Our Bureau

Chennai, April 6

THE industrial policy unveiled by the AIADMK Government in 2003 provides for structured assistance to be given to companies investing in the State, according to official sources.

And riding this wave are companies such as Nokia, which on Wednesday announced its decision to set up a mobile handset manufacturing plant near Chennai. Both Nokia andState Government officials were not willing to discuss either the agreement the company signed with the Government or the incentives that the company was being offered.

Nokia will invest about Rs 650 crore in setting up a manufacturing facility at the SIPCOT industrial park in Sriperumbudur, about 50 km west of Chennai.

The New Industrial Policy 2003 says that the "Government will, at its discretion, offer specific packages to single investments exceeding Rs 300 crore made in eligible fixed assets within a period of not more than three years from the date of project approval."

The policy also says that stamp duty, inclusive of a surcharge at 6 per cent, will be levied in respect of land lease or purchase documents for units in industrial parks promoted by government agencies. There will be no stamp duty levied in respect of transfer of lands acquired by government or alienated by government to State agencies for promoting industrial parks.

The Government will take steps to get the land allotted to Nokia at Sriperumbudur, to be called Nokia Park, as a special economic zone.

This will entail Nokia and its suppliers who may set up base in the park to a set of tax exemptions.

A special economic zones policy, announced by the State Government in 2003, says that establishments within special economic zones will be exempt from all local taxes and levies, including sales tax, turnover tax, value-added tax, purchase tax and electricity cess.

However, sales tax or VAT shall be levied on goods manufactured in these zones but sold locally. All industrial units and their expansions to be located in the SEZs will be exempt from paying stamp duty and registration charges towards land transactions.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 7, 2005)
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