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AAP Govt giving shocks to Punjab Industry: Shergill

Chandigarh: BJP National Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill has launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab for taking anti-industry decisions. In a statement issued today, Shergill said that ever since the AAP government took over the reins of Punjab, ‘highly detrimental’ decisions have been taken for the industrial sector. He added that because of the deteriorating law and order situation and the anti-industry decisions, industrialists from Punjab are planning to migrate to other states.

Citing some of the extremely wrong decisions taken by the AAP government, Shergill said that the biggest blow to the industry has come from the power tariff hike. “Many industry honchos have apprised me that despite pre-poll assurance to the industry of providing power for Rs 5 per unit, the latter is shelling out anything between Rs 7 to Rs 12 per unit when the slabs are combined with other charges. This is nothing but a ‘cruel joke’ on the industry,” he said.

Referring to the pending VAT cases, Shergill said that thousands of assesses have been facing extreme hardships for the last two years. “In the last week of July, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Cheema had announced that the assessment of all pending VAT cases will be done within 15 days but even after a month, the industrialists are awaiting notification to this effect,” he said.

Shergill, who is a Punjab BJP Permanent Invitee member, further said that before coming to power AAP had promised the industrial community an end to the ‘Inspector Raj’, adding, “But, they have conveniently forgotten the promise after assuming power.” Quoting another instance, wherein industrialists are being harassed, Shergill said, “Installation of Power Quality Meters (PQMs) in factories having Large Supply (LS) has been made mandatory. However, according to the industrialists, the said decision is completely unjustified and uncalled for as the cost of these meters varies from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh which is not affordable for everyone.”

Shergill said that even though the industrial land prices in Punjab are already very high, a further increase of 50 per cent in land reserve prices is unjustified and will be a major hurdle in getting new investments. Cautioning the Chief Minister to mend his ways, Shergill said that if corrective measures are not taken and issues concerning the industry are not addressed at the earliest, the day is not far when the existing industry will gradually shut down.

Dubbing Mann as an ‘Akhbari Mukhya Mantri’ Shergill said, “Though industrialists are making intense efforts for a face-to-face meeting with the Industry Minister to convey their grievances, all their efforts have so far proved futile. This is because the Industry portfolio is with the Chief Minister himself, who is busy in self-promotion and visiting poll-bound states.”

The BJP spokesperson also pointed out that the Punjab industrialists, particularly from the industrial hub of Ludhiana, have told him that the existing Punjab industry has been left out of the incentives offered to the new investors in the Punjab Industrial and Business Development Policy-2022. This will prove ‘disastrous’ for the existing industry.

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