CM woos investors of Netherlands to invest in Himachal

MoUs worth Rs. 800 crore signed

Shimla,15.06.19-Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the second international ‘Road show’ organized by the State Government in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at The Hauge in Netherlands yesterday evening showcased the strengths of Himachal Pradesh, meticulously framed policies, suitable opportunities and State’s readiness to encourage investment.

Jai Ram Thakur said that Netherlands was the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world and was known for its smart logistics, storage, and packaging technologies that keep food fresh longer that make agriculture as an important area of collaboration. He said that trade cooperation in the agricultural space would benefit both the nations and supplement the efforts of the Government to double its food production and double its farmer’s income and the world knows that the Netherlands has the technologies to make it happen. “My Government is putting up earnest efforts and budget on the renewal of apple orchards but still it has no match to the Netherlands, as the Dutch apple trees have a yield per hectare of 5 times the yield of the traditional apple trees variety in Himachal Pradesh, he added.

Chief Minister said that due to pristine atmosphere, peaceful environment, cultural diversity & linguistic plurality, Himachal Pradesh was one of the most visited States of the country. He said that there was immense potential available to the investors to invest in this key sector. Adventure tourism such as skiing, eco-tourism, developing Ski Resorts etc. also offered vast opportunities for the investment, he added.

While showcasing the investment opportunities being provided to the potential entrepreneurs, Chief Minister said that the State Government was providing attractive incentives under the Industrial Policy to boost investment in the State. He said that the Policy has been further amended to make it more attractive and industry friendly. “Special focus has been given in the new industrial policy to encourage investment in sectors such as Tourism, AYUSH, IT & Electronics and Hydro Energy, food processing and fruit processing etc”, he added.

Chief Minister said that the State Government was keen to do business with Netherlands because Dutch economy was very open and relies strongly on international trade. He said that Netherlands served as the gateway for over 20 percent of all European Union-bound Indian exports and we were sure that the country would play a pivotal role in India’s future trade talks with the European Union, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur said that over 115 Dutch companies such as Shell, Unilever, ING, Apollo, IKEA, Philips, Aegon, Heineken already have a growing and successful presence in India and the country has become a pivotal BPO base for Dutch companies too. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Netherlands counterpart Mark Rutte signed over 50 MoUs in the fields of agriculture and food processing, technology, smart city development, cyber security, healthcare, clean energy and finance in May 2018. During the visit of Prime Minister to the Netherlands last year, both countries have initiated multiple programs to promote innovative solutions to solve challenges in healthcare, water, energy, and agriculture, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government was organizing its first Global Investors Meet in 2019 at Dharamshala for making it globally competitive and a leader among Indian states. The main objective of this Meet was to highlight Himachal Pradesh, before the whole world as a place for investment and opportunities, he said.

Earlier, the State Government signed a MoU with ASSOCHAM EUROPE in Netherlands through Dr. Vikas Chaturvedi Chairman ASSOCHAM Netherlands to strengthen and expand in the area of agriculture, horticulture, logistic and infrastructure. The ASSOCHAM Europe facilitates business between Europe and India.

The State Government also signed MoU with CM Corps for Rs. 500 crore to develop golf resort in Kangra district. The project is expected to start in the month of January, 2020 and would provide employment to over 1000 people.

Yet another MoU worth Rs. 300 crore was also signed with Takshinda Foundation for establishing an international Skill University in Kangra district of the State. The project is also expected to start by January, 2020.

Industries Minister Bikram Singh extended a warm welcome and stated about the State’s Readiness to attract investment and highlighted that Himachal Pradesh has made a commendable step in establishing a manufacturing economy with over 50,000 manufacturing Units in the State providing employment to over four lakh persons. He further added that the State government houses a dedicated ‘Investment Promotion & Facilitation Centre (IPFC)’ which acts as a centralized one-stop-shop for the investors / businesses and provides complete handholding support in a structured, focused and comprehensive manner.

Ambassador of India to Netherlands, Venu Rajamony stated that the Indian State of Himachal had enormous advantages and strengths–dynamic political leadership, led by one of the youngest Chief Ministers in the country. He assured of a stable government and a proactive bureaucracy, keen to promote enabling business environment and attract foreign investments and lead the state towards the path of economic growth. He also highlighted of the great advantage the State Government enjoys with the Central Government as the present government in State and Central belongs to the same political party.

Additional Chief Secretary cum Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Dr. Shrikant Baldi delivered a brief presentation on the investment Opportunities in Tourism & Real Estate. He first expressed brief opportunities in the field of Tourism in Himachal Pradesh like Adventure Activities, Trekking & Camping, Wildlife, Unexplored Cold Desert, History, Architecture, Spirituality and Harmony. He further explained about the individual potential investible projects in details like Five Star Resorts, Ski Resorts, Eco Tourism, Convention Centre, Hot Water Wellness Resort, Sky Bridge, Lake Tourism, Destination Development, Ropeways, Civil Aviation, Tea Tourism and Tented Accommodation.

He also shared that the Himachal Pradesh is the best suited for the investment in real estate sector because of robust demand, enabling environment and robust support as well as organic demand from near-by States especially in mid hills such as Shimla, Solan, Dharamshala and Palampur.

Additional Chief Secretary Industries, Manoj Kumar gave a concise presentation highlighting on the facts why India is considered the economic bright spot in global economy and how Himachal Pradesh is an ideal 'Haven for Investors'. He gave a succinct brief on the 8 focus sectors in Himachal Pradesh and shared the reasons for investing in these sectors.

Business delegation comprising of Anil Nagpal, CEO, Alliance Formulations and Subodh Gupta, Chairman & MD, Microtek International shared their positive investment experiences in Himachal Pradesh.

Director Industries Hans Raj Sharma, Special Secretary Abid Husain Sadiq, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Vinay Singh, representatives of CII, Himachal and other senior officers were present on the occasion.

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R.D. Dhiman to hold charge of Vice-Chancellor of Nauni University

A spokesperson of State government informed here today that Additional Chief Secretary (Horticulture) R.D. Dhiman will hold the charge of the post of Vice Chancellor of Dr. Y.S Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan.

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Panchayats can utilise Finance Commission's funds to install hand pumps

Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar informed here today that Gram Panchayats would now be able to install hand pumps in their areas from the funds being provided by the 14thFinance Commission. The guidelines in this regard have been issued to all Gram Panchayats of the state.

He said that the Gram Panchayats will have to forward their demand for installing hand pumps to the regional office of the Irrigation and Public Health department for preparation of estimate. The department would provide the required financial assistance from the funds of 14th Finance Commission for this purpose as per the estimate prepared by the Panchayats.

The Minister said that funds are directly being forwarded to the Gram Panchayats under the 14thFinance Commission. A provision has been made to provide Rs. 1800 crore to the Gram Panchayats of the state from this head, out of which Rs. 488 crore will be provided during this financial year. As the first installment for this financial year, the state government has received an amount of Rs. 244.32 crores from the Central government, which is being provided directly to the Gram Panchayats.

Virender Kanwar said that this decision will help in redressing the drinking water problem in the rural areas besides constructing permanent properties under the 14th Finance Commission.