Though the model code of conduct clearly prohibits ministers from announcing any financial grant or making promises, yet the temptation for wooing voters can make leaders to adopt this path anytime.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, despite knowing very well that any commitment to form or alter policy to favour any section of people, can land him in trouble, made a commitment for changing the taxation system for purchase of electricity materials by government departments.
A member of Bathinda The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during an interaction with Sukhbir, demanded that the government should bring on equal footing the tax deducted on electricity material from the industry located in Punjab and out of Punjab. He said that the industry of Punjab has to pay VAT at a rate of 6.60% to government departments whereas a similar material purchased from the industry located out of the state has to pay tax at the rate of 2%, which was making state industry unprofitable. Sukhbir agreed “in principle” to the demand of the industry, but said that implementation of the decision will be made after elections are over.
Sensing the presence of the mediapersons, Sukhbir urged them not to report the same as it was a type of family function and it was not an officialannouncement. On a demand by another BCCI member to widen the scope of Rahat scheme up to Rs 5 cr, Sukhbir asked members to send a proposal in this regard and asured them to look into the matter.