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Punjab ginners call off 10-day strike
Jan '10
On assurances received from the Chief Minister of Punjab, cotton ginners of the state of Punjab have called off a 10 day long strike. The ginners were protesting against the high tax structure in the state, even as prices of cotton in the state maintained stability at between Rs 2710-2745 per maund (one maund=37.32 kg).

Earlier, the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had given assurances of relaxing taxes to the ginning industry. The ginners were opposing this high tax structure, in the state since January 1, which was resulting in migration of industry to other parts of the country.

As the new ginning mills in Rajasthan were enjoying a waiver of 1.6 percent in market fees, the ginners from Punjab were setting up their new units in Rajasthan and purchasing cotton from the state. These ginners were paying 12 percent tax in Punjab (including 4 percent VAT and 2.5 percent katcha arthiya commission), compared to 7.6 percent in Rajasthan.

The ginners have urged the state government to make the ginning mills free from market fee (2 percent), Rural Development Fund (2 percent) and Punjab Infrastructure Development Fund (2 percent).

If this six percent relief was provided, it would prevent them from shifting to other states. The state government has been providing same type of relaxation to new ginning mills under the mega project scheme, since 2003, said Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association President, Mr. Bhagwan Bansal.

The CM of the state assured the 300 ginning units of settling the issues as early as possible, he added. The ginners will again meet the Chief Minister and representatives from the Industry and Commerce department and market committee, on 18th January.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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