Destination Punjab, a B2B event; Ludhiana Fair, a B2C expo set to start
Ludhiana, October 27, 2012: “The Defence forces are looking towards indigenisation of defence equipment as a way of reducing costs, and any exposition that provides a platform for indigenous defence equipment is good for the country,” said Group Captain P S Rajpal, Chief of Indigenisation, 3 BRD, Defence Forces.
He was speaking at a press briefing organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to share the highlights of Destination Punjab, a B2B Industrial and Engineering exposition; and CII Ludhiana Fair, a consumer shopping festival.
He further said that the Defence Forces support and encourage the SME sector of Punjab in its effort to help in the indigenisation of defence equipment and laying special focus on the need for modernisation.
Kamna Raj Aggarwalla, Past Chairperson, CII Punjab State Council shared that “The CII Ludhiana fair would showcase leading Indian consumer brands along with exquisite handmade carpets from Afghanistan, decorations from Thailand and fine fabrics from across the border, besides trendy gadgets and latest cars for young automobile freaks”.
D L Sharma, Vice Chairman, CII Punjab State Council and Director, Vardhman Textiles Ltd, shed light on the objectives, focus sectors and knowledge events of Destination Punjab. “The B2B Expo will focus on defence, automation, auto ancillaries, industrial supplies, engineering services and agricultural machinery etc. CII is interacting with the Govt of Punjab to make Destination Punjab an annual event, which will provide a tremendous boost to the growth of industry in Punjab”, he explained. He viewed that the CII, in association with Govt of Punjab, is taking great initiatives in supporting industry. “It will also help in vendor development for the automotive, precision engineering, and textile industries based in Punjab, and Ludhiana in particular,” he added.
Sandeep Riat, Chairman, CII Ludhiana Zonal Council and Managing Director, Akal Spring Ltd, highlighted that the Ministry of Defence, (GOI) has estimated defence imports of over Rs 100,000 crores for the next few years to meet the country’s defence needs. He shared that, out of this amount, at least half can be saved by going in for indigenous production. “Here, Punjab has a huge opportunity to capture this business, considering its strong base in engineering and precision machinery,” she added.
He further added that foreign vendors who execute defence contracts worth Rs 300 crore or more have to compulsorily source 30% of the total contract value from Indian vendors. “Punjab, till now, has not been able to make the most of this opportunity,” he regretted, and expressed the hope that they will seize the opportunity now. He also shed light on the first edition of Destination Punjab last year that saw 7,000 visitors generating a business of more than Rs 30 crore.
The two CII events will run simultaneously at the Govt College for Women, Ludhiana. While Destination Punjab, B2B event will run from November 1 to 3, open from 10 am to 6 pm, the CII Ludhiana Fair, an annual consumer shopping event with more than 85 national and international exhibitors this year, will run from November 1 to 4, and remain open from 10 am to 8 pm.