With less than one month left for the Lok Sabha polling day in Punjab, city businessmen have become active, and business associations are in a huddle to decide whom to vote for. Recently, a meeting of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) was organised, in which office bearers of the association gave a call to their members and other businessmen to vote only for the candidate who they think will support the industry, and not to fall prey to false promises made by politicians. However, there are a lot of issues related to different sectors of trade and industry when it comes Ludhiana, and businessmen are of the view that there are several problems in the industrial city, which no politician is even talking about. According to SS Makkar, president of Punjab Tent Dealers Association (PTDA) “Our industry is quite old, and we are associated with every person in one way or another in all sorts of occasions.
However, it is really sad that when it comes to our issues, no government is serious about solving them. At present, we are facing a lot of issues like high rates of registration on commercial vehicles, no cap on increase in rates of raw material for the catering industry, and high rate of tax on outdoor catering and our services. Our demand to all leaders and parties is that a committee or one point of contact should be appointed to resolve our problems related to any department.” According to PTDA general secretary Shiv Shankar Rai “We are a service industry, and there are different tax rates under GST on us, which makes our business complex. In addition to this, the tax rate slabs go up to 18%, about which a majority of our customers often complain. We humbly request all party candidates, that regardless of who wins or loses, our industry should be given relief, and the rate of GST on outdoor catering should be reduced to 5% at least.”