Expressing dissatisfaction with Punjab’s 19th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Survey, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said his government aims to put the state in the top five next year, with a new system of Deemed Approvals to be implemented soon to further promote business ease.
The Chief Minister said his government was working on implementing a system of Deemed Approvals wherein online automatic clearances will be issued on the expiry of stipulated time period, he added. The process of setting up new industrial parks to attract investments from foreign and domestic companies was also on, he said, citing the upcoming state-of-the-art Mega Parks in Ludhiana, Rajpura, Bathinda and Mohali.
Pointing out that Punjab was the number 1 State of the 20th century, Captain Amarinder invited industry to be a part of the government’s efforts to help the state regain its pre-eminent position.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to fully supporting investors as they strive for normalcy in the post-Covid environment in the coming year, the Chief Minister said his team of officers would do everything possible to help and facilitate the industry in Punjab.
Inviting the industry to partner the state in improving its skill training and make it more job-oriented, Captain Amarinder said “you need skilled manpower and you can absorb these trained youth at better rates.”
The Chief Minister was chairing a virtual round-table conference with some industry leaders on the job landscape and required skill-set for the post-Covid world, organised by Chitkara University, under the Punjab Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission.
Underlining his vision to provide employment in every household in the state, the Chief Minister cited the success of his government’s flagship Ghar Ghar Rozgar Mission programme to increase employment and employability of youth. District Bureaus of Employment & Enterprise have been set up in all districts, he said, adding that his government was working to respond to the demands of skilled labour by the industry. Skill deficit in the unemployed youth is identified, and matching is done with employer demands, he said, adding that more than 8 lakh youth have registered themselves on the Pgrkam.com portal to avail this facilitation.
The Chief Minister further said the New Education Policy would be tweaked by his government to suit the specific requirements of the state, particularly in the context of the post-Covid environment that would need a new skill-set for providing employment to youth.
Underlining the unique challenges faced by Punjab, a predominantly agricultural economy that had been trying to shift towards greater industrialisation under his government, the Chief Minister said skill development for rural children, in particular, was a challenge. The New Education Policy, which the state was currently examining in detail, would need to be tailor-made to the needs of the state, he said.
The world is changing and we will have to change along with it, said Captain Amarinder, adding that his government’s efforts were aimed at stopping the brain-drain by promoting relevant education and skills, with the best of universities in the state. Mohali was being developed as a major education hub, with Plaksha University coming up there, he added.
Referring to the challenges faced by the state, including the critical water situation, the Chief Minister said his government was trying to facilitate the shift from paddy to cash-rich crops, while also aggressively promoting industry, which had taken a major hit at the time of creation of Haryana.
The pandemic had hit the industrial development process adversely, and caused the economy to suffer immensely, said Captain Amarinder, adding that even amidst the crisis, the state had received an investment of about Rs. 2500 Cr. which is a strong sign of investor confidence in Punjab. Overall the state had received investments worth over Rs. 64,000 cr on ground in the last 3.5 years in response to the new industrial policy launched by his government.