Shimla: As the government bids farewell to its promised plans, the public is gearing up to bid adieu to the current administration in 2024. Vivek Sharma, the spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has raised concerns about the increasing number of industrial units in the state shutting down. He criticizes the current Congress government’s approach, suggesting that their policies seem to be pushing industries towards a premature farewell. This sentiment stems from the recent hike in electricity rates, soaring from 10% to a staggering 25%.
A notification issued on 4/9/23 reveals that industries relying on High Tension lines will face a surge in duties, ranging from 11% to 19%. Additionally, extra high-tension wires will see an increase from 13% to 19%.
The government’s response to this self-made disaster includes burdening domestic consumers with a 3% to 5% increase on electronic devices used in agriculture. Furthermore, duties on cement and crusher industries have spiked from 17% to 25%, potentially fueling inflation during an already challenging period.
Diesel generators, vital for emergencies in the absence of electricity, will now incur a running cost of 0.45 rupees per unit. This is despite paying 6.50 rupees higher per liter for diesel compared to neighboring states. Are these added expenses justifiable for private organizations and industries already grappling with economic downturns?
Vivek Sharma raises a poignant question about the government’s stance on small and medium-sized industries in Himachal Pradesh. These industries form a significant portion of the workforce, including MSMEs (medium and small manufacturing industry). He points to the recent budget speech, highlighting the contradiction between promises made and policies implemented.
Seven months ago, the government pledged to transform the state into a green haven by installing solar units ranging from 250 kW to 2 MW in every district, along with a 40% subsidy in the private sector. Vivek Sharma calls for transparency, demanding the government reveal how many subsidies have been granted and how many solar units have received approval.
In the face of these developments, it’s clear that the Sukh government’s actions are not aligning with its development plans. As the public braces for the farewell in 2024, one can’t help but wonder if these policies are truly in the best interest of the people and the industries that drive the state’s economy.