By BS Reporter
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today said subsidies are an international phenomenon and the state government has no proposal to rollback the subsidies.
Badal pointed out that in comparison of the Union government and other state governments, Punjab was providing too less subsidies which were being provided to the deserving and the needy sections of the society.
Similarly, in the present situation of sky-rocketing inflation, the BPL population was struggling to get even two square meals.
"Is it a crime to bail out such needy persons by providing them atta, dal at Rs4 and Rs20 per kg and 200 units of free power," he questioned? He further clarified that 99 per cent of the farmers having free power facility were marginal farmers as the few farmers having some reasonable holdings belonged to Malwa region, where most of them were dependant on canal water irrigation.
He revealed that the state governmentâ€™s main focus was on more revenue generation and the substantial increase in VAT as well as Excise collection was the result of relentless efforts put in by the state government. He said that with better economic planning the State was making rapid strides on the development front. Creation of world class infrastructure, be it a complete revamp of road network with four/six laning of all major highways, setting up of five power plants, international as well as domestic air ports and setting up of world class education institutes reflects the development vision, he added.
Replying to a query regarding former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badalâ€™s futuristic plans, the Deputy Chief Minister said that every person has his own perspective and he didnâ€™t wish to comment further. Regarding MLA Manjinder Singh Kangâ€™s apprehension about his security, Badal described it as his frustration as he had no new information to offer to the media. He said that Kang had almost double the security than he was entitled to.
He informed that earlier in the day during his meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, he urged him to take initiative for opening of Hussainiwala border as it could make a significant contribution in overall development of the region as Kasur, the adjoining City of Pakistan was an industrial hub. Besides this, regular compensation of Rs. 5000 per acre will be given to those farmers in possession of land across the fencing, and wherever possible, shifting the fencing towards the International border with an 11-meter land being used by BSF for patrolling, the resumption of Ferozepur-Amritsar rail link and starting a Shatabdi train from Ferozepur to Delhi were the other major demands put before the Home Minister, he added. He further asked Chidambaram to take up the issue of release of polluted industrial water especially of Kasur tanneries with the Pakistan government.