Accepting virtually that Punjab was in a financial mess, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Saturday here that the cess on petrol and diesel was necessary to boost development in the state and the entry tax on sugar was a must for more revenue.
Rejecting the demand for a white paper on the state's financial health, the CM said the Congress had no moral right to raise the issue after its previous central regimes had put the state into trouble by "biased economic policies and tax exemptions to neighbouring states that led to the exodus of industry". He told the media that five northern states had agreed have a uniform tax structure.
Replying to a query, the CM said every party had the democratic right to expand its political base, so there was nothing wrong in the Bharatiya Janata Party's trying to do so in the state. "The Akali-BJP alliance is firm and everlasting, and both partners have full faith in each other," he said. Asked about the likely special financial package from the Narendra Modi government, he said he would let the media know when it came.
Refusing to comment on reinstating of convicted cop Gurmeet Singh Pinky, he said law would take its own course. Later during his visit to C-Pyte (Center of Punjab for Youth Training and Employment), the CM said integrated hubs would be developed to train young people for entering the armed forces, and the training period extended from eight weeks to 12. He also visited an Adarsh School and the new Mahant Ram Parkash Dass Government College.