Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri has demanded special industrial package (Tax Holidays) for hill state and restoration of Assistance of States for Industrial Development of Exports (ASIDE) scheme with a view to boost export and industrial activities and to encourage inclusive growth in the country.Mukesh Agnihotri was participating in the first meeting of the Council for Trade Promotion and Development organised by the Union Ministry of Commerce for seeking inputs from the States to boost export activities at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, today.
The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman in which Industry Ministers of different states and Union Territories participated. Shri Mukesh Agnihotri emphatically demanded to restore special industrial package for Himachal Pradesh. Panjab also supported this demand and urged for similar facility to Punjab as well. He also raised the issue of restoration of ASIDE scheme which has been suspended by the Government of India.Shri Agnihotri said there was an urgent need to revive this scheme in the larger interest of the industrial growth of the country. He also urged to release the central grant of about Rs.23 crore under ASIDE scheme for already sanctioned and ongoing projects so that these could be completed in time.
He informed that State Government had already taken steps to strengthen the infrastructure for boosting export in the State. He said there was need to increase air, road and rail connectivity in order to ensure quick and easy export of products in the State. He categorically raised the issue of rail connectivity from Chandigarh to Baddi and Kirtpur-Bilaspur-Leh line.He also raised the issue of air connectivity to Shimla, which has been raised by Shri Virbhadra Singh the Chief Minister of the State with the Union Minister concern earlier also. He said there was need to explore the possibilities to increase Express Highways in the State and urged for expediting the work on already sanctioned road projects particularly Pinjore to Nalagarh and Tahliwal to Palkwah in Una District.
The Minister complimented the Ministry of Commerce and Industries for taking initiative to boost export activities in the country and suggested the need to formulate policy for addressing specific issues inhibiting exports especially in the field of skill development, testing and certification and storage specialization etc. to facilitate the export oriented units of the region.He apprised that the state government had already engaged Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IITF) to prepare its document on export strategy and IIFT had set up its centre at Shimla to impart training and evolve strategy in the direction of capacity building for export competitiveness. Principal Secretary (Industry) Sh. R.D.Dhiman and Comissioner, Industry Shri Rajinder Singh also attended the meeting.