Stressing the importance of maintaining peace and harmony for improving the economic health of the state, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on Monday said that the industry was fleeing from the state due to the atmosphere of uncertainty created by the Parkash Singh Badal government.
Resuming the Congress offensive against the motion moved by the Treasury benches in favour of the budget proposals, Bhattal who was frequently interrupted by the SAD-BJP legislators, particularly blamed the SAD for the "bad" economic condition of Punjab.
Stating that the budget proposals had nothing new except few couplets of poet Iqbaal and relief for the cottage industry producing Naswar (snuff) in Gidderbaha constituency being represented by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, the CLP leader said that budget lacked direction as well as vision.
She said that the conducive atmosphere which the previous Congress government had created to attract investment in the state was ruined by the SAD by giving statements that after coming to power it would review all the mega projects.
Bhattal said, "The atmosphere of uncertainty and fear was created by the SAD. We had brought in the industry and you (SAD) threw it out of the state."
The CLP leader said that wrong policies pursued by SAD right from the days of the reorganisations of the state and demand for Punjabi Suba ruined the economy of the state. The House witnessed acrimonious scenes when Bhattal charged the SAD of "supporting militancy" which she said had further devastated the economy of the state. Punjab's economic health, she said, suffered yet another blow during the previous SAD-BJP regime when the 11 Finance Commission Chairman AM Khusro reduced Rs 1550 crore in the five year plan of the state. This, she said, happened despite the fact that NDA was in the centre.
Bhattal said on the contrary the UPA government had been giving liberal financial assistance to the Badal government. "It is good that the state government has been acknowledging this fact of assistance from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government."
In her about 90 minute speech in which the CLP leader reiterated her demand of raising the annual income to bring more families under the ambit of subsidised atta-daal scheme, she said that the previous Congress government had left Rs 816 crore in the coffers of the state and challenged the Badal government to refute it.
The CLP leader said that there was nothing in the budget for the poor, unemployed youth, NRIs and suggested that health, medical education and forest needed more budget.
The CLP leader said: "There is no effort in the budget to generate additional resources. The Excise and Taxation Department, which the chief minister has kept with himself for reasons well known to him, should have also been allocated to the finance minister. This would have helped the minister in mobilising resources accordingly."