The new industrial policy recently announced by the state government has not gone down well with industrialists in Mandi Gobindgarh town of the district as they described it as disappointing and discouraging for existing industrial units.
A Mandi Gobindgarh municipal councillor and senior office-bearer of Small-Scale Re-Roller Mills Association, Rajiv Sood said under the new industrial policy iron and steel small-scale industry has been completely ignored. While there are a slew of incentives for new investors, no package has been announced to save the small-scale industry, which is already in the doldrums.
Vinod Vashisht, senior office-bearer of All India Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association, who is associated with Mandi Gobindgarh industry for long time said the industry was able to survive on its own for a year but the new policy will ensure that it shuts down in six months.
Another Mandi Gobindgarh-based industrialist, Mohinder Gupta, who is also president of Gobindgarh Furnace Association, said no relief has been given to the existing industry while concessions have been announced to attract new industry. VAT has not been reduced from 4.25% to 2% as expected.
SS Sabharwal said the government apparently does not bother about the existing industry of the town. He said policy was politically-motivated so Amritsar, Mohali and Bathinda were kept in zone 1 for more incentives and Fatehgarh Sahib district in zone 2 with less number of incentives.
He said the existing industry will be closed if benefits like VAT retention up to 80% will be given to large units for 13 years. The E-Trip "will give more power for bureaucrats to kill small industry", he added.
Senior Congress leader and Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar asked the state government that why no initiative was taken to revive the existing units to make them viable. He said Mandi Gobindgarh had already turned into a ghost town due to government apathy.
People's Party of Punjab (PPP) senior leader Jagmeet Singh Sahota, who also hails from Mandi Gobindgarh town, said the state government had announced new industrial policy without taking local industrialists into their confidence. He alleged there is no benefit of the industrial policy for the existing units of the town, which are already in the doldrums.