Gandhinagar: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today appealed to NRIs to invest in his state and pitched the idea of 'Make in Punjab' on the concluding day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations here.
Speaking on 'Investment Opportunities in States' in the CMs' session, Badal said Punjab has lot of opportunities for NRIs and more to offer than any other state.
"I appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Make in India'. But I would like to pitch for 'Make in Punjab' because we have given more sacrifices in country's freedom movement. Out of all who were hanged by Britishers, 80 per cent were Punjabis," he said.
"We have given the maximum contribution in achieving Independence. After Independence, Punjab once again came to the rescue when India faced shortage of food. Punjab alone supplies 50 per cent of total food grains consumed in this country.
As the CM of Punjab, I believe that my state with such sacrifices and contributions, make us more eligible than any other state," Badal said.
He also thanked Modi for infusing a new confidence in the NRIs community.
To attract NRIs to invest in Punjab, Badal listed several pro-NRI initiatives taken by his government.
"We have created special NRI courts to deal with their cases. We have made laws to protect properties of NRIs given on rent in Punjab, have set up police stations to deal with NRI cases.
According to a recent RBI report, Punjab is the 3rd most attractive investment destination, while Ludhiana was ranked 1 in terms of doing business criteria by World Bank," he said.
On menace of drug addiction in Punjab and surrounding controversy about its addiction and trafficking, expressing disappointment, Badal claimed that Punjab has been wrongfully dubbed as the state of drug addicts.
"We suffered a lot of pain in the past. First it was of partition and militancy. Earlier, we were labelled as terrorists, and now they call us drug addicts. Well, I don't want to speak much about it as this is not the right place," he said.
The chief minister on the occasion also called upon the NRI youths to be more rooted towards Indian culture and their homeland and said they should at least study in India for sometime.
"I suggest NRI children should study in India for some years so that we can inculcate our culture into them," he said.