Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Uttarakhand are expected to get a big push following the recent transfer of ownership of 18 industrial estates spanning 2,000 acres of industrial land to it by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Experts said the move has vast potential to boost the growth of micro and small units in the hill state
The major task before the new government should be to develop these industrial estates with all facilities,” said Pankaj Gupta, president of the Industries Association of Uttarakhand (IAU).
Most of these industrial estates, which are in poor condition, will now be developed by the State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (Sidcul). Earlier, the UP government had refused to hand over these industrial estates as per the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000.
Some 803 acres are at Hempur in Udham Singh Nagar district, 205 acres are in the industrial town of Selaqui in Dehradun district and the remainder is in the hill region.
Uttarakhand was facing a shortage of industrial land, especially in the key industrial estates of Haridwar and Pantnagar. “We will work vigorously to develop this land for industrial development, most of which will now be earmarked for SMEs,” said Rakesh Sharma, principal secretary, industrial development.
Most of these industrial estates were being managed by the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSDIC).
Though the UP government had agreed to transfer the industrial estates to Uttarakhand earlier, the two states had failed to agree on the modalities of the transfer.
Uttarakhand has got the industrial estates soon after the state government extended the benefits of its 2008 hill industrial policy in amended form until 2025.
Though the hill policy had attracted over Rs 220 crore in investments during the past three years, it failed to entice manufacturing units, shortage of land being a major reason.
Entrepreneurs who set up new units will get all the incentives under the policy — like transport subsidy and price purchase preferences — for 10 years if they commence production by 2015. For those commencing production in 2016, the incentives will be available for nine years; and production start-up in 2017 will mean that the incentives will be available for eight years. The policy will lapse in 2018.
The policy envisages a capital subsidy on fixed capital investment in building, plant and machinery at the rate of 25 per cent, up to a maximum of Rs 60 lakh (the earlier ceiling was Rs 30 lakh).