Nothing for industry in Punjab Budget, say Ludhiana bizmen

Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal presented the last Budget of the present Capt Amarinder Singh Government in Chandigarh today. Though the size of the Budget was Rs 1,38,015 crore but it failed to please the local industry here as industrialists feel that there was nothing for the industry and it (industry) was on last on the priority list of the state government.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, FICO, shared his opinion about the Punjab Budget 2021-2022 and said just like the previous four Budgets, this was also a dummy Budget and had nothing for the industry. He said the industry had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and was expecting some relief package from the government. However, it was disappointing.

FICO terms it ‘Dummy’ Budget

  • Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, FICO, shared his opinion about the Punjab Budget 2021-2022 and said just like the previous four Budgets, this was also a dummy Budget and had nothing for the industry. He said the industry had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and was expecting some relief package from the government. However, it was disappointing.

Harjit Singh Sondh, co-chairman, FICO, said no special package for the bicycle industry had been introduced whereas the country was the second largest cycle manufacturers in the world after China. The sector needs special attention of the government to flourish so that it could upgrade itself to compete at the global level.

Vipan Mittal, vice-chairman, FICO, welcomed the decision of the government to establish a women’s hostel in Ludhiana and other industrial towns of the state, but establishing a hostel won’t serve the cause, there was a need to set up hostels in every phase and sector of industrial areas and focal points.

Rajeev Jain, general secretary, FICO, said it was a disappointing Budget as far as the industry was concerned. There was literally nothing for the industry to fetch out of the Budget.

No new Industrial areas, devp of focal points

President Upkar Singh Ahuja and Pankaj Sharma, general secretary, CICU, have also expressed disappointment on the Budget presented by the Finance Minister as it had totally ignored the Industry. Ahuja said it seems to be only a poll Budget meant to please farmers and all other sections, except the industry. Only Rs 150 crore had been earmarked as the Innovation Fund that also for early stage start- ups which is nominal. Pankaj said the industry had been crying for improvement in infrastructure but there was no provision for infrastructure.

“We have been asking for new industrial areas and basic amenities in focal points, which were neglected by the state government.

OTS policy an eyewash

Pankaj Sharma, general secretary, CICU, said the OTS policy for loan defaulters was badly required but the one announced by the Finance Minister was with many riders. It seems to be an eyewash.

Full of fake statements: AITF

Badish Jindal, president, AITF, said in the post Covid-budget, no relief had been announced by the government. The industry was expecting some major relief but nothing as such announced. The whole budget is “full of fake statements”. Even the government announced GSDP rate of 10.43 per cent from 2017-18 to 2019-20 has no relevance as compared to the economic condition of the state.The subsidy of Rs 1,928 crore was not sufficient to provide power to Industries at the rate of Rs 5 per unit, The government promised to supply power to the industries at the rate of Rs 5 per unit as per their manifesto but the industry is paying from Rs 7 per unit to Rs 18 per unit due to fixed charges on power. Most of the issues taken up in the Budget were previously announced policies which had no relevance with the Budget speech, he said.

Sanjay Goel, Director, Ludhiana Smart City, said there was less allocation of Budget for Infrastructure and development in the state (rural and urban areas).

Decisions hailed

The decisions in the Budget which were hailed by the industry include working women hostels in Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Mohali, Mansa, Barnala, Amritsar; two medical colleges in Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur; Rs 16,557 crore for rural, urban and other infrastructure; 25 new bus stands in the state and free travel for women in government buses across the state.

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