Agro and Food Processing: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
Food processing involves any type of value addition to agricultural or horticultural produce and also includes processes such as grading, sorting and packaging which enhance shelf life of food products. The food processing industry provides vital linkages and synergies between industry and agriculture. The Food Processing Industry sector in India is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. The government has accorded it a high priority, with a number of fiscal reliefs and incentives, to encourage commercialization and value addition to agricultural produce, for minimizing pre/post harvest wastage, generating employment and export growth. India's food processing sector covers a wide range of products fruit and vegetables; meat and poultry; milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, Soya-based products, mineral water, high protein foods etc.
Uttarakhand comprises of total are 5672568 Hectares, of which forest area is 3485847 hectares. Fruits such as apples, oranges, pear, grapes peach, plum apricot, litchi, mangoes and guava are widely grown in the state and therefore have immense potential for development of horticultural crops and processing units. The State Government will assist in establishing small & medium size Agro Parks, Food Parks etc., which will provide common infrastructure facilities for storage, processing, grading and marketing, thus ensuring that surplus fruits and vegetables do not go waste as at present. Four Agri Export Zones have already been declared under the AEZ scheme of the Government of India for Litchi, Horticulture, Herbs, Medicinal Plants and Basmati Rice. Further, efforts will continue to promote production for export and provide access to domestic and export markets for products from the State.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) is a ministry of the Government of India is responsible for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to food processing in India. The ministry was set up in the year 1988, with a view to develop a strong and vibrant food processing industry, to create increased employment in rural sector and enable farmers to reap the benefits of modern technology and to create a of surplus for exports and stimulating demand for processed food.
• Custom duty rates have been substantially reduced on food processing plant and equipments, as well as on raw materials and intermediates, especially for export production.
• Wide-ranging fiscal policy changes have been introduced progressively in food processing sector. Excise and Import duty rates have been reduced substantially. Many processed food items are totally exempt from excise duty.
• Corporate taxes have been reduced and there is a shift towards market related interest rates. There are tax incentives for new manufacturing units for certain years, except for industries like beer, wine, aerated water using flavouring concentrates, confectionery, chocolates etc.
• Indian currency, rupee, is now fully convertible on current account and convertibility on capital account with unified exchange rate mechanism is foreseen in coming years.
• Repatriation of profits is freely permitted in many industries except for some, where there is an additional requirement of balancing the dividend payments through export earnings.
Biotechnology: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
The Biotechnology sector in India is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian Economy. As the sector is mainly based on knowledge, it is expected that it will play an important part in shaping the Indian Economy, which is developing at a rapid pace. The Indian Biotechnology sector holds immense potential in terms of research and development, skill and cost effectiveness. As per the eight annual survey by the Association of Biotechnology-led enterprise (ABLE) and a monthly journal, Bio-Spectrum, the sector grew threefold in five years and reported a revenue of US$ 3 billion during 2009-2011 with a 17 per cent rise as compared to the previous year.
Uttarakhand is an ideal destination to invest in biotechnology-based industries because of several inherent advantages and being host to vast diversity of flora and fauna and rare species of plants and animals. A high-level biotechnology board is being setup to pursue initiatives in the field of research. The state will accord the units coming under this sector with the industry status and aims to establish an internationally competitive business infrastructure and environment for the industry in the state. Further, a biotechnology park is to be developed that will integrate resources and provide a focused institutional set up for accelerated commercial growth of bio-technology and bio-informatics. The Government is also in the process of creating an Exchange for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants to serve as a common platform for research institutions, technology developers and producers.
The Uttarakhand Board of Biotechnology (UBB) will help the R&D Institutions of the State to seek funds from the national and international funding agencies / donors to upgrade the infrastructure facilities. Depending upon the need, UBB and the State Government will also try to fund R&D facilities through its own resources. The State Government undertakes to provide the following facilities/terms to the companies desirous of establishing BT units in the State:
• BT Units including related R&D Units will enjoy the status of industry and will be eligible for incentives and concessions as provided for the relevant category/class of industry in the Industrial Policy of the State. For this purpose they shall be treated as Priority Sector Industry. Department of Biotechnology will provide The State Government undertakes to provide the following facilities/terms to the companies “single-window clearance” and shall issue only one application form to set up BT Units in the State.
