Industry seeks lower import duty on machines, better air connectivity to city

  • Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Feb 03, 2015 15:55 IST

Industry leaders of different trades in Ludhiana have come out with their expectations and want that incentives and relaxation would be provided to the industry as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Starting from the hosiery industry in Ludhiana that has been facing a tough competition from Bangladesh as well as China in the hosiery and garment industry, the series will conclude highlighting the expectation of general public.

At least 12,000 hosiery units are registered with Knitwear Club that is riddled with infighting among members.

Leaders say in absence of basic amenities and lack of co-ordination between different trade organisations of hosiery industry, the sector has so far remained unorganised with a large number of migrant labourers coming to work in hosiery units in the city.

Different associations, including Knitwear Club, Shawl Club and Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL) among others operate in Ludhiana and try to highlight the issues related to industry from time to time.

Duty on import of machinery

Industry has been demanding for the past long time that the duty on machinery imported from other countries should be reduced. With the extensive import duty on these machinery most of the small units are not able to get better quality machinery. As per the industry, custom duty of 18.9% is levied on the import of machinery from other countries to India. Upgrading of units is caused due to the heavy import duty.

bank loans on purchase of machinery

Industry has also demanded from the union finance ministry that loans on purchase of machinery should be decreased. Industry rues that at present at least a rate of interest of 14% on machinery is charged by different banks of the country. Loan on cars is much lesser than that on textile and hosiery machinery. Industry believes that to provide a level playing field to the hosiery industry, rate of interest on machinery should be decreased.

better Connectivity

With no direct flights from Ludhiana to some of the key cities of the country, hosiery manufacturers want that airport of the city should be developed and direct flights to Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Lucknow that have a substantial customer base should be started. Currently, Sahnewal airport is not operating any flights. A large number of customers do not wish to come to Ludhiana only due to lack of connectivity. Due to this knitwear industry has to put up exhibitions in New Delhi to attract buyers from across the country. Industry also wants special trains to supply goods to different areas.

Special incentives

Industry has also demanded that industrial tax concessions should be provided to even Punjab as it is a landlocked state.

Central government had provided special packages to Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh in 2013, but none to Punjab. Industry leaders believe that if concessions are provided to the Punjab industry, no unit will go to these neighbouring states for operations.

Several industries have shifted to different states owing to special perks being provided to them.
Implementation of GST

Industry has demanded that GST should be implemented, as a heavy amount of VAT and other additional taxes were being levied on industry. After GST is implemented there would be a single tax that has to be given by industry.

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