Chandigarh: A high powered delegation led by Italian ambassador Roberto Toscano on Wednesday called on Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and evinced keen interest in setting up joint ventures in agro-processing, agriculture besides power from non-conventional sources of energy.
Taking part in the deliberations, Badal said that Punjab had a diversified agricultural economy as it was the major producer of food grains contributing more than 60% in the national food pool besides producing quality vegetables, fruits and flowers. He hoped that our economy could be immensely benefited through Italian rich experience and expertise in the field of agro-processing and hi-tech farming.
The chief minister looked forward for forging an alliance with the major Italian industrial units to add value addition to agriculture produce to ensure better returns to our farmers.
The chief minister assured the visiting Italian ambassador of full support and cooperation for setting up joint ventures in the state, as Punjab was fast emerging as an investment destination and our industrial policy has a special dispensation for mea and super mega projects.
Responding to the issue raised by chief minister for legalizing immigration of Punjabis settled in Italy, Toscano assured Badal that he would soon take up with the department of foreign affairs of Italian government to resolve the matter.
He appreciated the enterprising skills of the Punjabis who had made significant contribution to the economy of Italy and has made its present felt. Toscano also solicited Punjab’s Cooperation for launching a cultural exchange programme between the Italy and Punjab as the Indian community especially the Punjabis who had a concentration of over 40,000 there has played a pro-active role in the socio-economic development of Italy.
In order to check the fake immigration, he sought Punjab’s government cooperation and urged Badal to depute a senior level police officer to be entrusted with the task for keeping close liaison with our embassy to ensure thorough verification of the antecedents of the persons who intend to seek visa for Italy.
The chief minister asked the chief secretary to immediately depute an officer for this purpose and also detailed secretary higher education as a nodal officer for the cultural exchange programme.