Our Bureau / Dharamshala
Crusher industry situated on the border areas of Himachal adjacent to Punjab is facing ‘Gunda tax’ for 5000 per vehicle moving from their units to deliver supplies in Punjab. A group of around 42 industrialists have already filed a written complaint to authorities in this regard but there is no respite.
People running crusher units have also met industry minister and had fixed a meeting with Chief Minister Jairam Thakur to raise their concern.
“Despite having all legal formalities done, the Punjab mafia is asking for 5000 rupees per truck. At present trade is closed as movement of our vehicles is not allowed there. Our supply goes to Ludhiana, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and in Pathankot areas. A loss of rupees 30,000 to 50,000 is being suffered on average by crusher owners” said Rahul Pathania, a crusher owner from Nurpur area of this district sharing borders with Punjab.
Crusher owners have said that illegal trade can be banned. But mafia in Punjab has installed proper barriers on roads and stopping vehicles despite having GST (Goods and Services Tax) numbers and mining lease documents with them.
Ranveer Singh, another crusher owner, said that there are around 20 crushers on border areas of state which have given employment to nearly 4000 persons. “We are paying royalties to Himachal, contributing in village funds, also in District mineral foundation trust (DMFT) and paying all other taxes” he added.
Crusher operators said that state is also suffering a loss of 10 to 15 thousand per day as trade is closed with Punjab.
Crusher units in Himachal are established following a mining lease by the industry department. Those running on border areas are facing the problem.