Guj demands SNZ for diamond industry


Ahead of the Union budget, Gujarat has demanded establishment of a Special Notified Zone for diamond industry in Surat while Maharashtra has asked Rs 4,000 crore for various projects.

At a pre-budget consultative meeting, Gujarat’s Finance Minister Saurabh Patel also requested the Centre to reduce the income tax on Milk Cooperative Societies.

He said there is a need to consider the dairy sector at par with agriculture and banks should consider lending a priority.

“The establishment of Special Notified Zone in Surat for diamond industries will give the industry a distinctively enhanced competitive edge against other diamond centres of the world. This step would undoubtedly prove to further enable in making India the world’s largest rough diamond trading hub as well,” Patel said.

He also raised issues of imposition of anti-dumping duty on ceramics.

Speaking at the meeting, Deepak Kesarkar, Minister of State for Finance of Maharashtra, asked for Rs 400 crore to make Aurangabad a tourist spot and Rs 250 core for Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram.

He said his state has lost over Rs 3,000 crore for non-implementation of GST.

“Mahrashtra has always supported the introduction of GST. The state’s fiscal position is quite stressed on account of relief measures because of widespread drought. The government has substantially abolished local body tax levied by municipalities,” Kesarkar said and requested a compensatory grant of Rs 3,382 crores for the state this fiscal in order to make up for the loss in revenue.

Noting that Maharashtra has seen a sharp decline of funds of Rs 12,970 crore centrally sponsored schemes under the new ration, he said the Centre should stick to the earlier ratio.

Source: PTI

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