With the conflicting views of several small and big trade and industrial bodies of Ludhiana on key issues of government policies, a question has been raised on the increasing number of these bodies that have grown manifold during the past some years.
On one hand, where the industries department put the number to more than 50 associations, experts opine that there are more than 400 associations.
These associations are either registered under Societies Registration Act or Companies Act. There are also many unregistered associations related to trade operations in Ludhiana.
PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that there was a time when industrial policies of government were made after consultation with the industrial associations that were limited in number. “The trend started to decline around 10 years ago and now there is no say of these associations in the formation of government policies,” said Sharma.
He said that several new 'self centered' associations and organisations were coming up every day in Ludhiana that has actually lowered the impact of these bodies.
The recent example of making Value Added tax (VAT) zero on bicycle industry exposed the truth of so many associations in which there were conflicting views regarding the issue. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had on December 12 last year announced in Ludhiana that VAT on bicycle would be made zero. However, the associations of cycle industry differed and due to conflicting view point, the issue is still hanging fire.
Such conflicting views were also raised during the time of policy on mix land use.
“The industrial leaders, who loose to other contestants in industrial associations' polls, form other organisations,” said Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASII).
Jindal said that a survey was conducted some years ago in which the total number of registered and unregistered associations was more than 400. “While some organisations support government on different issues, there are many that are against the government policies. This makes a conflicting viewpoint due to which the policies are halted,” said Jindal.
Mahesh Khanna, general manager of district industries center (DIC), said, “More than 50 trade organisations are registered with us. All of the organisations are not registered with the industries department.”