*Investment of Rs 98,500 crore made in the state during the financial year 2018-19 to 2022-23 Chandigarh: Punjab during the last FYs 2018-19 to 2022-23 has received new investment projects of Rs.98500 crore, completed projects of Rs.77810 crore and revived the pending projects worth Rs.8495 crore. This has been revealed in a just concluded study undertaken by the MSME Export Promotion Council jointly with the Confederation of Organic Food Producers & Marketing Agencies (COII). The study was released by the MSME EPC Chairman Dr D S Rawat (former secretary general ASSOCHAM) today. Punjab has registered the fastest implementation rate in completing the projects. As per the data available through Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) as on 12 December 2023, the new investment projects announced in 2018-19 were of Rs.43323 cr, 2019-20 Rs.12267 cr, 2020-21 Rs.15761 cr, 2021-22 Rs.23655 cr and in 2022-23 Rs.3492 cr. It was found that in 2022-23, total investment projects outstanding were of Rs.139099 cr and under implementation of Rs.103680 cr. Therefore, Dr Rawat said, there is urgent need for a high powered committee to review each project and are cleared with immediate effect without any further escalation in the cost. Referring the private sector investment, it was stated that Punjab has received the new investment projects from the private sector during the period of reporting of Rs.28308 cr and completed the projects of Rs.33155 cr; some of them were on-going. The government’s investment projects announced during the period were of Rs.70190 cr and completed the projects of Rs.44644 cr. It is stated that industry holds a prominent position in the state’s economy as it contributed about 25 percent of total gross state value added in 2022-23 and has various direct and indirect linkages with other sectors significantly contributing to economic growth and employment. It has strong base of over four lakh micro, and small scale units belonging to auto components, bicycle parts, hosiery, sports goods, agricultural implements, and is on way of transition from agro-based to a technology-driven economy and has identified IT/ITeS/ESDM as thrust setor. The state already has India’s only large scale ASIC fabrication laboratory in SCL Mohali. The study anticipates that in three years period towards the end of 2027, another 60,000 units shall be added generating direct and indirect jobs for over 2.5 lakh people. In Punjab, Ludhiana accounts for the highest number of MSMEs over 1.5 lakh followed by Jalandhar and Amritsar. Dr Rawat while releasing the study said, Punjab is known for the enterprising spirit of its people which brought about the “green revolution” and also made the state a hub of small and medium enterprises. The state is now on a threshold of transition to a new culture of innovation and technology driven enterprises.