Mumbai/Chandigarh:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday got an assurance from Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran to visit the state soon to explore the possibility of setting up a major venture, even as ICICI Bank Ltd CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar agreed to consider the possibility of shifting the bank’s backend operations to Mohali in the next stage of their expansion.
On the first day of his three-day Mumbai trip to woo investors, as part of the state government’s `Invest Punjab’ initiative, the Chief Minister, who is leading a high-profile delegation, promised to streamline the systems and processes to make the state more investor and industry friendly, while reiterating his commitment to provide power to the industry at Rs 5 per unit.
Besides one-to-one meetings with Chandrasekaran and Kochchar, the Chief Minister also held separate meetings with Goldman Sachs Chairman Sonjoy Chatterjee and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej.
During his meeting with Chandrasekaran, the Chief Minister pointed out that Punjab was the only power surplus in the country with abundance of cheap power for industrial units coupled with hard working and dedicated human resource in terms of young and talented youth. With power at Rs 5 a unit, Punjab would be the second state after Himachal Pradesh to offer power to the industry at such low tariff, he added.
During detailed talks with Kochchar, Captain Amarinder suggested that ICICI bank move its backend operations to Mohali, as HDFC Bank and Infosys were already doing. The ICICI Bank chief said they would consider this as and when they decide to expand.
Development of the Chief Minister’s ancestral village, Mehraj, as a model digital village, support to small dairy farmers, besides training and skill development of farmers and unemployed youth were other issues on which the two sides agreed to work closely, according to Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to the CM and a member of the delegation accompanying Captain Amarinder.
On the issue of farmers’ training, the Chief Minister stressed the importance of reducing reliance on paddy and wheat by shifting to other products, such as dairy, fruits and vegetables, for which the farmers needed to be trained. He also suggested opening of youth skill development centres, on the lines of the one being run in Mohali by ICICI Bank, in all districts of the state
Adi Godrej, during his discussion with the Chief Minister, spoke about the various ongoing Godrej projects in Punjab, including the Godrej Tyson Foods Limited project for which an MoU was signed with the Government of Punjab in 2015 and all clearances have since been issued. The project involves setting up a Ready to Eat Food Processing Facility with freezing capability and cold storage in Ludhiana. Godrej said his company was constantly looking at expanding further in Punjab with more ventures in the future.
At his meeting with Goldman Sachs Chairman Sonjoy Chatterjee, Captain Amarinder discussed investment options for the state, which the former agreed to explore. The evening concluded with a dinner meeting with KPMG India Chairman and CEO Arun K Kumar, during which Captain Amarinder urged KPMG to come up with out-of-the-box ideas for generation of revenue in the state.