Jalandhar, September 13(Bharat Sandesh)
Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, MP and President Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today said that recent media statements made by the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and son, Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal on financial situation of Punjab clearly show the lack of coordination between both of them.
Addressing media persons here Mr. Bajwa said that while the deputy Chief Minister portrays the state’s economy very sound, growing robustly and having no cash crunch, his father has admitted in the media that the situation is all the opposite and the union government should bail out Punjab.
Showing the copy of the report of Punjab government submitted to the 14th finance commission on its recent visit to Chandigarh, Mr. Bajwa said that congress demands to take it as white paper on the financial situation of Punjab.
PPCC President said, “We would approach the chairman of the finance commission very soon in Delhi, apprise him of the financial situation of the state and then meet the governor of Punjab also”. We are not against the union government helping the state to bail out from the financial mess but the funds and grants should be used properly, not diverted in sangat darshans”.
Commenting on the report submitted to the commission on 7th of this month, Mr.Bajwa said that Punjab government himself is admitting that the state is under debt stress situation. If Punjab is financially sound why are the Badals compromising the pride of Punjab by going with begging bowl to the Finance commission?
Mr. Bajwa countered the claim of S Sukhbir Singh Badal that in the last 6 years of their rule they have never defaulted on the payment of salaries and pensions. He said that till today 1800 crores amounting to the DA and arrears of the government employees is pending, even 250 crores of salaries out of total 1200 crores monthly salaries of Punjab government employees are pending for the month of August till date. The employees of education department, irrigation and rural health department and government aided schools are party to this. Even the education department employees have decided to gherao district treasury offices. Talking abouit the pensions, Mr. Bajwa said that bills for 108 crore for old age pension, 21 crore for assistance to widows and destitute women, 8.9 crore for assistance to the dependant children and 10.8crore for assistance to disabled persons is still pending towards the Punjab government. Even the mid day meal grants have been diverted to pay the salaries of teachers. Punjab Government has just released a small grant of 50 crore for the mid day meal otherwise it was also not being served to the poor and needy children.
Mr. Bajwa said that Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal has said that Punjab government was not cash starved, then why is it that punjab has availed emergency provisions of overdraft facilities and ways means advances for the record 139 days and 233 days respectively in the last financial year. Mr. Bajwa also revealed the per capita income in punjab which shows that there is constant growth in it from 2002-2007(53%) whereas from 2007-2012 it is 25% while our neighboring states have performed much better than us. today Punjab is far behind than Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in the per capita income.