Punjab Budget 2017-18: Manpreet’s budget fails to impress industry 

But there is relief over the announcement that Rs 5 per unit will be charged from industry as power tariff.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published:June 21, 2017 1:02 am
Punjab Budget, Manpreet Singh Badal, Punjab budget industry, Punjab industry allocation Finance Minister Manpreet Badal at Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday. (Express Photo)

Industry captains in Punjab are not impressed much with Finance Minister Manpreet Badal’s budgetary announcements. Caling it a re-announcement of old measures, they said no plan had been put forth to revive sick units.

“CM Captain Amarinder Singh himself used to say in his speeches that over 18,000 small units have been closed down in Punjab…. However, he has now not uttered even a word about how to revive these sick units. If small and marginal farmers can be given a loan waiver, the same can be done with small industrialists. Government thinks that industry is here just to pay revenue,” said Avtar Singh, President of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

Badish Jindal, President of Federation of Small Scale Industries Association, said, “Finance Minister said Rs 400 crore had been earmarked for cycle valley to come up in Ludhiana’s Dhanansu village. However, this was an announcement done by SAD-BJP government . So what is new in it. They have rather done a lip service with announcement of opening an exhibition centre in Ludhiana under the PPP mode. However, no funds have been allocated for the same.”

But there is relief over the announcement that Rs 5 per unit will be charged from industry as power tariff. Ajit Lakra, President of Ludhiana Knitters Association, said, “However, we are not clear as to whether government will keep this promise or not. Reason: they have not earmarked any subsidy amount to be paid to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). As industrial power tariff at the moment is over Rs 7 per unit, so the remaining balance will have to be given as subsidy by government to PSPCL.

Industrialists also expressed displeasure over the making of Punjab Corporate Social Responsibility Authority to create sustainable mechanism for optimum utilisation of CSR fund. “CSR funds usage is the prerogative of corporates, so state should not interfere in the same,” Jindal said.

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