SUKHBIR SINGH Badal’s visit to the cycle expo in Shanghai has Ludhiana bicycle industrialists worried, who feel the deputy chief minister should bring “only technology” and “not industry” from China.
The bicycle industry in Ludhiana has been stagnating, thanks mainly to cheap Chinese imports that have grown from Rs 100 crore to Rs 800 crore in the last eight years. A majority of bicycle parts manufacturing units in the town have been reduced to mere trading units, with as much as 45 per cent of cycle parts being imported.
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Avtar Singh, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said the survival of local cycle industry was at stake and further Chinese investments would make it worse.
“We want the deputy CM to bring only Chinese technology to manufacture bicycles in Punjab. He should not bring any Chinese investment because the local industry is already in a bad shape because of cheap Chinese imports.”
Apart from Sukhbir’s official delegation, nearly 300 bicycle parts and manufacturers from across the country are attending the five-day bicycle exhibition in Shanghai that will conclude on May 10.
The local cycle manufacturers have regularly visited China to attend cycle exhibitions, attracting criticism from their own fraternity.
Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Small-Scale Industries of India, said, “I have already given a representation to the secretary, micro small and medium (MSME) enterprises, that the business trips of industry for China should not be subsidised. On the one hand, industrialists are protesting against imposing anti-dumping duty on Chinese parts, and on the other hand, they are visiting China after getting subsidy from the Government of India. Most of the times, they bring imported bicycle parts; I have not seen any technology transfer. These trips are killing our own industry.”
Rajesh Bansal, from Rana Bicycles, added,” If Punjab government begins any technology transfer, it is well and good, otherwise visiting China will only harm the MSME industry.”