Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have expressed its support for the Punjab government’s proposal to set up a 1,000 acres industrial park near the Mattewara forest range.
”If we want India to be self-sufficient (Atam Nirbhar) of a 5 trillion economy, we have to enhance Indian Manufacturing. Take the example of Taiwan, it’s almost double the size of Punjab with a GDP of 3.70 billion 2019 figure and rank 7th in Asia and 21st in World. Industrial base is very low in Punjab, it’s an opportunity when countries like Japan are realigning their manufacturing base. If Punjab missed the opportunity it will never get the opportunity again,” said S Upkar Singh Ahuja, President and Pankaj Sharma, General Secretary, The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) in a joint statement on Sunday.
”Punjab is not able to attract investments in the automobile sector like two-wheeler, cars or truck manufacturers. Moreover, Ludhiana is hub for Textile and garment, despite that no international manufacturers were able to set up their base in Punjab because the high cost of land, land price in Ludhiana district is between 50 crores to 1 crore in industry zone,” they added.
The Punjab State Industrial & Export Corporation (PSIEC) was set up to provide land at reasonable price to industry, but its working as a real estate company working to make huge profit from land. Take the example of Dhanansu Focal Point, where 300 acres of land was acquired for 94 crore approx. 31.33 lac per acres & 647 per sq. yards, whereas PSIEC is planning to sell it at 5000 per sq. yard, 8 times high of land value. If we compare with other countries like Thailand, Vietnam they offer reasonable prices to factories to attract investors.
The CICU executive committee unanimously recommended setting up a modern industrial park at Mattewara. This land does not belong to the forest, they claimed.
”There is huge unemployment in Punjab. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data shows a 33.6 per cent unemployment rate in May in Punjab. One option was to go abroad. This opportunity is no longer available due to Covid-19. Hence, the committee unanimously recommended setting up the industrial park at Mattewara and requested the government to provide land at reasonable prices to the industry,” said CICU members.
The CICU has written a letter to the chief minister, industry and finance ministers to use panchayats land and another additional land available for setting up industry.
Dhanansu hi-tech valley is a good model of converting panchayat land for industrial activities, they said, adding that it changed the face of the village because the panchayat developed the village using the interest amount from the fixed deposit.
”All lanes were paved, free Wi-Fi was installed for villagers, anganwadi school was developed and many development projects are in the pipeline,” they added.