New Delhi/Chandigarh:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support in allowing the state government to sell its surplus power to Pakistan or Nepal in the economic interest of the cash-crunched state.
The Chief Minister, at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, also sought the Centre’s support in making agriculture more sustainable for the farmers in the state by putting in place a Deficiency Price Payment mechanism to encourage a shift to non-paddy cultivation.
This was disclosed here by Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to CM, after the hour-long meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence.
Expressing concern over the problems faced by the Punjab farmers living in border areas, Captain Amarinder also requested an increase in central government compensation for such farmers, to ensure effective and stronger border management.
The Chief Minister further sought Modi’s intervention to prevent the possible revival of package of concessions to neighbouring states as it would negate the Punjab government’s efforts to bring in investment, create jobs for the unemployed youth and revive the state’s economy, Thukral
Pointing to the 1,000 MW surplus power availability in Punjab after meeting its internal demand, the Chief Minister said sale of power to neighbouring Pakistan, or Nepal as the case may be, would save the citizens of the state from the burden of any extra taxes, and also save the electricity consumers from the extra burden of fixed cost of power generating units.
Since Punjab shares its border with Pakistan and its Goindwal Sahib thermal power plant is situated close to the international border, it would not be difficult for the state to supply power to Pakistan on continuous basis, the Chief Minister noted. He further said Punjab would be happy to supply electricity also to Nepal, which intends to meet its power shortfall by purchasing it from India, if the Union government agrees.