Punjab waives input tax on food processing industry

Mohali (Punjab), Oct 28 (IANS) In a bid to woo investors, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday announced waiver of input tax on the food processing industry and provision of power at the cheapest rate of Rs.4.99 per unit.

He said the government was set to launch an integrated food park in Ludhiana, a green tech valley in Phagwara and a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility adjoining the international airport in Mohali.

In his presentation at the inaugural ceremony of the two-day Progressive Punjab Investor Summit – 2015 here, Badal said Punjab was known as a producer of foodgrains but he felt that it should also be able to add value to its produce.

“Keeping this in view and with the intention of making Punjab a hub for agro processing industry, I decided to waive all input taxes of agro processing industry. This included VAT, CST and purchase tax,” he said.

Badal said the government had tied up with corporates to establish 2,000 skill centres to train 150,000 youths.

He said companies involved in this task included ICICI Bank, Walmart, ITC, Tata Motors and Maruti.

Badal also announced that Punjab would be the first state in the country to have 4G connectivity by next January.

“Nowhere else in the country has this been done till now”, he said while thanking Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, who was also present among the corporate honchos, for taking this initiative.

The deputy chief minister said the state had established a conversion rate of 60 percent on the memorandum of understandings (MoUs) signed during the last summit in 2013.

He said Punjab had received an investment of Rs 41,187 crore against MoUs worth Rs.63,000 crore signed in 2013.

In future no inspector from the labour or pollution departments would visit factories, he added.

He said in 18 months all towns would be linked with four to six lane highways which were coming up at a cost of Rs.21,349 crore.

Declaring Mohali to be the information technology (IT) hub, Badal said the international airport in Mohali would boost economic activities.

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