Punjab becoming an investment destination

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Chandigarh, Oct.6 : Punjab has emerged as one of the favourite investment destinations of the country, following connectivity to other places and other advantages.

To attract more investors to the State, the Punjab government has asked the Centre to prepare a blueprint, which factors in the natural potential of the state.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently conducted a survey with Konard Adenaeur Foundation on State Level Reforms - Increasing Investment in Punjab'.

The report has suggested reorganization of State's infrastructure.

Punjab government has already requested the Centre to announce an industrial package for the State.

Manoranjan Kalia, State Industry and Commerce Minister during a recent function, said: "As the suggestions (FICCI'S report) are concerned, they will go a long way during the formulation of new industrial policy, which is going to be released in two months. This industrial policy will also be having suggestions given by UNIDO. Moreover, this workshop by FICCI will also help us at national and international level to bring investments in Punjab."

Known for its rich agricultural heritage and dairy farming, Punjab holds great potential for investors looking at food-processing and dairy industry.

Punjab is the India's biggest milk producer and this has been of great help to existing industries like Verka. Its plants, located in various parts of Punjab, produce a variety of milk products like ghee (clarified butter), sweets and Lassi (churned milk).

Anjan Roy, adviser with FICCI, said: "There is lot of opportunity for developing food processing and agro-based industries here. There are some industries for which you have to have power and infrastructure to develop them. For agro-based food processing industries, you need to have a very good cold storage chain network. State government should give some more incentives to make industries here more competitive."

Punjab is already emerging as a favourite destination for IT and BPO firms.

Quark, Dell, Infosys and other IT majors have already set up facilities in Chandigarh and Mohali. And, with state's expansion plans the stage seems set for an industrial revolution.

Christian M Schlaga, the minister and Deputy of Mission, German Embassy, said: "Chandigarh has several German companies of which some are here since many years and they are successful. Due to the very sane infrastructure available here companies prefer this place. A very good infrastructure like roads, power is available here. When I talk about German companies who are in Punjab or investing in Punjab, its very interesting to know that they are very positive towards Punjab in comparison to other places in India."

To woo more investment in sectors like textile, automobile and oil refineries, the Punjab government has also relaxed rules and regulations and provision for legal, institutional and financial dispensation, along with introducing various economic reforms.

The initiatives have laid stress on speeding up the developments of airports, highways and power generation. One can say maximum attempts are being made to draw investors to Punjab. By Sunil Sharma

ANI

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