Himachal Pradesh cabinet ministers, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Industries, Labour and Employment and Public Relations Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, Urban Development, Housing and TCP Minister Sudhir Sharma and Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chaudhary, submitted a memorandum to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, regarding extension of Special Package of Initiatives for the State.

The Ministers said that due to geo-physical and locational constraints, the special package of incentives could play a significant role in sustained economic development of the State. They said that the Union Government had formulated a special package of incentives for Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal in 2003, which consisted of 100 percent exemption from payment of Central Excise Duty, 100 percent Income Tax Holiday for five years and 30 percent for next block of five years and Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme. They said that the incentives of Central Excise Duty had expired in March, 2010, whereas incentives of Income Tax Holiday expired on 31.3.2012. The special package of incentives available for entrepreneur had completely expired on 6 January, 2013 and this had adversely affected the pace of industrialisation in the State, the Ministers added. They said that the State Vidhan Sabha on several occasions had passed resolutions requesting for extension of Special Package of Incentives by the Union Government which had been communicated to the Central Government.

The Ministers said that the special package of incentives had given a boost to industrial development of the State as 16,500 industrial units with a total investment of Rs. 48,830 crore and employment potential of 5,42,580 were approved to be set up during the package period from January, 2003 to 31st March,2013, but actually 9353 industrial units were set up in the State with a investment of Rs 14,557 crore, provided employment to only 1,20,602 persons. They said that this was due to uncertainty of admissibility of incentives, especially the incentives of Central Excise Duty, which made the investors wary of making investment in the State. They said that the above period was transitory period wherein certain incentives regarding improvement in infrastructure were taken and huge investments were made to develop the same. Time to reap the benefits has come now only but unfortunately the State had been deprived of the industrial package, they added.

The Ministers said that since the special package of incentives had been instrumental in generating investor’s interest to invest for the State, but full impact was yet to be felt. They urged the President for restoration of Industrial Package for the State as the withdrawal of Industrial Package had hindered the industrial growth.

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