Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said his government was committed to providing full support to the industry and wanted the state to be a "formidable" industrial base.
Addressing business leaders at the valedictory session of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit 2019 on the concluding day, the chief minister pitched Punjab as a state that offered them a future, with the assurance of "peace and security" to protect their investments at all costs.
He said his government was prepared to change its decades-old policies to transform the state from an agricultural to an industrial economy.
Underlining the need for a much-needed change to prevent people from going out in search of greener pastures, Amarinder declared, "We cannot continue with policies that are 50 years old. We have to change if we want to remain in the game."
It was imperative to take Punjab in the direction of a progressive future for the sake of the next generation, he asserted, expressing concern over the brain-drain from the state.
"Agriculture is no longer remunerative... we are an agriculture state and 70 per cent of agriculturists have less than five acres of land. Therefore industrialisation is the only answer and whether it is primary, tertiary sector, we want industry. I want Punjab to be a very formidable industrial base," he said.
"I'll give you what to want... tell me what's needed, I'll do everything that is needed (for facilitating the industry).
"With new challenges emerging, we must change and keep pace with it. Let me tell you whatever we have done in our industrial policy or otherwise that is not sacrosanct. Any of you require changes which help the state to grow, we are quite prepared for it," he said.
"I hope you go from here convinced that we are committed to your welfare. We will give you security, we will ensure peace for you," he said, pointing out that Punjab offered a conducive environment for industrial development with a productive workforce. "There are no labour problems in Punjab, no strikes," he added.
His government was committed to the promotion of industry and investment and has already taken several measures on this count, the chief minister said.
Pointing to the importance of availability of industrial land, Amarinder noted that his government had recently approved amendments to the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Rules 1964, which will enable development of industrial infrastructure projects by easing land acquisition process for investors.
Further, he pointed out that electricity demand from the industry sector had increased by 26 per cent, which was also a direct indication of enhanced industrial activity in the state.
Meanwhile, security was tightened on Friday at the summit's venue in the wake of a security breach that took place on Thursday when a youth suddenly appeared before the stage when an interactive session with Amarinder Singh was going on.
The youth, carrying some papers, had raised an issue relating to his shop at Derabassi, sending security personnel into a tizzy.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)