Punjab’s investor summit sees investment commitment to tune of ₹7,700 crore

Punjab hosted the fourth edition of the summit on October 26 and 27 aimed to reassure the investors of even greater support and progressive policies of the State Government

The recently concluded two-day long Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit has seen a fresh investment commitment to the tune of ₹7,700 crore, including from foreign countries, resulting the overall investments in Punjab to surpass ₹1 lakh crore mark in the past over four years.

“These investments have come in from companies from diverse countries including the U.S.A., U.K., U.A.E., Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore. The key foreign companies having already opened or in the process of opening their units independently or in collaboration with the local industry in the state include Aichi Steel, Air Liquide, Think Gas, Sunjin, Graepel, Yanmar, Hartmann, Centrient Pharmaceuticals, Ognibene, Sharaf Group, and B Lal Steel Shredding Pvt. Ltd.,” said Rajat Agarwal, CEO of ‘Invest Punjab’ — the State Government’s investment promotion agency.

Punjab hosted the fourth edition of the summit on October 26 and 27 aimed to reassure the investors of even greater support and progressive policies of the State Government.

“State’s investment figure has touched rupees 1,06,700 crore in the past four and a half years with over 3,400 projects coming in. All this is expected to generate over 3.6 lakh jobs for the skilled and unskilled youth. The production activity has already started in 54% ventures and 34% projects were under construction while the remaining 12% were in the pre-construction stage,” said Mr. Agarwal.

To attract investment, the Punjab Government during the summit announced resolution of long-pending pain points of the industry. For traders and industrialists, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced that the State Government will scrap 40,000 of the 48,000 pending Value-Added Tax (VAT) cases related to financial years: 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. The 8,000 remaining cases will be settled amicably by asking the traders and industrialists concerned to deposit only 30% of the total outstanding tax liability. The government announced the abolishing of the institutional tax, which had been implemented since 2011, besides it also announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for the defaulters to be introduced in Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) and Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC). An amnesty scheme will also be introduced for the plot holders of the Punjab State Industries Export Corporation (PSIEC).

“To assuage the pain of medium-scale industries the fixed charges on electricity connections for the micro, small and medium industry having load up to 100 KVA have been slashed to 50%. Also, the Chief Minister has announced that government will simplify the procedure for change of land use to facilitate the industry in setting up ventures seamlessly,” he said.

To provide succour to the existing industry, the State Government has offered power tariff subsidy amounting to ₹6,760 crore and electricity duty exemption worth rupees 156 crore to the industry in the past four years. By offering power supply at flat ₹5 per unit and extending subsidy to small, medium and large industry for several years, the government’s subsidy bill has been rising ever since it came up with the offer in 2018.

The Invest Punjab data shows that the current fiscal’s power subsidy bill to the industry has been estimated to cost a whopping ₹2,266 crore. The power subsidy bill amounted to ₹1,559 crore in 2020-21, ₹1,480 crore in 2019-20, and ₹1,455 crore in 2018-19. The connected load of the industries in the State crossed a whopping 10,000 megawatt (MW) in the last fiscal 2020-21, according to the data.

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