End discrimination to Valley based units

Prior to financial year 2006-2007 the Procurement Wing of PDD would place orders for the valley based requirement of Steel Tubular Poles and other materials equitably among the SSI units based in valley. This practice of equal distribution of the requirement among valley based SSI units was in vogue for almost ten to twelve years. However during 2008-09 all of a sudden this practice of distributing the valley requirement among valley based units was changed and the requirement among valley and Jammu was clubbed and almost 75 per cent of the requirement was distributed among Jammu based units and 25 per cent among valley based units although the requirement of Steel Tubular Poles of valley was around 75 per cent of total requirement. Even some of the SSI unit holders in Jammu received major chunk of orders thus putting other Jammu based units to disadvantage, besides discriminating valley based units. It needs a mention here that the valley based unit holders cannot deliver materials at Jammu PDD yard as they have to pay extra freight form Jammu to Srinagar on raw materials and after manufacturing the finished product sending the same to Jammu involves freight from Srinagar to Jammu and burden of value added taxes such as Central Excise, Cess, Higher Education Cess etc. and can not compete with the rates of the Jammu Based unit holders. Valley based units have many other disadvantages in competing with Jammu based units, as besides additional transportation charges to be incurred, labour charges in valley are much higher and also working period is less as compared to Jammu. These facts are not taken into consideration while offering same rates to valley based units which are given to Jammu based units.
For a comparison of allotment orders during the financial year 2008-2009 see box:
In order to give boost to the industrial policy in the Valley, every effort is being made at Centre as well as state level to promote healthy environment for these small scale unit holders especially for Kashmir valley to boost the employment generation.
The figures make the picture clear. Segregation of the PDD Procurement Wing is important to mitigate the problems to some extent, and end injustice to Valley based units.
(The author is the proprietor of Northern Steel Industries)

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