Bahra University

Waive off fixed electricity charges for industries: Guleria 

Slash income tax, freeze deposition of provident fund for a year, standard COVIS cess on GST for demand revival

Baddi: Coronavirus has wreaked havoc at business establishments. Pandemic has thronged the global economy in an unprecedented crisis. Employees are worried for potential job cuts, while industries are striving hard to keep business afloat. Govt, banks have assured to bail the business houses out from the crises and even have taken multiple steps to help industry and commerce get back on its feet after lockdown. But policy makers will have to come out with a plan to cover all sector to get economy out from doldrums.

Every state is suffering from the virus and state of Himachal is also not untouched from it. Industrial activities have virtually halted and resulting in dip in production and income. Industries in Baddi region of the Himachal Pradesh are feeling the pinch of pandemic. Pharmaceutical industries have started operation with many restrictions, but still far from realising its full potential.   

Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted and burdened the SMEs- which is Core of Indian Industry, with huge loses. Rajender Guleria, Advisor to Baddi-Barotiala-Nalagarh Industries association, shared his apprehension and elaborated impact of the virus on SMEs. He told the Coronavirus has burden the industries with fixed expenses like wages/salary, demand charges for electricity connection, Interest on term loans and working capital and losses due to price impact on inventory and also rejection of materials for self- life and other reasons of hold-up are adding to the vows of the industries.

Guleria emphasised on the charting a revival plan for industries and suggested pay wages from ESI to insured persons under ESI scheme. He suggested the allow industry to negotiate with employees for sharing partial loss.

As most of industries are closed during the lockdown, but industries are paying fixed charges electricity to the State electricity boards. Guleria demanded to waive the fixed charges off for the lockdown period as no electricity was supplied to enterprise. He also sought bank to borne the interest as subsidy.

Amidst the lockdown period, liquidity has virtually dried up and to keep businesses afloat it’s needs to be look into and need to infuse immediately. Advisor to Baddi Barotiala Nalagarh Industries association Rajender Guleria has suggested that the enterprise should be allowed 25 per cent additional funds at minimum cost recoverable in one year after moratorium of 6 months. He called Govt initiatives of inducting liquidity through Banks insufficient and suggested to create another SPV by RBI.

He also demanded to expedite the incentives and subsidies payable by GOI or state govts to the industries.

Guleria suggested for concrete step to revive the demand. He hailed government initiatives on rural level, but asked and suggested to revamp the demand by putting extra money in the hand consumer so that industrial output get buyers and save the economy. He suggested to freeze the deposition of provident fund for one year both by employee and employer. Which, he believes will generate money in the hands of employee to increase his buying power and in the hands of employer to meet the liquidity crunch or make some new investments. He suggested to reduce the rate of personal income tax as a COVID measure for one year which will also enhance the buying power in the hands of individuals. Guleria suggested to put standard negative COVID cess on GST rates to pass on some cash to consumers which will further spur the demand.