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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Centre calls meeting for peace between UT admn, industry

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 14, 2013
First Published: 12:11 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:13 IST(14/10/2013)

The union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has summoned the Chandigarh administration and the joint forum of industries to resolve the lingering face-off between them.

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The ministry has acted after receiving several representations from the joint forum of Industries Association Chandigarh (IAC) and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries (CCI) in the last one year accusing the administration of harassing them and overlooking their genuine demands. The meeting is scheduled for October 15 at New Delhi.

The forum has been at loggerheads with the administration over implementation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006, which the central government had formulated with an objective to help the promotion and development and enhancing the competitiveness of such enterprises.

The MHA had recently sent a communication to the local administration seeking its response on the status of implementation of the MSMED Act.

The joint forum has been very critical of misuse and violation notices being served to industrial units despite court orders. Recently, the estate office had sent misuse notices of ` 500 per square yard to around 100 units in the industrial area for violating building bylaws.

The other long- pending demands include transfer of leasehold plots to freehold, formulation of new industrial policy, need-based changes and enhancement of floor-area ratio (FAR).

Following recommendations of the draft Master Plan 2031, the administration has imposed an embargo on increase of FAR of plots in the industrial area. The recommendation was made to prevent further strain on the inadequate infrastructure, taking into consideration the shortage of space.

IAC president Arun Mahajan said the administration had been acting in “arbitrary and capricious” manner, thus damaging the growth of industry in the city. He gave the example of a recent decision of the administration that declared automobile repair “non-feasible” in both phases of industrial area, though it had given its nod three years ago.

UT finance secretary VK Singh, however, said the administration was sensitive towards the demands of industrialists, “but at the same time, we have to follow the rules”.

“Chandigarh is governed by zoning controls, and permission for any activity is given only if that is allowed as per the controls,” he added.

At PMO too
The joint forum of Chandigarh’s industrialists has also been called by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to discuss problems on October 15.

The forum has requested the PMO to constitute an independent committee to examine the issues related to industry in the UT.

IAC president Arun Mahajan, CCI president San deep Sahni; HS Mamik, chairman, industrial policy and MSMED Act, IAC; and entrepreneur Pankaj Khanna will be part of the delegation to meet officials at the home ministry and PMO.

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