Badal meets PM for industrial package to Punjab

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Chandigarh, Dec 17 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a similar package of concessions and incentives for Punjab's beleaguered industry from the Union Government on the pattern of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and J&K.

The brief meeting between the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister took place at the airport here. The Prime Minister made a brief halt here while on his way to Himachal Pradesh for electioneering.

Disclosing this at the seminar, "Doing Business with Italy" here at Confederation of Indian Industry, Northern Zone, Mr Badal said that responding to his request, the Prime Minister told him that these incentives were only limited for next two years in these states.

" I told the PM that Punjab could also be covered under these incentives for these two years", Mr Badal said at the seminar.

In his address, Mr Badal called upon the industrialists to set up skill development centres in collaboration with state government to impart skill training to the unemployed youth for gainful employment.

He mentioned that Punjab Government had already envisaged a scheme to impart security training to the youth at the police training complex at Jahan Khelan in Hoshiarpur district so that they could be employed in the private security agencies in India as well abroad. He urged the industrialists to utilize the services of the trained youngsters in their industrial units and ventures.

Referring to the strong ties between Punjab and Italy, Mr Badal said that these could be further strengthened with enhancement of economic and commercial interchange and cooperation. He sought cooperation from the Italian government to promote bilateral trade between Italy and Punjab.

He appreciated the opening of a local Consulate Office by the Italian Embassy at Chandigarh with the appointment of Mr Ranjit Malhotra as honorary consular correspondent for Punjab which would act as an ou sourcing agency for Visas to Italy. He said that the direct international flight from Amritsar to Italy would further give fillip to the trade and economic activities besides mutual exchange of social and cultural ties.

He expressed keen interest to set up ventures in the field of engineering and also in sectors like information technology, nano-technology, bio-technology and modern agro-processing industry in collaboration with Italy and through the mode of technology transfer.

In his address, Ambassador of Italy to India, Mr Antonio Armellini said that Punjabis had strong bonding with Italy because 80 per cent Indians settled in Italy were of Punjabi origin. He hoped both Italy and Punjab could script a golden chapter in the history of international trade with mutual trade and exchange of technology transfer in the field of agriculture, agro-processing, technology and textile.

He thanked the Punjab government for extending cooperation to the Italian government to sort out the long pending issue of illegal immigration in Italy.

UNI

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