Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the vision of former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in attracting investment to Punjab, including that in the food sector, was bearing fruit with the Rs 1500 crore ITC food park which was conceived and approved by the former SAD-BJP government, finally being inaugurated yesterday.In a statement here, Mrs Badal said the ITC project came about due the proactive approach of the former deputy CM who took up this project vigorously with ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar. She said this was the second big project to be inaugurated during Congress rule. "Earlier the Rs 300 crore new tractor plant unit of Sonalika in Hoshiarpur, which was also approved as part of the Invest Punjab programme by the earlier SAD- BJP government, was also inaugurated shortly after the new Congress government took over the reins of the State", she added.
Mrs Badal said the manner in which investment was flowing into the State following grant of all sanctions under one window by the Punjab Invest department started by the previous government was indicative of the success of the initiative taken by former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. She said investments worth Rs 40,000 crore which had been committed in the investment summits has already flown into Punjab and that more was now coming in due to the pro-industry policies of the previous SAD-BJP government. It is probably due to this that chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is trying to build upon the surplus power status of Punjab which was achieved during SAD-BJP rule as well as superior infrastructure, include airports, while marketing Punjab to investors", she added.Stating that while all this was welcome, the government should wake up from its slumber and also start attracting investment on its own. "The chief minister had promised to bring in one industry a month but no new project conceived and approved during Congress rule has come into the State.
"The Congress government needs to build on the momentum built by the SAD-BJP government if the State is to progress on targeted lines", the Union minister added. Mrs Badal said the State government should get its act together and ensure existing investors did not face any problem and those who wanted to come to the State did not have to wait for sanctions. "I had earlier asked the State chief minister to intervene when the Rs 123 crore Sukhjit Starch and Chemical food park was delayed by state government authorities. Recently I have written to the chief minister and asked him to intervene and ensure work on the prestigious AIIMS institute in Bathinda starts on time. "We also need to build consensus on major decisions like the government's decision to shut down the Bathinda thermal plant. Other decisions like making the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University unviable by changing rules on jurisdiction have virtually killed an upcoming educational institute of excellence in the Malwa region", she added.