Encouraged by the positive stimulus given to industry by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress government, Tata Sons is looking to expand its Taj Group of Hotels portfolio in the state in a big way.
"The company has identified 10-15 projects for expanding its business in the state. Its chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran informed Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh at a meeting here on Tuesday," said an official statement issued from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
The Chief Minister, during the meeting, asked Tata Sons to come out with a detailed project report (DPR) for its proposed project on rejuvenation of 'Chhoti Nadi' and 'Badi Nadi' river bodies in Patiala. He handed over to the company chairman a formal letter of mandate for the same. The preliminary cost of the project is estimated at Rs 550 crore, with a maintenance period of 10 years.
According to the statement, Tata Sons chairman also agreed to explore the Chief Minister's suggestion of setting up an auto plant in the state, and also evinced interest in expanding into food processing, retail and the IT sector, which Captain Amarinder said offered immense potential for growth in view of the various incentives given by his government and the ease of business promoted by the new industrial policy.
Chandrasekaran said with the retail and service sectors not requiring much gestation period, these were an attractive proposition for expansion in the state, an official spokesperson said after the meeting. The Chief Minister pointed out that Punjab not only had surplus power to support industry but also boasted of no labour problems of any kind.
The possibility of starting Air Asia operations from Amritsar was also discussed, with Chandrasekaran promising to look at connecting Amritsar through domestic flights of the company's aviation wing. Tata Sons had earlier shown keen interest in the efforts of the government of Punjab in dealing with the pollution and destruction of its water bodies.