Chandigarh, July 30: The Punjab Government will partner the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in organising the Virtual Agritech Conclave from October 16 to 22, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Thursday.

The Chief Minister was interacting through Video Conference with the new office-bearers of the CII, who recently took over the 2020-21 term. During the interaction, the CII sought the support and partnership of the Government of Punjab, to which the Chief Minister agreed.

On its part, the CII offered its services to the state government in the areas of skill development, promoting ease of doing business, conservation of water and disinvestment of non-core assets. In the field of Skill Development, it proposed the development of Model Career Centres, for which the state government would provide the building and the operations would be handled by CII. The Chief Minister directed his officials to discuss and explore the suggestion with the CII team.

The CII thanked the Chief Minister and the Punjab government for steering the industry and economy in such difficult times of the Covid crisis. The office-bearers specially lauded the timely decisions of the state government in allowing and facilitating operations of the industry. They showered much praise on the Chief Minister for giving powers to GMDIC to allow operations of industries came in a seamless manner, without cumbersome permission processes etc.

The Chief Minister pointed out that of the 2.6 lakh units in the state, 2.34 lakh were already functional. He also expressed happiness at the fact that Punjab had emerged as second largest manufacturer of PPEs in the country after Tamil Nadu.

Expressing concern over reports that migrant labour was being forced to pay exorbitantly to return to Punjab in buses, the CII delegation requested the Chief Minister to take up with the Government of India the matter of running more trains to bring labour back from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The meeting was attended by Alok Shekhar (Principal Secretary Industries), BS Kohli (Advisor Investment Facilitation), Rajat Agarwal (CEO Invest Punjab), Nikhil Sawhney (Chairman, CII Northern Region), Rahul Ahuja (Chairman, CII Punjab State Council) and Bhavdeep Sardana (Vice Chairman, CII Punjab State Council), among others.

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