Badal unveils Rs 350-billion vision for Punjab
Aiming to put Punjab on the forefront of development, ruling Shiromani Akali Dal working president Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday unveiled a Rs 350 billion economic development blueprint for the state.
Badal said the "futuristic vision" for Punjab would include making it a power surplus state, having world-class international airports that can land the massive A-380s, declaring medical tourism as an industry and provide global linkages to every corner of the state.
"We want to move ahead and make it the number one state," Badal, who is a sitting MP and son of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, announced at a press conference here.
The bulk of the proposed Rs 350 billion would be spent on the power sector. Badal said the state presently had an availability of 6,000 MW of power while the demand was 9,000 MW.
"We will ensure that 6,000 MW additional power is available within three years to make it a power surplus state. This will take care of the future requirement for the next 10 years," he stated.
Badal said that power supply would be an important issue to attract investment in the state's industry - which had been neglected in recent yeaRs
"We will ensure 24-hour power supply to all sectors, including industry, and attract investment."
He said the government would strive to establish an airport of international standards at Mohali, the Punjab town adjoining Chandigarh - the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Badal said that the airport should be operational by 2010 with the state going in for private participation for the project that is expected to cost Rs 10 billion.