Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Secretary General, Dr. A.Didar Singh said here today that “all subsidies are bad for the country”.
“The end result is inflation and a fiscal imbalance”, he said. “While we support direct transfer of cash subsidy, measures to bring in efficiency and transparency, the need is to provide more employment, upgrade skills and education for all”, Dr. Singh said. For record, the total quantum of subsidies has by now risen to a level of 14 per cent of gross domestic product.
Interestingly while, FICCI Secretary General spoke against subsidies regime with a rider that at a particular time, one has to look to “the bottom of pyramid”, the recently appointed Chairman of FICCI’s Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh advisory council, which has been set up to guide its activities in these states minced no words in supporting subsidies.
“Where is the subsidy in Punjab?” he retorted. However, the fact is that in addition to free power to farm sector, free power supply up to 200 units per month is also being given to about five lakh BPL and 18 lakh SC families in the state. During 2012-13 the subsidy bill of Punjab government on account of free power alone came to a whopping Rs 5,471.78 crore including interest on delayed payment of subsidy (Rs 133.58 crore) and interest on unpaid amount of subsidy (Rs 273.88 crore).
When asked what ails Punjab as many industrial units had set up new units in other states including his own Trident Group’s new unit in Madhya Pradesh, Gupta said that “Punjab was doing very well”. He also justified high cost of land in Punjab saying that land costs were rising everywhere and also cost difference in land would mean only 1 to 2 per cent rise in total project cost . Recipient of Padma Shri Award, Rajinder Gupta is presently serving as the vice-chairman Punjab State Planning Board and is attached with Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, for advising on matters related to government reforms, employment, skill development, technical education, industrial investment and Infrastructure. He is