Industrial development has been given a big boost in the
State of Himachal Pradesh. Pollution free environment, abundant availability
of power and rapidly developing infrastructure, peaceful atmosphere, responsive
and transparent administration, etc. are some of the added advantages
that the entrepreneurs get in Himachal Pradesh. Also, Himachal Pradesh
is uniquely positioned to exploit its inherent as well as inculcated plus
points for furthering information technology (IT) in the State. Accordingly,
the State Government has created an IT friendly environment for integrated
participation by all in the development process of the new digital economy.
Moreover, Himachal Pradesh is predominately an agricultural State, producing
large varieties of food crops like maize, rice, wheat and other cereal
crops. The wide range of agro-climatic conditions have also helped the
farmers to cultivate a large variety of fruits ranging from temperate
to sub-tropical. Besides, beautiful landscapes, lakes and waterfalls have
made it a preferred tourist destination.
Agriculture, being the main occupation of the people of
Himachal Pradesh, has an important role in the economy of the State. It
provides direct employment to about 71 per cent of the main working population.
Income from the agriculture and allied sector accounts for nearly 21.7
per cent of the total State Domestic Product. Out of the total geographical
area of 55.673 lakh hectares, the area of operational holding is about
9.99 lakh hectares owned by 8.63 lakh farmers. The marginal and small
farmers constitute 84.5 per cent of the total land holdings. The cultivated
area in the State is only 10.4 per cent. About 80 per cent of the area
Rice, wheat and maize are important cereal crops of the
State. Groundnut, soyabean and sunflower in kharif and rapeseed/mustard
and toria are important oilseed crops in the rabi season. Urd, bean, moong,
rajmash in kharif season and gram in rabi are the important pulse crops
of the State.
Maize is an important crop where surplus is available for
processing. Under the State Industrial Policy, number of incentives are
available to the investors in food processing industry. Processing industries
of ginger, potato and vegetables in valley areas have great investment
scope. Besides, the temperate climate of the State is quite suitable for
production of disease free seed. The Government is encouraging private
sector participation for exploitation of vast seed production potential.
The State has made significant progress in the development
of horticulture. The topographical variations and altitudinal differences
coupled with fertile, deep and well-drained soils favour the cultivation
of temperate to sub tropical fruits. The main fruits under cultivation
are apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot nut fruit, citrus fruits mango,
litchi, guava and strawberry, etc. The region is also suitable for cultivation
of ancillary horticultural produce like flowers, mushroom, honey, hops,
tea, medicinal and aromatic plants, etc.
Information Technology (IT)
The Government of Himachal Pradesh has developed an IT Vision-2010
in collaboration with NASSCOM to make Himachal Pradesh an IT destination.
Under the IT policy, the status of industry has been accorded to all IT
projects, including IT related services and educational institutions.
As such, all the incentives available to industry under the presently
applicable Industrial Policy are also being made available to the IT units
in the State. The State Government is also in the process of creating
an H.P. State Wide Area Network (HIM SWAN), which will be connected to
the Internet. However, Information Technology Park is proposed to be set
up in the State in Solan district.
With a coordinated action plan by the Government and industry,
NASSCOM has projected that the IT software and services industry in the
State of Himachal Pradesh can grow at an accelerated pace to achieve an
annual revenue of Rs. 20,000 crore (US$ 4.7 billion) by the year 2009-10,
which could be as much as 4-5% of the projected turnover of US$ 100 billion
of the Indian software and services industry in that year. Out of the
Rs. 20,000 crore of projected revenue from IT software and services industry
for Himachal Pradesh in 2009-10, it is expected that Rs. 14,000 crore would
come from exports and Rs. 6,000 crore from the domestic market.
Himachal has the potential to develop various types of industries
using raw material base of fruits, vegetables, high value cash crops and
other naturally growing herbal plants. These industries can be in the
following: bio-pharmaceuticals, phyto-chemicals, bio-prospecting, fermentation,
post-harvest processing, bio-processing, pharmaceuticals, biochemical,
genetically engineered micro-organisms, enzyme production, environment
protection and animal husbandry etc.
Due to diversified environmental conditions, Himachal Pradesh
has immense microbial diversity which needs further inputs for its meaningful
exploration, documentation and using them for many industrial applications.
Biotechnology as a tool has helped in recovery of degraded ecosystem.
Some of the methods based on plant biotechnology include reforestation
involving micro propagation and use of mycorrhizae. Micro propagation
has resulted in increasing the plant cover and thus preventing erosion
and giving a climatic stability. It also helps in rejuvenation of degraded
land, which is in plenty in Himachal and to stop genetic erosion by Lantana
and other weeds.
Efforts for establishing Biotechnology Parks with a mission
to convert Himachal into a 'Herbal Biobusiness Valley' are at advanced
stages. The setting up of BT Parks in Himachal endeavours to create favourable
environment for developing a strong BT-based industry as a business entrepreneurship
to push the State at center stage of progress in a short time.
Tourism has been recognized as one of the most significant
sectors of the economy in Himachal Pradesh and as a major engine of growth
for future. The State has a natural advantage for the development of tourism
as an industry. The State has a rich treasure of places of pilgrimage
and anthropological value. It is endowed with geographical and cultural
diversity, clean, peaceful and beautiful environment. It has also the
pride of being the home to Rishies like Vyas, Prashar,Vashist, Markandey
and Lamas, etc. Hot water springs, historic forts, forests, mountains,
rivers and rivulets, natural and man-made lakes, etc. are sources of immense
pleasure and joy to the tourists. The tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh
are known for natural beauty and have recently been opened up to foreign
Tourism industry has been given very high priority and the
Government has developed appropriate infrastructure for its development,
which includes provision of public utility services, roads, communication
network, airports, transport facilities, water supply, civic amenities,
etc. Besides, the private sector is being encouraged to invest in tourism
related projects on BOT (build-operate-transfer) basis.
For the promotion and development of the State from tourism
point of view, the Government is focusing on the following areas, namely,
history related tourism; identification of new areas/tourist destinations;
promotion of village tourism; improvement of infrastructure; pilgrimage
tourism; tribal tourism, eco-tourism; health tourism; adventure tourism;
wildlife tourism; and cultural tourism.