Will ensure special economic package: Taranjit Singh Sandhu : The Tribune India

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The Tribune interview

Will ensure special economic package: Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Will ensure special economic package: Taranjit Singh Sandhu



The Tribune interview: Taranjit Singh Sandhu, BJP candidate, Amritsar

Former Ambassador of India to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, BJP’s pick for Amritsar, while speaking with GS Paul says he is committed to bringing about overall development and getting a special economic package from the Centre for the border district of Amritsar if voted to power.

What prompted you to make your political debut from Amritsar?

Amritsar is my hometown. My grandfather Teja Singh Samundri was a founder member of the SGPC. My father Prof Bishan Singh Samundri was the founding Vice-Chancellor of the GNDU and also served as the principal of Khalsa College in Amritsar. My mother Dr Jagjit Kaur Sandhu served as Principal of Government Girls College here after doing her doctorate in the US.

Why is Amritsar lagging in development?

The economic growth can increase manifold with better connectivity with South-East Asia and Gulf countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, thereby opening the door for tourism and exporting local homemade products. My goal is to make visitors turn tourists by making them prolong their stay here. I will also make efforts to bring a special economic package from the Centre, revival of Indo-Pakistan bilateral trade through Attari-Wagah route.

Your vision for Amritsar’s revival as a trading hub?

Amritsar can be established as production home of ‘Punjabi juttis’, ‘papar-warrian’, ‘OCM clothing’ and jewellery that could be exported overseas. That’s why I emphasise on air and rail connectivity. We have over a million Punjabis in Canada and the US. They will lap up our indigenous products. Ludhiana-based Hero Cycles are now sold in the US through Walmart. Incidentally, this venture was fructified during my service span.

Any discussion with PM about Amritsar’s growth plan?

I held discussion with the PM and various ministers. India’s global relationship has transformed into partnership. Due to my 38-year-long career in foreign affairs, I would have no hassles in utilising my connections for bringing in foreign investments for Amritsar. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also assured me to set up a US consulate office in Amritsar.

Why you chose BJP when farmers are opposing its candidates?

They are not farmers, but agitators with vested interests. I am trying to educate farmers with my plans of increasing their income. Good varieties of vegetables and fruits grown in this region if sold globally can multiply farmers’ income. Like kinnow, which is sold just for Rs 10 a kg here, is sold at Rs 300 per kg in Dubai. Similarly, peas available here for Rs 20-25 per kg are sold at Rs 330 a kg in Dubai and Rs 1,300 a kg in England.

#BJP #Taranjit Singh Sandhu


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