PROGRESSIVE PUNJAB INVESTORS’ SUMMIT | Housing bags biggest pie share of investments

CHANDIGARH (TIP): Housing emerged as the sunshine sector in Punjab accounting for the largest pie share of the total investment committed during the second Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit that ended at the Indian School of Business here on Thursday.

The final tally of committed investment touched a whopping Rs 1.15 lakh crore with the total number of players, who signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Punjab government going up to 378. Of the total MoUs signed, 25% pertained to the housing sector. The top five highest investments in the sector amounted to almost Rs 22,500 crore.

The renewable energy sector also attracted big investment with five companies offering to invest almost rs 15,000 in bio-refinery and solar power plants. They include two international players– SUN AMP, a Singapore based company that will set up a 200MW solar project and Solar Capital (Pvt) Ltd, a South African firm that will come up with grid connected solar power plants of 200MW. Both companies will invest Rs 1,300 crore each.

The health sector also caught fancy of big players with the top six investors pledging almost 8,000 crore. The number of MoUs, however, in the sector was not very high pointing towards the sector becoming a niche area with limited pre-established players calling the shots.

In the final count, the agro food-processing sector attracted investment worth rs 8,000 crore with the top five players promising to pump in over 2,000 crore. However, as 14% of the total MoUs were signed in this sector, it clearly points to the fact that a host of smaller players have come up in the sector.

The manufacturing sector seems to have generated a fair amount of interest. Over 33% of the total MoUs inked pertained to this sector. However, the investment amount pledged by the top five investors was a little over Rs 4,000 crore.

Addressing mediapersons on the concluding say of the summit, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the corporate sector had shown “faith” and “trust” in the policies of the SAD-BJP government even after “15 days of unrest” in the state. He was referring to the recent protests and violence in Punjab over incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.

He said the fiscal sops to investors in Punjab will continue even after Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented. “We will give up Punjab’s share in GST,” said Sukhbir when asked about the fate of tax-free incentives offered to agro processing units in the state once the GST is rolled out.

“We will come out with a special package by November end for the existing industry and MSME,” said the deputy chief minister. Earlier while delivering the valedictory address, Sukhbir said Punjab was moving towards establishment of various clusters.

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