Himachal CM seeks central indulgence | SupportBiz

In Brief

Himachal CM seeks central indulgence

Hoping to boost an economy largely dependent on tourism, horticulture and hydropower, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his colleagues are lobbying hard with New Delhi to get central projects and schemes, particularly dealing with infrastructure and connectivity, sanctioned for the state.

On Feb 4, the Congress leader called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised a number of financial and infrastructural issues. He sought a special assistance package of Rs.7,565 crore and resumption of a special industrial package that expired in March 2010, a senior official told IANS.

The chief minister was also looking for liberal funding for central-aided projects in the ratio of 90:10, like special category northeastern states were getting, the official added.

The problems the state has been facing after the closure of the airports at Shimla, Kullu and Kangra since last September also figured at the meeting, said the official. On the same day, Virbhadra Singh met Railway Minister Pawan Bansal to press for expanding the rail network in the state.

According to an official, the chief minister demanded that the Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri rail line be completed on priority and project funding be in the ratio 75:25. He also demanded conversion of the Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge rail line into broad gauge and its expansion up to Leh via Manali. Besides, he requested early execution of Ghanauli-Baddi-Kalka and Chandigarh-Baddi rail lines.

The state has also submitted nine new proposals, including the setting up of two textile parks.