Plans afoot for direct flights to US, UK, Canada from Punjab: CM

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said the Punjab government is in talks with major airline companies, for them to start direct international flights connecting Amritsar and Mohali to major destinations like Vancouver.

Mann said this at a national conference organized by the apex industry body, associated chambers of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

”We are in talks with Tatas (Air India), Vistara, British Airways and Air Canada that we need direct flights from Amritsar and Mohali to London, Vancour, Toronto, Silicon Valley, Chicago . We have an upgraded immigration and customs system. We would have three terminals (going up from one at present),” Mann said.

He said the international airports in Punjab, would have all the facilities like five-seven star hotels, besides presence of staff of different embassies.

”Lakhs of pilgrims visit Amritsar Saheb for ‘darshan’ and to pay obeisance to Darbar Saheb. The city attracts a large number of religious and other tourists,” he said, adding there is a tremendous scope for tourism in the state.

The chief minister said the state is working majorly on developing tourism, leveraging the natural resources of Ranjit Sagar Dam and other adjoining areas. Clean blue water of Ranjit Sagar Dam would be leveraged to develop tourism on the lines of Udaipur lake in Rajasthan.” We are in talks with the tourism industry, ‘Mann said.

Vikramjit Sahney, member of parliament, announced that his NGO “Sun Foundation” will impart free skill training to 5000 youth annually after class 12 from government schools and prepare them for suitable jobs in industry in Punjab. He emphasized that investment in agri value chain should be promoted and farmers producers organizations (FPOs) should be set up.

Mann asserted that due to congenial atmosphere State has emerged as favorite destination for investment. Listing out the various steps to create congenial atmosphere for corporate bigwigs in form of dedicated single window system, affordable power etc, Mann said that manufacturing sector is the key for industrial growth as well as to create employment opportunities to check brain drain. He envisioned that unprecedented reforms undertaken on both governance and economic fronts by the government will usher in a new era of growth and prosperity.

The chief minister said that due to industry-friendly policies of the state government Punjab has emerged as most preferred destination of the industrialists. Citing an example, he said that after Jamshedpur the biggest ever investment by Tata group is in Punjab as today only the state government has handed over letter to them for setting up their scrap-based steel plant at an investment of 2600 crore in first phase at Ludhiana. Bhagwant Mann said that this is just the beginning and number of more such projects will follow. Prominent among others present on the occasion included cabinet ministers Harpal Cheema, Anmol Gagan Mann and Brahm Shankar Jima, MP Vikramjeet Singh Sahni, chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua, CEO invest Punjab Kamal Kishor Yadav and others.

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