Tirath Yatra: HC seeks chief secy’s reply on state’s fiscal health
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab chief secretary to file a report in the court on the fiscal health of the state.Updated: Feb 02, 2016, 10:42 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab chief secretary to file a report in the court on the fiscal health of the state.
The direction came from the HC bench of justice Rajesh Bindal as the state told the court that it had earmarked `46 crore for the ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra’ — a pilgrimage scheme launched by the state government.
During the hearing, the bench observed that it had come across cases wherein the contractors had not been paid, employees were struggling to get post-retirement benefits and huge amount of liabilities were being transferred from year to year.
“You don’t have money for routine expenses, and you have brought (in) this (pilgrimage scheme). For developmental works, you are seeking loans and for freebies you have consolidated funds,” the bench observed.
Later, the HC asked the chief secretary to file an affidavit on various aspects of state’s finances. The detailed order in this regard is awaited.
Earlier, the Punjab government reasoned that the scheme was started as it was already operational in many states of the country
“The idea of starting this scheme is to strengthen the social and cultural fabric and promote peace, harmony and national integration,” chief secretary, Sarvesh Kaushal told the HC.
Bonaza for industrialists: Get pending subsidy
The major chunk of subsidy being sought by industrialists from the past 15 years has been released within one month of the high court questioning the state government on its expenditure on pilgrimage scheme.
The court was apprised by the government that it had prepared 101 demand drafts that would be disbursed to various units. The drafts had further been forwarded to general managers of district industries centres for further disbursement and in the case of 65 such units the subsidy had already been paid after the court orders. Four units were untraceable as many as 10 such unit holders would be paid soon.
The high court had questioned pilgrimage scheme following a petition by a firm Modgill Fashion Exports, Ludhiana, which approached court alleging non-payment of subsidy, amounting to eligible industrial units announced under various schemes.