Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday stated that the policies of state government regarding taxes on electricity were affecting the industry, causing serious concerns for production in the state.
Chamber president PD Sharma said that in today's context, industry has to beat global competition. "This simply means that all operations of the industry are mainly related to imports and exports. Therefore, the industry of the landlocked Punjab has to operate with maximum disadvantages. Punjab is far away from ports and sources of raw materials and market for the finished goods,"Sharma said in a statement.
He said that Punjab's industry survives due to the relatively cheap electric power and its comfortable availability.
"But it seems that the Punjab government's focus on development excludes industry. It has been trying to put as many taxes on the electricity as possible,"he said.
He stated that the Punjab government in 2005 got power through legislation that it can raise electricity duty to as high as 25%.
"At present it is charging 13% electricity duty. Now it has devised a noble way of taxing electricity through 'infrastructure development fees'. It is equal to 5% electricity duty. It is charging 10 paisa a unit as an octroi on power when there is no octroi in the state,"the statement reads.
The chamber president further said that there were many short comings in the distribution system where industry has to bear the burden by generating power due to frequent unscheduled power cuts.