The Industry and Beopar wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded that the Congress government come out with a financial package for small and medium scale industries by paying their salary bills, allowing the industrial and trade sector to retain the State share of GST for a six month period, honouring its promise to waive off fixed power charges for the industrial sector, waiving off power and property tax for shop keepers and bringing down State share in GST on petrol.These demands were raised at the first meeting of the State Industry and Beopar wing which was presided over by the newly appointed President N K Sharma. The Wing congratulated Mr N K Sharma on his appointment and pledged to work for the welfare of industry and traders of the State.Participating in the discussion, senior party leader Sarup Chand Singla said forget giving any financial package on the pattern of that done by the Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh governments, the Punjab government had even reneged on the promises made to industrialists including waiving off fixed power charges for a two month period. He said the MSMEs were in a critical condition and that the Punjab government should give salaries of workers in order to get them back on their feet. He said a financial package should be announced for the same.
Participating in the discussion, senior leader Gurmeet Singh Kular from Ludhiana said the labour wanted to come back to Punjab but fear of quarantine was coming in the way of their return. He said the sewing and cycle industry, which was labour intensive was most hit and that the government should give a financial relief to them. He also raised the issue that one lakh PPE kits were being manufactured in Ludhiana but that the order given to small industry had been cancelled recently creating a fresh crisis.Senior leader Mr Rajinder Singh Marwaha from Amritsar said the Congress government should waive off power and water bills as well as Property tax of shop keepers for the entire lockdown period. He said shop keepers were being asked to pay average bill based on last year’s consumption which was unjustified. He said the municipal authorities should be directed to waive off rent on its shops.Senior leader Madan Lal Bagga from Ludhiana pointed out that the price of petrol was among the highest in the country in Punjab and that the Punjab government should give a relief to the people from its share in GST on petrol. He said VAT dues of Rs 80 crore were pending to Ludhiana industrialists and they should be released immediately.Speaking about the demands of rice millers Jalalabad based leader Ashok Aneja said pending levy security as well as as bardana bills should be cleared and space should be made available for rice delivery of coming year. Others who attended the meeting included Rajinder Deepa from Sunam who demanded that power bills of the industrial sector should be deferred for three months. EOM