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Ramesh assures extension of industrial package to HP

Written by: Staff
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Shimla, Apr 11 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh today assured the Himachal Pradesh government that he will take up the extension of the industrial package from 2007 to 2013 with the Union Finance Ministry.

''Though the central excise exemption in the industrial package was till 2013, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in his last year's Budget speech, had brought it down to 2007,'' he said while addressing a press conference after a two-hour meeting Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here.

Mr Ramesh said the reduction in the excise exemption was part of the Union government's effort for phasing out these over a period of time, adding that he would urge the Union Finance Minister to extend the package for Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal till 2013.

The Union Minister said 2,000 industrial units out of a total of 7,000 had begun production, involving an investment of Rs 900 crore, out of a total of the Rs 17,000 crore proposed investment.

The concessions were being provided to special category states of northern east and some northern states, he said.

Mr Ramesh said the centre was also keen on the establishment of inland container depot at Baddi area of Solan district in the state, besides taking up the broad gauge railway line between Baddi-Nalagarh and Chandigarh.

Mr Ramesh said the absence of an inland container depot and lack of basic infrastructure in Baddi area was affecting the development of the area.

While the Centre would help in the establishment of the depot, the state has to take care of the necessary infrastructure there, he said.

He said the state government would soon send a proposal to the Centre, which would take action on it.

The Centre was also chalking out the modalities for the setting up of the Agro Economic Zone in the state to promote agro farming that would help in earning foreign income besides providing employment to the youth of the state, he said.

Mr Ramesh said his ministry would assist the state in giving boost to handicrafts, handlooms and setting up of medicinal herbal zone to cultivate quality herbs that were employment intensive activities for the state.

UNI AS DP SS VC2225

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