Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma today announced the restoration of central capital investment subsidy till 2017 besides sanctioning of freight subsidy in place of transport subsidy on goods manufactured in the state.
Both incentives,apart from central excise concessions,were part of the special industry package which was prematurely withdrawn by the Centre in 2010 under pressure from neighbouring states. It was withdrawn around three years before the expiry of the 10-year package sanctioned by the NDA regime in 2003.
Sharma,who earlier in the day held a meeting with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri,said,I have very strongly and positively recommended to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram for grant of central excise concessions to Himachal Pradesh for its industrial growth and development.
He said it was recently brought to his notice that excise duty and income tax exemptions were turned down by the government but he had taken up the case afresh. Virbhadra had also taken up the issue with the Prime Minister.
I have two important announcements to confirm the continuation of central capital investment subsidy from January 1,2013,to March 31,2017,and replacing transport subsidy for industrial units with freight subsidy. Freight subsidy is for ever and is much more liberalised and its scope also enlarged, said Sharma.
He said the benefits will also be given to Uttarakhand,which is also a special category state.
After the package and period of concessions ended,Himachals Congress government has been finding it tough to attract new investment. The Assembly had recently passed a resolution to demand revival of the package till 2020.
Sharmas visit to the capital the first since the formation of the Congress government gives a boost to over half a dozen centrally funded projects. These projects will cost Rs 100 crore. There are other important projects which the previous government delayed but now the CM has agreed to give land for 10 projects for packaging and grading sanctioned by APEDA at a cost of Rs 8 crore, he announced.
Sharma accepted the state governments proposal to sanction two new projects one upgradation of apple juice and concentrate project at Parwanoo and apple concentrate project at Gumma costing Rs 16 crore and Rs 12.5 crore,respectively.
Virbhadra said he had a very fruitful meeting with Sharma,who had agreed to clear some of the proposals beside sanctioning new projects for the states industrial growth and creation of jobs. Its a step in the right direction as he will soon be meeting the Prime Minister to discuss the state, he said.
Agnihotri said,Our new draft industrial policy is ready. Sharmas announcements will give a new boost to the states growth.
Industries department officials said the state had approved industrial proposals worth Rs 48,000 crore in the past 10 years,but got investments worth only Rs 13,000 crore. The state got the maximum investment between 2003 and 2010,a special industrial package from the central government was in force.
Virbhadra to meet PM today
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with his full team of cabinet ministers on Monday to seek restoration of the industrial package in its original form - including benefits of central excise duty,capital subsidy and income tax concessions - till 2020. He will also seek liberal financial help for rain and other natural calamities. Himachal has been alleging that it has been ignored by the Centre while Uttarakhand has got a lot of funds.
Nod to IIFT in Himachal
Shimla: Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma today sanctioned the countrys first regional centre of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in Himachal Pradesh.
The centre,an autonomous organisation dedicated to upgrading professional skills for foreign trade management to increase exports by developing human resources besides disseminating data and conducting research,will be located near Shimla.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh announced that five acres of land would be provided for setting up the institute in two phases,for which Sharmas ministry has provided Rs 30 crore grant.
He said the institute will provide training and research-based consultancy in areas of international business. In the second phase,the centre will offer MBA and other research courses.