In HP, Industry seeks better infrastructure
Chandigarh: Even as the BJP revels in euphoria generated by a massive victory in Himachal assembly polls, it has its a task cut out in the days ahead. The state’s industry, though upbeat over the change in guard, wants the new dispensation to take some serious steps to address problems relating to lack of infrastructure in the region. Significantly, there is a resounding acknowledgement of the fact among the state’s industrial circles that it was the BJP government that gave the state the very advantageous economic package. The package, entailing tax and excise sops, has played an instrumental role in swinging the fortunes of the region. “We welcome the results and are quite hopeful that pace of development will increase substantially. The BJP is emotionally attached to the state’s industrial development as the economic package came in 2003 when the NDA was ruling at the Centre,” said chairman of CII’s Himachal Pradesh State Council Rajinder Guleria. Guleria stressed that the immediate demand of the industry was development of infrastructure, especially in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh belt. The belt alone needed funds to the tune of Rs 200 crore to lift its sagging infrastructure. He asserted that better connectivity was another factor that needed to be looked into urgently. With most of the roads in pitiable condition, it would be appropriate if the National Highway Authority of India took the matter in its own hands. Guleria also emphasized that it was desirable that the new government should consult industry bodies like CII before drafting policies that impact the industrial and business growth of the region. His views were echoed by AR Singh, a leading industrialist and former chairman of CII’s Himachal Pradesh State Council. Singh said that Prem Kumar Dhumal was quite receptive to their ideas and the industry was really looking forward to some substantial steps by the BJP government. Coming out with his wish list, Singh said apart from infrastructure, the govt should focus on doing away with entry taxes levied at the state’s border and instead a small cess should be imposed on the industry.