PUNJAB HAS POTENTIAL TO EMERGE AS NEXT ECONOMIC HUB OF SOUTH EAST ASIA : SUKHBIR BADAL
CHANDIGHAR, JANUARY 4: The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today showcased Punjab as ‘Land of Opportunities’ to Non Resident Punjabis and said that the state with enterprising Punjabis and responsive government has the potential to emerge as next Economic hub of South East Asia. In a 90 minute Power point presentation made to elected representatives with Punjab origin of various countries and Non Resident Punjabi media that have come to NRI Sammelan, Sukhbir allayed the negative perception being perpetuated by opposition parties and with hard comparative facts, showed that reality in Punjab was totally opposite the perception created by them.
In a post tea session, smartly dressed Punjab Deputy Chief Minister showcased Punjab like a CEO of Multi National Company and impressed upon the Non Resident Punjabis that SAD-BJP Government in Punjab was out to accomplish the development agenda in time bound manner. Mr. Badal said that the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal in the beginning of first tenure realised the fact that Punjab has to regain its preeminent position in the development and with strong agriculture base, high consumer index, best work culture, high per capita income, best human resource and on the top of it with the Enterprising Punjabis, it has potential to emerge No. 1 state in the country. He said that we were also conscious of our limitation of being land locked state, with international disturbed border on one side, with no natural mineral and mines and surrounded by state attracting industry with concessions besides stagnation of agriculture production. He said that keeping strengths and weaknesses in mind we decided to focus on making Punjab Power surplus, strengthening infrastructure in the state, improving air connectivity besides assuring transparency in the working of administration by Governance Reforms to attract investment in the state.
Announcing to a thunderous standing ovation, Mr. Badal said that by December 2013, Punjab would be the first power surplus in the country with generation capacity reaching 8884 MW against the demand of 8865 MW. He said that by 2014-15 with generation capacity reaching 11484 MW against demand of 9567 MW, Punjab would be in position to sell the power and if permitted by Union Government to export it to Pakistan also. He said that Punjab is the only state in the country that would have three international airports at Amritsar, Mohali and Machhiwara and three domestic airports at Pathankot, Ludhiana and Bathinda. He said that Mohali airport being built on 305 acres at the cost of Rs. 910 crore would be completed by February 2015.
Projecting Punjab as the first state in the country that would have all cities linked with 4/6 lane roads in there years at the cost of Rs. 7600 crore, Mr. Badal said that we would soon witness completion of 4/6 laning of Shambu-Jalandhar, Jalandhar-Pathankot, Jalandhar-Amritsar, Amritsar-Pathankot, Amritsar-Zira-Kotkapura-Sri Ganga Nagar, Ludhiana-Moga-Talwandi, Hoshiarpur-Jalandhar-Moga-
Presenting futuristic town planning vision of the Punjab Government, Mr. Badal said that Punjab is the first state that has approved the master plan of all the cities and said that Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Bathinda were being developed by international developers. He said that Cabinet has approved master plans of 14 major cities and remaining master plans of 133 cities were in pipeline.
Announcing Comprehensive Urban Mission of 147 cities and towns for planned development, 24X7 power, 100% drinking water, 100% sewerage coverage, solid waste management, smooth traffic flow, Mr. Badal said that with the investment of Rs. 10000 crore all 147 cities would transform in next four years. He said that sensing the potential growth model of Punjab, top infrastructure companies including DLF, Shipra, IREO, Emaar MGF, Omaxe, TDI, Ansals, Unitech, Quark, JLPL have invested Rs. 30480 crore during last four years.
Outlining his vision to make the transport system in the cities futuristic, Mr. Badal said that Rs. 7500 crore Ludhiana Metro, Rs. 200 crore Pod system in Amritsar would mark the beginning of new urban transport system. He said that he was having a meeting with vice chairman of Planning Commission on January 15 and we should expect surprising news on that day. Mr. Badal said that all cities in Punjab have been connected with AC Buses and City bus service has already started in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda besides Radio Cab service in Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Focusing on Human Resource Development, Mr. Badal said that Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Nano Science Technology, National Agri Food Biotechnology Institute have been already established during last four years. Mr. Badal said that Punjab Government was establishing Medi-city in New Chandigarh (Mullanpur) and Super Specialty Chains were vying to set up their hospitals in the upcoming medicity. He said that 108 Ambulance service in Punjab was at par with 999 service of Canada. Emphasising the need for sports, Mr. Badal said that by bringing Kabaddi on the sports map, the Punjab Government has upgraded the sports infrastructure with the setting up of 6 Astroturf hockey stadium, 7 multipurpose stadiums, 5000 rural gyms and Punjab was the first state in the country to have sports policy.
