Himachal CM demands rail lines, industrial package from Arun Jaitely

Shimla: Before finance minister Arun Jaitley presents his maiden budget in Parliament next week, chief minister Virbhadra Singh today brought up the tough terrain the state operated under, demanding revival of an industrial package and making budgetary provisions for laying of two strategically important rail tracks.

Virbhadra Singh with Arun Jaitely
Virbhadra Singh with Arun Jaitely

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh at a meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitely in Delhi apprised about the tough geographical conditions of the state and demanded special assistance and incentives for speedy development of the hill state, a state government spokesman here said.

The Chief Minister pointed out the importance of extension of railway network in the state. He demanded that Bilaspur-Leh via Manali, Joginder Nagar- Pathankot and Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri line be declared as national projects keeping in view their strategic importance.

Virbhadra urged the finance minister to revive the special industrial package to Himachal Pradesh as it was necessary to accelerate the pace of development in the state.

“Income Tax, Central Excise Duty exemption to industrial units should be at least provided upto 2020”, said Shri Virbhadra Singh.

Virbhadra Singh with Arun Jaitely
Virbhadra Singh with Arun Jaitely

The chief minister also requested that uniform funding pattern be adopted for all central sponsored schemes, especially S.S.A., Mid-Day Meal, Indira Awas Yojana, National Ambulance Service and other small schemes, taking up the case of Himachal being a special category state, that should be on 90 % centre and 10 % state share basis.

Bringing up the case of damages suffered from June 2013 rains that also wrecked havoc in neighboring Uttarakhand, Virbhadra requested the finance minister to release arrears amounting to Rs.144.36 crore at the earliest.

Out of Rs. 240 crore of damages relief approved by the central government only 95.40 crores had been released so far.

The chief minister said that damage to public property on account of natural calamities was assessed at Rs 2575 crores.

The finance minister did assure all kind of assistance for development of Himachal, said the state government spokesman.

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