Former Punjab chief minister and senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal censured the Parkash Singh Badal-led government for auctioning property worth Rs 226 crore of the Punjab Roadways to settle pending liabilities of the corporation.
Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday, Bhattal said it was shameful for the Badal government to auction PRTC property and was a clearly indication of bankruptcy of the present regime.
She said the Badal government’s bankruptcy resulted in non-payment of pension arrears to 3,300 retired employees of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC).
The PRTC management has initiated a process of selling its prime properties in order to settle the dues of the retired employees. The government has already allowed the PRTC to dispose of its assets.
The PRTC has floated tenders to invite bidders for 8.45 acre at its Patiala head office and around 818 square yard at Phagwara bus stand.
Hitting out at the Badal government, she alleged that the government’s preferential treatment to private transporters had resulted in the PRTC becoming a sinking ship. “The situation has come at such a pass that the PRTC has gone in shambles,” she said.
“In recent years, the transport companies having stakes of the Badals have flourished at the cost of PRTC. The Badals owned transports have grown massively due to certain benefits doled out to private transporters by the SAD-BJP combine government,” she added.
Bhatal said the economy of Punjab had completely collapsed under the present regime, emphasising that even the Narendra Modi government has reportedly reprimanded the Badal government to settle an outstanding amount of Rs 42,000 crore of the previous cash credit limits (CCLs) received during different seasons of foodgrain for procurement by March 31 and in case of default, Punjab will not receive any amount under CCL.
“It seems highly improbable that the Badal government would be able to settle outstanding CCLs. Moreover, the government is clueless on how to tackle financial condition of the state. Though the state government had been leaning towards the Modi government to bail out the state from financial crisis, but it eceived cold shoulder from centre,” she added.