New Delhi, August 1: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday assured captains of industry of a review of the existing policy to allow Change in Land User (CLU) transfer to facilitate industrial development in the state.
The assurance came during one-to-one meetings with some top captains of Indian industry to woo more investment and boost industrial development in the state.
The Chief Minister held a one-to-one meeting this evening with Walmart India Pvt Ltd President & CEO Krish Iyer and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Rajneesh Kumar, followed by a detailed discussion with Max Healthcare CEO & MD Rajit Mehta. On the heels of these came a meeting with Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd MD Harish Ahuja and Radisson Hotel Group Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor – South Asia, K.B Kachru.
The meetings were held ahead of the day-long interactive session with top industry, organised with the Chief Minister by CII and Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion. The interactive session is scheduled to be held in New Delhi tomorrow.
Captain Amarinder apprised the industry leaders of the various incentives made available by his government to business houses seeking to invest in Punjab, with the promise to review the new industrial policy, where needed, to address the specific concerns of the industry, according to an official spokesperson.
In his interaction with the Walmart officials, the Chief Minister assured that his government would consider CLU transfer to enable the Company to expand in Punjab, where it had set up its first store in 2009. Urging Walmart to look at further expansion in Punjab, the Chief Minister said the new industrial policy launched by his government had brought in ease of doing business and he was open to making further amendments to the policy to address major concerns of the industry.
The Walmart officials expressed the willingness to set up 10-12 new stores in Punjab over the next 3-4 years, with the next couple of stores likely to come up in Patiala and Mohali. They also showed interest in opening a `dark store’ (fulfilment store), on the lines of the one opened in Mumbai, in the state. The dark store is designed to serve kirana stores in the neighbourhood and other B2B customers through online orders.
Appreciating the women workforce in Punjab, the Walmart officials said each of their stores would provide direct employment to 250 and indirect to 2000 persons, including women.
During his discussions with Max Healthcare CEO & MD, the Chief Minister pointed out that his government had recognized Healthcare as a thrust sector and was keen to strengthen the healthcare facilities in the state. Mehta said his company was interested in opening a medical college in Bathinda, and would also support the state government in training of the manpower needed for providing healthcare to the people.
The Chief Minister promised to resolve the issue of inadequate parking space that was holding up the expansion of Max’s Mohali facility from 220 to 300 beds. Mehta said the company had already offered to buy land nearby or take the land of the civil hospital on lease for use as a parking lot.
Captain Amarinder, during his talks with Shahi Exports, focused on the state government’s decision to review the norms for infrastructure development for Textiles. His government would work towards liberalized zoning for higher FAR, 24×7 operations to run in three shifts and exemption from motor vehicle tax on buses plied by the Industry for its employees. It was also working to allow women employees to work in night shifts subject to the employer providing the necessary security and other requisite arrangements, the Chief Minister told Ahuja.
In his meeting with Kachru, Captain Amarinder informed him about the various incentives being given to the Hospitality segment, as a thrust sector under the new industrial policy of Punjab. His government was also looking at giving 100% Exemption from Entertainment Tax for Tourism and Hospitality as part of the sector-specific special incentives for units in thrust sectors.
The Chief Minister was informed that the Group was planning to increase its total portfolio of hotels in India to 200 by 2022 and add 10,000 employees. In Punjab, they have 10 hotels at present and are building a lifestyle hotel in Mohali. Kachru said the Group’s primary focus for expansion was on relatively smaller cities.