Question (Q): FNI have been working for the benefits of the various industrial setups in Noida for a long time. Please tell us some of your remarkable achievements in the field?
Ramesh Chandra Sharma (RCS): Federation of Noida Industries is an apex body for the welfare of Industries since long. Federation of Noida Industries (FNI) is serving the Industries by taking /raising their issues to the relevant platforms. FNI acts as a bridge between the various government departments and industries. We have been taking up problems of all industry segment i.e. Increase in FAR, Power issues, residential schemes for industries, Taking up labour issues, Mix Land issue improving the Law and order situation is a result of our long agitation.
Q: What is the need of setting up of a municipal body in Noida that would exclusively handle civic issues?
RCS: Setting up municipal body in Noida would put an end to bureaucratic rule of IAS officers. At present, there is no public representative in the board of Noida Authority. Since Bureaucrats don’t have any answerability towards public at large, they work in a autocratic fashion leading to corruption and malpractices. We have since been long demanding that there should be public representative in NA board and this is possible only with the formation of Municipal Body, which would ensure the development of Noida as per the requirement and demand of the people.
Q: Delhi is a established city and the Impact fee is less over there, but coming to Noida, the city is still at a verge of development and the government needs funds for this. In this context, why do you feel that Mixed Land Use policy is unfair in Noida when compared with Delhi?
RCS: Noida Authority is the richest body in the entire authority with thousands of crores of FD. Allowing Mix Land use on the pattern of Delhi would increase their revenue by way of conversion charges. At present the Mix land use policy as well as charges are totally unacceptable to people of Noida as they are on very higher side as compared to Delhi or other area’s of Uttar Pradesh. If the charges are brought down to Delhi level, people would be interested in getting their property converted and thus the revenue of NA will increase many folds.
Q: How will the Mixed Land Use policy help in the development of the city?
RCS: Mix land use will increase the prospects of trade and commerce in Noida. NA will get thousands of crores as conversion fee which can be used to take up mega projects like Metro, power generation and many other infra needs.
Q: FNI has expressed its opposition in the electricity tariff rates in the city and asked the government to reduce the charges for industrialists. You have also demanded the government to remove the import tax on parer and iron. Don't you think, it will create a cash crunch to the government and will hamper the development and growth of Noida?
RCS: Industrialists of Noida pays highest electricity tariff which includes minimum charges, 7.5% electricity surcharge, 3.71 % Tariff commission’s charges. In spite of paying such higher charges neither the industries get 24 hours electricity supply nor the quality. The state government and the UPSEB makes no efforts either to control power theft, instead they are hand in glove with people involved in power theft nor they make any efforts to curtail their huge unnecessary expenses. Companies like NTPC are ready to supply us the power at cheaper rates provided the payments are made on due time by the state government.
Reducing Entry tax on paper and iron will make the industries more competitive and will provide level playing field viz-a-viz industries of other states. It will increase their turnover and will thus be able to contribute more towards taxes and employment generation.
Q: A stiff competition from Gaziabad - is it a hindrance of growth of SME sectors in Noida?
RCS: The competition is not from Industries of Ghaziabad or other parts of the state, its is with Haryana and Delhi. Worsening law and order situation, unprofessional behavior of various state government departments, tax structure, entry tax makes the industries quite uncompetitive and costlier as compared to nearby areas.
Q: Had the Central Govt policies been conducive to the growth of small manufacturing setups in Noida? What had always been the pressing issues? What will be your expectations from the Govt. post election?
RCS: The central government policies towards SME sector if implemented could have been very productive. The only issue is that they are badly implemented by state and central departments. Banking and Financial institutes avoid financing the SME sector. There is rampant corruption while financing. Central government provides some duty cuts/ drawbacks. The bureaucracy is not interested in promoting this sector because of their own vested interests. Survival is SME has become very difficult because of lack of supportive attitude. This sector needs special attention and all the due privileges so that it can become competitive and gain a organized prominence.
Q: How do you see the role of the state government toward the growth of SMEs in Noida?
RCS: The state government must come up with policies which can take due care of SME. At present there are various departments, their existence is only for creating troubles for industrialization. There have been laud talks about single window system but has never been implemented, labour laws needs to be changed. It is an irony that setting up of even software/ IT/ call centre unit requires clearance from Pollution department in UP. The out dated policies needs amendment. The industries requires more policies as well as mindset that would promote business and development rather than corruption and red tapism.