Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal ridiculed the statement of Union Minister of Trade and Commerce Anand Sharma, regarding Special Industrial Package announced by former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee during. Dhumal stated that the Government of India had notified the Package on January 7, 2003 by making the same operational for ten years i.e. upto March 31, 2013. He expressed surprise over the intentional ignorance of the Union Minister aimed at creating misunderstanding amongst the masses and gaining political mileage. Anand Sharma knows it very well that the Package was first withdrawn during Congress regime in the State, on March 31, 2007. Dhumal stated that when BJP retain the power in 2007, it pursued the matter with Government of India to get the Package restored to its original date but the Government of India extended it by another three years, only upto March 31, 2010, still short of three years to the actual date of March 31, 2013.
Prem Kumar Dhumal said that Vajpayee had special bond of attachment with the people of State and considering the industrial development requirement of Special category States of the country, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, announced 100 percent Income Tax and Central Excise Duty exemptions, besides 15 percent Capital
He clarified for the information of Anand Sharma and all concerned that the Central Excise Duty stands withdrawn in the State since March 31, 2010, Income Tax Exemption since March 31, 2012 and only Capital Investment Subsidy shall remain operational till January 6, 2013. Now, will Anand Sharma clarify to the people of Himachal Pradesh, the factual status of the Industrial Package?
Prem Kumar Dhumal said that Atal Behari Vajpayee, by rising above all considerations, had announced the Package uniformly to all States of North Eastern region, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh which later on, barring States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, then BJP ruled States, was further extended upto March 31, 2017. He said that he had personally requested and also corresponded with the then two Union Cabinet Ministers from the State, Virbhadra Singh and Anand Sharma, to use their good office to get the package extended and also lead the delegation of MPs from the State to meet the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister, but of no avail. He alleged that when the HP Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution to recommend to the Government of India to extend the package upto March 31, 2020, the opposition Congress Party, stages walk out in protest from the House. This speaks volumes of the concern Congress leaders have towards the people of Himachal Pradesh.
Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal also refuted the charges of lapse of JNUURM funds which was not at the part of the BJP Government but due to the negligence of the then Congress Government and Municipal Corporation which never approved the City Development Plan for Shimla town, since it contained mandatory conditions of resource generation through levying of various taxes. Although Congress was in power in the State when the Mission was launched in year 2005 and Corporation was also headed by the Congress Party. Both showed their disinterest in implementation of the Mission. On coming to power BJP Government pursued the Municipal Corporation time and again to get the City Development Plan unanimously passed by its General House and forwards the same for formal approval of the Government, which never materialized while the State Government had deposited its share of Rs. 3-cr to implement the JNUURM. CM stated that it’s wrong to blame BJP for the lapse but Congress Party which was reluctant to develop Shimla town. Prem Kumar Dhumal advised Anand Sharma not to play with the sentiments of the simple but wise people of Himachal Pradesh since they are wise enough to understand the nefarious designs behind orations of such leaders and will be giving befitting reply on November 4, 2012, by negating their entry into State. He said that electors of the State are educated and aware of all the facts as to who had made the Himachal Pradesh proud by carrying uniform and balance development and winning record national and international level awards for the outstanding achievements in different fields.