No SEZ on fertile land, says Dhumal

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Shimla, Jan 8: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today said his government would not acquire fertile farming land to construct Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state.

The state government would demarcate wasteland for the setting up of the SEZ preferably in the areas adjacent to Punjab border, he told a private news channel at New Delhi. Mr Dhumal invited the industrial houses to set up their units in the state and said his government would prepare an amibitious plan to improve the existing basic infrastructure in the industrial areas of the state.

The government would negotiate with Centre to extend the existing industrial package up to 2013 and allow industries in the state to avail the economic benefits,'' he said.

The Chief Minister said that bio and herbal farming would be encouraged to strengthen agricultural sector in the state.

"The state is conducting soil testing in various parts to explore the possibilities of cultivating cash crops and scientists have been imparted necessary training,'' he added.


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