Urges Centre to adopt sympathetic attitude towards developing states
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has invited all leading industrial house as well as multinational companies to set up their new units and invest in the hill State which offers an investor-friendly atmosphere including availability of uninterrupted supply of electricity being a surplus power State.
Mr. Dhumal, who was here in the Capital to receive the Top State Category awards for Himachal at an awards ceremony here, said Himachal was also planning to develop new industrial hubs that would provide infrastructure facilities at par with any of the States. He said the Government had entered into an agreement with Punjab Government for four-laning of the 65-km Mohali-Baddi-Nalagarh stretch that was a major industrial hub.
“We provide industrialists with non-stop supply of power and there is no dearth of water. We have also one of the best roads in the country and a pool of skilled labour force. The leading industrial houses have already set up their shop here and I think that multinationals and major brands should keep Himachal in mind while planning their future investment and expansion programme,’’ he added.
Urging Centre to adopt a sympathetic attitude towards developing states and pay special attention to small states which had meagre resources at their disposal, Mr. Dhumal said he had taken up the matter of extension of Industrial Package to Himachal Pradesh beyond the March 2010 deadline with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee who had given a very positive response to the request. “I had also taken up the matter with Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma who has also assured that Himachal would be given a sympathetic hearing in this matter. I have also urged Mr. Sharma to sanction one National Institute of Design (NID) for the hill State,’’ he added.
Mr. Dhumal said the cost of development was higher in the Hill States due to different geo-physical conditions and deserved a special dispensation.
Stating that it was time that hill States were looked at with a different prospective, Mr. Dhumal said it was unfortunate the rice quota had been reduced under the public distribution system (PDS) and that needs to be restored as people of the State are traditional rice eaters. The state was being provided only 6,000 tonnes of rice against the demand for 18,000 tonnes.
Mr. Dhumal received the CNN-IBN Diamond State Award from Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar for being the best state in the country in women empowerment and employment generation and the Special Award for the overall performance in the country.