Punjab plans to shift to environment-friendly electric vehicles in a big way, with the new industrial policy to be significantly focused on the same, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday. Mahindra & Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka during his meeting with the chief minister said that his group was keenly interested in promoting electric vehicles in Punjab.
He suggested a scheme to bring in electric taxis to propagate green energy and generate employment in the state. Amrinder said that his government was keen to explore electric vehicles as a replacement for the traditional, more polluting petrol and diesel run vehicles in the state.
He pointed out that Chinese energy major Yinlong also recently discussed with him the possibility of launching electric cars and buses in the state. The government was also in talks with Ola for electric taxis, he added.
An official spokesperson said that a proposal to launch an Uber-like app for tractors, called Tringo, was also discussed at the meeting. The app would enable owners to rent out their tractors, said the spokesperson. The chief minister responded favourably to Goenka’s request for expansion of their tractor units in Punjab and asked the company to submit a proposal.
Urging the company to support the state’s efforts to provide employment to youth, the chief minister offered help to Tech Mahindra in setting up a BPO in Mohali after Goenka said there was huge potential for IT sector jobs. Mahindra & Mahindra was also interested in potato seed development for exports, according to Goenka.
The chief minister also reminded Goenka of his suggestion, made to Anand Mahindra in Mumbai, for setting up a defence project in Abohar. Goenka, according to the spokesperson, said the company was exploring the same. The chief minister said the government was also considering the company’s proposal to develop the Ranjit Sagar dam resort.
Taking forward from their Mumbai talks, the two sides also discussed an Uttar Pradesh-like Dial 100 emergency response system for Punjab to provide prompt integrated emergency services to ensure public safety for all, including those with special needs. The chief minister said the Home and Police departments were studying the proposal.
Mahindra group’s plans to set up Mahindra world university in Ludhiana also came up for discussion. Mahindra & Mahindra, which employs about 6,000 people directly and another 30,000 indirectly in Punjab, currently earns Rs 6,000 crore revenue from the state.