Punjab moots Chandigarh-Amritsar corridor

The Punjab government under Capt Amarinder Singh is finalizing plans for the Chandigarh-Amritsar corridor in its draft industrial policy. It envisages new industrial parks and townships along the stretch.

The state will help identify and transfer chunks of village common land and un-utilised government land by framing land pooling schemes. For the border belt, Chandigarh-Hoshiarpur-Gurdaspur industrial corridor has also been planned.

As part of the Chandigarh-Amritsar urban industrial corridor plan, existing industrial clusters on this stretch will be strengthened. In all, four major industrial parks and 10 industrial estates are on the anvil and one new IT hub each has been planned in Amritsar and Mohali.

This planned growth is also aimed at decongesting cities as industries located in crowded areas or non-conforming zones (where master plan stipulates their shifting after certain period) will be moved to new areas being developed and allow the inner areas for more value added city use. The state will separately formulate a scheme for promotion and development of Industrial Parks in private sector. To promote the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, the state government will set up `MSME Punjab' ­ an organization focused to addressing challenges being faced by the MSMEs. The state has a strong base of close to 1.6 lakh MSME units. The organisation will have dedicated divisions and requisite competencies to provide necessary assistance to the MSME units in access to finance/credit, technology market, skills and other needs To incentivize the industry, the state would reduce stamp duty from 4% to 1% for industrial units on registered mortgages. IT Industry will be given exemption from Punjab Pollution Control Board clearance.

A joint inspection cell is also on the cards with a move to standardize the process of inspection system and establish a dedicated Joint Inspection Cell, which will provide inputs for granting construction development permissions in all the urban local bodies.

There is also a plan to identify `old city' areas in major cities like Amritsar, Ludhiana Jalandhar, and Patiala, where area for vehicle parking is not available. The hotels constructed 20 years ago or earlier would be given parking place exemptions. The state would provide dedicated alternative parking and park and ride system from hotel to the parking place. A congestion charge could be levied on all such hotels The industries department has invited objections to the draft policy and it is likely to be notified shortly .

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