The AAP today promised to dismantle liquor mafia, end the “raid-raj” and introduce a slew of incentives to “revive” trade and industry in Punjab, including tax holidays for some sectors, if it is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections.
After its manifestoes for the youth and farmers, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal released its manifesto for trade industry and transport sectors which also vowed to provide a transparent tax regime, “lower” tax rates and eliminate “sand mafia” in the state.
A Special Investigation Team will be set up to unearth alleged collection of “goonda tax” through Akali-BJP and Congress collusion, the AAP manifesto said.
AAP, which is eyeing to wrest power from SAD-BJP regime, also promised revival of sick units through a series of measures.
The measures included a two-year tax holiday, special package to bring back industry that had “fled” the state, 10-year tax holiday for agro-based food processing industry and five-year tax holiday for women to encourage women entrepreneurs.
The AAP had earlier released youth and farmers’ manifesto.
Besides, AAP in its manifesto also promised that trade, industry and transport sectors will be made “corruption free” while ‘inspector Raj’ and ‘raid Raj’ will be eliminated and no alleged “goonda tax” will be allowed to be imposed in the state.
Alleged “liquor mafia” will be dismantled and replaced with an alternative system that provides equal opportunity and generates employment and “control of politicians and their henchmen will be ended in the liquor business”, it said.
Self-certification regime for all NOCs and consents in businesses will be implemented.
“Tax regime will be simplified and made transparent while VAT and other taxes will be reduced on Delhi pattern. In five years, Punjab will have the lowest tax rate, one time settlement of pending tax related cases and VAT refund will be expedited,” it said.
Punjab goes to polls early next year.
“In order to end alleged harassment of ‘rehriwalas’ and ‘fariwallahs’, spaces will be earmarked in every city for creation of ‘rehri’ markets and week-end flea markets,” it said.
“Electricity tariff will be substantially reduced by nailing corruption and enabling optimum efficiency of systems while anti-Punjab power agreements with private power plants will be reviewed and those responsible for burdening the people of the state will be punished,” manifesto said.
On transport sector, AAP said it will be “depoliticised”.
“AAP government will snatch bus permits from the Badals, top politicians of the SAD-BJP, Congress and others who have (allegedly) procured them through fraudulent means and will be given to unemployed youth, ex-servicemen, handicapped persons, terrorist victims, and victims of 1984 anti-Sikh violence,” it said.
AAP said there will be elimination of alleged “Reta-Bajri (sand and gravel)” mafia in Punjab and mining licences will be given to young entrepreneurs.
“Revival of sick units in Mandi Gobindgarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Batala, Pathankot, Nangal, Bathinda and all other industrial towns will be ensured in a time-bound manner through a series of measures, including two-year tax holiday. Special package to bring back industry that fled the state,” it said.
To kickstart industrial revival, un-utilised lands in under-developed industrial estates, growth centres and focal points will be allotted to industry at affordable rates and or at lease, it said.
“A new industrial township with special incentives will be developed in Ropar to kickstart state-of-the-art environment-friendly IT and other industry to generate employment in the backward Kandi belt adjoining Himachal Pradesh,” the manifesto said.
“Unauthorised colonies will be regularised and they will be provided all basic facilities, including sewerage within a mandated period. Real Estate sector will be revived by a series of incentives, review of stamp duty, EDC (External Development Charges), CLU (Change of Land Use) and other charges,” it said.
A comprehensive real estate policy will review distortion of master plans and revive the housing sector in consultation with all stakeholders, it said adding that uniformity in regulations and coordination between all government development agencies, like PUDA (Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority), GLADA (Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority), GMADA (Greater Mohali Area Development Authority), Improvement Trusts, Municipal Corporations etc will be ensured.
Truck business will be freed from alleged “corruption and harassment” by DTOs and police through “unnecessary” checking of vehicles will cease within two weeks of forming the government, it said adding “control of politicians in truck unions will be ended.”
“Heavy toll tax” charged by private companies in alleged “collusion with Akali-BJP, Congress politicians will be investigated, reviewed and rationalized and no toll plazas on roads other than highways will be allowed.”
If AAP forms the next government in Punjab it will press for removal of all toll plazas of NHAI on Jalandhar-Amritsar and Ropar-Anandpur Sahib section due to their status as holy cities in accordance with the Centre’s policy to remove selective toll plazas, it said.
Small retailers will be protected from FDI in retail and mega malls. A special cell will look into complaints of alleged harassment of and extortion from rice sheller owners, artiyas, jewellers, and small retailers by food inspectors, police, taxation officials etc, it promised.
Religious, heritage and industrial tourism will be encouraged with liberal tax incentives to hotels and related industry. Exhibition halls will be set up in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala in PPP-model, it said.
Social security for tax-paying small and medium businessmen and traders who suffer losses and face insolvency will be provided.
While there will be zero-toleration on food adulteration, systems will be put in place to check unfair harassment of retailers and testing laboratories for food safety will be set up in all districts, AAP said.
Besides Kejriwal, among others present on the occasion included AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, state unit convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, H S Phoolka and youth leader Harjot Bains.