Uttarakhand to garner Rs 50,000 cr investment in 5-7 years

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New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) Uttarakhand will attract an investment of Rs 50,000 crore in next 5-7 years by setting up institutes in the field of food processing, agri biotech and pharma, an industry body said today.

In an exhaustive blueprint prepared by Assocham on ''Uttarakhand: Unbounded Opportunities,'' it has been said the state, through these institutes, will generate knowledge and technology that would generate employment for three lakh people.

The blueprint, to be submitted to the state Chief Minister by chamber's President Venugopal N Dhoot, however, added that places such as Musoorie, Rishikesh, Chamoli, Rudraprayg, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Almora, Naintal, Pithoragarh, Champawat are repository of rich variety of herbs in which the identified institute can come up.

Over 170 medicinal and aromatic plant species are grown in their foothills. In addition, fruit like apples, oranges, pear, grapes peach, plum apricot, litchi, mangoes and guava are widely grown in the state and therefore have immense potential for development of horticultural crops.

Mr Dhoot said other emerging areas which offer opportunities for corporate investments include tourism, especially adventure tourism, building up of sports centres like golf courses and creation of IT infrastructure and power.

Citing reasons for necessity of pharma institutes in Uttarakhand, Mr Dhoot said pharma companies like Medicamen, Elder Pharma are facing shortage in the availability of technically competent and qualified manpower which hinder prospects of the industry.

He, however, demands that the proposed institutes be given fiscal incentives such as 10 year tax holiday exemption, easy availability of loans with moderate interest rates to enable the state to garner free flow of domestic and overseas food processing, agri biotech and pharma firm's investments.

The state is becoming ideal destination for investment which is witnessed from the fact that during 2006, Rs 5,633 crore worth of corporate investment from 31 projects has been received by Uttarakhand which is ahead of Madhya Pradesh in which Rs.4878 crore of investment was poured in in 23 projects.

At present, Uttarakhand's 85 per cent gross cultivated area is used for self-consumption for households except in Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Dehradun districts and thus there is need to enhance agri, biotech, horticulture and floriculture crops productivity and production in it.

UNI

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