Planning commission member Arun Maira has said a 'white paper' is being planned for hill states for a different treatment to them. He was speaking at an interactive session organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) regional centre on "Sustainable development of Himachal Pradesh" here on Saturday.
He said, "The hill states have different geographical aspects, resources and infrastructure as compared with other states. The whole country benefits from the green cover, water and power generation hence this paper aims to delve at what is the contract of these hill states with the country and vice-versa. The partnership of these states with the country and how the country can payback. Keeping in mind all this, changes are being worked out for funding of these states that include Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir."
Maira appreciated Himachal Pradesh for its pace of development and hoped that it would prove a model for other states thereby emerging as a leader in the country for its initiatives on environment and sustainable development.
Calling for local planning and solutions for developmental needs he emphasised on inclusion, localised solutions and small interventions leading to greater results in accumulation.
He suggested the need of increasing apple productivity and expansion of marketing and distribution.
"The state should make more efforts to tap its tourism potential, hydropower sector and horticulture. It should also endeavour to encourage Information Technology industry," said Maira.
Favouring sustainable development, he called for a balancing act to preserve environment and at the same time taking initiatives to sustain tourism.
Acting chief secretary P Mitra volunteered to work in close coordination with CII over policy development and procedural reforms and also urged CII to help attract investment to the IT sector in the state.
He said the state government would welcome the cement industry for availability of limestone reserves as it also generates lot of employment.
The cement industry has been a revenue earner for the state, he added.
CII northern region chairman Jayant Davar emphasised on conducting a study on the ease of doing business and removing the bottlenecks identified by existing investors. This would help improve the processes and make existing industries brand ambassadors of the state, he added.