UTTARAKHAND HAS AN ENORMOUS INVESTMENT CAPABILITY
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.