Ludhiana bicycle industry seeks subsidy from Union govt
Research on cheap bicycles for poor people from different states of the country could start soon. The industry in the city has asked the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) and ministry of commerce and industry to provide subsidy so that a cycle could be procured for Rs 1,500.punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2015 23:00 IST
Research on cheap bicycles for poor people from different states of the country could start soon. The industry in the city has asked the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) and ministry of commerce and industry to provide subsidy so that a cycle could be procured for Rs 1,500.
At present, the low-cost roadster or black cycle costs Rs 2,400 to Rs 4,000. The cycle industry feels that in the wake of decrease in international steel prices and new technological strides made by the Chinese cycle industry, the price of the basic model of cycle could be further lowered.
The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations has asked the MSME and the ministry of commerce and industry to provide subsidies for manufacture of cheap bicycles that could be procured by poverty-stricken areas of Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and
Uttar Pradesh, where cycle is a major mode of transport for many.
The Chinese bicycle industry is making a dent on Ludhiana bicycle makers by introducing cheap bicycle parts in the market. Import of cycle parts from China is increasing significantly with every passing year and it has become important to introduce India-made bicycles at cheap price.
Badish Jindal, president of the association and also vice- chairman of the National Productivity Council (NPC), said states and the Centre provide a subsidy of nearly `1,400 crore every year for procurement of bicycles for underprivileged students under different schemes every year.
"However, bicycles are not just for students and should be provided at cheap rates even to the poor people of the country. I have discussed the issue with the union minister for MSME, Kalraj Mishra. I am hopeful that some relief on subsidies and technological upgrade would be provided to the industry for this project," said Jindal.
The cycle industry has also told the Centre that decreasing the cost of bicycle would add to cycle users in the country by at least 50 lakh. Engineering Export Promotion Council, Panel Convener (bicycle parts), Satish Dhanda, said the cycle being manufactured in the country was the cheapest across the world and was of good quality.
"The cycle that costs Rs 2,400 is the cheapest in the world. The Chinese cycle is cheap but the quality is not up to the mark," he said.