Industry bodies have mixed reaction to Kejriwal's announcement about Delhi's manufacturing units

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New Delhi, Nov 2 (PTI) Industrial associations on Monday had a mixed response to the Delhi government's announcement that no manufacturing unit will be allowed in new industrial areas of the city and only service and hi-tech industries will be permitted there.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the move will help reduce pollution and also boost Delhi's economy, besides helping the city become a hub of hi-tech and service industries which include IT-enabled services, call centres, software and hardware sector, and media programme production as they will now be provided land at cheaper rates by authorities in industrial areas.

R K Gupta, the general secretary of the Mayapuri Industrial Welfare Association, said it has come as a setback for the manufacturing industry.

'The priority of the government is GST collections and since Delhi is a large market area, there is no problem on that front. The dispensation is not very industry-friendly,' he claimed.

The chief minister has also asked the existing manufacturing industries to shift to hi-tech or service sector. Eventually, these units will also leave Delhi as these are very small industries and do not have the wherewithal to make a shift, Gupta said.

'If the government is serious about tackling pollution, they should first take care of slums.' Ashok Gupta from the traders' association in Karawal Nagar said the issue of air pollution has to be dealt with a heavy hand.

'Everyone is reeling under the effects of extreme pollution. There is no doubt about it. The manufacturing industries can come up outside Delhi. There is no problem in that,' he said.

Brijesh Goyal, the Delhi convenor of AAP's trade and industry wing, said there are around 3.5 lakh small and big manufacturing units in the national capital.

He said the government's move will generate employment and increase the government's tax collection. 'This is a good step that the service sector will be recognised as an industry. No action will be taken against the existing manufacturing units,' Goyal said. PTI GVS NSD