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Reliance to invest in petrochemicals, agro foods in Punjab

The Times of India:  October, 2013

Chandigarh: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani has announced in Mumbai on Tuesday that the group will be taking up a petrochemical project in Punjab and expand its facility in Hoshiarpur, besides offering broadband connectivity in schools and hospitals in the state, a government statement said here on Tuesday.

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had met Ambani over a one-and-half hour meeting in Mumbai. He was accompanied by Punjab industries minister Madan Mohan Mittal and industrial adviser Kamal Oswal.

The Reliance group head also agreed to attend the Progressive Punjab Investment Summit being held on December 9-10 following an invitation extended by Sukhbir.

Badal junior told Ambani that the Punjab government was on the verge of making surplus in power generation, the note said. "Following this, the Reliance chief said that his company would increase the scope of its operations in Hoshiarpur," it added.

Sukhbir also urged the Reliance group to invest in solar and biomass power, saying that the state government was facilitating investment in this sector through special incentives.

He briefed Ambani about the incentives being given on the value-added tax (VAT) and central sales tax (CST) front, whereby companies investing in the state could retain as much as 80% of both taxes for a period of 10 years. Ambani lauded the deputy CM for his out-of-the-box thinking and described the initiative as "revolutionary".

During his discussions with Sukhbir, Ambani said his company was ready to provide broadband connectivity to all schools and hospitals in the state at a nominal cost.

Ambani also expressed desire to train more than 10 lakh diploma engineers in home services, saying that his company wanted to develop real-time skills of the youth as well as create jobs in this sector.

Chief parliamentary secretary N K Sharma, media adviser to deputy CM Jangveer Singh, chief secretary Rakesh Singh, secretary, industry and commerce, Vikas Pratap and special secretary Manvesh Singh Sidhu also accompanied the deputy CM.