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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Centre comes to aid of Ludhiana cycle industry

Arjun Sharma , Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, July 30, 2014
First Published: 08:39 IST(30/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:54 IST(30/7/2014)

The Centre has come to the rescue of the bicycle industry that was facing a decline in growth and significant decrease in exports of bicycles and cycle parts.

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The government has initiated a survey on cycle industry of Ludhiana for technological modulation and skill development.

Two union ministries -- micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) and commerce and industry are involved in the high-profile project that could turn the fortunes of the industry.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme under the MSME has given the responsibility of research to the National Productivity Council (NPC) under the commerce and industry ministry. NPC, an investigative agency for industries, has initiated the survey and has already formed a team.

Officials of the NPC were in Ludhiana recently and interacted with the leaders of the bicycle industry. NPC director general Harbhajan Singh and director NK Chanji also held interactions with the bicycle industry and enquired about the issues concerning them.

The survey would be conducted and recommendations submitted to the Centre that would take measures to deal with the situation the cycle industry was facing. NPC is an investigating agency and would try to find out the reasons behind the sudden decline of the growth of bicycle industry of Ludhiana.

Chanji told Hindustan Times from New Delhi over phone that the project for research and development of the bicycle industry had been initiated mainly to uplift it. “A detailed study on quality of cycle industry has begun and recommendations would be submitted with the government soon,” said Chanji.

He explained as to how the survey would help the ministry concerned to take steps in improving the condition of the industry. “There are several gaps in technology that the world is using and what is being used in India. Views of major cycle industries of Ludhiana would be considered in the report,” he said.

The main purpose of initiating such a study was the local industry dying a slow death due to the cheap imports from China.

On the other hand, experts believe that the survey could also result in declaring the industry sick that would provide several benefits, including tax incentives, to the industry.

Badish Jindal, vice-chairman of the NPC, said the survey would strengthen the case of an increase in import duty of cycle parts from China. “Increase in productivity and export would also be the key areas that would be included in the survey by the NPC,” said Jindal.

A meeting of the NPC in New Delhi on August 7 is scheduled that would discuss the deadline of the survey.

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