"We are committed to provide industry-friendly environment for attracting new investments. We have introduced a common application form for clearing all medium and large-scale projects within 90 days," the Chief Minister said in his Budget speech.

He said the representatives of the industries had requested for the reduction of electricity duty and additional concessions on duty for new industries.

"I have carefully considered their requests. The electricity duty for the specified extra high tension (EHT) category consumers will be reduced from existing 17 to 15 percent," he said.

Presenting his 17th budget over his long stint in the state, Virbhadra Singh said the electricity duty for the existing medium and large industries, except EHT, would be reduced from the existing rate of 15 and 17 percent to 13 percent.

"Moreover, any new medium and large industrial units will be required to pay only 5 percent electricity duty in place of the proposed 13 percent for five years," he said.

"Similarly, for any existing small industry, I propose to reduce the electricity duty from existing 9 percent to 7 percent and any new small industry will be required to pay only 2 percent electricity duty for five years," he said.

The Chief Minister also announced that any new industry, including EHT category, would be charged only 2 percent electricity duty for five years.

"New state-of-the-art industrial areas would be developed at Pandoga in Una district and Kandrori in Kangra district with an investment of Rs 219 crore," he added.

Official sources said the reduction of electricity duty would entail a burden of Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.


Latest News from Himachal Pradesh News Desk