Punjab chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday held the Centre's poor financial management solely responsible for the fiscal mess across the nation.
TALKING to reporters after inaugurating University College here, CM said that central government officials frame policies for country while sitting in their plush air conditioned offices, without caring about needs and ground realities of the country.
He said drafting haphazard policies only creates chaos in the country and adds to the woes of its people as no care is taken to safeguard their interests.
Fixing of Rs 28.35 and Rs 22.42 daily expenditure for people above the poverty line in the urban and rural areas respectively by National Planning Commission was nothing but a sheer mockery on the part of the Centre and a testimony towards their complete insensitivity towards the plight of the countrymen, he added.
Assailing the Centre for ignoring the welfare of people by formulating the policies autocratically without concerning the state governments, Badal said that the tendency of the central government to usurp the powers of the state governments was very dangerous as it not only violated the fundamental principles of democracy but also weakened the federal structure of the country.
Advocating a better deliberation between Centre and the state governments before formulation of a national level policy, he said that the Centre must take the states into confidence so that good policies for the betterment of people could be drafted and implemented properly.
The CM pleaded devolution of more money from the taxes collected by the Centre from the states as the states were not getting their due share in return from the revenue collected on account of taxes imposed on the states.
Lashing out at the Centre, he said that the staggering debt on Punjab was also the result of Centre's wrong policies despite of the fact that the people of state fought nation's war against terrorism, no relief was given to it due to which the debt which was spent on deployment of central forces in Punjab had been mounting manifolds.
He said that prior to period of militancy in Punjab the fiscal health of the state was very good but as Centre rendered no help to the state its economy dwindled alarmingly during the heydays of terrorism.
Referring to relief announced by the Centre for some states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana in view of drought like situation, Badal said that it was unfortunate that Punjab was deliberately left out of its ambit despite of the fact that 'food bowl of the country' was adversely affected due to the deficit rainfall.
He said that this discriminatory attitude of the Centre was a testimony of injustice meted out by the Central government which had caused widespread resentment among the people. However, he said that he had already taken up the matter with the Prime Minister and union agricultural minister seeking a relief of Rs 2380 crore.
He expressed hope that the state would be benefited from the scheduled visit of agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on August 10 to assess the situation.
Replying to a query, the CM said that no extra load of taxes would be put on the people rather the state government was only trying to rationalise the taxes to ensure the all round development of the state.
He categorically said that there was no difference of opinion among the SAD-BJP alliance leadership regarding the matter.