Himachal seeks Rs.1,972 crore for calamity relief

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Tuesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him to provide financial assistance of Rs.1,972.08 crore to the state under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to undertake reconstruction works.

    He said the state had suffered a cumulative loss of Rs.2,934 crore during the monsoon. As many as 69 people were killed.

    A total of 4,519 road stretches have suffered badly and the total loss of Rs.1,264 crore was assessed due to the flash-floods, said an official statement quoting the chief minister.

    He said 2,763 water supply schemes has suffered loss of Rs.256.78 crore, while the agriculture crops in 20,573 hectares worth Rs.200 crore and horticulture crops in 81,457 hectares worth Rs.301.11 crore were damaged.

    The chief minister sought restoration of the special industrial package to the state till 2020 to expedite the industrialisation process in the state.

    He said about 16,500 units in the small, medium and large scale sector with a proposed investment of Rs.48,830 crore were approved from January 2003 to March 2013, out of which only 9,353 units were set up with an investment of Rs.14,557 crore.

    The chief minister said the proposal for continuation of special package is under active consideration of the department of industrial policy and promotion.

    He said the Planning Commission has already earmarked an outlay of Rs.500 crore for extension of this package to special category states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Jammu and Kashmir during 12th Five Year Plan and requested the prime minister to sanction the special industrial incentive package to the state.

    He demanded sanction of investment subsidy at the rate of 15 percent and income tax and central excise duty exemption for five years and 10 years till 2020.

    The prime minister assured Singh that the central government would provide all possible financial assistance to the state to speed up the pace of development in the state.