Centre approves 13 SEZs for Punjab, says Badal

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Morinda (Ropar), Oct 27 (UNI) The Centre has approved 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) projects for Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced today.

He said the State Government would enact the Punjab SEZs Act to facilitate the implementation of these Projects in an effective manner.

He was speaking at the launch of 'Crop Tiger 60' Harvestor Combine of Rs 100 Crore CLAAS India Ltd., a 100 % subsidiary of CLAAS Group of Germany.

Mr Badal said that CLAAS's initiative to invest in Punjab would have a catalytic effect on other German companies for investment in the state because CLASS itself was a global leader employing 8,000 people worldwide with the turn over of Euro 2.5 billion (RS 1400 Crore).

The Chief Minister recalled that Punjab had the distinction of offering first indigenous tractor to the country in the year 1970 through Punjab Tractors Ltd. (PTL), a company promoted by State Goverment for its brand- "SWARAJ". Later on many indigenous projects were added to the company's range including combine harvesters and other allied agriculture implements.

Mr Badal reiterated that the State Government was determined to accelerate the pace of industrial development and a new industrial policy was being finalized in consultation with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The core initiative would be increased growth rate of manufacturing sector to make Punjab investment destination, attract foreign direct investment, employment opportunities for local youth, upgradation of infrastructure, optimum utilization of the available local resources and strengthen traditional industries in the state and ultimately to establish linkage between education and industry.

He pointed out that the new policy would be implemented in consultation with industry through the Industrial Development Board to be constituted by the state government.

To facilitate the movement of industrial growth from the state, Mr Badal said that the Freight Corridor being developed by Central Government from Kolkatta to Delhi has been extended upto Ludhiana.

He said that he would soon take up the issue with the Ministry of Railways to also extend 'Mumbai-Delhi Industrial Corridor' to Punjab.

Mr Badal said that the Punjab Government was committed to make Punjab a 'natural investment destination' by offering world-class road infrastructure and air-connectivity for which the Government had already taken up major initiatives and planned programmes.

He said in order to offer hassle-free governance and to dispense with 'Inspector Raj' a system of 'fast track' for simplification of procedures had been introduced which would not only encourage the local industry but also give impetus to the manufacturing sectors, especially those offering employment to local population.

In his welcome address Managing Director CLAAS India, Mr M P Malik said that the project would give fillip to the process of mechanization in the state, thereby increasing the yield per acre.

He hopped the project would contribute substantially to state's revenues in terms of various taxes, duties etc.

Addressing on the occasion, Deputy Chairperson, CLAAS Germany, Ms Catherine Claas briefly outlined the profile of the company and its operation in Europe, US and Asia alongwith marketing and service network across the World. She said that CLAAS was Europe's leading manufacturer of combine harvesters, self propelled forage harvesters, agriculture balers and forage harvesting machines.

UNI

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