• The Government proposes to establish in association with private sector a BT Park initially at Halide, Pantnagar where land/plots would be made available to prospective entrepreneurs on favourable terms. The latter, however, are also free to choose their own sites or locate the same in the other established Industrial Areas in the State.
Hydropower: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. India was the 7th largest producer of hydroelectric power in 2008 after Norway: 114 TWh and 3.5 % the world total in 2008. The potential for hydroelectric power in India is one of the greatest in the world. Small hydropower offers a wide range of benefits-especially for rural areas and developing countries. The resource is environmentally responsible and has substantial economic advantages. Efforts also being made to improve the exchange of ideas and technology related to small hydropower. In India, small hydropower up to capacity of 25 MW also includes the mini-and-micro hydropower projects which are usually confined strictly to local use. A potential of over 15,000 MW has been identified from small hydropower and Government of India has been according top priority to SHP development as thrust area.
Uttarakhand has a large network of rivers and canals which provides an immense scope for hydro-power energy. In India, the development of Micro, Mini, and Small Hydro Power Projects started in the year 1897. One of the first hydro-power stations in India was commissioned at Galogi in 1907. More power stations were subsequently developed over a period of time. In Uttarakhand, the estimated capacity of Small hydro power projects is about 1500 MW out of total estimated capacity of 20,363 MW Uttaranchal has a hydropower potential of the order of 20236 MW against which only about 1407 MW has been harnessed so far.
The Government of Uttaranchal (GoU) has decided to encourage generation of power through small hydropower sources of energy, and has framed a policy so that the development of this sector serves as an engine to achieve the objective of promoting the all-round development of the region. To encourage generation of hydropower the government of Uttarakhand has formulated and implemented policies with following objectives:
• Creation of conducive conditions for encouraging private sector participation
• Harnessing water resources in an environment friendly manner
• Meeting the energy demand of the state/country
• Promotion of the overall development of the region
• Generation of revenue from hydro resources
Mineral: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. India is endowed with significant mineral resources. India produces 89 minerals out of which 4 are fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non-metallic and 22 minor minerals.
Mineral resources of Uttarakhand play a significant role in the economy of Uttarakhand. The Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is especially famous for housing a number of mineral resources in Uttarakhand. The northern division of the district consist entirely of medium to high grade metamorphic rocks, which also contains bands of volcanic rocks in some areas; the southern division contains sedimentary and low-grade metamorphic rocks, with bands of volcanic rocks in some regions. Although much is not known about the geology of the first division of Chamoli, yet the mineral resources contain rocks such as quartzite, marble, and various types of schist and gneiss. The southern division contains rocks such as gneiss, limestone, phyllites, quartzite, sericite-biotite schist and slate.
Some of the important minerals that form a major part of the mineral resources of Uttarakhand are: Asbestos, Magnestic, Soapstone or Steatite, Copper, Iron, Graphite, Gold, Gypsum, Lead, Slate, Limestone, Building Stone, Sulfur, and Bitumen. Beside these major mineral resources, some of the other mineral resources of Uttarakhand also play a major role in enhancing the economy of Uttarakhand. Some of those mineral resources are: Antimony, Arsenic, Lignite or Brown Marble, Mica, Silver, etc.
NATIONAL MINERAL POLICY, 2008
Keeping in view the long term national goals and perspective for exploitation of minerals, Government of India has revised its earlier National Mineral Policy, 1993 and came up with a new National Mineral Policy 2008. Basic goals of NMP 2008 are-
1. Regional and detailed exploration using state of the art techniques in time bound manner.
2. Zero waste mining
For achieving the above goals, important changes envisaged are:
• Creation of improved regulatory environment to make it more conducive to investment and technology flows
• Transparency in allocation of concessions
• Preference for value addition
• Development of proper inventory of resources and reserves
• Enforcement of mining plans for adoption of proper mining methods and optimum utilization of minerals
• Data filing requirements will be rigorously monitored
• Old disused mining sites will be used for plantation or for other useful purposes.
