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To woo industry, Punjab offers pre-cleared ‘land banks’

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

To push the state’s industrialization, at a time when acquisition of land for industry has become a politically hot issue, Punjab has created banks of pre-cleared real estate supplanted with requisite power supply.

Speaking at an investors meet here on Friday, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Punjab is the only state which is offering pre-cleared land banks which are ready to be given for setting up of industries.”

“Land banks have already secured all the necessary regulatory clearances relating to environment and adequate supply of electricity”, Badal added.

“Currently, we have around 300 hectares of land bank. This will go up to 2,000 hectares. Investors can come to our state and choose the type of land they are interested in and we will do the needful”, Badal further said.

The deputy chief minister said that the state has surplus electricity for energy intensive industries, and added that in recent years, the state has sought to move away from conventional coal-based thermal power to solar energy.

The state government officials also said they would facilitate investors through Punjab Investor office.

“The unified regulator is a unique department. It is designed to act as a single window for regulatory and other clearances,” said Punjab Investor office’s chief executive Anirudh Tewari.

“The time taken for all the required clearances has gone down to 38 days. Our target is to complete this in no more than 30 days,” Tewari, who has the power to oversee as many as 30 departments, told IANS.

Badal elaborated that the one-year-old ‘unified regulator’ department has been so successful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a team to examine the system.

In the last one year the state’s unified regulator has sealed investments worth Rs.15,000 crore by clearing 163 projects.

Apart from land banks and surplus electricity, the state is also offering 90 percent exemption in value added tax (VAT) payment. It has also allowed factory owners to submit self-declaration of taxes.

“One month from now, no inspector of any department would be allowed to enter any factory premises in the state. We want to do away with any harassment,” Badal pointed out.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

Also Read: Water Crisis is Increasing in Cape Town, Red Alert For Africa 

He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)