Badal beckons Karnataka investors to Punjab




By IANS,

Bangalore : Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Tuesday showcased his state here with a host of incentives and tax exemptions to woo investors from Karnataka, especially in the knowledge sector.

"We are starting from Bangalore with our nationwide road show to attract investments in Punjab, as it (Bangalore) is the knowledge capital of India. The city has made Karnataka proud with phenomenal growth in IT and biotech sectors over the last two decades," Badal told reporters here after a day-long interaction with investors and entrepreneurs in the state.

Badal is on a two-day visit to the city since Monday with a official delegation to flag investment opportunities in Punjab and invite investors, entrepreneurs and industrialists to participate in the first Global Investors' Meet - 'Progressive Punjab' the Akali Dal government is holding in Chandigarh Dec 9-10.

"We are encouraged by the response and enquiries from investors here. We have invited top companies across sectors to explore Punjab as their next investment destination to set up new facilities or expand their operations in our state," he said.

In his meetings with IT bellwether Infosys' chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy and leading biotech major Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Badal has assured them to meet their requirements for investing in his home state.

"We are creating vertical hubs across the state to attract investments in IT, BT (biotechnology) and electronics hardware at Mohali, textile parks at Bhatinda and Ludhiana, education and health sectors in new Chandigarh and agro-cum-food processing and light engineering at Amritsar.

"All approvals will be given in 15 days through a single-window nodal agency to do business with ease," Badal claimed.

Asserting that Punjab would be a surplus state in power this year, the deputy chief minister said his government was building four-to-six lane expressways to connect major cities and towns across the state and creating ecosystems for diverse sectors to facilitate uniform and orderly growth of its economy.

"Punjab is perhaps the only state with a number of airports across the state. With expressways and widespread railway network, we will have one of the best connectivity for high-speed movement of people and goods," he noted.

Allaying fears over delays in land acquisition, Badal, who is also the Shiromani Akali Dal president, said the state government had created land banks for diverse sectors spanning 1,600 acres for IT sector and 2,000 acres for education sector at Mohali and 300 acres for medical city in new Chandigarh.

"In addition to quick allotment of land, we are offering value added tax (VAT) retention for the first 10 years, exemption from stamp duty on registration and tax exemptions with holistic infrastructure for manufacturing and services sectors," Badal added.