TN a powerhouse in knowledge and industry

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Salem, Tamil Nadu, Sep 5 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today described Tamil Nadu as the industrial and knowledge powerhouse of the country.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for modernisation and expansion of Salem Steel Plant here, he paid rich tributes to the state for its all round development.

He said Tamil Nadu has emerged as a major industrial hub of the country. ''Some call it the Detroit of India because of the number of automobile companies doing busniness in the state. I call it the industrial and knowledge powerhouse of India'', he added, amidst applause.

He said Tamil Nadu was a unique and important agricultural state also. It's a rice bowl, an important industrial state and an important centre of power, knowledge and economy. The people of Tamil Nadu have demonstrated to the world their creativity, enterprise, dedication and commitment to work, deep patriotism for the overall progress and development of the copuntry.

''I am proud to be standing here on this sacred soil of one of the great temples of modern india'', he added.

He congratulated the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) for taking up the modernisation and expansion. The multi crore project is designed to produce high quality stainless steel to be used both for home appliances and industry.

The project for the installation of steel melting and other facilities will make Salem Steel Plant an integrated plant. These investments will create additional opportunities for growth of employment in Salem and surrounding areas, he said.

He said 30 years ago in September 1970, the foundation stone for the plant was laid by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and today we are fortunate to have Ms Sonia Gandhi, he observed and paid deepest respects and highest tributes to the memory of late Indira Gandhi.

''Mrs Gandhi loved the people of Tamil Nadu and had the highest regard for the ancient culture and modern mind of the Tamil people'', he also said.

UNI WS VV BDP HS1837

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