Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Monday announced Amritsar as a wedding destination and said that the government would set up a ‘celebration point’ on 100 acres in the city with marriage palaces, banquet halls and hotels.
Addressing the gathering at the first Punjab Tourism Summit at Amity University in Mohali, Mann said the government was working to make Punjab a tourism hub. He reached the venue flanked by noted comedian Kapil Sharma.
Selling Amritsar as a wedding destination to the tourism industry, the CM said, “There will be banquet halls and hotels in ‘celebration point to suit every pocket. The tariff will start from Rs 25,000 and will go up to Rs 10 lakh. There would be three-star and four-star hotels. Those who want their children to get married and seek blessings from Golden Temple the same day could book any of these banquet halls and hotels and organise the event there.”
He called on the tourists and hospitality industry to mine the potential of Chamrour in Pathankot. He said there is a lake spanning 57 km, and no other place has such blue waters. “This is an untouched tourist destination,” said Mann.
He also announced that the government would set up a film city and asked Kapil Sharma to help promote it and look for talent from Punjab. Sharma assured all help and said, “I have been born and brought up in Punjab. After going through the tourism department’s PDF, I was even surprised to see many tourist destinations.”
The CM said, “This function is neither a show of strength nor a political rally. This is a function related to the heart of Punjab. All my cabinet colleagues are here. When we took oath, it was our priority to showcase Punjab. We had taken an oath that we would take tourism to such a level that it would be on the tourism map.”
“Geographically, Punjab is fit for tourism. If you have to go to places in Himachal Pradesh, for instance, Kullu, Mandi, Kangra and Shimla, you have to cross Punjab. If you look at religious tourism, you have to pass through Punjab if you go to Baglamukhi, Manikaran Sahib, Naina Devi and other places,” he added.
He said Punjab has such tourism potential that 1 lakh people pay obeisance at Golden Temple daily. “It is not just agriculture fields, but (Punjab has) quite a few spots. There are more than 12,000 villages. You would not find a single village that did not produce a martyr.”
He recalled how he was flying over the Lahore-Delhi railway line in Punjab one day. “My mind went to martyr Bhagat Singh, thinking he would have travelled on this line many times.”
He called upon industrialists to invest in Punjab, stating that the government ensures they do not face any issues. “We are the first in India to develop green stamp papers. We have already sold 50 such green stamp papers. Green stamp paper is given to those industrialists who are in the process of setting up a unit in Punjab and have paid all fees related to different departments.”
The chief minister said the government is creating a hassle-free environment for industrialists. He recalled that an industrialist had come to him and said he had land and all wherewithal but needed government support as it was missing in the past.
ਕੁਦਰਤ ਨੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਨੂੰ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਵਡਮੁੱਲੀਆਂ ਦਾਤਾਂ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੀਆਂ ਨੇ…ਟੂਰਿਜ਼ਮ ਦੇ ਜ਼ਰੀਏ ਅਸੀਂ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦਾ ਉਹ ਪੱਖ ਦਿਖਾਵਾਂਗੇ ਜੋ ਅੱਜ ਤੱਕ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਵੇਖਿਆ… pic.twitter.com/Aevg8RTcPq
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 11, 2023
“He sought not to be harassed. I want to tell you all that you will get government support. Nobody will harass you. Those already having units are welcome to expand. And those who do not have are welcome… We have to make things easier with some out-of-box ideas… We are doing colour-coding on stamp papers. If you buy land for industry, you must buy green-coloured stamp paper. Just give us where you want to purchase land; a government team will go and get you all clearances. In the end, you will get green stamp paper, meaning you have all the approvals for having the land,” he said.
Tourism Minister Anmolm Gagan Mann, film producer Bobby Bedi of Bandit Queen fame, and comedians Ehsaab Qureishi and Sunil Paul were among the others at the summit.