May 19, 2012 admin



Rakhra (Patiala), May 19- Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Centre to allow export of wheat from the state, being the major producer of the crop to bail out the beleaguered Punjabi farmers already reeling under debt stress.
            Talking to the media persons after attending the fourth death anniversary of Smt Jaswant Kaur the mother of Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Mr Surjeet Singh Rakhra here at his farm house, the Chief Minister said that he had already taken up this issue with the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawar several times but of no avail. Mr Badal pointed out whenever there is an acute shortage of the food grains in the country; Punjab was always reminded of its obligation towards the national food pool. On the contrary, he said that whenever there was surplus food production as of now in the case of wheat, Centre pays no heed to our requests, which tantamount to its sheer discrimination against Punjab.
            Referring to another query regarding the waiver of staggering debt on Punjab, the Chief Minister said that it was obligatory on the part of Centre to relieve the state from this debt trap because it had alone fought decade long nation’s battle against militancy to secure the unity and integrity of the country.
Asked to comment on the concerted efforts of the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamta Banerjee for the debt waiver for her state, the Chief Minister said that her ultimatum given to the Centre on either waiving the outstanding debt or seeking moratorium on its repayment should not be construed merely as efforts on her part rather these were coercive tactics aimed to bring Congress led UPA government on the negotiation table to accede her demand. He made it amply clear “ If Centre succumbs to the pressure of Ms Banerjee tomorrow, our state is ought to be benefited because West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab had already been categorized as debt stressed states by the 13th Finance Commission and therefore Centre can’t apply different yardsticks for the similarly situated states”.  
     Replying to another query regarding the misuse of Central funds by the state government, the Chief Minister categorically said that it was misnomer as the Centre was not doling out anything special to the states rather it was duty bound to repay back their share from the revenue collected in form of Income Tax, Central Excise and others such taxes from the states. He said that it was highly deplorable on the part of the Centre to deliberately elude the progressive states like Punjab by imposing stringent parameters from availing funds under the centrally sponsored schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Yojna (RKY) and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). Mr Badal observed, “Development and prosperity in terms of cent-percent coverage under canal irrigation and rural connectivity through link roads achieved by the state in early 70’s had now become a deterrent in the way of qualifying for GoI’s criteria to seek grants to sustain the tempo of overall development”.
The Chief Minister said that healthy criticism from opposition was always welcomed but criticism for the sake of criticism was not only undesirable but unethical too. Making a scathing attack on the state Congress leadership, Mr Badal said that it was left with no other alternative except to criticize the SAD-BJP alliance government on petty issues which speaks volumes of their day-by-day growing frustration. Advising the Congress leadership to be wary of blatant criticism on each and every issue, the Chief Minister in a lighter vein said that even Congress high command Mrs Sonia Gandhi had recently quoted that Criticism has become a fashion of the day.  
On the issue of his frequent meetings with his younger brother Mr Gurdas Singh Badal recently, the Chief Minister asked the media not to be skeptical about humanely relations that too of brothers who are often known as ‘Ram-Lakshman’. Mr Badal maintained still he loves his brother and gives him all respect despite many surmises and conjectures by the people according to their own whims and fancies adding that this everlasting bonding between both of them would ever remain intact.
Earlier the Chief Minister paid glowing tributes to Smt Jaswant Kaur for her unflinching faith in the tenets of Sikhism, who rendered immense services towards the uplift of poor and needy apart from making concerted efforts for the empowerment of women. She would be ever fondly remembered by her family members, nears and dears for her qualities of head and heart and guiding the destiny of her progeny, added Mr Badal.    
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Mr Surjeet Singh Rakhra, NRI Mr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal and Mr Charanjeet Singh Dhaliwal, Former SGPC Chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, Former Chairman Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board Mr Tajinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Mr Harmail Singh Tohra, Mr Surjeet Singh Kohli and Mr Babir Singh Miani (All former Ministers), Former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr Raj Khurana besides several leaders, party workers of SAD-BJP, MLAs and Members of SGPC.

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