Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Apr 15, 2005
Industry & Economy
Himachal `ideal for investments'
Kolkata , April 14
INDUSTRIES operating in Himachal Pradesh will continue to enjoy the existing exemption on excise duties and income-tax from day one of commercial operations.
In the aftermath of the State introducing VAT from April 1, in most cases, industries may have to pay four cent VAT and one per cent Central Sales Tax (CST). However, the existing units in the State which were exempted from the erstwhile State sales tax can now defer payment up to 75 per cent of the total VAT payout for a period of five years.
Saying that Himachal Pradesh ought to be the most favoured destination for investors because of its geo-physical features with elevations ranging from 300 m to over 6,000 m, diverse agro climatic conditions, scenic beauty and adjacent booming markets in the northern region, the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, welcomed private investment proposals for hydro electric power generation, and for contract farming in the areas of agriculture, horticulture and floriculture, sericulture and pisciculture.
Addressing an interactive investment meet here, Mr Singh said that the State has an extensive riverine system with hydro-power potential of 21,000 MW. While the vast potential in the power sector had remained untapped, the State had plans to exploit this potential with active involvement of private sector investors.
The investment meet was organised by the CII, jointly with the Himachal Pradesh Government and the Centre.
Similarly, the State has identified some projects related to infrastructure development on a `build-own-transfer' basis with private participation.
In tourism, the State would like to actively support integrated development projects for manmade lakes involving sanctuaries, water sports and resorts, with costs ranging between Rs 200 crore and Rs 1,600 crore.
The Chief Minister said, "we intend to give these projects to international or national developers on the basis of creating specific tourism zones."
Mr Singh said the State's western Himalayan region alone could be a major resource centre for ayurvedic, unani and homeopathic medicines.
There were over 1,600 species of flora which, besides adding to th scenic beauty, offered immense opportunities for medicinal and aromatic plant-based industries.
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