The local industry was left surprised at the union budget and claimed that it was directionless and did not meet the demands of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Punjab. Industrialists say only the industries outside the state have benefited.
Bicycle and cycle parts industry of Ludhiana that has around 4,000 units in the city rues that the 2% central excise duty that is a burden on the industry had not been removed despite repeated demands. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has also not taken any measure to increase duty on imports, especially from China, it rues.
Industrialists say the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that is a partner in the NDA government at the Centre has failed to get the demands of Punjab industry accepted.
Avtar Singh Bhogal, owner of MS Bhogal and Sons, said the Centre had failed to provide any relief to the cycle industry as they did not impose any heavy duty on cheap imports from China that are bleeding the local manufacturers.
“No recommendations that were given by the cycle industry of Ludhiana have been accepted that has left the industry in a crisis,” said Bhogal.
The continuous demand by the cycle industry to remove the 2% excise duty was not met, which infuriated the industrialists.
Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said, “We are yet to see ‘achhe din’ (good days) as none of our demands have been met. On the other hand, no steel regulatory commission has been established. Steel prices are raised by companies without prior information that affects our business,” said Vishivkarma.
Not only the cycle but even the hosiery industry that has nearly 12,000 units in the city was not so happy with the budget. Though incentives for export have been raised from present 3% to 5%, the industry claims that the step would benefit only exporters and not the general industry.
Vinod Thapar, chairman of Knitwear Club, said the duty on filament fibre had been increased from 2% to 6% that would affect the hosiery industry drastically. “There was no need to increase the duty on fibre. It seems the government has specifically done nothing for Punjab industry, they have planned to ruin our industry instead,” said Thapar.
Industrialists also believe that no measures have been taken to improve the condition of MSME.
Badish Jindal, national president of Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India, said, “The government has not enhanced central excise exemption limit for MSME from the present Rs 1.5 crore and the service tax exemption limit from the present Rs 10 lakh. Keeping in view the skyrocketing prices of all commodities, a decision in this regard is, in fact, pending for long.”
He said the budget is “directionless, hollow, futile and a damp squib. The essential and basic requirements of the MSME sector are not addressed but have been totally ignored”.