The President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, inaugurated the 27th India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2007.
Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that the Governmentâ€™s growth-friendly policies relating to investment, taxation, external trade, banking and finance, Foreign Direct Investment, capital markets and small scale industries have all evolved towards making our industry and enterprises more efficient, globally competitive and as free from restrictions as possible. â€œAs we move on the trajectory of high rate of growth, we have to remain alive to the needs and concerns of our rural areas, agriculturists, artisans and youthâ€, he added.
The 14-day event (14-27 November 2007) is being organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation.
Himachal being partner state is main focus of the event, however not a single top official was able to attend the ceremony. Earlier Chief Minister was supposed to attend it but due to model code of conduct in place due to assembly elections, he could not attend. On the other hand Chief Secretary, who traveled all the way to Washington DC in USA, to impress US based investors could not find time to attend IITF in New Delhi, where general public as well as all major Indian investors visit. This golden chance for which State is given major role is missed and no one from state government has any replies.
Photos by: Saurab Bhakri
HIMACHAL PRADESH profile on IITF site
Himachal Pradesh is situated in the heart of the Western Himalaya, identified as â€œDev Bhumiâ€ and is believed to be the abode of God and Goddesses. The north-eastern part of the State is decorated with snow-covered, silver-headed mountains, halcyon lakes and green stretches. The state is rich in flora and fauna which is why tourism is a flourishing sector in the state.
Industrial development has been given big boost in the state. Pollution-free environment, abundant availability of power and rapidly developing infrastructure, peaceful atmosphere responsive and transparent administration are some of the advantages that the entrepreneurs get in Himachal Pradesh. Today, the state has about 33,618 Small Scale and 356 Medium & Large Scale units with an investment of about Rs. 5243.39 crore generating employment for about 2,00,560 persons.
Himachal Pradesh has made significant progress in the field of industrialisation in the past few years.
Agriculture: Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Himachal Pradesh and has an important place in the economy of the state. It provides direct employment to 69 percent of the total workers of the state. About 21 percent of the total GSDP comes from agriculture and its allied sectors.
Agro-based industries: Himachal Pradesh is predominately an agricultural state. The natural endowments like soil, land, water etc. are being harnessed in such a way that the cherished goals of ecological sustainability, and economic upliftment of farming community are achieved. About 18-20 percent area is irrigated and rest is rain-fed. Huge investment potential exists in the fields of tea plantation, food processing, seed production, biotechnology, etc. The state has made significant progress in the development of Horticulture. The topographical variations and attitudinal differences coupled with fertile, deep and well-drained soils favour the cultivation of temperate to sub tropical fruits. The region is also suitable for cultivation of ancillary horticultural produce like flowers, mushroom, honey and hops.
Information Technology: The Government of Himachal Pradesh has developed an IT Vision-2010 in collaboration with NASSCOM to make Himachal Pradesh an IT destination. Under the IT policy, it has been decided to accord the status of Industry to all IT projects, including IT related services and educational institutions. As such, all the incentives available to Industry under the presently applicable Industrial Policy will also be made available to the IT units in the state.
Tourism: Tourism Industry in Himachal Pradesh has been given very high priority and the Government has devloped an appropriate infrastructure for its devlopment which includes provision of public utility services, roads, communication network, airports, transport facilities, water supply and civic amenities, etc. The State Government is poised to transform the state into â€œA Destination for All Seasons and All Reasonsâ€.
Units based directly on horticultural produce
1. Units based directly on horticultural produce
2. Mineral water bottling
3. Automobile manufacturing units
4. Cold storage units/chain
5. Fruit/vegetable/herbs/honey/spices based wineries
6. Production of ciders/ale/liqueurs
7. Sericulture/ handloom/khadi industry related manufacturing industrial activities
8. Electronic units including computer software and information technology except assembling units where value addition is less than 15 percent
10. Medicinal herbs, aromatic herbs
11. Horticulture, maize-based industries, herbal-based industries and agro-based industries excluding those in the negative list
12. Paper and paper products excluding those in negative list
13. Pharma products
Why invest in Himachal Pradesh:
(a) Simple Rules and Procedures:
1. State-level single-window clearance
2. Time bound clearance of projects in a simple, transparent and an accountable manner
3. Standard of Best Practices in government departments
4. Planned and developed new industrial areas and land policy
(b) Clearances by the State Environment and Pollution Control Board:
1. Streamline procedures for the grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) and easy clearance of setting up of project
(c) Use of IT in industry:
1. Easy participation in global trade and production processes
2. Improved organizational management, increased efficiency, enhanced competitiveness
3. Possibilities of setting up call centres and facilitation centres.
(d) Manufacturing Competitiveness and Productivity:
1. Focus on specific manufacturing sectors such as light engineering, textiles, auto and auto ancillaries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
2. Actively support Research and Development (R&D), technical training institutes and polytechnics
1. Exporting units in the state at a level playing field in comparison to their competitors
2. Export Promotion Parks in the state.
3. Common facilities such as inland containers, bonded warehouses, raw material depots and provision of incentives and concessions for the supply of power, labour related issues and taxes.
4. Term loans from Himachal Pradesh Financial Corporation and Himachal Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation.
Status of industrialisation in Himachal Pradesh:
During the last three years, the industrialization in the state has made significant progress. The share of industry and services sectors respectively has increased from 1.1 & 5.9 percent in 1950-51 to 15.9 and 17.3 percent respectively during 2004-05. The share of industry sector was 17.1 percent during 2005-06. The rich natural resources of the state are ideally suited for investment in three major sectors namely industries, hydro-electric power and tourism. The grant of Special Package of Incentives by the Central Government has acted as a catalyst in boosting industrial development in the state.
Well they are busy in electioneering, or so to speak making their political bosses happy!
Such an irony that just for 3 seats complete state machinery is busy, what would happen when 65 seats would go for elections. Seems then there wont be any other state business!
While its important to participate in Trade Affairs to build ‘Brand Himachal’, rest assured the it will take more than government thrust to make it happen.
In a wired world, alternate strategies will need to be devised and surely enough domestic issues like elections or no elections will not matter anymore.
Before the brand could be built one needs to ensure that the products produced meet standards that are globally acceptable.
But then government neither provides avenues nor it is building policy? For that matter what are bureaucrats doing since so many years. Are they totally incapable? Why there is debt of more than 18000 crores. Why so many excellent opportunities are lost and young generation is only given option of labor class jobs? Why young people immigrating to plains for better options?
Its seems government, whether current or past is total failure when policy matters come! Whatever industrialization is coming in Solan district is all labor class. And for hydro power no jobs are generated for Himachalis and complete townships are built from outsiders, wont blame them because HP has no skilled labor. Government never planned a policy to churn out engineers for hydro plants or entrepreneurs.