Thursday, 1 October, 2009

Amarinder Singh supports subsidies given by Punjab govt


Amarinder Singh supports
subsidies given by Punjab govt
Satinder Bains
CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday supported subsidies given to agriculture and some other sectors by state government.
Addressing a press conference here, Amarinder Singh said that if economic position of state was sound there is no harm in giving subsidies to the certain sections. He said that after all it's the people's money and shall be spent on welfare of people.
Amarinder Singh said that Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal was giving statements that subsidies shall be discontinued but he is not taking decisive stand. He should told the Chief Minister firmly about the fiscal health of state. He added that his government had stopped subsidies for two years to stabalise the economy of state and later when they were comfortable, the subsidies were started again.
He however said that Punjab was caught in a debt trap and poor governance by Akalis was responsible for it. He said that present government didn't have enough funds to pay salaries of its staff. He said that state government was selling securities worth Rs.400 per month to run the government. The state is under debt of Rs.60,000 crores.
Firmer Chief Minister said that Badal government had performed poorly on power front. He said that power situation was same during Congress rule but they supplied full power to agriculture and industrial sector. He saaid that his government had made purchases to meet the situation. He said that he was not opposed to unbundling of Punjab State Electiricity Board since it is being done under Electricity Act. He however said that due consideration shall be given to the model to be adopted to give new look to the PSEB.
He also opposed SAD-BJP government decision to cancel the MoU with Reliance for opening of chain of stores in Punjab to market vegetables. He said that Reliance has 23,000 stores all over country. He said that it would have been to the benefit of farmers. He also supported payment of crops to farmers through Ahrtiyas.
Replying to a question, Amarinder Singh stated that it was for AICC president Sonia Gandhi to decide about appointing new PPCC president. He said that party was united and any decision taken by high command would be accepted by all.
Amarinder Singh said that law and order in Punjab was worst. "I have not seen such an anarchy during my 40 years of political life", he commented. He said that police was not registering case against the influential accused in many cases. In one case High Court had ordered to register the case but it was not comlied with, he added.

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