Himachal to expedite industrial development in the state

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By : Mohan Verma

Taking tough stance against pending investment being delayed after allotment of industrial plot in the state, government would pursue with such units to expedite industrial development within the time frame.

This was stated by industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri in the assembly yesterday, who was replying to a query during the question hour. He said that government would initiate proceedings against such firms who are not rolling out their units after taking plot of land from department for this purpose.

“The government is going to issue a final cancellation notice to all those industrial units which have not completed their units within the time frame,” the minister informed the assembly.

He said that the land allotted to the erring industrial units would be taken back and re-allotted to the new investors.

Mr. Agnihotri said that the government is going to cancel the land allotted to Candics Filaments for setting up a unit.

“The government in 2006 cleared an investment proposal of Rs. 91 crore of Candics Filaments for its manufacturing unit in Naglahar (in Kangra district). The company was allotted 35 plots but till date it has not set up the unit. We are going to give the final notice to the company to take back the land,” he said.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in his budget speech on February 7 announced a slew of incentives, including reduction in taxes, to woo entrepreneurs.

“We are committed to provide industry-friendly environment for attracting new investments. We have introduced a common application form for clearing all medium and large-scale projects within 90 days,” the chief minister said.

He said that the representatives of the industries had requested for the reduction of electricity duty and additional concessions on duty for new industries.

“I have carefully considered their requests. The electricity duty for the specified extra high tension (EHT) category consumers will be reduced from existing 17 to 15 percent,” he said.

Mr. Virbhadra Singh said that the electricity duty for the existing medium and large industries, except EHT, would be reduced from the existing rate of 15 and 17 percent to 13 percent.

“Moreover, any new medium and large industrial units will be required to pay only 5 percent electricity duty in place of the proposed 13 percent for five years.”

“Similarly, for any existing small industry, I propose to reduce the electricity duty from existing 9 percent to 7 percent and any new small industry will be required to pay only 2 percent electricity duty for five years,” he said.

The chief minister also announced that any new industry, including EHT category, would be charged only 2 percent electricity duty for five years.

Official sources said that the reduction of electricity duty would entail a burden of Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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