Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani on Monday promised the SAD-BJP government that he was keen to invest and build world-class digital infrastructure in Punjab and would also support the coaching of young talent in basketball.
Speaking during the inaugural session of the two-day Progressive Punjab Opportunities Unlimited, which began at the Indian School of Business (ISB) here on Monday, he said the Reliance Group of Companies would invest in digital infrastructure in Punjab and intended to take it to all schools, colleges, hospitals and major private and government institutions. The digital infrastructure comprises telecommunications and network services.
"In less than one year, we plan to invest Rs 2,500 crore in Punjab and will take this digital infrastructure to all 147 major cities and towns of Punjab. This will also help the state generate employment in thousands," he said, adding that he was delighted to be present at such an eminent institute (ISB) which was indeed world-class.
Ambani said the Reliance Foundation was doing a great job in sports in several states. "We would want to provide coaching to budding basketball players in schools of Punjab. Our initial target will be to train at least one lakh children. Later, we can go for expansion," he added.
Praising deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for the presentation aimed at impressing upon the business fraternity that Punjab was the most suitable place for future investment, Ambani said it was a reflection of the leader's foresight to usher in a new era of industrial growth in the state.
Ambani said watching Sukhbir make the PowerPoint presentation like a professional made him tell ITC chairman YC Deveshwar, sitting next to him on the dais, how much India's politicians had changed over the years.
Referring to Sukhbir's Mumbai visit in October, Ambani said, "Prior to that visit, I was already a half Punjabi by heart as I love Punjabi food. After meeting Sukhbir and seeing his vision and ideas for Punjab's future, I have become a full Punjabi. I don't meet him (Sukhbir) often. But whenever I do, I witness his enthusiasm and fast-track approach which want to take Punjab to new heights of development."
Ambani said Punjab had always been at the forefront in every sphere. "It is the land of patriots, freedom fighters and martyrs. And if Sukhbir exhibits the attitude of the next generation, it is going to take Punjab a long way," he added.
Ambani said he was equally impressed by Sukhbir's endeavour to deliver the value of development to the citizens of Punjab.