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Ahead of Himachal budget, CII seeks boost to industry

Posted on Jan 24 2014 | IANS

Shimla, Jan 24 : The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sought from Himachal Pradesh a new industrial policy, and a rebate in taxes to promote industrialisation in the hill state, according to a statement issued Friday.

In a pre-budget memorandum submitted to Himachal Pradesh Principal Secretary (Finance) Shrikant Baldi here Thursday, the industry lobby demanded the announcement of a new industrial policy, with graded concessions to facilitate industrialisation in the interior parts of the state.

Among the key measures suggested to provide a fillip to investment, CII called for creation of integrated industrial townships and upgradation of existing industrial clusters.

Besides simplification of tax administration, especially value-added tax (VAT), CII demanded that central sales tax (CST) be brought down to one percent from the existing and to 0.5 percent for new industries.

The electricity duty should be brought down to 5 percent and additional goods tax should be abolished, it said.

For improving connectivity in the state's prominent industrial hub Baddi, the memorandum has drawn attention to the need for starting train connectivity between Baddi and Chandigarh, and strengthening the Pinjore-Nalagrah road.

A greenfield airport for restoring air connectivity to Shimla should also be the priority in the 2014-15 budget, CII suggested. Enhanced investment in marketing and post-harvest infrastructures is also needed, the statement said.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, will present the budget Feb 7. This will be his 17th budget.

Tourism as well as horticulture and hydropower generation are major contributors to Himachal Pradesh's economic development.

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