Chandigarh : Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanded the Congress government waive off property tax and fixed charges on electricity bills for the industrial sector as well as shops, hotels and restaurants for one a period of one year to compensate them for the losses suffered by them due to repeated lockdowns.
In a statement here, the SAD President said the industry as well as trade and hospitality sectors were facing a severe financial crisis. He said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had promised to waive off fixed charges on power bills for a two month period last year but the government went back on this commitment and did not implement the waiver. He said things had gone far worse since then. “Besides the industrial sector, the trade and hospitality sectors have gone into the red. It is absolutely essential to give them a breather by waiving off fixed charges for these sectors for one year starting from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022”. He said similarly a one year Property tax waiver should also be implemented for the trade and industry sectors to help them tide over the current Covid -19 induced crises.
Mr Sukhbir Badal announced that in case the Congress government remained insensitive to the suffering of the trade and industry and refused to extend any relief to these sectors, the SAD would implement these waivers once it assumed power in the State in 2022.
Asserting that the Congress government had turned a blind eye to the suffering of each and every section of society, Mr Badal said “no relief has been extended to the common man with the government turning down the demand to waive off power bills for a six month period to help the power consumers stand back on their feet”.
Stating that the government should come out with a financial package to compensate all sections of society which had suffered losses during the last more than one year due to lockdowns and restrictions, Mr Badal said “it is shocking that no relief has been extended to any section of society till now”. He said a compensation of Rs two lakh should be extended to all Covid victim families besides giving a cash assistance of Rs 6,000 per month to all BPL families for a period of six months.
Mr Badal said skilled workers as well as taxi and auto operators and rickshaw pullers had been unable to operate during the last one year. He said road tax of taxi and auto-rickshaws should be waived off for one year and the government should step in and pay interest on loans taken by the operators to purchase their vehicles for a period of one year. “Rickshaw pullers and other tradesmen like cobblers should also be extended financial assistance to help them tide through this difficult phase”, he added.