Amid continued Centre-farmers deadlock over new farm laws, ASSOCHAM President Vineet Agarwal has written to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh seeking his intervention in preventing damage to industrial and other infrastructure assets during the ongoing farmers' protest.
"Continuation of agitation, with incidents of damage to industrial and other infrastructure, would turn investors away from Punjab," Vineet Agarwal said in the letter, reported news agency ANI.
"Captain Sahib, the state of Punjab has always occupied a pride of place for our nation. The people of the state have made a mark of their courage, entrepreneurship all over the world. While the state has shown great leadership in entrepreneurship, its progressive farmers have made an immense contribution in making India a surplus nation in foodgrains and other agri products," the letter read.
"However, the state has witnessed since June widespread protests by farmers within Punjab, spilling over to Haryana and the National Capital Region. The blockade of important highways connecting J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and the NCR has been resulting in a daily loss of Rs 3000-3500 crore, as per our earlier estimates. It has been over a month that these highways are blocked with the result that the losses to the economic activities are mounting while the image of the state, as an investment destination, is taking a dent," it added.
"Sir, more disturbingly, there are reports from the affected industries and service providers, particularly in telecom, that widespread damage has been caused to the key infrastructure like telecom towers. Such incidents not only result in a huge national loss but also severely dent the image of a progressive state. A prolonged and continuation of the agitation, especially with incidents of damage to the industrial and other infrastructure, would turn investors away from the state of Punjab," it said.
"ASSOCHAM, in all sincerity, would make all efforts , with cooperation of your government and the Centre and other concerned states, that no such impression is created among investors - both domestic and global players. Sir, we must compliment you that you are making a great effort to reach out to farmers asking them not to damage public and private property and infrastructure. We urge you to step up the efforts to ensure that such incidents do not take place," it said.
"We also urge all the stakeholders, including farmers' organisations and the government to resolve the issues and differences over the new farm laws sooner than later. On the part of industry, we reassure all the stakeholders that the farmers are the most important stakeholders and partners in bringing economic prosperity in the country. Assuring you fullest cooperation; with warm greetings," it added.
Earlier today, Reliance Jio Infocomm wrote to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and DGP (Director General of Police) asking them to intervene in the "incidents of sabotage and vandalism" at its network sites in the state. The letter claimed that there had been a malicious campaign against Reliance Jio starting September, which has now escalated to the physical sphere with such acts of vandalism.
As per report, more than 1,500 sites have been vandalised as of Tuesday, with damages worth hundreds of crores incurred by Reliance Jio.
With ANI inputs