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Himachal

Posted at: Jan 18, 2019, 7:41 AM; last updated: Jan 18, 2019, 7:41 AM (IST)

Industrial units shutting operations in Baddi area

118 closed down in last three years | Central package has lapsed
Industrial units shutting operations in Baddi area

Ambika Sharma
Tribune News Service
Solan, January 17

With the financial incentives of the Central industrial package having lapsed, several industrial units have closed their manufacturing operations in the state, hitting employment.

Figures presented in the Vidhan Sabha by the state government revealed that as many as 118 industrial units had shut their operations in the last  three years — 44 in Solan, 29 in Una and 25 in Sirmaur district.

The number of unemployed youth in the state is as high as 9.25 lakh and job creation has been adversely hit in the private sector as the industry is the biggest source of employment. Private universities are finding it difficult to place students.

The state’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh, which accounts for 89 per cent of the state’s industry, has   been hit with maximum units scaling down their production to as much as 50 per cent.

The tendency of investors to close operations after exhausting their financial incentives has failed to be arrested despite the successive governments offering relaxations in power tariff and stamp duty.

Satish Goyal, president, Himachal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said since the state had a location disadvantage with neither the raw material nor the finished goods market, an investor needed special financial incentives to compete and bear the additional transportation cost.

He said unless a special financial package was made available, there were grim chances of any new industry investing in the state.

Though the state government has been setting up land banks, the state’s industrial hub of BBN, which is much in demand, lacks adequate space for a new industry.

Efforts to set up a new industrial area at Dhabota over 515 bighas in the Nalagarh industial area have failed to yield results as its environmental clearance could not be secured from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

“Efforts to simply the stringent Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act,1972, has met with stern opposition from the Congress and this acts as a major impediment in making available land for the investors,” Rakesh Kumar, an entrepreneur from Baddi, said.

He said months were lost in seeking clearances for setting up an industrial unit and that speedy clearances could increase investments.

Hopes are now pinned on the investors’ meet, where a target of fetching an investment of Rs 85,000 in various sectors,  has been fixed by the  state government.

Cause for concern

  • The state’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh, which accounts for 89 per cent of the state’s industry, has been hit with maximum units scaling down their production to as much as 50 per cent. 
  • The tendency of investors to close operations after exhausting their financial incentives has failed to be arrested despite the successive governments offering  relaxations in power tariff and stamp duty.

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