Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today urged the Centre to evolve a comprehensive policy to develop border belts into industrial hubs to counter the economic threat posed by China.
Speaking at an interactive session for industrialists, organised by CII and Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion, he also reiterated his demand for a special package for the border states of Punjab and Rajasthan.
Singh said he had raised the issue of setting up industrial corridors in border areas, especially from Pathankot to Pakistan border, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month and was hopeful of a positive response.
The chief minister assured the industrialists that their investments will be safe in Punjab and his government will extend all possible support to them.
Singh said investment worth more than Rs 10,000 crore had already come into the state and that his government was targeting to triple the amount annually.
His government, Singh said, was there to facilitate industry, whose interests would be kept in mind while formulating policies.
The work culture in Punjab is highly conducive to promote industry, which is needed to generate employment and revenue in the state, he added.
The chief minister sought the industry’s inputs to further strengthen the new Industrial and Business Development Policy, which was designed to promote ease of doing business. He reiterated his commitment to make Punjab the most favoured investment destination in the country.
Pointing out that Punjab lost out on industry at the time of the state’s partition in 1966, he sought the industrialists’ constructive support for its development and to deal with problems such as ground water depletion, agricultural crisis and unemployment.
Singh also stressed the need for policy initiatives for better water management, given the critical water situation in the state, and crop diversification to overcome the crisis and also improve farm income.
During a question-answer session that followed, he said the state cabinet had recently approved operational guidelines for the industrial policy implementation, which placed significant focus on renewable and solar energy.
Invest Punjab CEO Rajat Aggarwal said the state was placing special thrust on rooftop projects, besides providing land on lease coupled with incentives.
The chief minister also held one-to-one meetings with some of the industrialists to discuss specific areas of investment and cooperation.