• Mining infrastructure will be upgraded through PPP initiatives
• State PSU involved in mining sector will be modernized
• State Directorate will be strengthened to enable it to regulate mining in a proper way and to check illegal mining
• There will be arms length distance between State agencies that mine and those that regulate
• Productivity and economics of mining operation, safety and health of workers and others will be encouraged.
Tourism: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
Tourism in India is the largest service industry, with a contribution of 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. The tourism industry in India is substantial and vibrant, and the country is fast becoming a major global destination. India’s travel and tourism industry is one of them most profitable industries in the country, and also credited with contributing a substantial amount of foreign exchange. Indian Tourism offers a potpourri of different cultures, traditions, festivals, and places of interest.
Uttarakhand - the land of gods, the home of Himalayas and truly a paradise on earth, allures everyone from everywhere. Uttarakhand is paradise for different types of adventure activities. Like River Rafting, Trekking, Skiing, Camping, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, River Crossing. Mountaineering, Paragliding and Hot Ballooning make Uttarakhand one of the most attractive destinations for adventure sports not only in the India but the world. Gangotri and Yamunotri, the sources of both the Ganges and Yamuna fall in the upper reaches of the state and together with Badrinath (dedicated to Vishnu) and Kedarnath (dedicated to Shiva) form the Char Dham, one of Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious pilgrimage circuits. Haridwar, meaning "Gateway to God" is a prime Hindu destination. Haridwar hosts the Kumbha Mela every twelve years, in which millions of pilgrims take part from all parts of the India and the world. Rishikesh near Haridwar is known as the preeminent yoga centre of India. The state has an abundance of temples and shrines, many dedicated to local deities or manifestations of Shiva and Durga, references to many of which can be found in Hindu scriptures and legends.
In order to develop tourism in India in a systematic manner, position it as a major engine of economic growth and to harness its direct and multiplier effects for employment and poverty eradication in an environmentally sustainable manner, the National Tourism Policy was formulated in the year 2002. Broadly, the Policy attempts to:-
• Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth;
• Harness the direct and multiplier effects of tourism for employment generation, economic development and providing impetus to rural tourism;
• Focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth.
• Position India as a global brand to take advantage of the burgeoning global travel trade and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination;
• Acknowledges the critical role of private sector with government working as a pro-active facilitator and catalyst;
• Create and develop integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique civilization, heritage, and culture in partnership with States, private sector and other agencies; and ensure that the tourist to India gets physically invigorated, mentally rejuvenated, culturally enriched, spiritually elevated and feel India from within.
Waste management and recycling: Project Opportunities in Uttarakhand
Rapid industrialization last few decades have led to the depletion of pollution of precious natural resources in India depletes and pollutes resources continuously. Further the rapid industrial developments have, also, led to the generation of huge quantities of hazardous wastes, which have further aggravated the environmental problems in the country by depleting and polluting natural resources. Therefore, rational and sustainable utilization of natural resources and its protection from toxic releases is vital for sustainable socio-economic development.
Hazardous waste management is a new concept for most of the Asian countries including India. The lack of technical and financial resources and the regulatory control for the management of hazardous wastes in the past had led to the unscientific disposal of hazardous wastes in India, which posed serious risks to human, animal and plant life.
Investments are aimed at improving public health and the environmental quality in the Program towns and the adjacent open land and water bodies by increasing solid waste collection coverage from 50% to 72% and supporting sound solid waste disposal methods. Improvements will be directed at (i) segregation of solid waste at household level and handling and management improvements at wards and town levels with an emphasis on waste minimization, (ii) provision of solid waste collection and transportation equipment, and (iii) construction of sanitary landfills in accordance with GoI’s Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules 2000. These will develop into a State wide SWM strategy, action plan, and town wise SWM master plan reports supported by capacity building of ULBs in SWM.
National policy on waste management is set out in the October 1998 policy statement on waste management- Changing our ways. It outlines the Government's policy objectives in relation to waste management, and suggests some key issues and considerations that must be addressed to achieve these objectives. The policy is firmly grounded in an internationally recognised hierarchy of options, namely prevention, minimisation, reuse/recycling, and the environmentally sustainable disposal of waste which cannot be prevented or recovered.