Punjab industry disappointed with Union Budget

  • PTI, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 18:30 IST

The first full year budget of the BJP led government at the Centre has left the Punjab industry disappointed with its representatives stating it has not lived up to expectations.

Punjab's industry particularly MSME sector had pinned big hopes from the Union Budget 2015-16, which was presented y finance minister Arun Jaitley today, for announcing industry friendly steps to provide relief to old and cottage industry from the onslaught of cheap imports as well as reducing excise duty for enabling it to face stiff competition.

"We are completely disappointed with the budget. It has failed to address our concerns and issues which were pointed out to the Union Finance Minister," Jalandhar based Khel Udyog Sangh President Ravinder Dheer said on Saturday.

Accusing the Union minister of "utterly ignoring" cottage industry's issues, Dheer said, "There was no mentionof levying anti-dumping duty on cheap imports of sports goods from other countries. There was also no word on removing central excise duty on sports goods in the budget."

Jalandhar based sports goods industry, which is one of the oldest industrial clusters, had sought from the Centre rollback of 2 per cent central excise duty on sports goods.

Besides, it had also sought levying of anti-dumping duty on cheap import of sport equipments from countries including China, Pakistan, Taiwan.

"Sports goods like cricket bat, hockey etc imported from countries like China, Pakistan and Taiwan have flooded the domestic market, which had dealt a severe blow to Jalandhar's manufacturing activity," he asserted.

Sports goods industry developed in Jalandhar after skilled Hindu craftsmen migrated from Pakistan's Sialkot area after partition in 1947.

Similarly, 60 km from Jalandhar, Ludhiana's bicycle industry said there was lack of "corrective" steps in the budget for boosting manufacturing activity.

"No step was taken in the budget to address our concerns particularly regarding bicycle sector," Badish Jindal, said President Federation of Small Industries of India.

Ludhiana based bicycle makers had sought withdrawal of 2 per cent central excise duty on bicycles and Centre's intervention in curbing import of "cheap" Chinese bicycles via countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh by paying "lower" custom charges.

Ludhiana, a major industrial hub, caters to country's over 90 per cent bicycle and bicycle parts requirements.

Punjab's MSME sector comprising about 15 lakh units said the union budget did not take any decision with regard to raising central excise exemption limit from Rs 1.50 crore to Rs 3 crore.

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