) and petroleum, chemical and petroleum investment region (PCPIR).

FICCI President R.V. Kanoria suggested that the Government should re-introduce investment allowance, abolish MAT on infrastructure projects, and bring down MAT to less than 15 per cent for general industry.

Besides, the Government should allow depreciation at higher levels to stimulate investment.

(This article was published on August 16, 2012)
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