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Industrialists face a dilemma in Himachal

By Our Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA, FEB.16. The industrialists wanting to set up units in Himachal Pradesh, after the declaration of a special package by the Centre, have started packing up because of total absence of infrastructure and unhelpful attitude of bureaucracy.

A number of big companies had announced opening of their ventures in the State but so far majority of them are existing only in papers. Parwanoo, Baddi and Nalagarh in Solan district and Kala Amb and Ponta in Sirmaur are the main industrial hubs in the State. Those who have set up industries in these places are facing acute problems in infrastructure and trade unionism.

The State Government is not regularising small industries that have come up on rental premises. Many new units have been established in the premises of sick units or vacant plots sold earlier to some entrepreneurs. No fresh land is left for leasing out to the newcomers in the main industrial centres.

The entrepreneurs allege that the bureaucrats in the Capital did not clarify the rules properly and when the units had started production, the government was not giving them no objection certificates.

The industry is also put off by the non-intervention of government in the exorbitant freights being charged by the local transport unions. The PHDCCI has recently written, in the background of violent incidents in Ponta Sahib, to the Government for solving this problem. There is a sense of constant fear in the industry regarding the safety of their factories and their own trucks carrying goods, claimed a PHDCCI spokesman. It is discouraging the new investors from coming to the State, he said. The various export units functioning from the State and competing in the domestic and international markets would be shut down if the interference by the transporters was not checked, felt majority of investors here.

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