The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday took strong exception to ‘false’ claims by the SAD-BJP government on new investment in Punjab in its publicity campaign, saying these are misleading and wastage of public funds for self-glory.
AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich said the SAD-BJP government has started a media campaign to project two failed Progressive Punjab Investors Summits in 2012 and 2015 as their major achievement.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has claimed 519 MoUs worth more than Rs 1.87 lakh crore were signed, but he covered up the fact that all MoUs remained on the paper and no company ever made any major investment, Waraich said.
The AAP convener also countered Sukhbir’s claim that Punjab was ranked number one in ease of doing business. He said Punjab was ranked at 16th place among all states in a study by the World Bank and KPMG on ease of doing business and reforms implementation, conducted in June 2015.
Waraich said investors were scared of setting up industry in Punjab. Even the NRIs who attended the two NRI Summits hosted in 2007 and 2012 had hesitated to invest in Punjab due to large-scale corruption, organized crime syndicate and poor road infrastructure.
He said the government had definitely made a record by allowing 20,000 proclaimed offenders roam free and letting gangsters run away from jail.
He said about 20,000 industrial units had shut their business in Punjab in the last ten years. He added that in reply to an RTI inquiry in 2015, the Punjab industry department has stated that 18,770 industrial units had closed in Punjab between 2007 and 2015. In Mandi Gobindgarh alone, over 600 industries were shut down during the five-year span from 2011 to 2015.