Talwandi Sabo: Sounding little dissimilar from one of the party’s major poll promises and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s repeated assurance to waive off the farmers’ loan in Punjab, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Thursday claimed that the state government would introduce “an adequate solution” to the issue in the next budget, expected to come after three months.
Not making an announcement about the complete waiver, which the debt-ridden farmers of Punjab are hoping from the Congress government, Manpreet said, “We are meticulously working on the issue. But at this stage I can only assure that relief given by Punjab would be better than the UP, where the state government has waived off Rs 1 lakh loan of the farmers.”
Manpreet announced this from the party’s Baisakhi Conference at Talwandi Sabo, which he was heading in the absence of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. All invitations carried the name of Amarinder Singh as the Chief Guest but on Thursday morning his personal team informed that the CM won’t be able to come due to some ache in his ankle.
Among the senior leaders of the party, only Laal Singh who is now Punjab Mandi Board chairman could be spotted on the stage. As Amarinder kept himself away, no minister of his Cabinet also opted to participate in the state level function. Unlike earlier, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Sunil Kumar Jakhar were also conspicuous by their absence.
Extending greetings on the eve of Khalsa Saajna Divas and Baisakhi to Punjabis, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal further repeated the Cabinet’s decision to pass a strong and effective Lokpal Bill with a view to bringing more transparency and accountability in governance.
He said that Chief Minister and Ministers would also fall under the ambit of proposed Lokpal Bill. He said that as per the proposal of bill the consent of leader of Opposition would also be taken in the appointment of Lokpal.
Against writing off completely as the Congress had promised in poll manifesto, Finance Minister says the next budget will witness solution to the issue, promises to give better relief than UP
Speaking on the fiscal health of Punjab, Manpreet said, “The outgoing SAD-BJP government has left Punjab’s coffers empty. It has mortgaged Punjab’s income to banks against hefty loans for years to come. Despite such financial health, Punjab government is committed to safeguard interests of farmers and other sections of society.”
The finance minister said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was working to propel the economy of state by inviting the major industrial houses of country to set up their ventures in Punjab. He hailed Amarinder’s gesture of holding meetings with industry captains of India at Mumbai to woo them for making investment in Punjab.
Talking on the SYL issue, he said that Punjab’s case had not been represented appropriately in the Apex court. He, however, saw hope in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative related finding a political solution of the issue holding a joint meeting with Punjab and Haryana in this regard.
He also termed the state government’s decision to shun VIP culture commendable, besides assuring to work tirelessly for ensuring good governance, welfare of people besides corruption-free state. Meanwhile the Chairman Punjab Mandi Board Lal Singh said that the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government was fully committed to fulfil the promises made with the Punjabis in time-bound manner.
Congress leaders, including Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and senior leader Laal Singh, during the political conference in Talwandi Sabo on Thursday.