(Sukhbir Badal says Manpreet has played cruel joke on Punjabis by making promises without keeping any provisions in the budget to implement the same)
Chandigarh, June 24 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today blasted finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal for engineering a fake loan waiver which does not give any relief to poor farmers even as it asked him to tell Punjabis why he had played a cruel joke on them by making promises without keeping any provisions in the budget to implement the same.
In a joint SAD-BJP conference here, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal while briefing newsmen asked Manpreet Badal to tell whether all farmers were covered by the so called loan waiver scheme or it was restricted to crop loans only? He said the FM should also tell whether only cooperative loans were covered under the scheme or also those of nationalized and cooperative banks and commission agents. “There is a feeling that a fraud has been committed against small farmers with medium and rich farmers who take crop loans being incentivized”. He said Manpreet should also tell whether khet mazdoor were part of this bogus waiver and why a budgetary allocation of only Rs 1,500 crore was made for an accumulated loan of around Rs 90,000 crore.
Mr Badal, who was accompanied by senior BJP leader Som Prakash, said the finance minister should tell Punjabis why no provision had been made in the budget for fulfilling the chief minister’s announcement to give power @ Rs five per unit. As per our estimates the State needs Rs 2,300 crore to fulfill this promise. The FM should tell whether this shortcoming will be corrected or not?
He said the FM should tell why he failed to provision for key government promises and schemes and how these schemes will take off. He should no provision had been made for the Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme. “No provision has been made for providing the means to give 25 lakh jobs to youth. Manpreet seems to be preparing to make all these youth taxi drivers for Ola and Uber taxi companies. If so has any margin money been kept in the budget to purchase taxis for the youth?”
Speaking about the homeless, the SAD president said Manpreet had played a cruel joke on them. While lakhs need houses, he has kept a provision of only 2,000 houses. He said as far as the shagun and old age pension schemes were concerned, Manpreet should tell the people when he will start disbursing the benefits. “We also want to know when he will start disbursing tea leaves and sugar to beneficiares?” he added.
Asking if the pay commission would be implemented in the State this year, Mr Badal said if this was so Manpreet should tell why he hadn’t kept any provision for the same in the budget. “If no, we want to ask him why he is discriminating against the very employees who have to implement his government’s budget and make the State deliver on the promises made to the people”.
The SAD president also demanded that Manpreet should tell Punjabis how he planned to bridge the Rs 10,273 crore funding gap in his budget. “This gap exists despite taking all income, including that coming from GST, into account. Now if you consider the loan waiver (Rs 8,500 as announced by CM) and power to industry @ Rs five per unit (Rs 2,800 crore) besides other schemes the fund gap will increase to nearly Rs 25,000 crore. The FM has mentioned in his budget speech in para 163 that net borrowing of State has been fixed at Rs 12,819 crore. How will he come up with the money to fund these schemes?” Mr Badal asked.
Stating that Manpreet Badal had no wish to even implement the budget, he said the Congress had sold a dream to the people to befool them. “When held accountable by the SAD-BJP combine after coming into power, the Congress has come out with a phony budget which is un-implementable. I challenge Manpreet to answer the questions raised by us and tell Punjabis why he has stabbed them in the back and played politics of brazen lies?”. EOM