Concessions must recognise States' natural potential: Kalia

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Chandigarh, Sep 26 (UNI) The Punjab Government today heightened its pitch for a Central package of concessions for industrialisation of the state,based on its natural and comparative advantages for the development of agro-industries, even as the State Government prepared to unveil a new industry policy in January 2009.

Inaugurating the FICCI-Konrad Adeneur Foundation (KAF) 'Joint Study and Workshop on State Level Reforms: Increasing Investments in Punjab' here today, Punjab Minister for Commerce and Industry Manoranjan Kalia stressed that the Central government should prepare a blueprint on the natural potential of each state.

''It should come out with an industrial package to boost Punjab's agro industries. By doing so, India's GDP will increase and it will usher in an era of mutual cooperation between the Centre and the States and amongst states'', he said.

Mr Kalia said Punjab had no objection if a Central industrial package of concessions was extended to Himachal Pradesh for hydro electricity generation, and to Chattisgarh for thermal power generation.

''If Himachal Pradesh is surplus in electricity, the neighbouring states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi will benefit. But, if a general package was extended to States, industrialists will migrate from one state to another merely to garner concessions, to the detriment of the entire country,'' he cautioned.

The Minister said the State was all set to unveil a New Industrial Policy, which was expected to be launched in January 2009.

In a bid to woo more investment, the Punjab Government, he said, had relaxed rules and regulations to minimise entrepreneurs' interface with the bureaucracy. Time frames have been set for project approvals and provisions made for legal, institutional and financial dispensation for mega projects.

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