Millennium Post

CEC approval for 108 timber units in Gujarat

The Central Empowered Committee [CEC] has approved setting up of 108 units in the timber zone that comes under the four talukas of Gandhidham, Bhachau, Anjar and Mandvi in Kutch district.

President of Gandhidham Timber Merchants Association, Navnit Gajjar said, 'with the approval from the Supreme Court-appointed CEC, the total number of units in this timber zone will go up to 950, which is Asia's biggest timber zone and about 20,000 people will get direct and indirect employment'.

On 22 November 2005, the Supreme Court had directed to allow wood-based industry in these four talukas falling under this timber zone. Since then the timber business here has flourished.

'The benefit you get by opening a unit here is an automatic clearance from the forest department,' Gajjar said.

The major import of timber in this zone comes from New Zealand, Malaysia and other countries through the Kandla port, he added.

'Gujarat's revenue can considerably go up if the government concedes our long-pending demand of lowering the VAT [Value Added Tax] on the imported wood,' he added.

There is 15 per cent VAT in Gujarat as against 4 per cent in Delhi, Haryana and other states. The lowering of the VAT will enable people to buy wood at cheaper rates for housing and other purposes.
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