Industrialists adamant e-TRIP should go
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With the strike, called by steel manufacturers at Mandi Gobindgarh, entering its second day on Wednesday, industrialists stated that steel production, worth around Rs 600 crore a day, has been hit due to the protests. They added that the agitation, which began on Tuesday, will not be called off until the state government withdraws e-TRIP (virtual information collection centres), which it had introduced some two months back.
Mahinder Gupta, president of the Mandi Gobindgarh Induction Furnace Association, said: "We will continue this strike till the government accepts out demands. We have no plans of meeting any one till then. We want a roll-back of e-TRIP and then the government can come forward and talk about levying any new tax that it wants."
Mandi Gobindgarh has close to 600 steel units that shut shop on Tuesday.
The industrial town, situated some 45 kilometres from Ludhiana, produces 5.7 millions tonnes of steel, worth Rs 2000 crore, every year.
When asked if the industrialists had met Punjab Financial Commissioner (taxation) D P Reddy when he was in Ludhiana on October 1 to address any issues related to e-TRIp, Gupta said: "All these meeting are just futile. Our demand is one and when the officers do not have the power to accept our demands then what is the point of meeting these people. Our problem is that the people who supply us all the raw material are small time traders who do not have the time or infrastructure for e-filing of sale receipts. The supply of raw material has gone down by 70 per cent then how are we expected to perform," asks Gupta.
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