Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday urged finance minister Arun Jaitley to provide interest relief to the state on small saving loans of Rs 703 crore and release of compensation of Rs 867 crore due on account of CST reduction for the period 2010-2015.
The veteran Akali leader sought relief for Punjab on the small saving loans from 10.5 pc to 9 pc as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission.
Badal called on Jaitley on Friday and asked him to release pending grants of Rs 362 crore recommended by the 13th Finance Commission to Punjab. He also pleaded for relief to be given to three debt-stressed states including Punjab as recommended by the Commission.
The Akali leader also demanded release of compensation of Rs 867 crore already due to the state on account of CST reduction for the period 2010-2015. He also sought early release of initial grant of Rs 50 crore for drug de-addiction programme announced by Jaitley, while replying to the debate on last budget.
He also advocated that minimum support price (MSP) for agriculture crops should be fixed as per MS Swaminathan formula i.e. cost + 50% profit to benefit the farmers. Badal said that this was important as it was a part BJP/NDA manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
He sought income tax exemption for allied farming activity as also from payment of central excise on all agricultural implements including combined harvesters and their parts.
Badal also urged minister of state for tourism and culture (Independent Charge) Mahesh Sharma to grant Rs 275 crore as special financial assistance for the upcoming iconic heritage and tourism projects across the state.
He also impressed upon rural development minister Birender Singh that the ministry should provide separate funds for installing water purification systems in the rural areas in coming Union Budget 2015-16.
He apprised him that 1,921 habitations in the state were affected with uranium and heavy metals in drinking water, which was a cause of major concern.
This drinking water inflicted with heavy metals was creating health problems for residents due to which serious attention and large public investments were required to tackle this grave problem.
Flagging up the case of supplying clean and potable drinking water for such habitations, he said the habitations urgently require 1,829 water purification systems (RO systems) for which the Centre should generously help the state.