Footwear industry to observe strike on Sept 14


Ludhiana, September 11, 2012:  Shoe manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will observe complete strike on September 14 across Punjab, in support of their demands.

Addressing a press conference here today, the shoe Merchants Association of Punjab Spokesperson Harpreet Singh told that the state government had recently increased VAT on footwears, resulting to which the footwear industry was in crisis.

He told that earlier, there was 5.5 per cent VAT on items except leather-made items and 12.50 per cent on leather made items.

Further,  he revealed that now, the state government had introduced 5.5 per cent VAT and 10 per cent surcharge (total 6.05 per cent) on all footwears on the sale price upto Rs.250.

He told that 13 per cent VAT and 10 per cent surcharge (total 14.30 per cent) on all footwears on the sale price above Rs.250 had been introduced.

“Does the state government now wants to steal chappal from a common person’, he remarked.

Comparing the Punjab government with that of the neighbouring states, he told that footwears upto sale price of Rs. 500 were exempted from tax in the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

He pointed out that the footwear industry could not flourish with the policies of the state government in Punjab.

Singh told that a 21-member committee had been constituted to run peaceful agitation in Punjab. He said  the footwear industry across Punjab would observe complete strike on September 14. He added they would stage protest demonstrations at all the district headquarters on that day. They would be constrained to chalk out further strategy for continuing the agitation, if the state government did not accede to their demands. He said they demanded that the new system of taxes should be rolled back and there should be no tax on sale price upto Rs. 500.

Replying to a question, he told that there were about one lakh footwear manufacturing units in Punjab. Of them, 20,000 were located in Ludhiana city alone.

He further told that they had already met Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister and apprised him of the situation. He said Grewal had assured them that he would take up this matter with the CM, Punjab. He said a fresh notification of taxes was issued in first week of this month. He believed that the footwear industry of Punjab would become uncompetitive in case their demands were not met by the state government.      

Earlier, more than 150 members of Shoe Merchants Associations of Punjab gathered here today, to discuss the issue in detail. A 21-members action committee comprising of presidents and vice presidents of different cities of Punjab was constituted as under : Ludhiana-Harpreet Singh, Rajinder Sachdeva, Jalandhar- Davinder Singh, Amritsar-Rajesh Sachdeva, Raman, Khem Singh Sadana, Fazilka- Ashok Gulbadar, Muktsar- Subash Madan, Malout- Sunil Challana, Dhuri-Gian Chand garg, Barnala- Ruldu Ram, Phagwara- Davinder- Khultham, Khanna-Joginder pal Gupta, Kotkapura-Parveen, Mansa-Ashok ji, Abohar- Chandan Juneja, Jalalabad- Ishu Kumar, Rajpura-Naresh Kumar Hans, Khanna-Joginder Pal Gupta, Hoshiarpur- J.S.Bindra, Sunam – Raj Gera, Bathinda-Kewal Krishan and Faridkot- Prince Narula. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012