New Delhi: A high level delegation headed by Chief Minister Prof. Dhumal, and accompanied by Shanta Kumar, MP Rajya Sabha and senior vice president BJP and State President BJP Khimi Ram met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at New Delhi today and urged him to extend the industrial package upto March 2013 as given originally by the then NDA Government in January, 2003.
Dhumal requested the Prime Minister to restore the excise duty exemption component without any cut off date or at least upto 31st March 2013 for North Western hill States on the analogy of North Eastern hill States, where similar incentives have been extended up to the year 2017 by the Union Government. He said there was no condition for the cut off date of expiry of excise duty exemption in the original incentive package.
The Chief Minister said the state government has created massive infrastructure in industrial belt of states to attract new industrial investment and has suitably modified its industrial and other policies so as to complement and work in tandem with special industrial package. He said Himachal rightly deserves the continuation of special industrial package due to its peculiar and tough geographical conditions, its industrial backwardness, lack of rail and air connectivity and locational disadvantages for industries as compared to its neighbouring States.
He said that while neighbouring states have tremendously benefitted from large hydro projects like Bhakra, Pong dam, Beas-Satluj Link Project (BSL) etc. which were set up in the state, Himachal Pradesh did not derive any benefits despite the fact that thousands of families were uprooted and vast stretch of prime agricultural land was submerged due to these projects.
Prof. Dhumal requested the Prime Minister to convene the meeting of all the stakeholders states to implement the Supreme Court directives in case of states share in Bhakra Dam, Pong Dam, BSL hydro power projects so that the state gets justice.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh assured the Chief Minister that he will look into the genuine demands of the state government and assured that Finance Ministry will be asked to take a positive action in this case. He told that centre will act swiftly and take proactive role in deciding State’s share in hydro electric projects as per the Supreme Court guidelines and Centre will execute the Banupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line as per the original decision.