Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad at a press conference in New Delhi on Aug. 16, 2017.. Image Source: IANS

New Delhi, Aug 16 : The Cabinet on Wednesday extended till March 31, 2027, the sunset clause under the Goods and Service Tax (GST) for the duty exemption scheme for industrial units in the north eastern states and the Himalayan states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh -- a concession that is estimated at Rs 27,413 crore.

"We have estimated budgetary support of Rs 27,413 crore for the said scheme. The northeast and Himalayan states were entitled to 10 year exemption from excise duty. The challenge was how to transform under GST law. There will be refund under direct benefit transfer mechanism. The sunset clause has been extended till March 31, 2027," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while briefing media after the Cabinet meeting.

The budgetary support will be extended for the period from July 1, 2017 till March 31, 2027 for such industrial units located in these states which availed the benefit of central excise exemption prior to coming into force of GST regime, he said.

The minister said it is estimated that total number of 4,284 eligible units located in these states will be benefitted from the scheme.

The government was implementing North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), 2007 for north eastern states including Sikkim and Package for Special Category States for Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to promote industrialization.

One of the benefits of the NEIIPP, 2007 and Package for Special Category States was excise duty exemption for first 10 years after commencement of commercial production.

Upon repeal of the central excise duty laws, the government has decided to refund the central share of Central GST and Integrated GST to the affected eligible industrial units for the residual period in the states of north eastern region and Himalayan states.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will notify the scheme, including detailed operational guidelines for implementation of the scheme within six weeks, an official statement said.

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