Ficci seeks sops for petroleum pipelines

New Delhi, May 17 | Updated: May 18 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has urged the government to give a fillip to laying pipelines, storage terminals and other related facilities for transportation and storage of petroleum products through a 10-year tax holiday and grant of infrastructure status to pipelines.

In a memorandum to the finance ministry and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Ficci has pointed out that creation of domestic production and refining capacity in the petroleum sector would be of use, if other infrastructure like pipelines, storage terminals are also created. This would ensure speedy and timely distribution of the products the chamber said.

The incentive would help in resolving the problems of unemployment, particularly of unskilled workers. Ficci has stated that the country needs at least 22,000 km of additional gas pipeline network. Employment estimates for the construction of 1,000 km pipeline is on an average 26,000 man-years over 10 years.

The chamber has suggested that since laying of pipelines is in the larger interest of the people, such infrastructure should be declared as public goods.

Industry also feels that existing availability of tax holiday to undertakings engaged in exploration, extraction, production or refining of mineral oil, instead of being restricted to the first seven years, should be allowed to be claimed at any time during the first 10 years, after the commencement of commercial production.Also there is need to allow 150% weighted deduction, under section 42 of the Income Tax Act to incentivise corporates to adopt a more aggressive approach.