Dhumal urges Centre for resolving generation tax issue

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Shimla, May 25 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today urged the Centre for resolving the ''generation tax'' issue, saying this will help small hilly states to become financially viable.

''The issue needs to be addressed at the appropriate level as per Finance Minister P Chidambaram's budgetary speech wherein he had talked of allowing small hilly states to levy generation tax in the hydel power projects,'' he said in his letter to the Finance Minister recently.

Mr Dhumal said since hydel potential was the only natural wealth available with the state, they should be allowed to levy generation tax to make them financially viable.

In majority of the cases, the states were not getting any legitimate share in the hydro projects, executed by the BBMB, despite a large number of people being rendered homeless due to the setting up of the projects, he added.

Referring to the views of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on ''exemption in exceptional cases'', he said Himachal's share in number of cases, including the reorganisation of states, had not yet been provided to it.

He said since the state had limited resources, the natural potential available with it had to be harnessed in a manner that they did not impact its ecology and environment.

The state was suffering heavily for the benefits accruing to the neighbouring states and as such the state should be adequately compensated since it was already a ''special category state''.

The Chief Minister also urged upon the Union Finance Minister to extend the special industrial package to its original date of 2013, saying it was necessary to ensure speedy industrialisation of the state that was just picking up.

Besides, he said, Centre should also play an important role in helping Himachal get its due share from the neighbouring states, he added.

UNI AS PS SY BST1758

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