Not the right time to attract large investments in Punjab: ASSOCHAM

Rawat said that the investment can only be done only in small-scale industries.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said on Thursday that this is not the appropriate time to attract ‘large investments’ in Punjab as there is lack of demand and exports are still low. 

“This is not the right time to attract large investments as nobody will be able to invest because the demand is missing and exports are not picking up, said Rawat after releasing the Agenda for Punjab Government 2017 in Chandigarh. 

“Therefore, we have to promote innovativeness in order to improve competition in the state,” he added. 

However, he said, the investment can be done only in small-scale industries. The entrepreneurs would get a chance to grow from a small scale-to-medium industry and from medium scale-to-large. They can expand very quickly with minimal investment and can offer maximum job opportunities. 

Rawat further stated that in the last decade, after 2008, investors have become more cautious about investments in the state. In this period, the demand for exports had started declining and the domestic demand also went down. 

However, the situation is now improving. Sectors like health, food processing, education and agriculture are likely to grow, he added. 

He hoped that investments would take place soon on a big-scale in small scale sector and said that there is an immense opportunity for the state where the new government would be able to generate conducive environment for the small scale sector. 

ASSOCHAM, jointly with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, conducted a feasibility study and created an agenda for industrial growth in Punjab, has recommended that the state government should avoid big investment proposals as these had impacted the growth of small-scale sector during the last decade. 

“The drug trade has definitely hit the image of Punjab. The impression of Punjab was not good outside, which may be the reason its slower growth,” said Rawat. 

“Another reason for the state's industrial backwardness is that the previous government only focussed on larger investments. The small scale industry or food processing industry or sectors, which had big potential, were ignored,” he added. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 19, 2017 12:00 IST