The Big Buck Stops Here ; The "geographically challenged, rural hill state" of Himachal Pradesh, as state Industries Secretary R.D. Dhiman describes... [India Today]
(India Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Big Buck Stops Here ; The "geographically challenged, rural hill state" of Himachal Pradesh, as state Industries Secretary R.D. Dhiman describes it, has marched into a whole new world.
The "geographically challenged, rural hill state" of Himachal Pradesh, as state Industries Secretary R.D. Dhiman describes it, has marched into a whole new world. It has expanded its traditional investments in tourism, floriculture, horticulture, herbal medicine and hydroelectric power to an assortment of hi-tech sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive components, cement, FMCG, chemicals, textiles, electronic hardware and information technology. This march began in January 2003 when the Central Government sanctioned a major industrial incentives package that included a tax holiday for all subsequent investments in the state. "Investments in industry grew by nearly 600 per cent from Rs 3,082.68 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 17,312 crore now," says Dhiman.
In the past 12 months alone, the state's gross capital formation has grown 70 per cent as against the national average of 29 per cent while industrial workforce has increased by about 20 per cent compared to less than 10 per cent in other big states. So what has attracted investors to Himachal Pradesh apart from taxation benefits that come from doing business in the hills? "A stable polity, efficient administration, clean environment, cordial industrial relations, abundant cheap power and high-quality infrastructure including good roads," says Dhiman. The state has set up 42 industrial areas, 17 industrial estates and is planning to develop new industrial quarters at Khandouri in Kangra and Pandoga in Una. It has also formed an 8,000-bigha land bank comprising both government and private land for setting up new industries. "We provide escort and facilitation services to entrepreneurs who want to purchase private land," says Dhiman.
The industries secretary says the state is targeting an annual growth rate of 15 per cent with concomitant 9 per cent growth in GDP. "We expect manufacturing to contribute at least 25 per cent of state GDP by 2022," he says.
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