Citing the flight of capital from Punjab to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to concessions available in these hill states,a delegation of industrialists led by Ludhiana MP and Congress spokesman Manish Tewari on Saturday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ask for the extension of these concessions to Punjab.
Seeking parity with HP and Uttarakhand,the delegation said that Punjab had suffered huge losses in terms of investment due to concessions being offered to industries in other states. Punjab has witnesses a flight of capital in the last 7 years ever since the scheme was announced and no new industry worth the name has come up in Punjab as it is far more attractive to go to the neighbouring states,the delegation said.
It also sought special Central assistance for Punjab Agricultural University - the premier research institute that was instrumental in scripting the green revolution in the country - as it did not have the funds even to pay pension to its retired employees.
According to Tewari,the Prime Minister assured the delegation that he would look into the issue of parity between Punjab and neighbouring states and reiterated the resolve of his government for uniform development of all regions. As for Central assistance to PAU,the Prime Minister was said to have pointed out that the government had earlier sanctioned special grants worth Rs 100 crore for the university and said he would look into what more could be done for the University.
Tewari said that the delegation had told the PM that all major industrial houses in Punjab had chosen to expand and diversify outside Punjab,especially in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand,as,with the concessions in place in these states,it made profound economic sense to do so.