Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday called upon industrialists and entrepreneurs to set up their ventures in the state to boost the pace of industrialisation.
Addressing industrialists at an investment promotion summit on 'Punjab Calling', 'Getting Growth Back: Government-Industry Partnership for Building Sustainable Tomorrow' organised by Assocham, Badal said the state's industrial policy would be fine-tuned according to the need of the industry as organisations like Assocham, PHD Chamber, CII and FICCI could give vital inputs for making improvements in the policy.
The chief minister said it was high time for the state's agrarian economy to switch over to the industrialisation mode as agro-processing units had a vast scope in the state. He said Punjab had an excellent infrastructure network coupled with industrial peace and skilled
labour, which had made the state as the most preferred investment destination, according to a World Bank study.
"Industrial sector in Punjab had 31.69% share in the state domestic product and grew at 8.46% in 2011-12 against the national level of 7.5%, which was a matter of satisfaction and pride," said Badal, adding that Punjab had also been adjudged the number one state in infrastructure development.
Showing deep concern at the heavy exodus of industry from the state due to grant of special industrial concessions to neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Badal said he was not against packages given to these states but the Centre should have extended it to Punjab also.
Speaking on the occasion, industry and commerce minister Anil Joshi said the state's endeavour was to bring the industry out of the clutches of real estate with the sole objective to allot industrial plots only to genuine industrialists who were willing to set up their units.