Capt seeks packages for agri, industrial, border area development

New Delhi, May 17: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday called on Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya to discuss central support and collaboration in the holistic development of the state, with special measures to help out the beleaguered farming sector and special packages for debt waiver, industrialisation and border area development.

The Niti Aayog agreed to visit Punjab for detailed discussions with the state government for the development of the region through crop diversification, industrial revival and other programmes, according to an official spokesperson.

While the Niti Aayog assured the Chief Minister that Punjab would not be impacted by industrial incentives to the states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, Amarinder suggested a special industrial package for Punjab along a 40-km belt in the sensitive border area.

There is a strong need, he said, to encourage micro, small and medium enterprises in Punjab with similar incentives in the border belt and in the sub-mountainous area along the hilly tracts to promote employment and bring buoyancy in the tax revenue of the state. It was also necessary for balanced regional development, he stressed, also seeking a special one-time infrastructure development package for improving the border areas, with border roads to be taken up for special development and maintenance under the National Highway Programme of the country.

The Chief Minister further urged the Centre to also promote a Petro Chemical hub adjoining the Bathinda refinery for manufacturing value-added products.

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