‘Tax loss affecting plywood industry’

Plywood manufacturers are claiming that the smuggling of wood from Punjab to Haryana and other neighbouring states and illegal entry of plywood, without the payment of tax, is affecting the local industry. Ashok Juneja, president, Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association stated that due to tax evasion, plywood from Yamunanagar was 26 per cent cheaper than that available in the Punjab market. In a meeting with Principal Secretary D S Bains on Sunday, Juneja urged Bains to look into the matter.

Bains had come to Ludhiana to have a meeting on this issue. Juneja stated that though government was contemplating setting up mandis for the sale of wood, the move will not be for the interest of the industry as, he claimed, middle man will ensure prices remain high.

The plywood industry uses wood from poplar and Eucalyptus trees and Bains promised to ensure better co-ordination between farmers and industrialists. The industry also stated that they are an agro-based industry and hence exemptions, from electricity duty and market fee, should be accorded to them.

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