Ecology has been given an important place in the state during the last
few years. Industries which cause water or air pollution are not encouraged.
Every industrial project has to obtain the clearance of the Environment
Protection Organization before its establishment.
Himachal has to face many difficulties in the advancement
of Industries. Lack of adequate and dependable means of transport was
one of the main drawbacks. Other handicaps were the poor mineral resources
of the state, non-availability of infrastructural facilities, shortage
of capital and equipment, absence of modern skills and lack of entrepreneurship
among the locals and over emphasis on cottage industries. One of the advantage
was the availability of ample electricity. It is attracting entrepreneurs
from the neighbouring states which are starved of power.
With a view to develop industrialization, a new industrial
policy was adopted by the government providing various incentives such
as cheaper power, 25% subsidy besides easier credit facilities through
the State Finance Corporation and the nationalised banks for setting up
new industries. Land was made available on 99 years low rate lease basis
and new industries were exempted from sales or purchase tax and from octroi
both on raw material and finished goods for 5yrs. Concession was given
on freight charges for transport of raw materials from the nearest railhead
outside the state besides provision of other marginal benefits such as
assistance in the preparation of project reports. These concession helped
in establishing industrial houses in the state.
Industrial areas have been established at Pauranoo, Barotiwala,
Baddi, Paonta Sahib, Mehatpur, Shamshi, Nagrotu Bagwan, Bilaspur, Reckong-Peo
and Sansar Pur Tera. As the dust free and cool climate of Himachal is
extremely suitable for the establishment of electronic and precision industries,
many electronic complexes have been set up at Solan, Mandi, Hanurpur,
Shogi, Raga-Ka-Bagh, Chamba, Ambi, Taliwala and Keylong, like watch manufacturing
units, thermometers, microscopes, hospital and laboratory equipment.
Facilities available for setting up electronic industry
for which a subsidy up to 50 lakhs is given, has encouraged manufactures
to set up TV sets, tape recorder, video-cassettes, electronic toys and
computer parts industries. Furniture making, rope making, bamboo products,
manufacturing and specialized wood based industrial units have also been
set up. Two vanaspati ghee plant have been set up where limestone exists
in plenty, cement factories have come up in public and private sectors.
Private sector industries are doing well. But in the public sector, with
the exemption of country liquor bottling plant and turpentine factories,
others are running at a loss.
Sericulture, handloom and tea are other industries that
have lately been given particular attention. Silk industry is providing
employment to a lot of people.
Tea is traditionally grown in Kangra and Mandi district
at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 metres. With a view to encouraging this
industry, subsidy is being provided to growers besides facilities for
chemical analysis and co-operative tea processing in a factory. The Tea
Board of India has given financial assistance for laying out demonstration
plots and for undertaking research.
Himachal has a rich heritage of handicrafts. These include
woolen and pashmina shawls, gudmas, carpets, silver and metal ware, embroidered
chappals, grass shoes, Kangra and Gompa style paintings, wood work, horse-hair
bangles, wooden and metal utensils and various other house hold items.
These aesthetic and tasteful handicrafts declined under competition from
machine made goods and also because of lack of marketing facilities. But
now the demand for handicrafts has increased within and outside the country.
The Himachal Pradesh Handicrafts corporation is implementing
schemes for the revival and rehabilitation of handicrafts. Apprenticeship
schemes aiming at training in almost extinct crafts like Kangra and Compa
painting and metal wares were undertaken. The handicrafts design centre
was set up to provide new design adaptations to the artisans. The corporation
has introduced a procurement scheme under which master craftsmen are provided
work at their door steps and the finished goods are collected from them
Himachal is poor in minerals. The state accounts
for only 0.2% of the output of minerals in the country. There are some
limestone, building stone, slates, gypsum and rock salt deposits which
are commercially valuable. Other than that, there is nothing much of significance.