Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to serve the people with missionary zeal, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Monday announced the development of the state as the most preferred global tourist destination.
Addressing the gathering during the inaugural function of first Tourism Summit and Travel Mart here at the Amity University, the Chief Minister said that he firmly believes that governments will come and go but the works of public welfare must be given topmost priority so that you get good wishes and prayers from the public.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that he wants to hand over tiffin in the hands of youth by giving them employment so that they shun the syringes and menace of other drugs. He envisioned that promotion of tourism can act as a catalyst in this sacred work as it will open new vistas of employment for the youth of the state.
Welcoming the dignitaries from the country and across the globe, the Chief Minister said that this is not a political function, but it is one which is related with the heart, soil and soul of the state. He said that day one after assuming charge of office it is his dream to showcase hidden aspects of vibrant and blessed Punjab to people.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it will attract a large number of tourists in the state adding he bemoaned that none of the previous state governments had worked towards it.The Chief Minister said the geographically also Punjab is blessed land adding that the state government intends to take the tourism sector to a new zenith.
He said that Amritsar has a footfall of one lakh devotees daily and now the focus of the state government is to highlight the salient features of tourism in other parts of Punjab too. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that every village has an imprint of the martyrs who had laid down their life for the sake of the country both in pre and post-independence times, which needs to be showcased duly.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that every inch of this sacred land has the footprint of great Gurus, saint, seers, martyrs and poets. He said that Punjabis are global citizens who have proved their mettle across the globe with their hard work and dedication. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Punjabis have been blessed with an indomitable spirit of hard work and resilience due to which they carve out space for themselves.
The Chief Minister said that the state has rich cultural heritage due to which Punjabis excel in every sphere. He said that Punjabis are great philanthropists who are ever ready to serve the people in hour of crisis. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Punjabis have a rich and glorious culture which has attracted the people since ages.
The Chief Minister said that if the country is to be made number one then Punjab must be made a front runner state in the world. He said that Punjab has state of the art infrastructure and facilities adding that the state government is augmenting them. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that no stone will be left unturned for this noble cause aimed at progress of the state and prosperity of its people.
Striking a direct chord with investors, the Chief Minister said that he is grateful that all the investors and entrepreneurs have come all the way to attend this event. He expressed hope that with the concerted efforts of all the tourism sector will get a big boost in the coming days. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that his government will leave no stone unturned for emerging Punjab as a global tourism destination.
The Chief Minister said that due to concerted efforts of the state government investment worth Rs 50840 crore has been roped in for the state. He said that Tata Steels has made the biggest investment in the state after Jamshedpur adding that other companies like Jindal Steel, Virbio, Class, Tafe, Hindustan Liver and others are making investments in the state.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that with this initiative more than 2.25 lakh youth will get employment in the state.The Chief Minister announced to set up a celebration point at Amritsar over an area of 50-100 acre. He said that banquet halls for celebrating various events of happiness will be constructed at this celebration point. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this first of its kind celebration point will be instrumental in boosting tourism in the state.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that eco-tourism is being promoted in the state as the state is blessed with a bounty of natural resources adding that sites like Chamrod Pattan and others will be promoted. He said that Filmcity will be established in Punjab for shooting, post-production and release of movies.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Punjabis transcends every barrier adding that the state government has formulated several policies for boosting tourism and if needed they will be amended as per the need of captains of industry.The Chief Minister said that now the state has an industrial friendly government with a real single window system for the wellbeing of industrialists.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this system was earlier a sham as no one utilised it in real sense, but it was used to exploit the investors. He quipped that earlier the MoU were signed with the affluent families in power but now it is being done with the state and its people.
The Chief Minister said that it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that the state government has hitherto provided more than 35,848 jobs to the youth in various departments of the Punjab government. He said that it is a record as none of the previous governments have given so many jobs to youth especially in the first year.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that merit and transparency have been the twin pillars based on which jobs have been given to the youth across the state. The Chief Minister said that Punjab is the only state in the country to introduce color coded stamp papers for the investors adding that any industrialist who is keen on setting his industrial unit in the state can get this unique colour coded stamp paper from Invest Punjab Portal.
He said that industrialists will have to just pay various fees required for getting clearances in form of CLU, forest, Pollution, Fire and other to set up his unit while purchasing this single stamp paper only. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that after purchasing the stamp paper, the industrialist will get all the necessary clearances from all the departments within 15 working days to set up his unit.
Rolling a red carpet for the Industrialists, the Chief Minister urged the industrialists to make optimum use of the best law and order, congenial atmosphere backed by excellent infrastructure, power, skilled human resources and best industrial and work culture to spread their business.
He said that the state government was always open for new ideas and innovations to boost up the industrial growth in Punjab. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the day is not far away when Punjab will emerge as the industrial hub of the country.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab has the most fertile land in the country, and anything can germinate here except the seeds of hatred. He said that the great Sikh Gurus have shown the way of communal harmony, brotherhood and peace to the Punjabis due to which mutual love and amity prevails in the state.
Bhagwant Singh Mann categorically said that every effort is being made to maintain this bonhomie, peace and social bonding in the state.The Chief Minister said that his government will complete the Saragarhi memorial to remember the supreme sacrifice made by the 21 valiant soldiers, who laid their lives while protecting the sovereignty of the country, at the battle of Saragarhi.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it was an unprecedented saga of bravery and heroism adding that indebted countrymen pay homage to the supreme sacrifices by the brave soldiers of the country who chose death rather than surrender before a mighty enemy.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that though the exemplary valor of these soldiers of the 36 Sikhs stationed near Samana ridge (now in Pakistan), who laid down their lives after a fierce battle following an attack by nearly 10,000 Afghans on September 12, 1897 hardly finds any parallel in the world history but the previous state government ignored this fact and didn’t release the funds for this memorial. “But we have released the pending funds now so that the memorial is completed at the earliest” he added.
The Chief Minister said that the state will soon emerge as a hub of medical education in the country. He said that besides providing quality medical education to the students these colleges will also ensure best diagnostic and treatment facilities for the people.
Bhagwant Singh Mann said that gone are the days when students from state had to go to nations like Ukraine for getting medical education as Punjab will soon offer them quality education in the state only.The Chief Minister said that it will help in checking brain drain from the state adding that it will ensure that top class doctors from state work here only.
He said that Punjab is epitome of quality in the sense of Education, training and other things. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the day is not far when the state will soon become a lighthouse for others in Medical Education.In her address Tourism Minister Punjab Anmol Gagan Mann thanked all the participants for joining the state in this tourist summit.
She said that for the first time the state is opening its door in the various sectors of Tourism. Anmol Gagan Mann said that apart from religious tourism there are other sectors in the tourism sector which will be developed and opened for people.
The Minister said that policies have been drafted and introduced meticulously for promoting tourism in the state. She said that vacation points are being developed on the sacred land of Punjab. Anmol Gagan Mann said that Punjab today has a friendly government which is making strenuous efforts for developing the tourism sector.
The Chief Secretary Anurag Verma welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries on the occasion.Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Harpal Cheema, Aman Arora, Chetan Singh Jauramajra, Anmol Gagan Mann, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and Dr Balbir Singh, Chief Secretary Anurag Verma and others were also present.