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Sukhbir slams CM for putting Punjab in ‘Bimaru’ states’ category

Hindustan Times, CHANDIGARH | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 28, 2019 10:55 PM IST

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal on Saturday condemned chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for putting Punjab in company of “Bimaru” states by notching dubious 13th rank following evaluation of 18 states on the good governance index (GGI) by the department of administrative reforms and public grievances and centre for good governance.

In a statement here, the SAD president said his party has often maintained that Punjab is in grip of policy paralysis, which has not only stalled development but ruined its finances too. “This has now only been confirmed by the Union government’s report,” he said.

Stating that the report was an indictment of the chief minister, Sukhbir said the report ranked Punjab last on economic governance while the fiscal deficit as a percentage of gross state domestic product (GSDP) had increased even as its tax receipts had reduced and the debt to GSDP ratio had increased.

“Under Amarinder’s leadership, against the target of ensuring taxes up to 14 per cent of the GDP, it merely added eight per cent. Punjab was judged a laggard in revenue collection with only 16 per cent of the target of 9,467 crore being achieved in the first seven months of this financial year,” said the SAD chief.

Sukhbir said the report had also busted the tall claims of the government on ease of doing business and growth of industry and exposed the sham investment summit held by the state by ranking it second last in commerce and industries category. He said Punjab had also been ranked 15th in agriculture and allied services and 14th on social welfare and development parameters.

Stating that the situation was likely to worsen further with Punjab at risk of being declared a bankrupt state, SAD president said not a single concession promised to the industry has been delivered. No new infrastructure is being created.

“Employees are not even getting salaries on time. Promises made to farmers, including total loan waiver, 2,500 per month to unemployed youth, jobs, mobile phones and augmentation of social welfare schemes for poor, have not been implemented,” he said.

SAD president said the chief minister had hurt Punjabis’ pride by turning once prima donna state into a laggard under his leadership.

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