Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said here on Thursday that the withdrawal of the additional 1% excise duty on gold, for which jewellers of the state have been agitating, could be discussed in the next budget session of Parliament only. “The issue of additional excise duty on gold was raised even during this budget session in Parliament and Union finance minister had acknowledged the concern of the protesting jewellers as well, but, the issue will be brought to discussion only in the next budget session and then we would look for a possible solution.”
Addressing a gathering of people at Kishangarh village here, the Bathinda MP showered praises at the state government for implementing pro-farmer policies and providing the highest-ever compensation for the damaged cotton crop. “Despite implementing farmer-friendly policies, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is often accused of being anti-farmer. We have provided the highest compensation for the damaged cotton crop as farmers in other states are still awaiting the same.”
On being asked as to why farmers go on holding protests if the government is pro-farmer, the Union minister accused farmer unions of playing petty politics over the issue. “The agricultural indebtedness bill-2016 was passed by the state assembly after a consensus by every party which represents the entire state. These farmer unions are just trying to gain political mileage over the issue.”
The Union minister stepped up her attack on the Congress and the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and warned the people against falling in their trap. “During the assembly elections in 2012, the Congress had created the Peoples’ Party of Punjab (PPP) which later merged with them. The Congress later created AAP in New Delhi and even extended them support for running the government in the national capital. AAP is the B-team of the Congress which is maligning our government.” Later, she distributed grants worth Rs 2.25 crore for developmental projects in 15 villages of the district.