The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday gave its approval for the much awaited extension of the Special Package of industrial incentive for the hill States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand from 7th January, 2013 to 31st March, 2017.

“It will also give a fillip to manufacturing and the Small and Medium Enterprises in these two States,” said Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

The objective of the scheme is to create an enabling growth and industrialisation of these States and generation of more employment.

All new and existing industrial units on substantial expansion would be eligible for Central Capital units at the rate of 15 per cent of their investment in plant and machinery.

Subsidy would be available to all the new and existing units on expansion located in notified areas as well as to “thrust industries" for units located anywhere in these States. Only those units that pre-register under the schemebefore 31st March 2017 and file claims within one year of the commencement of commercial production shall be eligible for the subsidy under the scheme.

The New Industrial Policy and other concessions for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were announced on 7th January, 2003 for a period of 10 years, keeping in view the facts that these States lag in industrial development. Meanwhile the Leader of Opposition in Himachal Prem Kumar Dhumal has called the package an eyewash and said that it is meaningless if no rebate in taxes and relaxation is given in the excise duty.