In an issue for which industrialists and administration have been at loggerhead for years, it has come out that UT home secretary Anil Kumar has written a letter to joint secretary (UT), ministry of home affairs (MHA), and said that information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) were permissible in Industrial Area and no notification was required for allowing them.
With the letter, industrialists have begun questioning the delay behind allowing IT and ITES services to function at Industrial Area when no notification was required for it.
The letter, dated January 22, reads: “…the activities of IT and ITES in Industrial Area were earlier not being permitted because the city has an SEZ (special economic zone) in the name of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park and allowing of these activities in the old industrial estates could impact the development of the IT Park. Now, this issue has been discussed at the highest level of administration and it has been felt that no notification is needed as IT (software and hardware development), being of the manufacturing nature, is permissible in Industrial Area.”
He added that notices issued earlier for carrying out such activities in Industrial Area “shall be dropped”. “Why have they taken so much time to decide? We have been fighting for allowing IT and ITES services in Industrial Area for four years. The previous finance secretary, VK Singh, had also said that a notification would be issued. It is because of New Delhi’s pressure that administration has worked,” said Arun Mahajan, president of Industries Association of Chandigarh. “We have been saying that for all these years that no notification is required. But our officers do not work as per law. They act as per their whims and fancies. They have pulled back industrialists’ growth by so many years. Now, who is accountable for that,” said HS Mamik, chairman, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act Committee of Industries’ Association.
Contacted, Kumar said, “There is no need of notification because of the MSME Act. The definition of industry has undergone changes over time, and that is why that earlier IT and ITES activities were not allowed in Industrial Area.”