Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday said he had taken up the case of special compensation for extensive loss suffered by cotton growers due to sudden attack of white fly with the Centre.
He said he had also sought a bailout package for the sugarcane growers and the sugar mills.
Interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of Babehalli ‘Chinjh’, Badal said he was confident that the state government would get a handsome compensation from the Centre to help the beleaguered cotton growers of the Malwa region. Likewise, the Centre was also considerate to help the state in resolving impending sugarcane crisis in Punjab, said Badal.
The CM said the state government was also taking special initiatives to pull out the sugarcane growers and sugar mill owners from the crisis for ensuring a smooth crushing season.
Replying to a query about his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Badal said he was hopeful of positive outcome as the PM had assured him that he would resolve all issues raised during the meeting on priority.
He pointed out that Punjab had been immensely benefitted with the change of guard at the Centre as the BJP-led NDA government had already gifted the state prestigious projects such as AIIMS, IIM, Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research, besides giving a heritage status to the holy city, besides including three cities — Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar — under the Smart City Project.
Badal further said the Centre would take an appropriate call on other pending issues as well.
The CM said the state government had been advocating for ‘corporate federalism’, under which more powers for the states had been sought and acceding to the just demand, the Centre had accorded more share to the state from the collection of various taxes from the states. Badal said the state government’s share in the taxes (raised from the state) had been increased from 32% to 42%.
Lays foundation stone of meritorious school
The chief minister also laid the foundation stone of a meritorious school that would come up on a 10 acre premises at PUDA Colony close to Batala bypass in Gurdaspur district at an appropriate cost of Rs 27 crore.
Talking about a unique initiative of the state government to impart free education to economically weaker bright students securing 80% or above marks, the chief minister said the state government had opened six meritorious schools in Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, SAS Nagar and Ludhiana to impart free education to such students and was opening three more such schools at Ferozepur, Sangrur and Gurdaspur.
Similarly taking a giant leap in the higher education, the state government had set up 12 universities and 17 colleges, he said.
On the other hand delivering the keynote address at Babbehalli Chinjh, Badal said: “It has been a unique trait of the Punjabis that despite being subjected to discrimination — historically and politically — they have crossed all adverse circumstances and made their presence felt at the national and international levels.”
Local MLA and chief parliamentary secretary Gurbachan Singh Babbehali, former MLA Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal, special principal secretary to CM Ajoy Sharma, deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha and others were also present at the occasion.