CHANDIGARH – Punjab has been awarded second in the country in logistics ease by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The announcement was made in the Board Meeting held in the capital under the Chairmanship of Union Minister Piyush Goyal here today.
Thanking the Union Minister for recognizing the various endeavours of state government in ensuring a congenial atmosphere for trade and industry, Additional Chief Secretary Commerce and Industries said that Punjab was committed to offer pro-active support and assistance to all wishing to come and invest in state. State has attracted more than 50,000 Crores of investment in the last two years, demonstrating the revival of industry in Punjab, she added.
Representing Punjab in the Board meeting, Vini Mahajan raised various issues of concern to state and requested the Union Minister for an early resolution of the same. On the issue of GoI designating certain exporters as risky, she said that state was not intimated about the criterion being followed to identify such exporters as ‘risky’. “There was no official communication till date to the exporters notifying them of any violation of the default for which they have been declared risky. This is a direct attack on the integrity & credibility of people who have been in the business for decades,” she stated requesting the Minister for his intervention in the matter at the earliest.
Raising the issue of SAFTA Customs Duty Regime, Mahajan demanded level playing field and reciprocity on customs duty being imposed on bicycle and bicycle parts imports from India and Bangladesh. The industry is vital for the state, she pointed out observing that CICU has pointed out in the context of bicycles and bicycle parts that Bangladesh imposes customs duty on imports from India, whereas India allows zero duty imports from Bangladesh.
Emphasising the issue of Rebate of State & Central Taxes and Levies (ROSCTL), she said the online system for claiming benefit under said scheme is still not provided and claims for substantial amount are held up. She requested the Ministry for an urgent redressal of the same on priority. On the pending state GST refunds, Mahajan urged for making the process more effective so that the exporters should not wait longer for their GST refunds. She also suggested for an increase in budget for the Market Access Initiatives Scheme besides requesting for increasing the number of participation attempts for exporting entities in exhibitions to four from existing two at present.
Citing the “Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme” (TIES) initiated for the infrastructure development of industrial areas, Mahajan urged the Ministry to sanction more funds to the state. She said that the GOI share should be raised to 75% from the present 50% pointing out that even the State requires few clusters for pollution control mechanism.
Pointing out that the DFCCIL was running late from its schedule to complete the work of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, which would put pressure on Punjab’s exports, Vini Mahajan underlined the need to make arrangements for smooth connectivity of Punjab with the Western Freight Corridor. The strengthening work on Punjab side of the freight corridor should be immediately completed to enable double stacking of railway wagons, she said.