Punjab Municipal Elections: Won’t support Congress, say industry groups

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Ludhiana, December 12: AHEAD OF local bodies elections, sections of the industry in Punjab are up in arms against the Congress government in the state. A total of 40 industrial associations of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Mandi Gobindgarh have joined hands and announced that they would not support the Congress in the upcoming polls which are scheduled in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala this week while in Ludhiana, they are likely to happen in January next year.

Industrialists are miffed that despite the state’s announcement in October that subsidised power tariff for industry at Rs 5 per unit will be implemented from November 1, but there is no notification about this till date. In addition to this, Punjab state electricity regulatory commission (PSERC) has announced to implement hiked power tariff from April 1, 2017 onwards instead of from the month of announcement. Meanwhile, the hike in power tariff was announced in October.

Industrialists said they won’t be paying it from April onwards as already industry was in bad shape due to GST and after-effects of demonetisation. The industrial associations have given time till December 20 to the Punjab government to come up with a clarification, failing which they will launch hunger strike and dharnas from December 21. K K Garg and Mohinderpal Goyal from Mandi Gobindgarh said, “We will protest along with copy of Congress’s election manifesto as they had promised power at Rs 5 per unit.”

“Daily, five industrial association members will be sitting on hunger strike at Vishvkarma Chowk from December 21 onwards. We will not welcome any Congress leader and industry will not participate in any of the government programmes as well,” said Inderjit Singh Navyug, president of United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers Association.

Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Small Industries Association, said, “Apart from retrospective hiked power tariff, even a two part tariff is to be implemented from January 1. This means- fixed charges on the basis of per KW load and the second part will be power consumed. The fixed charges are much higher than the earlier introduced minimum monthly charges. They are Rs 290 per KW for a furnace unit, Rs 160 per KW for a medium and small unit. Hence apart from these fixed charges, the power consumed if added will end up to a hefty bill and power will cost us not less than Rs 9 a unit. If farmers can come on road to get their demands implemented, we will also follow the same.”

Source: Indian Express

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