It may be the industrial the hub of Punjab, but Ludhiana is fast losing its sheen. In the last two years alone, 112 industrial units have downed their shutters. The information was provided in the assembly by the state government. Information collated from written reply to AAP MLA Sarvjeet Singh Manuke, shows that 242 units have closed between 2007 and 2017. Of these, 112 industries ceased operations between 2016 and 2017. Nearly 65 units, highest in 10 years, were closed in 2017. In 2016, 47 units had shut shop. Industry players pointed to unfriendly policies, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and high power tariff as key reasons for the closure of large number of units.
They fear that the trend will continue if corrective measures are not taken. Manjit Singh Matharoo, general secretary of Ludhiana Machine Tools Manufacturing Association, stated that introduction of GST sounded the death knell for industry, especially small-scale industries, which was already going through a rough phase. He further said the new taxation system has also led to an increase in working capital and capital blockages for cash-strapped small units. After coming to power, Capt Amarinder Singh-led government had brought down the industrial power tariff to Rs 5 per unit. The industrialists, however, termed the reduction of tariff as a mere eyewash, “We continue to reel under high power tariff, as there has been increase in fixed charges and other surcharges,” said Dalbir Singh Dhiman, chairman Punjab Sewing Machine Industries Association.