Punjab FM offers industry park to Mattewara, Punjab Inc sceptic
DURING SAD-BJP government in 2012 , there was a proposal of opening a stud farm in Mattewara area in Ludhiana. The then deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had made several announcements regarding the project, which, however, never saw light of the day.
On Friday, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal announced that an industrial park will be set up in the Mattewara area. The industrialists, however, are sceptical.
“While the stud farm project never took off during the SAD-BJP regime, now there are talks about an industrial park. Whether or not it actually take shape on the ground, only time will tell,” said Badish Jindal, president, All Industries and Trade Forum.
While the stud farm was announced in 2012, soon after forming the government for a second consecutive term, in 2014, in addition to this project, it was also announced that the Mattewara forest will be developed as Wildlife Nature Reserve to attract tourists. Both projects never took off.
“The Finance Minister admitted in the Budget that industrial subsidies of year 1978, 1987, 1992, 1996 and 2003 are still pending. This shows how concerned the state government is toward industries that it takes upto 40 years to clear the subsidies granted to the industry. This is the reason that industry is showing no interest in the investment schemes of state government.” Jindal added.
DS Chawla, president of United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) said, “The Finance Minister mentioned about funds for construction of roads of the Focal Point in the Budget speech. However, these funds have already been allocated and hence it is nothing new for us. It was just a repetition made by the minister to increase the number of projects in his speech”.
FICO (Federation of Industrial & Commercial Organisation) organized a special screening of Punjab Budget at its secretariat in Ludhiana. Fico chairman KK Seth said that a special package for the electric vehicles such as e-rickshaws and e-loaders should have been announced in the Budget to encourage the use of e-vehicles, and save the environment.
FICO president Gurmeet Singh Kular termedthe Budget “totally non-industry friendly” and said the government first of all should complete the Dhanansu Focal Point where Bicycle Valley is to be created. “They are talking about new industrial park, but first of all, they should complete the old projects,” he said, adding despite adding subsidies to PSPCL, the industry is not getting power at Rs 5 per unit.
Rajeev Jain, general secretary, FICO, said that some special package for the technology upgradation of the bicycle industry should have been provided.
Also there is no mention of any special package for the MSME sector nor any package to encourage the ease of doing business, he added.
The Budget was presented by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday.