Himachal, Uttarakhand Calls for Renewal of Special Industrial Package

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May 13 – Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand state authorities are requesting that expired special industrial packages be renewed.

Chief Ministers Prem Kumar Dhumal and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank submitted a joint letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday to request the renewal. The package has successfully enticed investment to the states with its host of benefits that includes a 100 percent excise duty exemption.

Local  authorities added that the central government was discriminating against the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states by not extending the industrial package.”The central government had extended the industrial package to the northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years in 1997. The package was extended again for 10 years till 2017,” Himachal Chief Minister Dhumal was quoted by IANS as saying.

“In the case of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, however, the package was given in 2003 for 10 years and it provided 100 percent excise duty exemption also. But it was later curtailed to 2010. Now, we are demanding that the package should be restored till its original time frame,” Nishank, Uttarakhand chief minister added.

Last week, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said there would be no extension of the central excise duty exemption included in the special industrial package for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

On the special industrial package he said that, “However, three major components of the package – income tax benefits and capital and transport subsidies – would continue as per the original time frame in these states.”