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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Punjab headed for acute financial crisis: Manpreet

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, November 05, 2012
First Published: 23:02 IST(5/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:05 IST(5/11/2012)

Claiming that the state is headed towards an acute financial crisis, People's Party of Punjab president Manpreet Badal on Monday said a joint strategy would be finalised at the November 20 all-party meeting to expose the failures of the state government.

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"Against the total annual budget of Rs. 14,000 crore, so far only 25% targets have been met and finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa recently stated that they would be able to collect a maximum of 50% revenue of the annual budget by the end of this financial year," Manpreet told Hindustan Times.

In comparison, Manpreet said, Haryana was generating annual revenue of Rs. 28,000 crore, which was Rs. 21,000 crore higher than Punjab, adding that it meant Haryana would collect at least Rs. 2.10 lakh crore more revenue than Punjab for developmental works in the next decade.

Saying that Congress was expected to attend the proposed all-party meeting, Manpreet said the group would discuss issues threadbare before finalising a joint action to expose the misdeeds of the ruling alliance. "Instead of concentrating on generating revenue, the deputy chief minister is more concerned about holding kabaddi cups and visiting Pakistan," Manpreet said, quipping how could a kabaddi cup contribute towards building the state.

Asked about the allegations of financial embezzlement raised by former party colleague Arunjot Sodhi against him, Manpreet said: "I have already explained the reason behind Sodhi's frustration to the media and how it was a face-saving exercise of his after his misdeeds and anti-party activities got exposed."

On Sodhi calling the party general body meeting on November 16, Manpreet said: "Sodhi was an employee with no authority to call such a meeting, as it is the prerogative of the party president."

Regarding political rumours that Abhay Singh Sandhu, nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, would be joining Sodhi in the proposed general body meeting, the PPP chief said: "I met Sandhu yesterday and he assured his solidarity to me."

Answering a query whether PPP would forge an alliance with Congress, as he had held them also responsible for the poor plight of the state, Manpreet said: "It is too early to say anything on a tie-up with Congress. Lok Sabha elections are still 18 months away and Congress is no holy cow."

He hastened to add that Sanjha Morcha had been created to end the two party regime in the state.

On political talks with Arvind Kejriwal, the PPP president said: "Yes, I am in touch with Kejriwal, though a meeting with him has not been possible so far."
 

Visit to all villages on anvil
Manpreet announced office-bearers of the party's Jalandhar unit and said that within this month, the organisational structure of all the districts would be announced. "I will visit all 12,000 villages of the state to communicate party's message to the people in the month of December," he added.

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