Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday unveiled the draft ‘Punjab Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy 2017’, with an aim to support women entrepreneurs and startups. In his inaugural address at the ‘Road to GES’ programme ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, slated to be held in Hyderabad later this month, the chief minister said women were more committed in terms of dedication towards industrial entrepreneurship and his government was doing everything possible to facilitate them.
The Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy will go a long way in boosting the state’s efforts to promote entrepreneurial culture, especially among women, he added. The Road to GES, focused on ‘Celebrating and Empowering Women in Entrepreneurship’, was organised by Niti Aayog in partnership with FICCI and ISB here.
Inviting suggestions and feedback to the draft policy, the chief minister said his government was focused on making the state competitive for industrialists, and the draft policy, along with the industrial policy brought out earlier, would facilitate industrial development in the state. He cited his government’s decision to fix power rate at Rs 5 per unit for industries, along with other measures being taken to boost industries, as being motivated by the motto of ‘Business First’.
His government, said the chief minister, was focused on empowerment of women and was enhancing their participation in decision-making, having already increased women’s reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions and urban local bodies to 50 per cent. Lauding women for their stellar role in the development of India as a brand, the chief minister cited the example of PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, who had emerged as a role model for all visionary and successful women.
Blaming the previous government in Punjab for “not doing enough” for the technology-driven industry, Amarinder said his government was committed to getting the state back on the track of progress. He lamented the lack of thrust on industry in Punjab over the years, with agriculture being promoted more than other sectors, causing the state to lag behind on industrial and other important fronts.
While Punjab needed to continue promoting agriculture, diversification was important to bring the state out of the prevailing agrarian crisis, said the chief minister, adding that the state government was keen to work with bodies like FICCI to boost the state’s development.