Home Dehradun Cabinet approves new Service Sector policy

Cabinet approves new Service Sector policy

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VAT on gas based plants removed

By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 12 Sep: Six important decisions were taken in the Cabinet Meeting held today at the Secretariat under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

Among the major decisions taken today included a new service sector policy and a new Pumped Storage Policy. In addition, some decisions related to the Tourism Sector were also taken including a new plan to develop Auli as a Skiing Destination.

Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu and other Secretaries briefed the media after the Cabinet Meeting. Some Important decisions taken today are as under:

A new Skiing Destination Plan was approved to develop Auli as an international skiing destination and to constitute the Auli Development Authority for its implementation. It may be recalled that, to improve the services related to tourism in any area, the State Government from time to time declares a Special Tourism Development Area under the Uttarakhand Special Area Act. Auli is a popular skiing destination in Uttarakhand. The government is hoping that constitution of the Auli Development Authority will help develop Auli as a top skiing destination.

Some plans under the master plan for Kedarnath and Badrinath Dhams drawn up by the architectural firm M/s INI Design Studio Pvt Ltd were also approved. This firm will draw a conceptual and a detailed design and DPR for special natural artefacts and statues to be installed at both the Dhams.

In an important development, the Cabinet today also approved a new Uttarakhand Service Sector Policy 2023 to promote the services sector in various areas, and especially in the areas of health care, wellness, traditional medicine, education, film & media, sports, ITES, Data Centres and skills development. The government feels that the promulgation of the said policy will give a boost to the service sector in the economy of the state. Under the policy, the service economy (except tourism) will grow to USD 27 billion in the country by 2030. The government also feels that the contribution of the service sector in Uttarakhand is significant and is set to contribute at least 40 percent to the state’s GDP by 2030. The state government is aiming to attract investments worth Rs 60,000 crores in services sectors before 2030. An investment target of Rs 45,000 crores over the next four years has been set in the service sector by the state government.  The government also claims that more than 20 lakh people will get employment in the service sector and 10 lakh workers will get skill development over next few years. Provision of land and capital subsidy has been made to investors in the service sector.

In yet another important development, the state government also approved a new draft Pumped Storage policy under the Department of Energy and Alternative Energy. The Draft Policy follows the guidelines issued by the Central Electricity Authority under the National Electricity Plan and the objective is to achieve the estimated target set for the state. The main objective of this policy is to exploit the identified potential of this sector in the state through pumped storage projects, to provide grid stability by managing and utilising renewable energy sources, to encourage development of self-determined off-stream sites, to provide public electricity supply in the relevant area. This will also help meet the needs of drinking water and irrigation water supply with the water from the projects coming under the scheme and lead to overall economic development of the state. This policy is aimed to be implemented through private investment. Provisions have been made in the proposed policy for the speedy development of the above projects, inter-state transmission charges, local area development fund, free royalty electricity, quick permission for transfer/withdrawal on land, water tax and annual lease of government land linked to circle rate for a period of 45 years. Provisions have also been made to provide several exemptions/concessions regarding the rate of allotment of land and projects.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to declare 4 candidates as eligible for Uttarakhand Public Service Commission for the post of Additional Private Secretary Examination 2017 for having equivalent education qualification vis-à-vis the criteria that had been declared as mandatory in the examination. The government had then declared these candidates as ineligible by not considering the equivalent qualification to be meeting the requirements for eligibility. However these candidates had approached the High Court which had decided in their favour. Consequently, the government has approved their selection.

In a significant decision, the Cabinet approved a proposal for Zero Value Added Tax (VAT) on Liquified FAs coming from other countries or CNG on Gas based plants for power generation in district Udham Singh Nagar. With the decision, the government is hoping that more gas based plants will be set up in the state and contribute towards reducing the gap of power demand and generation in the state. Currently there was VAT on CNG is 20 percent for power plants which will be reduced to Zero now.