Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has exhorted the industry to partner with the state government in implementing its social welfare agenda by contributing a part of their CSR budget to the recently launched Social Security Fund.
He was interacting informally with some of the states leading industrialists on Saturday evening, to elicit their views and feedback before finalising the operational guidelines of the new industrial policy.
The industry stalwarts were quite receptive to the suggestion, which would pave the way for the state government to reinvest the savings thus secured for the exchequer into infrastructural development for promoting industry, an official spokesperson said today while giving details of the meeting.
The industrialists were unanimous in underscoring the need to improve road infrastructure in focal points across the state.
The industry could support skill development of youth, thus also boosting employment generation in the state, he added.
The industry leaders expressed their willingness to explore the suggestions, which they felt could go a long way towards bringing the states economic growth back on track.
The chief minister invited the industry to provide frank and open feedback on the industrial policy so that the operational guidelines to strengthen it in order to woo more investment could be finalised in line with the industry concerns and demands.
The government proposes to incorporate time-bound steps in the operational guidelines for the industry to secure various clearances, he informed the meeting.
Though the state was not in a position to provide additional fiscal subsidies, apart from the power subsidy already being given by the state, in view of the financial constraints, the Congress government would do everything possible to create a favourable environment by streamlining systems and enabling ease of business, said Amarinder Singh.
Responding to the concern expressed by Avon Cycles Chairman and MD Onkar Pahwa about the power cost continuing to be too high for the small scale industry despite the power subsidy, the chief minister directed his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar to discuss the matter with the SMEs to find ways of reducing the expense.
Trident Group chairman Rajinder Gupta stressed the importance of strengthening the textiles business in the state, given the massive potential arising from export of textile goods. The chief minister assured of his governments full support to the sector.
On a suggestion from Ivy Healthcare Group Chairman Gurtej Singh, the Chief Minister promised to look into extending more benefits to the healthcare industry, though provisions were already included in the new industrial policy to treat it at par with various other industries, such as power.
The meeting also discussed steps to further promote medical tourism in the state.
Amarinder mooted the idea of industries monitoring the progress in schools.
Sachit Jain, who is also chairman of CII Northern region, appreciated the reduction in the power tariff, while underlining the need to encourage expansion of the existing industries to incentivise others to invest in the state.
While Anup Kumar, MD of Mrs Bectors Food Specialties Ltd, called for incentives from the government for 100 per cent export oriented units, Kamna Aggarwal, chairman of Engineering Export Promotion Council (North India) stressed that the Industries department needed to be more proactive to promote MSMEs.
Sonalika ITL Chairman LD Mittal raised the issue of "mismatch" of GST on input and output for goods like agricultural implements, while, Viren Popli, COO of Swaraj Tractor Division, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, pointed out that the industrial policy suffered a lacuna in not including concessions for encouraging Research and Development.
The chief minister said he would look into all the suggestions and ensure that the operational guidelines are structured to address all the major concerns of the industry.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)