Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday announced that the state would soon get a new industrial policy that would aim to attract investments of Rs 1 lakh crore.
"Industrial development is at the top of the agenda in our second term in the state," Sukhbir said. "We are drafting a new industry policy that is expected shortly. This policy would have incentives for special sections of industry to attract investors."
The deputy chief minister was here to welcome some Congress leaders, who were joining the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). He said the policy would play a decisive role in reviving industries and providing employment to the youth.
"For industrial investment, Punjab has been declared the best entrepreneurship centre in a recent survey by World Bank because of the state's first class roads and other infrastructure," Sukhbir said. "Our task now is to attract business houses. The new policy is being drafted by experts who are holding discussions with industrial associations."
Sukhbir said the government had also decided to set up a land bank to provide land to entrepreneurs and all clearances for new industries would be assured within a month.
While meeting local industrialists, the SAD chief assured them that his government would pay special heed to the problems faced by the furnace and steel industry, for which Mandi Gobindgarh is known.
On some industry heads here threatening to shift base due to insufficient facilities and hardships, Sukhbir said a few industrialists had submitted to him a representation and he would resolve their demands at the earliest.
Asked about strong indications of state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and People's Party of Punjab president Manpreet Singh Badal forming a joint front before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Sukhbir said their urgency for alliance suggested that both were desperately seeking crutches to stand.
"We are set to witness an unusual situation in the Congress when only its president Capt Amarinder would remain in the party while all others would shift to SAD," Sukhbir said. "Manpreet has already met the same fate - his party has been reduced to a one-man unit now."
The Congress suffered a setback as its treasurer and former president of Mandi Gobindgarh municipal council Joginder Pal Singla joined SAD, along with his supporters, in the presence of Sukhbir. Singla represents the Lahoria group that is considered the backbone of the Congress in the area.