Industry hopes for relief on costs to offset power crisis
With the Tamil Nadu Budget for 2013-14 to be presented tomorrow, the biggest concern in the State appears to be the power shortage and the lack of clarity on when this is likely to be addressed.
When the present All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government took over in 2011, the Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam had said in the house that over 3,280 MW of additional capacity would be added by March 2012 and that power cut would be lifted totally by August 2012.
But since then, little has changed.
Tamil Nadu continues to reel under power shortage estimated at 4,000 MW and foreign and domestic industry representatives say that they are not optimistic of a solution to this major infrastructure gap in the near future.
A leading industrialist and exporter, who did not want to be quoted, said the manufacturing sector’s biggest expectation from the State Budget is some relief on the cost front.
Power shortage has adversely hit the competitiveness of the industry and some relief on commercial taxes and waiver of electricity tax levied on captive power generation are much anticipated.
At a pre-budget meeting, traders and industry associations had put forward similar requests relating to commercial taxes, on a range of products including edible oil, which attracts a 5 per cent tax in the State.
The power shortage could be the single largest handicap to Tamil Nadu emerging as the ‘numero uno’ State, a target that the Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has set and repeatedly emphasised since her present Government took charge.