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Himachal Pradesh woos AP investors

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The Himachal Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, at a meet in Hyderabad on Monday. — K. Ramesh Babu

Hyderabad , June 13

THE Himachal Government has embarked on a mission to woo investors in sectors such as hydel power generation, biotechnology, IT and food processing.

It is targeting investments worth Rs 25,000 crore by 2007. So far, 400 proposals estimated at Rs 10,700 crore have come in and are at various stages of implementation. Addressing members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Monday, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Virbhadra Singh, along with senior members of his Cabinet, said that the Government has taken a pro-active approach towards attracting investments to the State.

As part of this drive, the Government's industrial policy seeks to provide for single widow clearance and an attractive incentive package depending upon the nature of industry.

The State Government has identified hydel power generation as a major thrust area of growth, with the potential to develop about 21,000 MW capacity. Proposals for about 6,000 mw have come in. Given the potential for growth, many industrialists from Andhra Pradesh have shown interest in investing in the State and this could be extended to IT, bio-technology and food processing, he said.

The State Government's incentive package includes concessions, facilities, supply of electricity on cheap rates and concessional local taxes. The State is already a host to players such as Ranbaxy, Dabur and Alembic. Dr Reddy's too has evinced an interest to locate its facility in the State, he explained.

Besides initiatives to develop projects through the public-private partnership model, the State is creating `Destination Himachal Fund' to encourage tourism projects. This would be co-developed by the Himachal Government and Himachal Tourism Board.

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