To give a big relief to the existing Industrial Units of the State to provide various day to day approvals from various departments and offices, it was agreed in principle to bring the important approvals under the ambit of the Right to Service Act. Time-bound approvals and simplification of various industrial procedures were discussed in detail during a session chaired by Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal, Chief Secretary Punjab with various Industrial Associations of the State. Various State Industrial Association raised the issues being faced by the existing Industrial units and also gave suggestions to improve the industrial environment of the State. On the issue of building a mechanism to provide time-bound departmental approvals to the existing and new industry, Chief Secretary asked the Department of Industries to bring a proposal to bring the approval related services under the Right to Service Act, Punjab on the lines of 12 services brought under RTS Act by Department of Excise & Taxation and 206 services of various other departments.
The RTS Act Punjab was enacted with the sole objective of providing an effective frame work for time bound delivery of services being provided by various government departments in order to promote transparency and accountability. Any official who does not deliver the services as per stipulated timelines will be penalized as per the provisions of the Act. “Industries in Punjab deserve time-bound Government services and it is surprising as to why RTS provisions have not been extended to them so far” said the Chief Secretary. During the meeting, Mr. R S Sachdeva, Co-Chairman PHD Chamber of Commerce raised the issues like higher FAR for vertical expansion, reduction in collector rates for the industries to raise better liquidity and reduction of Railway charges. Various VAT related issues raised by Industrial Associations included process simplification, abolition of fourth stage verification, simplification of VAT refund procedure. Chief Secretary asked all the representatives to finalize a list of industrial procedures/ approvals along with details of procedures being followed by the best Industrial States of the Country. Chief Secretary assured the invitees that State is committed to simplify various industrial procedures for hassle free operations of Industrialists.
Mr. B S Anand, Director Mohali Hi-Tech Metal cluster highlighted the issues/suggestions of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) like MSME registration, sales tax refund, sales tax slabs etc. Mr. Rajesh Agarwal representative, Derabassi Industrial Association suggested digitization of CLU process, rationalization of power tariff and simplification of PPCB procedures. Suggestion related to Department of Power included tariff concessions, Night Load rebate, reduction of wheeling charges, abolition of octroi and roll back of 5% cess. Industrial Associations also made suggestions related to PPCB procedures like self-certification for some industries, acceptance of tests made by private approved labs, adoption of modern techniques for pollution control, exemption of consent fees for some industries, change of category etc.
Mr. Naresh, representative Punjab Processor Industries raised issues related to purchase tax, removal of Tax anomalies in existing structure and more incentives to processing industries for more investments in this sector. CS assured the processing industries representatives that State will provide very congenial industrial environment for investors to invest in the State under the theme “Make in Punjab” especially in Food Processing sector and all issues of existing industries will also be resolved on priority. The representative of Garment Industries Association raised issues related to labour shortage, obsolete skill development infrastructure, absence of women working hostels, exhibition centers etc. Chief Secretary assured “Government at doorsteps” to the invitees and assured that all the facilities shall be provided to the investors for ease of entrepreneurship to the Youth.
Chief Secretary asked the Principal Secretary Industries to prepare a compendium of issues raised by various associations and start working on all issues. CS also assured that DCs will hold regular review meetings with Industry representatives at local level on regular basis to understand and resolve their issues. He said a report will be presented in this regard to Deputy Chief Minister and Industry and Commerce Minister.From Industries side, the meeting was attended by Mr. R S Sachdeva, Co-chairman, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Mr. B S Anand, Director Mohali Hi-Tech Metal cluster, Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Derabassi Industries Association, Mr. Dinesh, Laghu Udyog Bharti, All India Ludhiana, Mr. Ashok Makkar, Ludhiana dying industries,Mr. Naresh Punjab Processing Industries , Mr. Badish Jindal, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association and other prominent industrialists and representatives of State Industrial associations. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary Industries, Mr. Viswajit Khanna, Principal Secretary Housing & Urban Development, Mr. Anurag Aggarwal, Financial Commissioner Taxation, Mr. Anurag Verma, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr. S R Ladhar, Secretary Industries and also other officials from concerned departments.