CM woos industry; 40K VAT cases to be scrapped

Says Halwara airport to be operational within 8 months, foundation stone to be laid on Nov 15

CM woos industry; 40K VAT cases to be scrapped

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, along with some of his ministers, attends the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27

In a major reprieve for the state’s trade and industry, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi today announced to scrap 40,000 pending cases of VAT against traders and industrialists across Punjab.

Addressing a galaxy of industrialists, traders and prospective entrepreneurs on the second day of the 4th Progressive Punjab Investors Summit here today, the Chief Minister said of the 48,000 cases, 8,000 would be settled amicably by asking the traders/industrialists concerned to deposit 30 per cent of the outstanding tax liability.

He also announced that traders/industrialists would only have to deposit 20 per cent of the tax liability during the current fiscal and the balance 80 per cent can be cleared in the next fiscal.

Channi asserted that the initiative would go a long way in boosting the morale of industry and encourage the investors.

Assuring of air connectivity to boost economic activity in the region, the Chief Minister announced to lay the foundation stone of upcoming airport at Halwara (Ludhiana) on November 15.

He said the work on the airport would be complete within a period of eight months.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to create a conducive ecosystem for ease of doing business in the state, Channi assured the sector of fulsome support.

The Chief Minister also announced one-time settlement scheme would be introduced in the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, Punjab Financial Corporation and the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation for the defaulters.

Channi also said an amnesty scheme would be introduced for the plot holders of Punjab State Industries Export Corporation.

The Chief Minister further said fixed charges on electricity connections for medium scale industries has been slashed to 50 per cent.

He also announced that the state government would soon simplify the procedure for change of land use to facilitate entrepreneurs and industrialists for setting up their ventures.

To boost economic activity in the borders districts of the state, the Punjab government will acquire requisite land for Patti-Makhu rail link and hand it over to the Ministry of Railways before the ensuing Budget, he said.

The Chief Minister also said to encourage trade from across the border, an exhibition centre would be set up at Amritsar.

He also said to give a major fillip to entertainment industry in the region, the Punjab Government would set up a film city near Chandigarh to promote Punjabi art, culture and music.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister also digitally inaugurated offices of the District Bureau of Invest Punjab across the state.

He also released a compendium of reforms highlighting the path breaking initiatives taken by the Invest Punjab to boost holistic growth of trade and industry.

Mixed feelings

CICU president Upkar Singh Ahuja and general secretary Pankaj Sharma said there was a dire need to resolve the issues related to industry. Ahuja expressed his gratitude to the government for addressing long-pending demands of industry, particularly scrapping of 40,000 VAT cases and cancellation of institutional tax. He also welcomed the inauguration of Ludhiana Exhibition Centre and Halwara Airport. President, Knitwear Club, Vinod Thapar said if these announcements were implemented in letter and spirit, industry would progress like anything. Mahesh Gupta, president, Furnace Alliance, Ludhiana, said most of the benefits were for the large sector. The micro and small industries also need the attention of the government, he said. “We wanted to talk regarding our problems, but failed to do so,” said Gupta. FOPSIA president Badish Jindal said: “The CM should have announced power at Rs5 per unit for the industrial sector. This announcement would have provided an edge to the Congress government. We were expecting this.”

Chaos outside circuit house

There was chaos outside Circuit House in Ludhiana as many media persons were not allowed to enter the conference room for the Chief Minister’s press briefing. The roads outside the venue were choked with Congress leaders and supporters seen jostling with each other to enter the gate. Police personnel in large numbers were deployed outside the venue for managing the rush but commuters still faced problems as the Circuit House road was barricaded.

Tribune Shorts

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