Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma announced the extension of Central Capital Investment Subsidy (CIS) for Himachal Pradesh w.e.f. 7th January 2013 to 31st March, 2017. He also stated that extension of Industrial package for H.P. was fully justified and his Ministry has strongly recommended the same. He also announced the continuation of Central Transport Subsidy Scheme which had been modified and made more liberal and has been notified as Fright Subsidy Scheme and will be applicable till 2017.

These announcements were made in the presence of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a press conference held at Shimla. Earlier he had a meeting with Chief Minister along with senior officers of Central and State Government at Chief Minister’s office at Secretariat.

Union Minister also announced that Regional Centre of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) for Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) studies would be set up at Shimla with a cost of Rs. 50 crores. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh announced that five acres of land would be provided in the vicinity of Shimla town for this purpose.

Sharma announced that new project of Apple Juice Concentrate at Gumma in Shimla district and upgradation of the existing plant at Parwanoo would be sanctioned and the funds to the tune of Rs. 15.30 crores and Rs. 12.40 crores respectively would be provided by APDA to the State for this purpose.

Sharma announced approval of six projects in the meeting held with Chief Minister here today under Assistance to State for Infrastructure Development for Export and Allied Services (ASIDE) of more than Rs. 94 crores for upgradation of industrial infrastructure in the State. He stated that these included Rs. 26.89 crores Ware House Project for exporting units located in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area, Rs. 8.09 crore composite Testing Lab for Pharma Products at Export cluster Baddi, Rs. 11.13 crore setting up Container Parking Facility for exporting units in Baddi Barotiwala area, Rs. 12.34 crore development of electrical Infrastructure at I.A. Kala-Amb in Sirmour district, 16.05 crore Up-gradation of Power Supply in EPIP Phase-I, EPIP Phase-II and outside area at Baddi where Export Oriented Units are located and Rs. 20 crore for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plant for exporting units at I.A. Kala-Amb in Sirmour district.

The Minister also agreed to consider projects worth Rs. 165 crore under Modified Industrial Infrastructure upgradation Scheme (IIUF) projected by the State in the meeting. He also assured financial support for setting up of three integrated industrial township at Pandoga (Una), Kandrouri (Kangra) and Dhabota (Solan) districts. He stated that State Government may submit detailed project reports of these projects for consideration and sanction by GoI.

Sharma said that Spice Park would be set up at Nadaun in Hamirpur district on which Rs. 17 crores would be spent by the Spices Board. He thanked the Chief Minister for soughting out the land allotment case which was being delayed for long by the previous BJP Government. He said that extension branch of Spice Park would be set up at Sirmour. He also announced that extention c centre of the park would be set up in district Sirmour for ginger. He also stated that APEDA has provided funds to the tune of Rs. 38.44 crore for 10 packaging and grading houses for apples in the State. He announced that APEDA would also provide funds for setting up packaging and processing centres at Solan and Nagrota Bagwan.

He said that Regional Centre of Tea Board would be opened at Palampur which would benefit the local tea growers. He said that Tea Board had sanctioned Rs. 32.62 lakh towards research proposal and Rs. 15 lakh for base line survey for revival of Kangra tea. He said that Rs. 48 lakh would be spent on Project for revival of Kangra tea. He said that tea museum would be set up at Palampur with a cost of Rs. One crore. He said that a study has been conducted for the growing of Coffee in the State and announced a pilot project which would cover Bilaspur, Sundernagar and Palampur area of the State.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed his gratitude towards Union Minister for accepting most of the demands. He stated that sanction of Industrial infrastructure projects would go a long way in promoting industrial growth in the State. He also thanked the Union Minister for announcing the continuation of Capital Investment Scheme for the industries in the State.

Chief Minister expressed the hope that GoI would also concede the justified demands of the State for restoration of full package of incentives for the industries in Himachal Pradesh.

Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri thanked the Union Minister and his team of senior officers for acceding to the genuine demands of the State. He also stated that Chief Minister has repeatedly taken up the matter for revival of industrial package for the State with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and UPA Chairperson and met them personally also. He said that he has also been pursuing the case vigoursly at various levels in GoI from time to time.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Agriculture) Rohit Thakur requested the Union Minister that in order to protect the interests of local apple growers in the State who are solely depended for their livelihood on apple, the apple should be declared as a special category product. He also requested that steps needs to be taken by GoI to check the misuse of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) as large number of countries in this region are increasingly exporting apple to India thereby adversely affected the interests of local apple growers.

Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy apprised the Union Minister about the progress of various projects sanctioned by Department of Industrial Policy. He also requested an early clearance of the projects pending with GoI.

Advisor to Chief Minister T.G. Negi, Joint Secretaries Commerce & Industry (GoI) J.K. Dadoo and Arvind Mehta, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister V.C. Pharka, Principal Secretary Industries R.D. Dhiman, Secretary Finance Manish Garg, Director Plantation (GoI) Vandana Yadav, Director I&PR Rajender Singh, Director Industries Mohan Chauhan, Industries Advisor Dr. Rajender Chauhan, MD HPMC Jagdish Chander Sharma, Assistant Director Spices Board, Gaurav Diwadi and other senior officers of Centre and State Governments were present on the occasion.