SAD core committee rejects fraudulent notification on farmer debt
Badal – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today rejected the fraudulent notification on farmer debt, saying the Congress government had reneged on its commitment to implement a Rs 90,000 debt waiver even as it expressed grave concern at the imposition of new taxes on the common man. A meeting of the SAD core committee which was presided over by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and included party president Sukhbir Singh Badal as well as the senior leadership, said the refusal of the Congress government to implement a complete loan waiver would deepen the farm crisis in Punjab. It expressed deep concern at the sharp rise in farm suicides as well as the government’s failure to give relief to the farming community. The meeting also condemned the government for hitting out at the common man by introducing a municipal tax equivalent to two per cent of power bills in municipal areas besides increase in external development charges and other services provided by the municipalities. The committee noted that these new taxes were against the spirit of GST and demanded their immediate rollback. It also asked the government to immediately lower VAT on petrol and diesel saying most States had already reduced VAT on petroleum. The core committee took serious note of the State government’s decision to close down 800 schools, saying no government could adopt such a mercenary attitude towards the education sector. Stating that education was not a business but a social necessity, it said the government was playing with the lives of 12,000 children who would be effected by this wrong decision. Former education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema briefed the core committee that this decision would effect Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts which were situated in the Kandi area the most. He said the government did not even keep in mind that the population in these districts was scattered and closing down primary schools in such areas would deny the right of education to thousands of children. The meeting also asked the Punjab government to immediately waive its share in GST on purchase of items used for ‘Karah parsad’ at Sri Darbar Sahab. It said after doing this the government should take up the case for zero GST on these items at the meeting of the GST Council so that they were also exempt from central GST. The apex body also asked the Congress government to immediately withdraw the license fee imposed on tractors being used for haulage. It said this amounted to punishing farmers who were trying to eke out a living by working in the community. The committee also congratulated Punjabi-origin Canadian leader Jagmeet Singh for being elected as the new leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP).
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