To discuss the issue threadbare, DEA president SP Agarwal had convened a high-level meeting here last Friday. Besides representatives of Fieo and AEPC, the meeting was also attended by director-general of foreign trade L Mansingh. The demand from the three bodies come at a time when EOUs do not receive all the concessions enjoyed by units in the special economic zones (SEZs).
The meeting also strongly demanded that exports be exempted from the value-added tax system (VAT) which is slated to be introduced from April 1. The reason advanced by Mr Agarwal is that refund of VAT to be paid by exporters will be time-consuming.
There was a also a great deal of discussion on the changes in Central Excise Rules, 02 notified by the revenue department. They come in the wake of removal of exemptions including those for SSIs notified in the 2003-04 Budget.
The new rules seek to make registration mandatory for decentralised units in the textile sector. To facilitate this, it has been prescribed that application for registration can be collected by the associations and submitted to the excise commissioners.
This provision has been welcomed by president of Garment Exporters Association HKL Magu.
Yet another procedural simplification that has been appreciated by Mr Magu is that so long as a unit keeps the records of production, clearance and pays the applicable duty, all procedural lapses will be ignored.
He also hailed yet another provision that dissuades excise officials from visiting new units for verification of premises and stocks. Further, these units should not be subjected to auditing during the first year of operations and be visited for preventive checks until further instructions.