Dhumal asks Sharma to clarify status of industrial package
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Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday ridiculed Union Minister of Trade and Commerce Anand Sharma's statement where he had claimed that the Centre had not withdrawn a special industrial package for Himachal Pradesh. The package was sanctioned by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during the NDA regime in 2003 for 10 years.
Addressing a rally in Hamirpur, Dhumal said: "The Centre had notified the package on January 7, 2003 by making it operational for 10 years (up to March 31, 2013). However, the package was terminated in 2007, but later extended for another three years."
Expressing surprise over Sharma's "ignorance", Dhumal claimed that the package was first withdrawn during Congress regime on March 31, 2007. "But due to strong opposition, the package was restored only for three years up to March 31, 2010."
"Considering the industrial development requirement of special category states of the country, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, Vajpayee then announced 100 per cent income tax and central excise duty exemptions, besides 15 per cent capital investment subsidy to entrepreneurs to give boost to industrialisation in all such states," said Dhumal.
While asking Sharma to clarify the factual status of the industrial package, Dhumal said: "The BJP government has made it mandatory to provide at least 70 per cent employment at all levels to the local youth. I had personally requested the then Union cabinet ministers from the state, Virbhadra Singh and Anand Sharma, to restore the package up to March 2013, which was never done."
Dhumal also refuted the charges that the BJP government was responsible for the lapse of JNUURM funds.
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