Punjab is all set to take a major leap in industrialisation, with leading captains of Indian industry on Tuesday offering a slew of investments and project initiatives in the state during separate meetings with Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on the second day of his Mumbai visit.
While Reliance ADAG, headed by Anil Ambani, sought from the chief minister land for setting up testing ranges for its new defence projects, RPG Group chairman Harsh Goenka evinced interest in setting up a tractor tyre plant in the state, said in a press release.
The chief minister invited them to explore the viability of the projects, extending his government’s full support for the same by providing them the necessary land and other facilities for the development of industrial units. He also welcomed Mahindra & Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra’s offer for digitisation of the state’s urban local bodies, besides the establishment of an integrated emergency management system.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd CEO and MD Sanjiv Mehta, in his meeting with the chief minister, expressed his company’s keenness to procure tomatoes and citrus fruits on a large scale from the state for its Kisan jams and squashes.
During his breakfast meeting with Capt, Anil Ambani, pointing to the huge losses incurred by Punjab due to purchase of power at a high cost, offered power to the state at Rs. 1.75 per unit. He urged the chief minister to direct the power regulator and the state grid to go for the cheapest power, to which Capt promised to revisit all the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to assess the cost differential.
Inviting Reliance ADAG to Punjab for setting up their defence projects, the chief minister promised to arrange land for the establishment of testing ranges in Bathinda and Rajpura. In response to a suggestion by Anil Ambani for introducing the metro rail service in the state on Build and Transfer model, the chief minister invited them to study the urban transport system in Ludhiana to explore the possibility of setting up an elevated metro.
Later in the morning, the CM had intensive discussions with Anand Mahindra, with special focus on digital projects that could be undertaken by Tech Mahindra.
In response to the state government’s suggestion, Anand agreed to look at digitisation of the large urban local bodies, such as in Ludhiana and other major cities. Tech Mahindra is also keen to set up dial 100 emergency response system, on the lines of Uttar Pradesh Police Emergency Management System, which employs 1400 women to deliver a response time of just 15 minutes. The project, which is also being replicated in Jaipur, provides prompt integrated emergency services to ensure public safety for all, including those with special needs.
Responding to Mahindra’s request for a land and incentive package for Swaraj tractors, the state finance minister said about 100 acres of land was available in Bathinda, the strategic gateway for Rajasthan and Haryana.
Mahindra stressed the need for some sort of a certification body to ensure the quality of potatoes in Punjab. The company is supplying potatoes to McCain.
On a suggestion from the company, the chief minister invited them to share the proposed business model for `Uberization of tractors’. The finance minister also sought the company’s support for the `hara tractor scheme’, which the Congress manifesto proposes as one of the initiatives to generate employment for the youth in the state.
Hindustan Unilever has also agreed to support the state government’s plans to start an Ola-type service to facilitate self-employment for youth.
In his meeting with RPG Group chairman Harsh Goenka , the chief minister assured all possible help from his government for setting up a tractor tyre plant in the state. Goenka further said he was looking for IT support, which Capt said was available in abundance with a large number of highly skilled and talented youngsters graduating every year from the Thapar Engineering College, Patiala.
The meeting with HUL’s CEO and MD Sanjiv Mehta also centred on collaboration with the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) to enhance production of tomatoes, which the company was currently buying mainly from Nasik with Punjab contributing a little. The state government agreed to look at ways for augmenting the quantum of the produce to meet the needs of the company.
Garbage processing for power projects also came up for discussion, with HUL agreeing to work on the same