- Indian Institute of Foreign Trade regional office to be setup in Shimla
- Capital investment subsidy for HP and Uttarakhand extended to 2017
- Open ended freight subsidy scheme for HP and Uttarakhand introduced
- Apple juice concentrate plant to be opened at Gumma, Kothkai
- Vegetable processing plants at Solan, Nagrota Bhagwain
Shimla: Hopes of revival of excise duty exemption under an industrial package for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were dashed when on a working Sunday, commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma in presence of chief minister announced extension of capital investment subsidy scheme and introduction of freight subsidy scheme to help these states beat the industrial investment blues that they has been facing of late.
With the finance ministry having turned down the demand for excise duty exemption, the commerce ministry has again recommeded the case with full justification, said Sharma.
The capital subsidy scheme that stood expired on 7th January, 2013 has been extended to 31st March, 2017 and a more liberal freight subsidy scheme had been introduced in place of the earlier transport central subsidy scheme, he added.
After holding a high level meeting with the state government today, the union minister also announced in principal approval of a number of projects and declared that a regional center of the prestigous Indian Institute of Foreign Trade would be set up in the hill city
This institute would help in capacity building, especially for small and medium enterprise (SME), he said. The state would have to provide 5 acres of land for setting up the regional center and the minister announced Rs 30 Cr as the block grant for the first year followed by annual grants of Rs 10 crore.
Other than the 10 fruit packing units set up with APEDA funding, the minister also approved other new projects. The projects approved were a juice concentrate plant (Rs 16 Cr) at Gumma, Kotkhai and upgradation (Rs 12 Cr) of Parwanoo juice plant.
Two vegetable processing units for Solan and Nagrota Bhagwain also stand approved for APEDA funding.
Where the state proposed 5 new projects that involve an investment of about Rs 165 crore, Sharma said that the detailed project reports would be submitted by 15th December, 2013.
The project proposed include a Rs 100 Cr integrated townships project at Pandoya (Una district), Dabhota (Solan district) and Kandrori (Kangra district.)
The state has also sought Rs 15 Cr for a central effluent treatment plant at Tahliwala, Rs 20 Cr for road infrastructure at Gondpur area and Rs 15 Cr each for improving transmission in Tahliwala and Poanta Sahib industrial areas.
Sharma announce in principal approval for six other projects worth Rs 94.5 Cr, which included a warehouse project (Rs 26.89 Cr) for Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh, a pharma testing lab (Rs 8.09 Cr) for Baddi cluster, container parking facility (Rs 11.13 Cr) for Baddi Barotiwala area, for electrical infrastructure development (Rs 12.34 Cr) in Kala Amb, setting up an effulent treatment plant (Rs 20 Cr) at Kala Amb and improving power supply (Rs 16.05) at places where export oriented units were located.
An amount of Rs 11.90 Cr was released for Baddi trade center and improving the Ajouli in Punjab to Santokhgarh road and Rs 6 crore for setting up a spice park at Nadaun.
After change of government, 10 acres of land belonging to Agriculture University, Palampur has been transferred for setting up the spice park, said Sharma.
The minister also informed that a regional center of tea board at Palampur would be set up and that pilot project for growing coffee would be tried out in Bilaspur, Sundernagar and Palampur areas of the state.
After reviewing the ongoing projects, the minister said that work on a Rs 8.5 Cr training cum skill development centre and the Rs 17.42 Cr upgradation of road project stood completed. However the Rs 53.80 Cr common effluent treatment plant for Baddi was expected to be completed by June 2014.
In response to a question about increasing duty on imported apples so as to protect the domestic apple growers, the minister said that the bound duty under GATT had already been increased to maximum level and could not be increased any further.
Regarding trade in apples from SAFTA countries, he said it was too minuscule to impact the prices in India.