Industrialization plays a vital role in the economic development of a nation. In an agrarian economy like Himachal Pradesh, industry absorbs under-employed and un-employed workers of agricultural sector and thereby increases income of the community. Pollution-free and peaceful atmosphere, rich natural resources, un-interrupted power supply, sound infrastructure, attractive incentives and responsive administration are some of the major attractive inducements which make Himachal Pradesh, a favorite destination for the entrepreneurs.
To attract industrial investment, 'Industry by Invitation' has been the motto of the State Government and it is being proactively and assertively followed by organizing special investor's meets in different parts of the country. In addition, an 'Investment Promotion Cell' has been created in the Industries Department to drive new investments in the State. Apart from it, an 'Investor Advisory Council' has been set up under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister with representatives of industries, to create a platform for deliberation of policy issues for industrial development in the State.
State Level Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority has been established in the State which is according approval for setting up of new units within 90 days through a common application form. During the tenure of the present State Government, the Authority has approved 93 Projects, which includes 31 new and 68 proposals of substantial expansion of medium and large scale industrial enterprises involving investments worth Rs 6690.1 crore and employment potential of 8325 persons. In addition to this, 109 projects for setting up of new food processing enterprises, involving grant of Rs 6.89 crore have been approved under the National Mission of Food Processing Industries.
Industrial Projects approved by the State Level Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Committee are being issued approval under the Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act to purchase private land up to a specified limit immediately. This is saving the investor from cumbersome procedure of securing land for setting up industrial units in the State.
The State Government has reduced Electricity Duty applicable to industrial enterprises in case of Extra High Tension from 17 per cent to 15 percent, for existing medium and large industries from 15-17 per cent to 13 per cent, for new medium and large industries to electricity duty has been fixed at 5 per cent for first five years, for existing small scale industries from 9 to 7 per cent, for new small scale industries it has been fixed at 5 per cent for first five years. Going a step forward, only 2 per cent electricity duty would be charged for first five years from enterprise generating employment to 300 bonafide Himachalis.
Three State of the Art industrial areas are being developed in Una, Kangra and Solan districts. World class facilities would be provided in these industrial areas to the entrepreneurs for setting up their ventures. Land measuring 72-82-74 hectare has been transferred for developing industrial area at Kandrori in Kangra district by spending an amount of Rs 106 crore. Similarly, Rs. 112 crore would be spent on developing an industrial area at Pandoga in Una district. Industrial area is also being developed at Duttnagar in Shimla district.
A Tool Room is being set-up at Baddi with a cost of Rs 147 crore. Land measuring 100 bighas at Bhatoli-Kalan village has been provided for this. This would provide technological support and tooling facilities to micro, small and medium sector enterprises and also help in skill development and upgradation of unemployed youth. In order to facilitate the entrepreneurs, the Government has decided to charge 50 per cent stamp duty on sale deed or lease deed for setting up a new industry. Conversion of land use charges for the new industries has been reduced by 50 per cent from the existing rates under the Town and Country Planning Act and Rules.
A Food Park is being set up in Una district in private sector with the estimate cost of Rs 200 crore. A Spice Park with a cost of Rs 17 crore is being set up in Hamirpur district for which land has been transferred to Spice Board of India. A Common Facility Centre and Skill Development Centre are being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 10.08 crore and Rs 1.55 crore respectively in Una district. With a view to boost export from the State, Inland Container Depot has been constructed at a cost of Rs 2.75 crore at Baddi, besides Baddi Trade Centre at a cost of Rs 10.81 crore.
The State Government is also maintaining close liaison with the Union Government to derive maximum benefits for the industries in the State. Due to relentless efforts of the State Government, Capital Investment Subsidy at the rate of 15 per cent on value of plant and machinery subject to maximum of Rs 30 lakh to large enterprises and Rs 50 lakh to Micro, Small and Medium Sector for new industrial units and existing units on their substantial expansion commencing commercial production, has been extended till March, 2017. Freight Subsidy @ 75 per cent freight paid on transportation of raw material from outside the State and finished goods to other states from the factory side to nearest broad gauge designated railway head has also been extended till March, 2017.
These efforts of the State Government are bound to make Himachal a most favored destination of the investors, which in return would provide more and more job opportunities to the youth of the State, besides generate economic activities in the State.