Traders' associations stage dharna against Centre's policies

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Jalandhar, Feb 11 (UNI) Members of different industrial and traders associations staged a dharna against the "wrong policies" of the Central Government here today.

The traders blamed the Central Government for its failure to control the ever increasing prices of the iron and steel and threatened to protest at the Parliament House if the situation remained the same.

Federation of Jalandhar Industrial and Traders Association president Gursharan Singh, on whose call the dharna was organised, said that due to the unprecedented hike in the prices of iron and steel and wrong policies of the Central Government, the industries in Punjab are on the verge of collapse.

''From the last two months, the prices of steel are increasing and have increased upto Rs 8000 per metric tonne. This sudden increase in price of raw material is proving to be a slow poison for the small scale sector and due to which industries are shutting down at present,''he said.

The price-hike has also affected the export of finished goods badly, he said, adding that the industry was also not getting any new orders from the domestic as well as from the international market as the industry failed to supply orders which were confirmed before the increase in the prices of raw material nearly 2-3 months back.

The associations members demanded that Central Government should put a ban on the export of iron and steel to other countries, no import duty on scrap and the Centre should again implement the Freight Equalisation Scheme on the raw material as it was in the past and also the Punjab Goverment should not levy Entry Tax on import of steel scrap.

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