4 clauses apart, New Industrial Policy is a mess

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A Policy which addresses itself as Policy 2015 (instead of 2016) cannot be accepted with just 4 clauses changed.

What Finance Minister has said is not acceptable. 

The Industrial Policy needs complete revamp and not just four clauses. A policy which has numerous mistakes, technical errors, wrong interpretations and funny (read foolish) concepts is not acceptable. Land row or not, the Policy needs to be redone from the start. All the incentives need to be redefined, of course within the set parameters. I am not saying that these need to be increased. Only their treatment needs to be rationalized.

Starting from the period of the policy to its implementation, we need to change it all.

A Policy for 10 years when things are moving fast, we have GCT round the corner, train connectivity is expected in a year or two, Cross LoC trade is expected to increase and the dynamics of business are shifting on a daily basis, such a long term or rigid and ill-conceived policy is unacceptable.

I am surprised at the Federations/Chamber and other bodies for not having understood the ill effects of this policy. Moreover, why are we only harping about the “land to non-residents’ when this policy has nothing for residents.

I will briefly touch upon the thrust industries only at this time.

This Policy has made a mockery of thrust industries by mis-naming, wrongly citing, incorrectly clubbing, badly wording and foolishly copying from some previous paper/s. The Policy document has different list at two different places (p9 & p33). Even the number of industries varies. Some are altogether deleted from one list. Some sectors, which do not come under preview of industry as per NIC Code are also included. For example- Rice Mill, Poultry and Dairy have been deleted from the NIC Code list. The scope is vague and confusing so much so that dry fruit is forgotten and Ketchup/Sauce/Green House/ups, etc. are included in thrust. No no, it is not that ‘etc.’, it is as an industry in the list of thrust industries.

Chip board/ Mineral water (Should have probably been- Gyp Board and Bottled drinking water) are some examples of lack of understanding of industry on the part of the ‘creators’ of this Gospel.

In one para it says – ‘any other value addition to agriculture/horticulture…’. This gives latitude to anyone for doing anything (Food based industry) based on this and claim it to be in thrust. Or conversely, to an officer to say that it does not come under thrust sector.

Having said that, in the end, the policy says that incentives shall be only available if the unit has –‘on line Pollution control devices’. This is the punch line of this joke of a policy.

For one, ‘on line’ is used for monitoring in certain activities and cannot be applied across the board. Secondly, not all activities have a provision for so called ‘on line PCD’. So no one will ever get any incentive under this new policy.

Packaging finds mention in Thrust Sector and is very conveniently banned by Pollution Control Board in Kashmir while being allowed in Jammu.

How come ‘making of jewelry’ is clubbed with mineral based industry and dairy farming with Tissue culture?

True that the Policy has increased certain incentives marginally for thrust sector, but again this increase is not in consonance with the present market prices or inflation. Nor are incentives in Thrust Sectors possible for all industries.

On one hand the Policy informs us that the employment generation in Small Sector is five times more for almost same amount of investment, on the other it proposes more incentives to larger industries. A Mega Project or Large Unit with investment of about Rs. 50-100 Crores is getting incentive on Bore well. Yes you read correctly. A bore well costing about Rs.10 Lac maximum is an incentive to some unit whose investment in Bore well is about 0.5 to 1.0%. Take case of another, unfortunate unit, where the investment is just Rs 10 Lacs and the bore well cost is equal to that. Which one should get this incentive? Moreover, incentive on bore well should have been based on water consumption and not on investment. 

And why should big projects get land free of cost?

Where is the logic in this?

What does Poultry (plant and machinery only) stand for in thrust Industries? First Poultry farming is not an industrial activity. Second, even if we consider it to be, the investment in plant and machinery is small comparatively to the live-stock. This defies logic.

I can go on and one line by line and still will not end as there are so many mistakes in this Policy.

So let me put a few questions to Hon’ble FM.

Sir, if you rethink only 4 clauses, what about the mess there is in the policy?

Sir, have you bothered to read the policy?

Sir, have you checked the list of GoI schemes mentioned in policy? Are these OK? Are these presently in vogue? Are these applicable to Industry in J&K?

Sir, is the incorrect terminology used in the Policy, on which incentives and plans are supposed to be based, acceptable to government?

Sir, the errors in thrust Industries are Ok for you to accept even if these are meaningless at places and foolishly described at others?

Sir, can you assure the stakeholders that the incentives as mentioned in this Policy shall be applicable despite the malignant conditions put?

Sir, can you assure technocrats that government is still with them in spite of there being no additional incentives for them which incidentally were in previous policy?

Sir, can you please tell our women who want to join industry that the special incentives for them shall be restored which have been so mercilessly deleted from the policy and which were part of the previous one?

In the end, Sir, can you please tell us why the policy was implemented in such haste when the next financial year was two weeks away and what is the logic of having a Policy for ten years and sixteen days?

I am sure FM has some answers.

 

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