Mohali industries shifting out due to power shortage

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS,

Mohali (Punjab) : Hit by a compulsory 48-hour power cut per week, many units in the the Mohali industrial area of Punjab have shifted out their bases to other states, and some others are likely to follow suit.

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“The authorities have made it compulsory for us to give a holiday every week and many times we are forced to announce mandatory two days off. It is not possible for us to survive for long by keeping our units closed for eight days a month,” Mohali Industries Association president B.S. Anand told IANS.

“This festival season is the peak time for us and in such circumstances it becomes impossible for us to meet the deadlines. It increases the debt and penalties on traders,” Anand said.

There are over 1,200 businesses operating in the Mohali industrial area and around 100,000 employees work there.

“This has also disturbed our financial cycle as this time we are unable to give our employees the annual bonus,” Anand said.

“We claim to compete with China in industrial growth, but it is true only on paper. Traders here are incurring around 30 percent loss in the business due to 48 hours’ compulsory holiday every week,” said Vivek Kapoor, a member of the Mohali Industries Association.

“Many industries have shifted their bases to the Baddi industrial area in Himachal Pradesh. Industries there enjoy various financial benefits like relaxation in income tax payments, excise duties and timely power supply,” said Bunty Manchanda, an industrialist based in Mohali.

He added: “Our political leaders call Mohali an industrial hub. However, the grassroot reality is very different as the region has been facing the government’s apathy for a long time. Poor roads and power shortage are the major ailments of this area.”

Nishant Jain, another MOhali-based industrialist, said if the companies used generator sets during power cuts, that would put an additional 10 percent expenditure on traders. “That is the major reason that only call centres and small scale IT companies are setting up their bases here,” he added.