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City’s automobile industry has to cut production by 40 per cent,says Pawar

Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar charted the impact of economic slowdown in every sector and pointed out that the city...

Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar charted the impact of economic slowdown in every sector and pointed out that the city,which was emerging as a hub of automobile industry was seeing 40 per cent dip in production.

Speaking at the function organised as part of the diamond jubilee celebration of The Poona Merchants Chamber’s function at Gultekdi,he said that the city also saw a dip in forging business and there is almost 80 per cent less production in the city. “Even the collection generated through sales tax,excise and customs have dipped,’’he said while mentioning the impact of recession affecting the state’s coffers.

He also commented on the US policy to ban outsourcing as well as sops given on exports. “We as a country were providing cheap labour and this industry will face a major setback and the impact is bound to affect in two years time,’’ he said adding that the only solution is cost cutting from every front.

Pawar also added that recently he met state representatives of Punjab,Haryana,Bihar who complained of not having enough space to keep their food grains.

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He said that they are seeking space to store the foodgrains as the next financial year will start in a month with the fresh stock coming in.

Union Agriculture Minister also said that in these times of recession only the liquor industry is doing well with a 35 per cent increase in production.

In jest,he said that “United Breweries group chairman Vijay Mallya definitely seems to be doing well having able to buy Mahatma Gandhi’s memorabilia,’’ he said adding that in these times,only a liquor baron can afford it.


Mete extends support to Pawar
Former MLC and state vice president of Nationalist Congress Party Vinayak Mete,who was sacked from the party a few months back,has announced his support to union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Mete,leader of Shiv Sangram outfit,which has been demanding Maratha reservation in education and employment,was in the city to address the convention of the Maratha Samanvay Samiti (MSS). “As a Marathi candidate,the MSS will extend its support to NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. However,we will take a final decision only after holding talks with Pawar,” he said.

Mete however said that no support will be given to deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal due of his anti-Maratha reservation stand. “Bhujbal has opposed Maratha reservation. Therefore,MSS is against him and will leave no stone unturned to make Bhujbal lose the upcoming elections. Similarly,we would not support BJP leader Gpinath Munde and state home minister Jayant Patil in the elections because of their anti-Maratha reservation stand,” Mete said.

First published on: 08-03-2009 at 00:25 IST
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