Punjab CM Bhagawant Mann and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal hold meeting with industrialists

Mann exhorted the industrialists to set their units in rural areas as it would generate employment and provide skilled and affordable labour.

ByAayush Goel

Published Sep 15, 2023 | 12:57 PMUpdatedSep 15, 2023 | 12:57 PM

Bhagawant Mann meeting industrialists

In a bid to instil confidence amongst industrialists and usher Punjab into a major industrial revolution, AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was on a three-day tour of the state, met industrialists along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday, 14 September.

They met industrialists in Jalandhar and Amritsar and assured them of full support and ease of doing business.

Both the chief ministers lauded the government for the fact that Punjab leads the country in the MSME sector. According to the duo 2.75 lakh MSMEs had been registered in Punjab which is the highest so far in the country.

Also read: Mann and Kejriwal launch ‘education revolution’ in Punjab

Mann suggests opening of industrial units in rural areas

Addressing the gathering in Jalandhar, Bhagwant Mann exhorted the industrialists to set their units in rural areas of the state as it would not only generate employment but also provide skilled and affordable labour to them.

“It will serve the twin motives of giving impetus to industrial development on one hand and opening new vistas of employment for rural youth on the other. We assure complete support and cooperation to the industrialists opting for setting up their units in these hubs,” said Mann.

He further announced that the state government would set up a special convention centre at Jalandhar.

“During the previous regimes, people used to be scared of success as the leaders expected their share in profits. Those leaders looted the masses, especially the successful industrialists. Several restrictions were imposed on industrialists and then they were also branded as thieves by previous state governments”, added Mann.

‘Punjab has huge potential’

“I can confidently say Punjab has huge potential of leaving behind China in the sphere of industrial development. We made few guarantees before the elections and ease of doing business was one of them. The Punjab government has made major progress in the same,” said Kejriwal.

“Industrialists trust a government only when they get a corruption-free system, crime-free environment, and law in order, and the Mann government has given them that,” he added.

“After scrutiny of the records, we have found that the major issues that the industrialists had were electricity, road infrastructure and systematic problems. The AAP government is committed to redress all concerns raised by industrialists promptly. We had not signed dummy MoUs like the previous governments did during their regimes”, Mann added.

He lauded the Punjab government for getting investments worth ₹50,840 crore.

He said that Tata Steel made their biggest investment in the state, after Jamshedpur, adding that other companies like Jindal Steel, Virbio, Class, Tafe, Hindustan Unilever and others were also making investments in the state and with this 2.86 lakh youth would get employment in the state.

Also read: Amritsar to be developed as destination wedding hotspot

To industrialise border districts

Mann also announced the impetus to industrialisation in the border districts of the state. According to the chief minister, the process of border identification would be streamlined soon in the state by incorporating the necessary changes.

Mann said, “Now Punjab has an industrial-friendly government with a single-window system. This system was a sham earlier as no one utilised it in a real sense. The state government will construct exclusive sub-stations for providing power to the industry and soon the CSR funds will be utilised for the development of focal points”.

Meanwhile, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney will lead a delegation of rice exporters from Punjab to meet Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal for his intervention in rationalising the Minimum Export Price (MEP) on rice that is fixed to $1,200, which is adversely impacting the exports from India.

Concerns of basmati rice exporters

Sahney, along with the office bearers of the Basmati exporters association, took up the matter with Mann and Kejriwal in the industrial interaction meeting ‘Sarkar Sanatkar Milni’ in Amritsar on Thursday.

“Bhagwant Mann ji has authorised me to take a delegation and meet Piyush Goyal. The CM on his part, will also write a DO letter to the Union Minister for relaxation in the rice export norms”, said Sahney

“The decision to impose MEP at $1200 is almost $350 higher than the average price of export. About 70 percent India’s exports are in the price bracket of around $850 while the higher value exports ranging from $1,200–$1,700 is only about 25-30 percent of it,” said Shaney in a letter written to the Union minister.

“This decision will impact 70 percent of our basmati rice exports and Indian exporters will lose their hard-earned buyer base to Pakistan which is a competitor of India in the basmati export market. At the recently concluded Istanbul food fair in Turkey, a key destination for basmati business, not a single Indian company could bag any fresh order”, quipped Shaney.