Punjab emerging as a major investment destination

     Punjab is fast emerging as an important investment destination in the Information Technology sector. There are many IT majors already located in the State and the Punjab government is upbeat about luring investors by promoting its existing potential. `Doing Business in Punjab - an IT Investor's Guide' was launched recently. It is designed to promote Punjab as an IT investment destination and aims to present an overview of Punjab as an emerging IT/ITes destination. It also gives details about the growth of IT/ITes industry and procedures and clearances required for establishing an IT/ITes, Park and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with the aid of clear flowcharts. "Our interaction with the IT and IT industries in down south and elsewhere [informed us] because of the recession everybody is trying to cut down the cost and so they are looking for tier-2, tier-3 states and cities," said Manoranjan Kalia, Industries and Commerce Minister in Punjab. To enable IT entrepreneurs establish and operate their business in Punjab, a `Single Window' service has also been started by Punjab Infotech. This service will provide a `single point of contact' to investors for getting clearances and avail of incentives as per the policy from various departments within the stipulated time period. It will also provide information on policy initiatives and schemes in the state. In order to boost IT investment, the Punjab Government is contemplating offer of free land to IT entrepreneurs, who apply within the stipulated period. "We are coming out on a focal point at Kapurthala, Jalandhar in which we have marked about 50 acres of land for the IT industry. We have discussed it already with the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. He has decided to give uninterrupted power supply to the IT industry in order to encourage this. Moreover, there was a survey of the world bank that Punjab has been adjusted at number one, as far as the ease of doing business is concerned. They did a survey of 17 cities and Ludhiana emerged as number one investors' destination," said S.S.Channy, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce in Punjab. To promote the entrepreneurial atmosphere in the region, the State government, in a joint venture with TiE, is setting up an incubation center. Spread over an area of 12,000 sq ft, the center will be situated in punCom Technology Park at Mohali. Punjab is committed to encourage self-employability to young graduates and provide a transit point to IT companies which do not have their own infrastructure. It will also promote research and development in the field of software technology.

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