Punjab Budget 2020-21

Where is Rs 5/unit power, ask Jalandhar-based traders

Manufacturers are of view that this time also industry neglected

Where is Rs 5/unit power, ask Jalandhar-based traders

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 28

What happened to the promise of giving Rs 5 per unit power? This was the common concern that industrialists in the city shared today after Finance Minister Manpreet Badal presented the Budget. Manufacturers and traders said this time also, the industry was neglected.

Ravinder Dhir, president, Beopar Sena, Punjab, said the Finance Minister had forgotten the promises that were made to industrialists regarding VAT and GST refunds and cheap power.

He also questioned MLAs of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala districts.

Dhir said industrialists share their problems with the MLAs so that they could convey the same to the higher authorities, but it seems that their problems were not important for them (MLAs).

Gursharan Singh, president, Jalandhar Industrial and Traders’ Association, claimed that units were being run at Rs 10 per unit for power while Rs 5 was promised.

“I don’t understand why the industry was being ignored when it was the employment-generating sector,” he said.

Gursharan added that the Budget had brought gloom for them. The traders and manufacturers got together and discussed that how they were going to proceed when there was no help from the government.

Another trader said some units were on the verge of closure while others had already got shut in the past few years and they did not know what to do with their works.

In his speech, the minister mentioned about the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit held in Mohali from December 5 to 6 last year.

He said the idea of the two-day summit was ‘Building partnerships for inclusive growth: MSMEs in the global value chain’ and offering investment opportunities across various sectors.

It was also stated that the state has also been organising roadshows and international events to promote industrial investment in the state.

“This has led to 931 proposals with a proposed investment of about Rs 57,735 crore, involving new employment opportunities for about 2 lakh persons during the past over two years. A portal has also been launched to ensure online regulatory clearance and fiscal incentive approvals to all MSMEs and large-scale unit proposals,” the Budget speech read.

Notably, the “abysmal” condition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country has already been forcing children of the industrialists to move abroad and look out for better opportunities.

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