From policy issues to infrastructure constraints to setting up a convention centre, industrialists in Punjab voiced their issues in an interaction with the state functionaries namely Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary, Industries, Commerce & Investment Promotion, Punjab; and Rajat Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion. The officers assured that they would take steps to make Punjab a business-friendly state.

Ahead of the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit, to be held on October 26 and 27, the government is reaching out to various industry chambers (CII and PHD) to know the grassroots problems being faced by industrialists.

One of the issues raised was of inverted duty structure. The state offers SGST incentives up to 50 per cent of its GST share as an advantage to the new units being set up under Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017. However in case of industries such as cycle and textiles which fall under the inverted duty structure (situation where the rate of tax on inputs purchased is more than the rate of tax on outward supplies), the policy becomes unbalanced.

The industrialists also raised banks’ reluctance to approve loans. To ease the regulatory burden on newly incorporated micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Punjab Right to Business Rules-2020 were notified on July 29, 2020. The District Bureau of Enterprise has been empowered to issue “certificate of in-principle approval” to the units, however banks are not granting loans to the units but insisting on change in land use. So there was a need to empanel banks to facilitate investment in the state, industrialists said.

The recent notification by the Town and Country Planning Board increased the right of way from16.5 feet to 33 feet for setting up an industry. “This is practically impossible. The MSMEs can’t afford to set up industry on the highway as land is costly. So, they are bound to set up industry on link roads. Unfortunately, we don’t have the concept of 33-foot roads on link roads. Moreover, this notification was introduced suddenly and at a time when all formalities had been done by many investors, so the notification would act as deterrent for investors,” said Rajiv Sajdeh, Chairman, CII Amritsar Zone.

Strengthen Infra

The industrialists demanded the state government should upgrade the infrastructure at Focal Points which are in poor shape. The Dera Bassi Industries Association demanded immediate steps to set up new electric substation due to increased demand.

Source: 09 October, 2021, The Tribune