Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, on Thursday, justified the Punjab government's decision to levy cess on consumers to mobilise additional revenue of Rs 1,400 crore annually. "To improve the infrastructure of the state, we can afford to impose tax on fuel and other services."
According to the announcement made by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the cess will be levied at Rs 1 per litre each on petrol and diesel, infrastructure development (ID) fee at Rs 5 for every Rs 100 of the value of electricity consumed (raising tariff by 35 paisa per unit) and ID fee at Rs 1 for every Rs 100 of the value of purchase of immovable property within Punjab.
The Bathinda MP, who got over with her two-day trip in Mansa, blamed the previous UPA government for all the wrongs in Punjab and kept praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching several financial schemes for the people of the state.
She criticised the UPA regime for making her ministry bankrupt and claimed that the central government is still recovering from that loss.
"The UPA government was so much in debt that we are still recovering and repaying the loan." She even said that Modi
has done India proud after his recent foreign trips.
The minister again hit out at Rahul Gandhi for the controversy around the food park in Amethi.
Reacting to a letter written by Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi on this issue to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, the food processing minister said lies are being spread to deflect the fact that there was no land in the name of SPV and it is being projected that the cancellation of Shaktiman mega food park at Amethi is due to any vendetta.
"If the food park has been cancelled it is only because of the inability of the promoters to fulfill the basic conditions despite 9 extensions in 3.5 years." The union minister, however, refrained to speak on the controversial statement of Rajya Sabha member Balwinder Singh Bhunder, who told party workers that indulging in drug-peddling due to poverty is not illegal.