Chandigarh, 22 August(Wishav Warta): AAP MLAs led by the leader of opposition in Punjab vidhan sabha, Sukhpal Singh Khaira will stage “Dharna’ outside the official residence of Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Delhi on August 24, to protest the anti Punjab and anti industry decision of Modi govt. for extending tax concession for another 10 years to the hill states. The then Vajpayee led govt. in 1999 had announced major tax concessions to the hill states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand etc. The said policy of tax holiday to these states was carried forward by the Dr. Manmohan Singh led Congress govt for 10 more years from 2004-14. Now the Modi govt. has further decided to extend for yet another 10 years the tax benefits available to these hill states.
The said discriminatory concessions to the neighboring hill states of J&K, HP etc wrecked havoc upon the industry of Punjab, denying level playing field to the industry of our state. It became very difficult for the manufacturers of Punjab to compete with their counterparts from these hill states, who are enjoying multi tax benefits. The anti Punjab and anti industry decision of successive central governments have left a devastating effect on the small and medium scale industry of Punjab. As per the latest statement of Capt. Amarinder Singh, approx 30,000 small and medium scale industrial units of Punjab have either shut down or moved out of the state, in view of this partisan and discriminatory decision of the central governments during the last two decades.
The steel rolling mills and induction furnaces of Mandi Gobindgarh, Hosiery industry of Ludhiana, sports and leather industry of Jalandhar, agriculture implements industry of Batala and Goraya, spinning units of Malwa region, have been severely affected by the erroneous policies of the national governments. Needless to mention, the agrarian economy of Punjab has already collapsed due to colossal debt burden of over Rs. 1 lac crore, forcing farmers to commit suicides in large number. Instead of bailing out the farmers of the state by giving a package, the Modi govt. has further added a body blow to Punjab by extending tax benefits to hill states for 10 more years.
AAP urges Capt. Amarinder to take a bold stand against the Modi govt. on this issue, rather than merely offering bouquets to the PM repeatedly. AAP is of the firm opinion, that all the traditional parties i:e Congress, BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal are squarely responsible for being partners to this anti-Punjab gross discrimination, leading to steep decline in industrial growth.
Therefore, in order to register its anguish against the BJP-SAD Modi govt., AAP has decided to hold a Dharna outside 12, Safdarjung Road, New Delhi, the official residence of Harsimrat Badal signatory to the anti Punjab cabinet decision, keeping in view gross discrimination against the industry of Punjab.