Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday assured industry that the state government will give clearances to prospective investors within 15 days, promising greater ease of doing business at the two-day Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit.
The Punjab government has introduced self-certification for industries to do away with “Inspector Raj”.
Mann told industry representatives they wouldn’t hear the words like “come tomorrow” or face legal hassles in getting no-objection certificates, change of land use documents, and pollution and forest clearances. “We will give you all the clearances within 15 days,” he said. “If you plan to set up two plants, we will give you permission for three. You give employment to our youth.”
The amount that the first day of this year’s summit fetched is unclear. The chief minister said, “This summit will not be about MoUs. It will be about sharing knowledge and learning. We will provide ease of doing business.” Last year, the fourth edition of the event attracted investments worth 8,200 crore, according to the summit’s website.
Mann said the government would create 20 industrial clusters and 15 industrial parks in rural areas. “We want investors to build their plants in the rural regions so that our youth get employment and there is no migration.”
The summit, which has around 3,000 attendees from industry, will host nine sessions on areas such as agri-food processing, textiles, healthcare, education, tourism, IT and start-ups.
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Mann also said the state’s Industrial and Business Development Policy 2022, unveiled on Thursday, aimed to draw big investments and offered competitive incentives to varied segments including expansions, new MSMEs, large units, export promotion, and start-ups relating to services as well as manufacturing. Besides, he pitched Punjab’s EV Policy, also unveiled on Thursday, as a major step towards sustainability.
Mann said that Invest Punjab, the unified regulator for the state government, is deemed by the Centre as the top performing investment promotion agency. Punjab also received the Digital India Award from the President, and in logistics the state ranked among the top five in the recent LEADS Index and among the top 10 on the India Innovation Index 2022, the CM added.
Mann said that Punjab had received investments worth over Rs 40,000 crore since March 2022, employing around 250,000 people. These included investments by companies such as Tata Steel, Nestlé, Freudenberg Group, Cargill, Hindustan Unilever and Sanathan Textiles.
Leaders of several businesses, including Medanta Group, M&M, RJ Group, Godrej Consumer Products and Bharti Airtel, addressed the event.
Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, M&M, said, “We have four manufacturing units in Punjab. We are investing in the fifth that is under construction. We are also investing in a new product in the state, besides on CSR that has impacted 50,000 people.”
Nisaba Godrej, executive chairman, Godrej Consumer Products, said it is setting up a cattle feed factory and other businesses as it plans to expand in Punjab. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice chairman of Bharti Airtel, said, “Punjab has one of the best work environments. Till date, we have invested Rs 15,000 crore in the state and employed 50,000 people.”
Supporters of self-styled Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh, belonging to the Waris Panjab De group, went on a rampage in Amritsar on Thursday, storming a police station armed with swords and lathis. They also clashed with the police personnel. Law and order has been a major concern for investors in Punjab since the killing of singer Sidhu Moosewala last year.