[Himachal GK] Industries of Himachal Pradesh

At the time of its formation, there was virtually no industry in the State of Himachal Pradesh except a few Industrial establishments such as Mohan Meakins and Nahan Foundry. Initially industrialization in the State was aimed at developing and up-dating the existing traditional skills and arts in the cottage and tiny sectors through handlooms and handicrafts. The main object in the policy was to utilize traditional skills of local populace and to raise their standards of living. Even in the 70's the State had very little modern manufacturing industries.





In early 1980 the efforts were initiated to industrialize the State by providing various incentives, facilities and concessions to industry and by developing basic infrastructure, necessary for industrialization. In recent years the industrial sector has grown significantly and now contributes about 15% of the State Domestic Product.

The efforts of the State Govt. to accelerate the pace of industrialization has received further impetus with the notification of Special Package of Incentives to industry for Himachal Pradesh by the Govt. of India on 7.1.2003. As on date 31924 Small Scale Industrial Units and about 256 Medium and Large Scale Industrial Units with an investment of about Rs. 3664.84crores and employment of about 1.76 lakhs persons are already existing in the State.

The State was at a disadvantageous position as far as factors of production are concerned, namely the markets were for away and the State did not have a big base of raw material except limestone. The comparative advantages that the industries in the adjoining States are enjoying necessitated a need to create a congenial investment climate for industrial growth in the State. Our State has a good potential for setting up of industrial projects where we have competitive advantages like stable and efficient policy and administration, clean environment, cordial industrial relations, abundant and cheap power etc. Further, the State has tremendous potential for setting up of industries based on Horticulture, Agriculture, medicinal and other herbal produce. Besides, Himachal is bestowed with plenty of mineral wealth and there is considerable scope for mineral based industries. Above all, the cool and clean environment of the State is congenial for the growth of electronic and precision engineering industries.

In order to provide additional incentives to the industries and to ensure equitable industrial development and employment generation in the State, the State Govt. has notified a New Industrial Policy on 30.12.2004. The New Policy envisages accelerating the industrial development, employment generation and creating an environment to encourage additional investment in the State. The State has now been categorized into three categories depending upon the extent of industrial development in these areas. Prior to this, the Govt. of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had notified the Special Package of Incentives for industrial units located in Himachal Pradesh on7th  January, 2003.

As a result of these Policies to encourage industry a large number of projects proposals have been received in the Department of Industries since January 2003. As on today 579 investment proposals from entrepreneurs for setting up of Industry in medium and large scale sector have been approved after January, 2003. These projects envisage an investment of RS.8117crores and will generate employment opportunities about 80429 persons.

Thus since January, 2003 to as on today a total of 5404 units have been registered/approved with a total investment of RS.11247crores and employment potential of 181642 persons.

The Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area of Solan District has emerged as textile hub in Northern India. Out of 5,04,000 spindles installed in the State. 4,26,000 spindles alone have been installed in this area. This area is also emerging as the largest manufacturing hub of pharmaceutical products in the world.

Efforts are being made to encourage the industry which do not have adverse effect on the environment. For Hazardous waste management and common effluent treatment plants at Baddi, land measuring 191.08 bighas has been identified at village Majra Tehsil Nalagarh and the case of transfer of land in the name of Industries Department has been sent to Divisional Commissioner. Moreover, it is a Govt. of India Scheme which will be implemented by the local Industries Association.

To ensure a non polluting and eco friendly environment few complexes are being devoted exclusively to promote specific industries like IT, BT and electronic units. It has been decided that to promote their growth, upstream and downstream industries would also be allowed to be set up there. The department would welcome units based on information technology and software development.    The State Government has also developed a Software Technology Park at Shimla with the help of STPI and a B.T. Park is in the vicinity is already on the anvil.

Important reserve of the limestone in the state is given below:-

Status of Mineral Reserve
Minerals constitute a fundamental component of the State's material and economic base. Himachal Pradesh through its history has been variously called as an "Apple bowl", "A Hydel State", and is now on the thresh hold of becoming the "Cement State" of India as the quality of Limestone which is one of the most important ingredients in the manufacture of cement is available in plenty. At present there are three cement plants in. Large and Medium Sector. Besides about about 3 mini cement plants functioning in the State. 4 mdre large scale cement plants have been approved to be set up in the State based on limestone deposits at Sunder Nagar, Alsindi (Mandi district), Boroh-Shind (Chamba) Bagga-Bhalag (Solan District) and based on reject of NMDC mine of Arki, Distt, Solan. One cement plant based on Gumma limestone deposit  (District Shimla) is under consideration.

Source: SOER, State Council for Science, Technology & Environment

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