PUNJABI PARVASI DIVAS
ICSI organized its 3rd Punjabi Parvasi Divas, an international convention of the NRIs and corporate, with a focus on business opportunities in the Service Industry, on January 14-15, 2006 at Chandigarh. Subsequently, to keep up the momentum generated at the 3rd Punjabi Parvasi Divas for investment inflows in the region, especially in Punjab, ICSI along with the government of Punjab organized a series of international level summits and conferences, both in the country and overseas, under its Think India - Think Punjab Agenda 2006. These forums deliberated upon a wide range of sectors of the service industry such as, Infrastructure, Housing & Real Estate, Media & Entertainment, Film Industry, Banking, Insurance and Financial Services.
Outcome of these summits and conferences has been a greater awareness of the plans and policies of the state government for attracting more investment and greater involvement of the NRIs, especially that of the North Indian origin, for synergizing their resources with efforts of the state governments for taking the region on a higher economic trajectory.
ICSI organized a Global Investors Conference for Infrastructure development in North India, on the occasion of its 4th Parvasi Punjabi Divas on January 11, 2007 at Chandigarh. The conference was inaugurated by the then Governor of Haryana, Dr. A. R. Kidwai, who delivered the inaugural address.
Some of the recommendations made at the Conference
- A Northern India Infrastructure Development Board be constituted. It should consist of officials of all the North Indian states such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Uttrakhand and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
- In the initial stages, it should consist of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
- A Chief Minister of a State should head the proposed Board for a year by rotation.
- It should consist of both government and private sector stakeholders including infrastructure developers, architects, town planners, landscapers, manufacturers of element, steel and other construction companies, consulting engineers, power, IT & telecom, aviation, hotels and hospitality companies, media- entertainment, transport, rural and community developers, educational institutes, banks and other financial institutions and others relevant for the subject.
- Some NRI investors and entrepreneurs will also be co-opted as members of the Board.
- The Board will have sub- committees of each state, which will evaluate the critical needs for infrastructure development of each of the member states of the Board. These sub- committees will also work out strategies for infrastructure development.
- The Board will work out an Action Plan for the entire region and take investment decisions.
- All northern Indian states to raise GDP percentage of infrastructure financing.
- A Mechanism needs to be worked out for smooth investment of the Private Sector for infrastructure related projects, which all ensures removal of all obstacles and transparency.
- Focus on functioning of the mechanism should be on Public- Private Partnership.
- A separate North India Infrastructure Finance Company may be constituted for infrastructure and service industry related projects.
- All North Indian states to develop social infrastructure for developing human resources.
- Education infrastructures should be given top priority.
- In view of the contiguity of all North Indian states, priority should be given to roads, aviation, tourism & hospitality including health tourism related projects. In fact, North India should be developed as Aviation Hub by improving and upgrading existing airports, helipads, and airstrips and developing new airports with greater connectivity of pilgrimage, religious and tourist interest places.
- States to offer more attractive investment packages to both domestic and NRIs with least hassles and single window clearance of the projects in a time- bound manner.
- Allow commercial exploitation of land other than along the right of way.
- Identify projects that could be taken up on Built- Operate- Transfer (BOT) basis.
- Priority should be given to and upgrading and developing infrastructure in rural areas of the region where more than 70 per cent of population live.
- Existing toll systems need to be rationalized.
- Draw up a state water account.
- All state governments to bring out compendiums, which provide detailed information about the infrastructure and service industry related projects and their latest industrial policies, in regard to the making availability of land, water and electricity supply and other facilities.
- In addition to the state compendium, a compendium for the entire North region need also be brought out, copies of which should be made available in India and overseas.