Chandigarh, May 14:

To facilitate the much-needed industrial revival in the state, and responding to concerns expressed by various industry associations, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday allowed tiny/cottage industries in non-containment mixed use areas of Ludhiana to immediately resume operations, in order to support the opening of bigger industries that are dependent on the small ones for components etc.


The resumption of operations in these small units, which normally have labour living on or in the vicinity of the premises, will be subject to requirements of access control and strict compliance with Covid SOPs, the Chief Minister made it clear.


The Chief Minister said that repeated requests had been received from industry associations to allow opening of industries in mixed land use, with access control in non-containment zone of Ludhiana District, subject to adherence of all Covid SOPs / guidelines. State Industry Minister Sunder Sham Arora had also suggested that such small units should be allowed to function in order to enable the bigger industries to start operations, he added.


The Chief Minister said he had been informed that industry in certain industrial areas in Ludhiana is not yet open despite being permitted to operate under the recent guidelines allowing industries falling in SEE/EOUs /Industrial Estates / Focal Points / Designated Industrial areas, as per Master Plan of Ludhiana, to resume operations.


Notably, Ludhiana is an Industrial city having approximately 95,000 MSMEs, offering employment to more than 10 lakh skilled and non-skilled industrial workers. These workers belong to various states of the country, and as a result of the prolonged lockdown, have become unemployed and are facing great hardship, the Chief Minister noted.


Unfortunately, he observed that despite easing of restrictions, only 6,900 of the industries in Ludhiana have so far resumed activities. Many of the industries are not able to start their works as they are dependent on various small and tiny cottage industries which provide them components etc, and most of these small / tiny / cottage industries are located in mixed land use areas as per notified Master Plan, pointed out the Chief Minister.


Even as he directed the district administration to immediately encourage industry to open for the benefit of the large number of labourers employed there, Captain Amarinder noted that as per extant notification of town planning department /notified Master Plan, existing industries in mixed land use areas are allowed to operate. Therefore, these industries need to be permitted as they are also part of supply chain to the industries which fall in SEE/EOUs /Industrial Estates / Focal Points / Designated Industrial areas as per master plan of Ludhiana, he pointed out.


The micro/tiny industries in mixed land areas constitute about 50% of the industrial set-up in the district, and employ about 5-6 lakh workers. Established about four decades back, these have been granted industrial connections and, for all practical purposes, these mixed land areas are considered as industrial pockets for green industries. It is also worth mentioning that these units are being operated by their owners themselves, and employ only a few other workers who reside in the same area.

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