In the ever first meeting of Industries Department held here today after taking over as Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh clearly indicated to curb illegal mining in the State. Citing example of illegal mining in Chakki rivulet on the border of Punjab and Himachal and on the banks of other major rivers and rivulets, Virbhadra Singh said that stern measures should be adopted to stop such practice. However, the Chief Minister clarified that those who have legal registrations and valid licences and authorized for carrying on mining activities should not be disturbed.
With a view to create more employment avenues in the State, Chief Minister said that though there was a need for setting up few big industries in the State but micro, medium and small scale industries were seen as backbone of the economy as 45 percent of export in the country was being done from this sector. He said that excluding America, all other countries were laying emphasis towards setting up of micro, medium and small scale industries as they offer more employment opportunities and involve minimum capital for setting them up. Besides, of-late, highly paid technocrats had been shifting their focus towards micro and small industrial units, he said.
The Chief Minister sought that more and more people of the State should be given employments in the industries set up in the State. He said that it has been observed that during the last government regime no norms were being followed for placements of Himachali’s in the industries and the people from Himachal were deployed on petty posts. He asked the officers to ensure 70 percent employment to the people of the State in Industrial Units and that too on higher posts with good salaries.
To impart technical and mechanical expertise to the unemployed of the State, two proposed Mini Tool-Rooms (MTR) would come up at Baddi which besides serving as common facility centre for the micro, small and medium units in the region, would also offer training to youth, and help the industry in getting skilled labourers, said the Chief Minister.
He urged the officers of the Industries department to visit neighbouring state of Punjab and to see the way the tool rooms were functioning. He also asked the officers to identify the vacant land somewhere between Kasauli and Kuthar for setting up micro and small industrial units.
Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri welcomed the Chief Minister and honoured him with a Himachali cap. He thanked the Chief Minister for giving due importance to the Industries Department and presiding over the first meeting he held after becoming the Chief Minister of the State. He said that we would ensure zero-tolerance towards corruption and all the file work would be done in a time bound manner and department should make extra efforts to explore possibilities of setting up employment-oriented industrial units in the State. He also assured the Chief Minister for curbing illegal mining going on in the State.
He said that it would be ensured to open gates for employment to the people of the State in the Industrial Units and it would be made certain that the Himachali’s get their due share of employment in the industries. He said that the Government would work on opening of new micro, small and medium units in the State so that more employment opportunities were generated. He also separately took meeting of the Industries and its associate departments.
Earlier, P.C. Kapoor, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries, detailed the Chief Minister about the schemes and briefed the Chief Minister of the ongoing activities. He also stressed the need for promoting sericulture Industry in a big way so as to create more employment opportunities to the people. Dr. Lalit Mohan, Managing Director, Handloom and Handicrafts also detailed about the profit earning unit. Other officers of the Department were also present on the occasion.