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What are the busi­nesses where small state like Ut­tarak­hand has an enor­mous in­vest­ment ca­pa­bil­ity to jus­tify the re­cently given the tag of “Ut­tarak­hand on ex­press­way to growth”?

Ut­tarak­hand has an enor­mous in­vest­ment ca­pa­bil­ity in many ar­eas hav­ing both small as well as large in­dus­tries. Some of the busi­ness which are the fo­cus in­dus­tries of the State in­clude tourism, hy­dro-power, IT & ITES in­dus­tries, tex­tile in­dus­tries, Agro food pro­cess­ing, FMCG, Hand­loom and hand­i­craft in­dus­tries, aro­matic and pharma-based in­dus­tries. The State is par­tic­u­larly con­ducive to hor­ti­cul­ture and flori­cul­ture.

Do we need in­dus­trial pack­age to bring in­dige­nous in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment on par with lead­ing in­dus­trial states of In­dia?

In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion in hill States is com­par­a­tively a re­cent phe­nom­e­non in our coun­try. The cli­matic con­di­tions, topo­graph­i­cal and ge­o­graph­i­cal sever­i­ties of­ten are hur­dles in this process. In such a sce­nario, the mon­e­tary and fis­cal ben­e­fits in the form of in­cen­tives and sub­si­dies as well as the de­vel­op­ment of ap­pro­pri­ate in­fras­truc­ture are the main in­stru­ments to off­set the lo­ca­tional and ge­o­graph­i­cal dis­ad­van­tages and to woo in­dus­trial in­vest­ments in the state.

Bad con­nec­tiv­ity is a big hin­drance to the busi­ness sec­tor, and it takes a mam­moth form dur­ing mon­soon sea­sons. How the state Gov­ern­ment and Union Gov­ern­ment can put an end to this big­gest threat to our de­vel­op­ment and growth?

Roads are the main means of trans­porta­tion in the State. In the last ten years, the length and qual­ity of the roads has im­proved how­ever still there is a lot to be done to im­prove the hilly and ru­ral re­gions. Rail ser­vices are lim­ited in the State and are re­stricted ma­jorly to the plains. The State has plans to in­crease the share of rail­ways in cargo and pas­sen­ger trans­port so that rail­ways can be strate­gi­cally placed as an al­ter­na­tive to re­duce the trans­porta­tion cost for in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment. As a joint ven­ture with CONCOR, SIIDCUL has de­vel­oped a Multi Mo­dal Lo­gis­tics Park (MMLP) at Pant­na­gar to han­dle con­tainer­ised EXIM & Do­mes­tic and also con­ven­tional rail­way freight traf­fic. The State is strength­en­ing its civil avi­a­tion in­fras­truc­ture. To fa­cil­i­tate op­er­a­tions for in­ter­na­tional flights upgra­da­tion work is un­der­way at Jolly Grant air­port. Ad­di­tion­ally the Gov­ern­ment is also main­tain­ing the airstrips lo­cated at Naini Saini (Pithor­a­garh), Gaucher (Chamoli) and Chi­na­ly­isaur (Ut­tarkashi). The State Gov­ern­ment and the Cen­tre have held wide rang­ing dis­cus­sions to im­prove air con­nec­tiv­ity in the State.

IT sec­tor is boom­ing sec­tor in some states by cre­at­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties and boost­ing lo­cal econ­omy. Where we lag be­hind in th­ese two sec­tors?

I don’t think that we are lag­ging be­hind in IT sec­tor and real es­tate, in fact there is a tremen­dous po­ten­tial in th­ese sec­tors es­pe­cially in the IT sec­tor. Govt. of Ut­tarak­hand has come up with Start-up Pol­icy 2016 with the ob­jec­tive to fa­cil­i­tate growth of start-up from start-up to boot camp to scale-up. Un­der the pol­icy there is a plan to es­tab­lish 2-3 Tech­nol­ogy Busi­ness In­cu­ba­tors in dif­fer­ent sec­tors. Also, the start-up pro­pos­als and en­trepreneurs will be selected through the State In­no­va­tion Coun­cil.

In­dus­tries are still dreams for many hill districts of Ut­tarak­hand. In your opin­ion, how we can fill the vac­uum and check mi­gra­tion from higher al­ti­tudes ar­eas to plains in search of greener pas­tures.

I agree that the dis­tri­bu­tion of in­dus­tries in Ut­tarak­hand is un­even while the plain ar­eas of the State have man­aged to at­tract big in­dus­tries, the same can­not be said about the hilly ar­eas. Ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient pol­icy mea­sures should be adopted to es­tab­lish agro-pro­cess­ing units, cot­tage and hand­i­crafts in­dus­trial units in the ru­ral and semi-ur­ban ar­eas so that ru­ral peo­ple can get em­ploy­ment in th­ese in­dus­tries and flow of mi­gra­tion can be checked. SIIDCUL has de­vel­oped Mini In­dus­trial ar­eas at Serot (Tehri), Purola (Ut­tarkashi), Bhikyasen (Almora), Mun­si­yari (Pithor­a­garh) etc.

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