Punjab focal points to be revived Property Tax May Replace House Tax: Minister
Sangrur: The state government is all set to revive industrial activity in the state in a big way. Every possible help would be provided to industry, and to start with, the industrial focal points across Punjab would be revived at a cost of Rs 40 crore. Established more than two decades ago, these focal points are presently in a bad shape. Stating this here on Thursday, industry and local government minister Manoranjan Kalia said a committee would be formed to find a way to effectively revive these points to promote the small scale industry. He said apart from this, a level-playing field would be provided to the influential NRIs to invest in Punjab. The minister added that infrastructure was being upgraded to prevail upon NRIs to pump in foreign money in the state. He said during the two-day NRI conclave, Punjab government hoped to get commitments for a handsome investment. Kalia added that the state government had asked for a package on the lines of those given to Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in order to promote industry. About restarting octroi in the state, Kalia said as Punjab was facing an acute resource crunch, an alternate arrangement and hard measures were badly needed. He said to compensate the states municipal councils, a proposal of levying unit-based property tax had been floated, and in it separate parameters would be fixed for old and new houses on the assessment of house owners. He also indicated that property tax could replace house tax. Kalia said the government had short-listed 44 towns of the state to be developed with funds to be procured under the urban renewable scheme. He said 100% sewerage facility would be provided at these places. Assuring 100% sewerage and potable water supply at Sangrur, he presented a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the deputy commissioner. Later, accompanied by SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra, he laid the foundation stone for a modern bus stand at Lehragaga to be constructed at a cost of 1.42 crore. SAD leader Parkash Chand Garg and district BJP president Jatinder Kalra were also present on the occasion