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Draft industrial policy unveiled; Ludhiana traders demand subsidy, revamp of basic infrastructure

During the meeting, the industrialists also requested the government to incorporate their other demands in the industrial policy before chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh formally announces the policy on July 25. 

punjab Updated: Jul 23, 2017 16:07 IST
Sumeer Singh
Sumeer Singh
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
draft industrial policy,basic infrastructure,Ludhiana
Joint secretary (industries) KS Brar, secretary, industries and commerce, Punjab, Rakesh Verma at a meeting of the state’s draft industrial policy in Ludhiana on Saturday.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Representatives of various industrial associations from Ludhiana on Saturday demanded the state government to revamp the basic infrastructure at Focal Points before introducing mega industrial projects. They said this at an event wherein state secretary for industries, Rakesh Verma, unveiled the draft text of the state industrial policy.

During the meeting, the industrialists also requested the government to incorporate their other demands in the industrial policy before chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh formally announces the policy on July 25.

“The draft presented has completely excluded the machine tool industry. This is despite the fact that it is the mother industry for various industries as it manufactures auto parts, cycle components, nut-bolts, and fasteners,” said an executive member of the Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturing Association.

Speaking in a similar vein, Ashok Juneja, president of Ludhiana Plywood Manufacturers’ Association, said the draft policy does not mention any benefits for the plywood industry. “Our industry is responsible for increasing the state’s tree count because it uses agro-wood as raw material,” Juneja said.

“At a time when 28% GST is being levied on plywood products, we are expecting subsidies and relaxations so that the industry can stay afloat,” he said.

Responding to this, Verma said all benefits mentioned under the MSME sector can be availed by the industry. He assured that a meeting will be scheduled with the industrialists to find out a solution to their problems.

Representatives of different industries were unanimous in voicing concerns about the poor condition of roads and sewerage facilities, among other basic infrastructure, in the Focal Point.

Meanwhile, as part of its technology transfer initiative, the draft state industrial policy has included a high-tech cycle valley in Ludhiana. However, small-scale local manufacturers have opposed this move arguing that the local industry will suffer at the hands of global players.

Jaswinder Thukral, president of Janta Nagar Small Scale Manufacturers’ Association, said, “We welcome the state government’s move to introduce a high-tech cycle valley. However, we are strongly against Chinese companies establishing their manufacturing units in the proposed cycle valley. Their presence will prove to be a death knell for the domestic small-scale cycle manufacturers.”

Besides these, other issues discussed during the meeting include retaining pass outs of engineering and ITI institutions in the local industry, removing encroachments from Focal Point and providing subsidies to encourage use of solar energy in industries.

While a majority of Ludhiana-based industrialists lauded the state government’s effort to introduce development projects, some expressed concerns about the feasibility and funds required to materialise the measures enlisted in the draft industrial policy.

Highlights of draft industrial policy

For industries (general)

Development of Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor

Affordable housing for workforce

Power at Rs 5 per unit for five years

District bureau of enterprises

Rs 5 crore for MSMEs to conduct buyers’-sellers’ meet

One-time settlement of pending cases of industry

Exemptions on property tax, stamp duty, electricity duty and EDC charges

For textile industry

Focus on high fashion

Upgrade of NIIFT

Common effluent treatment plant

Women employees to be allowed in night shifts

Motor vehicle tax exemption

Cycle industry

Technology centre

High-tech cycle valley

Auto partsindustry

Industrial park for auto parts manufacturing

e-car manufacturing

Incentivisation casting and forging industry

Strengthening National Institute of Secondary Steel, Gobindgarh

Shredder plant for automobiles

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 16:07 IST