New Delhi: Apparently to pre-empt BJP from
taking credit for extension of an industrial package to
Uttarakhand, a Congress delegation from the state on Tuesday met
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a similar demand.
The meeting of the Congress delegation came a day after
Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank called on Singh saying
such a package would encourage investment in the state and
In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, the Congress
delegation urged him to extend the concessional industrial
package (CIP), which is ending on March 31, by three years.
The package provides tax holiday.
The delegation led by state PCC chief Yashpal Arya said
the BJP government was spearheading a propaganda to tarnish
the image of the Centre.
"The growing tendency of present BJP government in the
state is to level charges of discrimination and unequal
treatment against the Centre. It is creating all sort of
confusion regarding the industrial package," Arya said.
Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Harak Singh Rawat,
who was part of the Congress delegation, later told reporters
that the package should be extended till 2013 as industries in
the pipeline would take some time for completion.
Rawat expressed confidence that the industrial package for
the state will be extended. He said the Prime Minister gave a
patient hearing to the delegation and assured it that he would
discuss the matter with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Asked whether the state unit of Congress was trying to
take credit, Rawat replied in the negative.
He accused the BJP of staging a "drama" over the issue
and asked, "What was the need for Nishank to bring his entire
cabinet to meet the Prime Minister?"
The Uttarakhand Government wants the Centre to extend the
package till 2020 on the lines of a similar measure offered to
the northeastern states.