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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Bring promised grants for Punjab: Cong tells Badal

IANS  Chandigarh, August 10, 2014
First Published: 18:45 IST(10/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(10/8/2014)

The Congress in Punjab Sunday lashed out at the silence of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal over the state's financial 'mess' and said they should ensure that Punjab gets the grants from the central government which the two had promised the state.

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Punjab's Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar, in a statement here, said the financial situation of the state was pathetic, in spite of a friendly government at the Centre.

"There is no improvement in fiscal management of the state. The situation is precarious as unpaid bills running into crores of rupees, delay in salaries of government employees etc. manifest the poor financial position," Jakhar said.

"Earlier, you had a perfect alibi to blame the UPA government for your financial mismanagement caused due to your fiscal profligacy. Now that you are partner and ally of the central government, people are waiting to see those truckloads of grants from the central government land on the soil of Punjab and the much-hyped beginning of golden age in Punjab under Mr. (Narendra) Modi's stewardship," Jakhar said.

Pointing out to a report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the year 2013-14, Jakhar said Punjab availed overdraft for 49 days and resorted to ways and means advances for 120 days.

"You live on the edge of borrowing and yet claim to be prosperous... is nothing but obsessive hallucinations, and try to mislead people into misbelieve... is nothing but a cruel joke perpetrated on the people of Punjab," Jakhar said.

He said government employees have not been paid salaries for months together.

The rightful claims of government employees with respect to medical bills, retirement benefits, advances against provident fund and travelling allowance bills were lying uncleared in the treasury and finance departments.

He said that any protest by the staff for their demands was being mercilessly put down by the police.

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