AAP promises 24-hour power supply, industries in Punjab
Amid the ongoing power crisis due to coal shortage, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is on a two-day visit to Punjab, promised round-the-clock electricity supply in the state if his party is voted to power in the 2022 polls.
He said the power scarcity in Punjab was man-made and once the transmission system is upgraded, half the problem will be solved. “We faced a similar problem in Delhi during our initial years in government. We changed the transmission system, and the situation has improved to the point that people don’t buy inverters now,” Kejriwal said.
He was speaking during an interactive session with the Jalandhar-based industrialists at a private resort. He unveiled a 10-point agenda for the development of industry, trade and commerce. The chief minister underlined the need to give special focus on MSME and small scale industry sectors. “Ek mauka saanu vi (give us a chance too). I assure you that you will forget others,” Kejriwal said.
After listening to the grievances of industrialists, Kejriwal pledged to end red-tapism and ‘inspector raj’. “Corruption runs in the system because the intentions of the governments are not honest. If the CM and ministers are honest, the entire system will fall in place. We did this in Delhi,” he said.
Kejriwal further said that the problem of delay in VAT(value-added tax) refunds will be solved within 3-6 months after coming to power, and an instalment system will be introduced. To prove his point, the AAP leader said his government in Delhi had stopped “raid raj” and reduced the VAT rate that led to the doubling of tax revenue at ₹60,000 crores. It happened because the government trusted the traders, he said.
Kejriwal also promised the formation of a trade and industry body and its decisions will have to be implemented by the state government. He also underlined the need to make the change of land use (CLU) process transparent to eradicate corruption.
AAP Punjab president and MP Bhagwant Mann, MLA Aman Arora and other senior leaders of the party were also present.
Meanwhile, a group of farmers opposed Kejriwal’s event, but the police kept them at bay. Leader of opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said they don’t organise rallies as advised by the Samuykt Kisan Morcha.
(With inputs from PTI)