Jammu to get ‘major gift’ in coming rail budget: Meghwal

Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal & Industries Minister C P Ganga at a function in Jammu.
Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal & Industries Minister C P Ganga at a function in Jammu.

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Dec 3: While dropping a hint  that Jammu would get a ‘major gift’ in the forthcoming Rail Budget,  Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs,  Arjun Ram Meghwal, today said that regional imbalances in the Jammu and Kashmir should have to be removed.
Talking to media-persons at the sidelines of a programme on industrialization for employment generation under GST regime here today, the Union Minister  while accusing previous Governments of promoting regional imbalances in Jammu and Kashmir, said that balanced development  in all the three regions of the State is must for peace and prosperity of  the State.
“The balanced development   will silence the voices of discontent  and discrimination being raised from certain regions and sub regions. Creation of Telangana is the latest example of  severe discontent  and regional imbalance. North East has remained neglected for many decades and focus was remained in the west including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka etc. Modi Government  has been keenly working on this subject and also  giving more thrust on the North East and other neglected regions  of the country to remove regional imbalances,” Meghwal maintained.
Referring to the NDA Government’s resolve at the Centre to pre-pone the general budget this time with the objective to have  financial year from January 1 to December ending,  like many other countries instead of April to March ending  as being done earlier, the Union Minister said that Rail Budget is also being combined with the General Budget  and Jammu would get  ‘something big’  or you can say,  a ‘big gift’ from Modi Government in the coming Rail Budget.
Though,  Meghwal preferred to keep this as secret and said that only Union Railway Minister would announce it at the appropriate time, yet he maintained that it is among the already projected demands by the people from this State and the region.
Responding to the other question, he said that  Industry in J&K is getting incentives worth Rs 40 crore annually at present and this concession will be hiked in the next budget. He stressed the need to explore the potential  of natural resources  and said that State Government  should take initiative and his Ministry would provide the desired support.
He also assured to set up heavy industry in the State shortly. He regretted that there was only one Chenab Textiles Industry (heavy industry) at Kathua in the J&K State.
It may be recalled that people from this region including the Jammu Chamber have already projected the demands of having full fledged  Railway Division for Jammu, setting up of Rail Coach factory  at Jammu/ Samba or Kathua and Rail link between  Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch besides Doda-Kishtwar. The new gift could be among these projected demands of the people from Jammu region.
Earlier,  addressing the industrialists at the function, Meghwal said that  with demonetization decision,  the interest rates in all the sectors and also taxes on various items and services would come down.  He lauded the efforts of Laghu Adyogh Bharti for organizing this programme on GST  and  said that  people would get  some relief. One country one tax concept is going to solve many problems.  He said  SMSE Industry play major role in providing  employment and focus should be given to  provide all possible assistance to the small scale industries.
Referring to the points raised by Minister for Industries and Commerce C P Ganga, National president  Laghu Udyog Bharti OP Mittal, MLA Rajesh Gupta and Lalit Mahajan, Chairman Federation of Jammu industries, the Union Minister said that he personally felt  that Incentives  worth Rs 40 crore for the State like J&K were not sufficient.
He would assure that it will be increased from next financial year. He also assured to take up the matter in Delhi with other concerned people to provide J&K the package on the North East pattern in view of the circumstances. He said that there was need to pay attention towards Ladakh and Jammu region as well.
On the issue of ‘ease of doing business’ and review of filling returns 37 times in a financial year as projected by Mittal and few other members, the Minister said that he would discuss this issue with the concerned top officials and also in the Ministry. He asked the Jammu industrialists to set up some units in Ladakh and said that Government would provide all possible help.  He lauded the Minister for Industry Mr Ganga to set up cement unit in Leh and another industrialist from Jammu to establish flour mill in Leh.
Minister for Industry, Chander Parkash in his address highlighted the problems of the industry in the State and sought special package worth Rs 2000 crore  for raising infrastructure and incentives  worth Rs 500 crore to  provide life line to the industry in the State.  He claimed that Industrial sector would be able to provide more employment than the State Government in the State to the educated and skilled youth if this  assistance is provided to the J&K Industry.
Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC Leh Dr Sonam Dawa, MLA, Jammu East Rajesh Gupta, national president Laghu Udyog Bharti OP Mittal, FOIJ chairman Lalit Mahajan also spoke on the occasion.  Mr Mahajan also submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister with charter of demands. He demanded incentives for the industry on the pattern of North East, extend IT exemption  which was withdrawn on April 1, 2012 for next 10 years, extension of DIPP package, set up mother Industry in PSU sector and development of new infrastructure.


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