It was bound to have a ripple effect. Already paying one of the highest Value Added Tax (VAT),and after being burdened by a fresh set of taxes,the industry owners in Punjab are contemplating shifting base to investor-friendly Gujarat headed by BJP’s Narendra Modi.
A delegation of Fastener Manufacturers Association of India (FMAI),an umbrella body,which covers more than 600 units in Ludhiana,will be meeting Chief Minister Narendra Modi on September 15 with a proposal to set up their industry cluster in Gujarat instead of Punjab,where the ruling SAD-BJP combines back-breaking tax regime has rendered them helpless
Our cluster has already been approved and now we have decided to set it up in Gujarat,because conditions in Punjab are not favourable for the industry. Moreover the government here is in no mood to give any kind of relief to the industry, Narinder Bhamra,president,FMAI,said.
Bhamra said that in the first phase we will be looking for buyers of our product because all the big units have set up their units in Gujarat and we can provide the raw materials to them.
In the second phase,we will be meeting Modi for allotting us land to set up a cluster there. Our industry cannot survive here in Punjab, he added.
The association has already got an offer from private construction agency Synefra,which has told them that it will start construction of industrial plots in the special economic zones (SEZs) (as and when allotted by the Gujarat government) with all infrastructure support like electricity,water,roads and gas required for high-end engineering industry.
The benefits of SEZ at development and operational stage are: no custom duty and excise duty on raw material and capital goods,no sales tax,service tax,electricity duty and no stamp duty. At profit stage,the government exempts the income tax for five years and 50 per cent for the next five years.
The offers are lucrative. We hope that our two-day visit will bring some good results for the industry, Bhamra added.
He stated that more than 100 members are ready to be part of the proposed cluster in Gujarat. The port is near and hence import and export of goods will be cheaper if production is done there, a FMAI member said.
Enough of protests and dharans. We have now decided to take some steps for our survival. This option seems to be the best, Bhamra added.