Shimla: With there being no takers for industrial plots on a developed site at a recent auction, the state has lost favour with investors after the central government stopped excise exemptions over a year ago.
â€œThere were 17 plots of varying sizes,â€ says Ravi Gaddi, an industrial engineer with Small Industries Development Corp (SIDC), â€œin a developed industrial estate in Baddi put up for auction recentlyâ€
â€œEven after reducing the reserve price of these plots, there were no bidders for them,â€ he said. At an earlier auction, in February 2011, only 2 of the 19 available plots were sold.
It has cost SIDC about Rs 48 crore to develop the Davni site in Baddi where the plots have been left unsold.
In boom time before March 2010, when Himachal and neighboring state of Uttrakhand were benefitting from an incentive driven industrial package that provided for a limited excise tax and income tax holiday and also lured investors with an capital investment subsidy component for industrial investment made, SIDC had recorded a complete sell out of 326 plots at another industrial site.
To create jobs in the hill state, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA had announced a 10 year industrial package for Himachal, Uttrakhand, J & K and north eastern states in 2003, but bowing to pressure from other states, the Manmohan Singh government ended the incentives for Himachal and Uttrakhand in March 2010.
Denying that industrial investment had slowed down, JS Rana, director industries said, â€œThere are 36 investment proposals with us that are awaiting clearance.â€
These proposals will be placed before the next high level single window clearance committee meet that is likely to be convened soon, he added.
Director industries claim notwithstanding, the number of unemployed is also steadily rising and the live register on Tuesday showed that there were over 9 lakh people registered with the employment exchanges in the state.
An official from the labour and employment department said that the industrial slowdown had impacted creation of new jobs and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find employment avenues for the increasing numbers registered with the exchanges.