Dhumal for formulating long term industrial policy

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Shimla, May 28 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today said his government will consider formulating a long term sustainable industrial policy to give boost to industrial friendly environment in the state.

The state had witnessed vast industrial expansion after the announcement of the Special Industrial Package by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, he said, while discussing industrial promotion prospects of the state with members of the BJP's Industrial Cell visiting the state.

Mr Dhumal said his government had permitted a large number of multinational industrial houses to set up their units after ensuring that such investments were employment generating, environment friendly and in the best interest of the state and its people.

Good governance and peaceful law and order conditions had been attracting large number of entrepreneurs to invest in the state, he added.

He said Himachal state had created quality industrial investment friendly infrastructure to cater to every basic requirement of the prospective investor.

The state government was also committed to strengthen the basic agriculture and horticulture sectors, which were catering to the rural employment needs of the masses, he said.

The Chief Minister said efforts were on to modernize both the sectors motivating farmers to go for diversification and to strengthen their economy.

About 90 per cent of the state's population was engaged and dependent upon farm activities for their livelihood, he said.

He said the state was known as the ''Apple state of the country'' and soon it would be known as the ''Fruit Bowl of the country''.

"Progressive horticulturists and farmers are producing quality farm products that are fetching them remunerative prices in the market," he said.

Mr Dhumal said, of late, farmers had switched over to off-season vegetables cultivation, which was supplementing their incomes, adding that efforts were on to promote by-products of the farm produce so that finished products marketed benefiting the growers of the state.

Varied agro-climatic conditions were conducive to cultivate different kinds of cash crops which were being encouraged by providing technical know how to the farmers, he said.

UNI AS PS JS1742

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