To put the state, facing financial crunch, back on the rails, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Monday expressed hope that after the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was implemented in the state, the state’s coffers would be enriched by Rs 6,000 crore every year by way of its collection from various quarters. He asserted that no state was likely to impose GST’s tax less than 14 per cent. Besides, the government is supposed to save around Rs 1,000 crore while putting a check upon its expenditure.Manpreet regretted that during the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab, the collection of income by way of taxes was a mere 6 per cent. About the much-hyped bus rapid transit system (BRTS) project introduced by the previous government, he alleged that it was nothing but a ‘political stunt’ of Sukhbir Badal just to garner votes and support of the electorate during the last assembly elections in which he could not succeed.
He disclosed that out of Rs 600 crore earmarked for this project, Rs 400 crore had been spent over it. He claimed that though the project was no more viable, however, in order to keep it in operation, an ‘urban transport fund’ would be created by the government. The finance minister added that a policy in this regard was being worked out which would be introduced soon.
To a question about the alleged misappropriation of funds by the previous government while undertaking various development projects, Manpreet replied that a ‘ third party audit’ of all the expenses incurred by the SAD-BJP government during the past 5 years is to be conducted and the irregularities caused by it are to be detected. He, however, added that sanction for it has been duly received.
Regarding existing monopoly in the transport in Punjab, the finance minister that new transport policy has been framed which is to be implemented shortly. He stated that after this, no specific transporter or mafia shall have exclusive right over the routes or bus permits. “To ensure transparency in the functioning of every public servant, every kind of effort is being initiated and no official resorting to corruption or red- tapism would be spared,” he asserted.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook