INDIA: Apparel exporters unclear of policies of Punjab Budget ‘05-06

LUDHIANA: Describing the Punjab budget 2005-06 as "non-committal" on the promotion of industrial growth, the state industrial community expressed its disappointment, saying the budget 'lacked' any major initiatives for its rejuvenation.

Sharply opposing the proposal of imposing cess of 50 paise on petrol and Rs. 1 on diesel in the budget, the community feared it would indirectly increase the cost of production.

Industry was also upset with the state government's stance on 'age old' capital subsidy amounting to Rs. 600 crore which has been pending with the government since the last several years.

"The state government has done nothing with regard to releasing of capital subsidy. Rather it has imposed fresh cess on fuel, which is going to hit hard the industry in the coming time besides hitting a common man," said S.C. Ralhan Regional Chairman of Engineering Export Promotion Council.

"The industry could not think of infusing fresh investments in the state for expansion purposes with the government does not have any plan to counter the benefits of economic incentives being offered by three states including J & K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal," he opined.

Existing problems notwithstanding, “We do not want anything new. It would be enough if the government honours its previous commitments and there is no change in the status quo,” the almost whimsical refrain has been constant across the weaving, spinning and garmenting sectors in the state.

Terming the state budget as "plethora of policy statements", Sanjiv Gupta, President, Apparel Exporters Association of Ludhiana, said, "Nothing is clear from this budget as to how the government will implement its policies."

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Added: March 24, 2005 Source: Agencies
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