Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will sit with billionaire businessman Shapoor Pallonji Mistry when he visits Chandigarh on January 22 to explore expansion opportunities in Punjab.
Shapoor, chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, is father of Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and one of the business czars whom Sukhbir invited to attend the December 9-10 Progressive Punjab Investors Summit in 2013. Shapoor, who could not attend the summit, had written to the deputy CM that he would like to come over to Chandigarh later.
Leading a six-member delegation that includes company president, deputy managing director, adviser, group head and vice-president, Shapoor will discuss with Sukhbir how the group can associate further with Punjab and contribute to the state in sectors such as infrastructure, electricity, water, real estate, and transport. Shapoor and his sons control a major share in Tata Sons.
A day before Shapoor's arrival, Sukhbir is to meet Sudhir Maheshwari, chief financial officer of Arcelor Mittal, group that built the oil refinery in Bathinda. Maheshwari's visit is significant, as during the investors summit, London-based Indian steel magnate LN Mittal had announced that he would expand the business operations of his oil refinery. State government sources say Maheshwari is expected to apprise the government of the concrete plans of this expansion.
During the inaugural session of the summit on January 9, Mittal, who has raised the `20,000-cr project in Bathinda, had showered praises on the Parkash Singh Badal government of Punjab for giving him "a very positive experience of investing in Punjab".
The two-high profile visits come in the backdrop of the state government's efforts to woo big-ticket investors, which got a fillip during the summit last year, when the country's top industrialists promised to invest more than Rs 65,000 crore in a slew of projects in Punjab over the next two years. They also endorsed the state's new investor-friendly initiatives as "inspiring and forward looking".