In a bid to put Punjab on fast-track industrialisation process, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday called upon entrepreneurs across the globe to make huge investments in the state while assuring them of lucrative incentives and concessions under the new investor-friendly Industrial Policy 2013.
Addressing exhibitors and entrepreneurs during the eighth edition of Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) 2013 organised jointly by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and the Punjab government, Badal expressed satisfaction over organising this mega event successfully.
Highlighting the overall growth of the state, the CM said Punjab had emerged as one of the most developed state in India - be it agriculture, industry or service sectors. It was also a leading state across the country in term of per capita-income, infrastructure, human resources and development indicators, he added.
He said pro-investor policies and programmes of the government coupled with efforts of surplus power generation and establishing harmonious employer-labour relations would further accelerate the growth of industries in Punjab.
It was a matter of pride that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had selected Punjab as one of the top three investment destinations of the country, added Badal.
The chief minister further said under the new industrial policy, the state was divided into two geographical zones for providing several liberal incentives to the investors - like VAT and CST retention incentive up to 80% of the amount payable was being offered for the first time to the manufacturing sector, including electronics hardware.
For integrated textile units with investment of more than `500 crore, the exemption would go up to 90% along with the provision of incentives on electricity duty, stamp duty and property tax, he added.
The 'One-Stop Clearance Regime', under which a single officer is authorised for giving all requisite approvals within 60 days, said Badal, would further boost industrial sector in the state.
Likewise, as many as 20 clusters had been identified in the state for concerted industrial growth, he added.
Referring to the 2009 industrial policy, he said the number of micro, small, medium and large industrial units had increased from 1.62 lakh (till 2008-09) to 1.74 lakh (till 2012-13).
Likewise, the employment in industry increased from 11.64 lakh to more than 13.12 lakh, he added.
"As many as 102 mega projects were approved by our government prior to 2012 with proposed investment of `53,192.07 crore, of which most of the projects have either been completed or the work have begun on the ground,"he added.
He went on to claim that agro processing in the state had also been given a special boost, as 44 mega agricultural projects worth `5526 crore had also been approved so as to ensure maximum benefits to the small and marginal farmers.
The chief minister said on the pursuance of the Punjab government an Integrated Check Post (ICP) was already established at the Attari-Wagah border that had proved to be a milestone in opening of new vistas of the Indo-Pak bilateral trade. He further said now, they were pursuing with the Centre to open trade through the Hussainiwala and Fazilka borders vigorously, but unfortunately no tangible progress was made so far.
Appreciating the PHD Chamber's efforts, Badal said now the PITEX had become instrumental in boosting trade and commerce activities in the region and both traders and visitors look forward to this expo each year enthusiastically.
Earlier, Badal took a round of the expo and showed a keen interest in visiting the stalls of various countries and interacted with foreign exhibitors.
The chief minister was welcomed by PHD Chamber chairman Rajiv Bali. Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi and deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat were also present on the occasion.