LUDHIANA: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today released the thirteen point “Develop Punjab, Give Incentive to Punjabis” programme of the SAD-BSP alliance by announcing a slew of incentives including a new ministry for small industry and traders, fifty per cent reduction in EDC and registry charges, life, health and fire insurance for small traders as well as pension scheme, Rs five lakh interest free loan for new entrepreneurs, assured power supply at the rate of Rs five per unit and establishment of a Skill University to train required manpower.
Announcing the programme at a well attended meet of the industry and trade here, the SAD president said “the SAD is very clear that the Punjab can progress to the next level by giving a fillip to the trade and industrial sector. We must bank on the enterprising spirit of Punjabis by encouraging the home grown industry and removing any impediment in its growth”.
Stating that this would be the first time in the history of the State that the industrial and trade sector would get an opportunity to frame its own policies, Mr Sukhbir Badal said an advisory board would be established which would frame the new policies of the new Ministry for Small Traders and MSME sector. “Our purpose once the SAD-BSP government is formed is to end red tapism and rely on self declaration only”. He also announced that trade and industry would not have to maintain any books for a turnover less than Rs 25 lakh. “Only a small lump sum will be charged from them”.
In another landmark decision, the SAD President announced that a Build Punjab agency would be established which would not only regulate the functioning of the real estate sector but would also issue all clearances in a time bound manner of forty five days. He also announced that the External Development Charges (EDC) as well as registry charge would be halved to encourage real estate activity. He said EDC would be charged on per square feet basis upon registry to give a boost to construction activity. “We will also allow the industry to maintain industrial estates and the government will fund this initiative to ensure the industry is in the driver’s seat while deciding on development needed in industrial estates”.
Asserting that he understood the pain of the small traders whom he had interacted with in large numbers during his recent urban outreach programme, Mr Badal said “we are committed to implementing an Rs 10 lakh life insurance, health insurance and fire insurance scheme each for small traders as well as micro and small industries. We will also initiate a pension scheme for small traders and the State will contribute towards the same”.
Mr Badal said the next SAD-BSP government was also committed to giving relief to industry which had suffered during the period of Covid pandemic. He said the State would give five per cent subsidy on interest owed to banks besides offering a five per cent interest subvention on working capital limit of Rs 50 lakh. “New entrepreneurs, especially women and youth who want to start small businesses like beauty parlors or boutiques, will be given an interest free loan of Rs five lakh”.
Amidst cheers from the industrial sector, Mr Badal announced that the next SAD-BSP government would ensure availability of power at the rate of Rs five per unit to the industrial sector as well as small traders. He also announced that big industry as well as focal point associations would be allowed to establish their own solar power plants to make them more competitive. “Special incentives will also be given to the industrial sector to encourage it to go in for expansion”.
Mr Badal also announced that a Skill University would be established near this industrial hub in 200 acres of land. “Our aim is to impart skill training to 25,000 in one go. To make this a reality we will tie up with different industries including the motor-cycle, cycle and hosiery besides other industries in the region to train manpower for them”.
The meet was organized by NK Sharma, president, Trade and Industry wing of SAD, with the support of Ashok Makkar, President, Punjab Dying Industries and Gurmeet Kular, Industrial Advisor to SAD president.During the 3-hour session, the SAD president not only answered dozens of questions posed by the traders and industrialists but also gave them his vision for the inclusive growth of the state. Apart from others, Mr Anil Joshi also addressed the gathering.
Senior SAD leaders including Hira Singh Gabria, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, Harish Rai Dhanda, Pritpal Singh Pali, RD Sharma and Kamal Chaitley attended .