Dehra Dun, Jan 24: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the central industrial package (CIP) provided to the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh will not be restored as it was a “distorted policy”.
“It (CIP) was a total distorted policy as the new industries were not coming up in the areas but the units from nearby states were shifting to these areas to take tax-incentives under the industrial package,” Mukherjee, who is campaigning for Congress ahead of January 30 Assembly elections in the state, told reporters here.
There were also complaints from neighbouring states that industries from their states were shifting to areas where the package was available, he said.
“It was creating regional imbalance,” he added. The Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government had approved the CIP for Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in 2003 for 10 years, which led to an industrial boom in the hill state.
However, the UPA government later curtailed it by three years and it ended on March 31, 2010.
The BJP has attacked the Congress for withdrawing the package, which it says has affected industrial development of the state. The issue is one of the major poll planks of the saffron party for the Assembly polls.
During a press conference here today, BJP President Nitin Gadkari asked the people of Uttarakhand to get an assurance from Congress for restoration of the package before voting for them.
“We want to appeal to the people of Uttarakhand to take assurance from Congress that it will restore the industrial package. Otherwise, the Congress must be rejected,” he said. In this regard, Gadkari said the party would continue to fight for the purpose.
To a question, Mukherjee, however, made it clear that those industries that started their production within the stipulated timeframe would continue to avail various incentives for 10 years from the start of production.