FICCI (SR) Seeks Divestment Schedule For TN PSUs

Chennai, Sept 19: | Updated: Sep 20 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), southern region, has suggested that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister should set in motion a process and time-table for disinvestments of all public sector and co-operative units.

Describing the proposal in the new industrial policy for the restructuring of public sector as ``bold and right decision'', FICCI (SR) chairman A Vellayan has urged the government ``to set up a disinvestment secretariat under the Chief Minister and if need be take the help of financial organisations like ICICI''.

In order to promote the efficient growth of the existing industries, he urged the Chief Minister to look into the problems of traditional strong sectors like leather, sugar and fertiliser ``which have not been able to compete because of various levies like purchase tax and turnover tax''. These levies were rendering the Tamil Nadu industries uncompetitive, he said.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Coimbatore chapter has sought the removal of entry tax for materials received from other states to make Tamil Nadu a manufacturing centre.

The chamber president A V Varadharajan said in a statement that, ``though there were attractive features in the policy, more issues had to be dealt with. These were very crucial for reaching the objectives of the government''.

Speedy reforms and cost-based tariff in power sector and reform in sales tax and the introduction of VAT had to be looked at seriously, he said. Expressing the hope that the government would take early steps for implementation of the policy, Mr Varadharajan also sought provision of subsidy on transportation and logistics costs for exports.

The leather industry is happy with the policy for recognising its predominant position in the state. Welcoming the policy for its pragmatism and promise of a hassle free and supportive climate for industrial growth, president of the All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association M Raffeque Ahmed said, ``the vision envisaged in the policy to transform the role of the state to that of a facilitator to the industry to increase its skils, optimise its resources and raise its competitive power in a balanced deregulated environment will certainly make the state achieve the proposed eight per cent industrial gorwth''.