As many as 21 companies signed agreements with Punjab government totaling an investment of Rs 53,000 crore in the state aimed at providing employment to over a lakh workers.
These agreements include NRI business tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s commitment to expand the capacity of his refinery at Bathinda in Punjab.
“We want to expand the refinery by another 25 per cent, we want to develop Bathinda the way Reliance Industries has developed Jamnagar by providing jobs in the region,” Mittal said here.
Set up at investment of over Rs 20, 000 crore, the nine million tonne capacity refinery was started in April, last year.
Hinduja Group also signed an initial agreement with the state government for an investment of Rs 2,000 crore.
The company’s MoU was part of the 21 pacts signed today. Hinduja Group’s investment has an employment potential of Rs 5,500 crore in education, banking etc.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani today said that his company will invest close to Rs 2,500 crore for building digital infrastructure for the 4G network.
He said in his speech at the summit that the company may partner with Bharti Airtel for setting up the digital infrastructure.
Another telecom major Sunil Bharti Mittal also announced an investment of Rs 4,000 crore in the agrarian state in the future.
Bharti Enterprises today signed an initial agreement with the Punjab government committing an investment of Rs 4,000 crore in the state towards building digital infrastructure.
Biocon India Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Majumdar Shaw also urged the state Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to look at encouraging start-ups.
She said “We are looking at investing in the state, we want Punjab to promote start-ups so that it takes least amount of time to start a business here.”
ITC Group Chairman Y C Deveshwar also urged the state government to provide land to the company for setting up a world class food processing unit in the agriculture dominated state.
“Give us a piece of land somewhere near Jalandhar or Ludhiana and we will set up a globally competitive food processing industry in the state,” he said.
Another corporate Hero MotoCorp said the firm was interested in setting up an education facility in the state.
“We are looking at setting up an education facility or a university in the state and would also like to expand our healthcare business,” Sunil Kant Munjal Joint Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp.
The summit was attended by various dignitaries including corporate leaders like Mukesh Ambani (RIL), Y S Deveshwar (ITC), Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Enterprises), L N Mittal (Arcelor Mittal), Kiran Majumdar Shaw (Biocon) and GVK Reddy.
Meanwhile, Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Punjab is a power surplus state now and that the government’s thrust on infrastructure will continue.
“We are electricity surplus now. We will complete the construction of 4-6 lane highways in the state in the next three years. We have a domestic airport coming up in Bathinda and an international airport in Mohali,” he said.
The state government is also working its way forward in job creation in the fields of IT, textiles, health etc.
Malvinder Mohan Singh, Executive Chairman Fortis Healthcare, said the group will be making investments of over Rs 1,000 crore in the state in the healthcare sector and signed an MoU for the same.
Referring to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, Badal said that experience showed that some did not honour these at a later stage.
“It should be Memorandum of Promise or Memorandum of Commitment,” the Chief Minister said in his speech.
While praising his son Sukhbir for having organised the summit, the Chief Minister told him “to follow up with these captains of industry”.
In the presence of captains of industry seated on the dais, Parkash Singh Badal told Sukhbir: “You will have to visit them repeatedly. You will have to follow up with them to get investment.”
He also announced the state government’s decision to organise an Agro summit in February next year to give a boost to the agriculture sector.
“We cannot ignore the agri sector,” he said, adding that focus would also have to be on the upliftment of the poor.
The Chief Minister also said that the poor cannot be ignored and steps have been taken to uplift their lot.
Referring to the win of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly election, he said the party did well because they went to the grass root.
“We cannot ignore the grass root in case we are to progress,” he added.
Sukhbir Badal said Punjab was on the threshold of breaking into the big league of industrial development and urged the industry captains to invest in Punjab.
“Our mission is to make Punjab the most preferred investment destination in the country. We are welcome to suggestions from the industry to make that change to take Punjab forward,” Badal said, adding, “We have excellent work environment, excellent infrastructure and incentives in Punjab.”