Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has fond memories of ‘Holland’ (now officially christened the Netherlands in English), first of its world champion hockey team and of its ace penalty corner specialist Floris Jan Bovelander, and then his very first four-nation foreign tour as a comedian in 1993, which took him to Belgium, Luxembourg and France, besides ‘Holland’.
Bhagwant Mann candidly shared these memories with a massive gathering of farmers, animal feed dealers and channel partners, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Rs 142 crore animal feeds factory being set up by the Netherland’s more than 100 years old top 10 global animal feed company De Heus at Vividha Industrial Park in Rajpura on Sunday.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann unveiling the plague at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Rs 142 crore De Heus animal feeds plant at Rajpura, on Sunday. To his left is company CEO Koen De Heus.
Also listening in intently were the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ Ambassador to India, Nepal & Bhutan Marisa Gerards and one of the two family owned company’s fourth generation CEOs Keon De Heus (the other CEO being Co De Heus, both together are leading the company).
Recalling his experiences of the capital city of Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, he talked about every ‘gali’ (street) in these cities having running canal water because of the country falling below the sea level. He also praised the extreme cleanliness of the place. ‘Majaal hai ik kaagaz da tukda kithe sutta mil jaave (you won’t find a single piece of paper thrown around).
All smiles, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India Marisa Gerards, De Heus International Director Rutger Oudejans, and company CEO Koen De Heus posing for photographs with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Warmly welcoming the company’s investment in Punjab, he said ‘hunn Rs 50,000 crore investment jo Punjab vich saadi sarkar de dedh saal vich aa chukki hai ohde which Rs 142 crore hor jorh lavo (Now add Rs 142 crore to the Rs 50,000 crore already invested in the state in the one and a half years of our government). He asserted that in this investment he was not counting the MoUs signed, but actual investment which had hit the ground and which is expected to generate employment for an estimated 2.90 lakh youths.
He advised farmers against depending too heavily on only traditional crops and to de risk and supplement their incomes by simultaneously indulging in practice of dairy farming, poultry, fishery, etc.
Expressing confidence that the big investment by De Heus will open up the doors for more Dutch and other European companies to consider investing in Punjab, he urged the company officials to play the role of brand ambassadors of the state in Europe.
Listing out various companies from Germany, US, South Korea, etc. which had set up base in Punjab recently, he said the biggest of them all would be Tata Steel’s 2nd largest steel plant in the country, next only to Jamshedpur.
Reiterating the state government commitment to bring back the industry which had migrated to other states, attract new companies and help the sick industry back on its feet, he gave a blanket assurance to all companies considering fresh investments that the state government is ready to top up on all incentives they are being promised by other states. Plus, the state offers a corruption free and peaceful industrial environment, strong infrastructure, with speedy clearances, he added.
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