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Mohali, August 10

Lamenting the erstwhile Badal government’s apathy to Punjab’s development, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday reiterated his government’s commitment to boost industry and create jobs, while hailing QuarkCity’s contribution to employment generation in the state.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the upcoming Business Center at QuarkCity, Mohali, the Chief Minister lauded the project as a future home for world class Information Technology (IT)/Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) companies by providing congenial work atmosphere.

The tricity’s most important Business Center would primarily cater to the continued demand for high quality office infrastructure, he said, thanking QuarkCity chairman Fred Ebrahimi for taking keen interest to set up this gigantic infrastructure project.

Recalling his first meeting with Fred in 2002, the chief minister said his commitment to the development of QuarkCity was an asset for Punjab. With 50000 jobs already generated, and another 25000 promised by him, Fred’s contribution to the state’s development was humungous, said Captain Amarinder.

The chief minister lamented that Punjab’s industry had been ruined by the apathy of the previous government, which completely ignored the state’s growth and development. Pointing out that his government was according the highest priority to the industrial development of the state, the Chief Minister described the QuarkCity as an important project to boost Punjab’s industrial development.

The project, which would lead to the emergence of Punjab as one of northern India’s major IT hubs, is the state’s first and only operational SEZ for the IT & ITES Sector and has created not only highly paid professional jobs, but also jobs for construction, engineering, design and building support services, he added.

This, said the Chief Minister, was in line with his government’s thrust on bringing the beleaguered industry in the state back on track with several out-of-the-box initiatives, including the new industrial policy to be announced soon.

Earlier, interacting with some of the employees and business promoters in the QuarkCity, the Chief Minister said his government was in talks to develop air connectivity for Mohali with at least one international destination, either in Europe or Asia. He agreed with the suggestion that all efforts should be taken to promote entrepreneurship and to bring back the talent that had shifted out of Punjab to other states by developing good infrastructure. He said his government was taking all possible steps to encourage start-ups.

Finance Minister Manpreet Badal described the ceremony as a proud moment for Punjab, and the culmination of a project envisioned by Captain Amarinder in his previous term as chief minister. With IT contributing one-third of the 350 billion dollars worth of India’s exports, this was a great opportunity for Punjab to join the IT bandwagon, he added.

Pointing out that Captain Amarinder was leading from the front to transform the state’s industrial landscape, the finance minister expressed the hope that QuarkCity will prove to be a catalyst for Punjab’s industrial revival.

QuarkCity is a multi-faceted, socially responsible and environmentally conscious international group dedicated to bringing about change in the urban lifestyle by providing world class infrastructure, which is efficient, eco-friendly and highly sustainable. The project’s multi-use development in Mohali is aimed at the integration of contemporary business places with well-designed residential, retail and recreation centers, establishing a benchmark in the synchronization of functional efficiency with aesthetic appeal.

A seven storied building divided into two blocks totaling 4,10,000 sq.ft. area with a parking space to accommodate 675 cars, the project is being developed at a cost of Rs. 100 crores and will be completed by 2022. Upon completion, at its peak occupancy it will generate jobs for 6000 youth of Punjab.

Landmark Plaza, a world-class building in QuarkCity’s IT SEZ, offers 6000 jobs currently and 10,000 jobs would be provided on its full occupancy. QuarkCity’s facility has resulted in investment of Rs.900 crore by 18 Multi-National Companies with overall exports of Rs.2500 crore. On completion of QuarkCity’s integrated township, it will generate approximately 35,000 direct jobs.

A total of 58 companies are currently operating from the two existing buildings in QuarkCity, each employing 6000 workers.

It may be noted that QuarkCity began its Indian journey from Mohali in 1998 with the creation of an IT development center for its software affiliate growing to strength of approximately 3,500 employees at its peak. In 2003, after completion of the Atrium, QuarkCity’s Mohali development center, the previous Capt Amarinder government invited and encouraged QuarkCity under the stewardship of Fred Ebrahimi to create a state-of-the-art integrated township comprising industrial and urban infrastructure.