Punjab, Haryana opposed Himachal's industrial package: Virbhadra

Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Oct 16 (IANS) Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Wednesday blamed the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana for opposing the central industrial package extended to the hill state.

"The industrial package was withdrawn from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to unnecessary pressure from Punjab and Haryana," the chief minister said at a public rally here.

The special industrial package extended to the two hill states expired March 2010.

After inaugurating the Rs.8.10-crore Technical Training Institute for Skill Upgradation here, he said the centre was the initiative of government of India, the state and the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh Development Authority (BBNDA) under private public partnership (PPP) mode.

He said the state has started an allowance for upgrading skills of youth, under which a class 10 passout and in the age group of 18-35 years is entitled to Rs.1,000 monthly allowance for two years.

A physically challenged person will get Rs.1,500 per month.

The chief minister said the state would bear 25 percent cost of the Bilaspur-Bhanupalli broad gauge railway line.

Virbhadra Singh said the construction cost of new railway line connecting Baddi town with Chandigarh would also be shared for promoting Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial area. An agreement to this effect has been signed with the ministry of railways, he added.

Industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said the new industrial policy was available online and suggestions were invited so these might be incorporated in the policy to make it more comprehensive and industry friendly.

He said infrastructure development projects valued Rs.80 crore would be commissioned under PPP mode in BBNDA area for which the central government had provided Rs.65 crore.

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