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Punjab Governor woos NRIs
Tribune News Service

Delegates at Parvasi Punjabi Divas-2006 discuss investments and business opportunities in Punjab, in Chandigarh
Delegates at Parvasi Punjabi Divas-2006 discuss investments and business opportunities in Punjab, in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 14
The Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today called upon non-resident Indians from the state to invest in the Chandigarh Capital Region through partnership ventures with focus on the social and rural transformation of Punjab.

Delivering the keynote address at Parvasi Punjabi Divas 2006 here today, the Governor stated that a responsive system and a regulatory mechanism for facilitating the investment process had been established in the state. The two-day event is being organised to explore business opportunities in the service industry and infrastructure development in Punjab.

Stating that the region had emerged as a favourite destination for MNCs and leading global players, he added that there were a wide range of opportunities for the NRIs to contribute in the fields of information technology (IT) and agriculture and various social and community service sectors.

He said that Chandigarh was going to be a major attraction for investment, with the city airport being upgraded to an international terminal. The Central Government had already allocated Rs 60 crore for the project. Besides, a vegetable and fruit terminal market was being set up adjacent to the airport to facilitate agro-business in the North, he added.

General Rodrigues said that discussions with Reliance and the NDDB had already started on a project to set up collection centres for fruits and vegetables within 150 km of the main centre, as well as establish an ultra-modern export hub.

This would also give a major stimulus to the crop diversification plan and encourage farmers to break the wheat-paddy rotation cycle.

He said that with the setting up of the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park, approved as a special economic zone, and a technological habitat for attracting private and foreign direct investment, a clear roadmap had been put in place for bringing about a technological revolution.

He said that various multinationals like Infosys, Bharti and Wipro had already joined in this endeavour. He urged the NRIs to come forward for making investments in this world-class project equipped with all modern facilities of convention centre-cum-hotel, housing for professionals, educational facilities on the campus and hostel accommodation for boys and girls.

The Commissioner, NRI Affairs, Mr N.S. Kalsi, in his inaugural address, highlighted the steps being taken by the Punjab Government for expanding the scope of NRI investments in different sectors of the economy.

Stating that there was a hospitable climate in the state for investment and enterprise, he added various economic surveys at the international level had ranked Punjab at the top. He said the government was making sincere efforts to give a major boost to infrastructure development, industry and IT.

The President of the Indo-American Society, Dr A.S. Marwah, said that the NRI Vision Paper, released today, had set out an ambitious agenda. Emphasising that priority areas must be identified for the speedy implementation of the agenda, he added that NRIs were ready to invest in Punjab in equal partnership and to strengthen further the relations between the state and Punjabi NRIs.

Presentations were made by experts on infrastructure development and future planning, real estate, banking insurance and financial services, IT and telecom and global business opportunities.
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