Representatives of small and medium-sized industry associations met with Pimpri-Chinchwad City Commissioner Rajesh Patil on Wednesday to make certain demands such as tax breaks, extension of deadlines for paying taxes, withdrawal of tax bills and public facilities in the industrial area.
Sandeep Belsare, president of the Small and Medium Scale Industries Association, said the meeting was arranged after the delegation met Deputy Prime Minister Ajit Pawar’s personal secretary on Monday. Accordingly, the mayor called for a meeting with industry associations in order to understand their long-pending demands and to work out a solution.
One of the main demands of the association was a tax exemption from paying property tax for the 2020/21 financial year. According to the association, this was necessary in view of the severe economic losses suffered by the industries during the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns.
Patil said the Citizens’ Bureau has submitted a proposal to the state government to waive or extend the deadline for paying taxes, which is currently under consideration. The association has also applied for a waiver of default penalties, which the citizenry has also passed on to the state government.
Because of the high rates of land in industrial areas, many small industries could not afford land there and have instead built small units in and around these areas. The association has called for the regularization of these units, to which the mayor said that units that adhere to all norms would be regularized.
Abhay Bhor, President of the Forum for Small Scale Industries, also attended the meeting. which drew attention to the lack of basic civic facilities in the area. Most workers in the industry commute by bus, but the industrial areas don’t even have a proper bus station or toilet for women. Internal transport is also difficult as buses do not run within the industrial area.
The forum had started an e-rickshaw service for internal streets, but it failed because there were no designated rickshaw booths. Bhor also drew the mayor’s attention to the lack of a proper garbage collection system and sewer lines in the area.