Showcasing business opportunities in Punjab, Mr. Badal said that last five years saw an investment of Rs. 24000 crore and 359 mega projects and 114 manufacturing projects were in pipeline with the investment of Rs. 113503.46 crore. He said that Punjab was setting up Textile Hub in Malwa, Food Hub in Majha, IT Hub in Mohali and Amritsar, Petro Park in Bathinda, Automobiles hub in Patiala, Sugar hub in Amritsar and Gurdaspur, Hosiery hub in Ludhiana, Handtool, Sports and Leather hubs in Jalandhar for focused and accelerated industrial growth. He said that Punjab Government has always taken care of poor by spending Rs. 1313 crore on Atta-Daal scheme, Rs. 2240 crore on old age pension scheme, Rs. 297 on Shagun Scheme, Rs. 455 on rural toilets.
Mr. Badal said that fully conscious of aspirations of youth, Punjab Government had recruited 115780 youth in total transparent manner in Government jobs against virtually zero employment during congress rule.
Emphasising upon people centric responsive government, Mr. Badal said that Punjab is the first state to introduce Right to Service Act and Governance Reforms empowering the people to get their citizen services within stipulated time otherwise concerned employee would be punished. He said that within first year Punjab received 48 lakh applications in civil and 13 lakh in police under RTS Act.
Debunking opposition for maligning theirown state with false propaganda, Mr. Badal said that opposition by projecting Punjab as financially bankrupt, debt ridden state with a negative growth was totally opposite the reality. Providing factual data of Union Planning Commission, Mr. Badal said that the fact is that Punjab has improved debt GSDP ratio to 33.4 % from 43.2% in congress rule by bringing state on 5th position in this pattern. He said that surprisingly the GDP ratio of Union Government was 68.05.
Mr. Badal said that Punjab has only 34% growth in the debt from 2009-2012 whereas debt of Haryana during this period rose by 66%. Describing debt as a universal phenomena, Mr. Badal said that Japan has 225.9% debt of GDP whereas Singpore 99%, USA 93%, France as 84% whereas Punjab has only 33.4%.
Showing the improvement in the revenue receipts, Mr. Badal said that against Congress tenure revenue receipts of SAD-BJP Government increased by 66% to 115950 crore, state taxes increased by 87% to 68758 crore, VAT increased by 125% to 45082 crore total excise increased to 10825 crore by 48% and receipts from Stamp duty increased by 79% to 10266 crore. He said that Punjab during Congress rule had a growth of 4.5% against the target of 6.4% whereas during SAD-BJP rule growth in Punjab was 8.1%.
Mr. Badal said that secret of exponential growth of Punjab during last five years instead of putting restriction on the capital expenditure, we increased our investment in various sector to accelerate growth. He said that there was 398% increased investment in general education, 184% increase in medical health and family welfare, 155% increase in road infrastructure sector, 157% in irrigation sector, 170% increase in social security sector and 197% increase in rural water supply sector as compare to previous congress regime.
Expressing satisfaction over fulfilling the most of the demands of NRIs , Mr. Badal said that Punjab has already constituted Punjab State Commission for NRIs, Amended Punjab Urban Rent Control Act for eviction of multiple properties of NRIs for multiple times, ensuring 10% Quota in all Government residential and industrial estate, Putting land records online, setting up fast track revenue and judicial courts, establishing Three Fast Track NRI Courts, Appointment of honorary Nambardars, enacting compulsory Marriage Registration Act, Establishing 8 NRI police stations, enacting Human Smuggling Act to check the nefarious activities of travel agents.
Mr. Badal announced to a thunderous applause that in future all complaints of NRIs would be entertained by DSP rank officer and not SHO. He said that he was also looking that how proclaimed offenders issue could be solved.
Mr. Badal called upon all Non Resident Punjabis to become equal partner in the progress of the state, realising the dream of 2 crore Punjabis.