Congress demands white paper on Punjab's economy

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Chandigarh, Nov 22 (UNI) Expressing concern on the fiscal condition of the state, the Punjab Congress today demanded that the SAD-BJP government come out with a white paper on the states economy.

" The public have the right to know the financial health of the state", Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said here today after chairing a meeting of the PPCC office bearers and members, MPs and MLAs at the Congress Bhavan.

Talking to mediapersons she said that they would press for this demand in the state assembly next month. Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal himself has expressed concern on the economic scenario prevailing in the state though the government is yet to accept this fact, she added.

Refering to the decisions taken at the meeting, Mrs Bhattal said that the PPCC has demanded the withdrawl of the four per cent entry tax levied by the government on goods entering the state. Rather than taxing the people the government should plug the loopholes in the tax collection system, she suggested.

Expressing concern over the deteriorating agrarian economy of the state, the PPCC through a resolution demanded that the central government should give a special economic package to Punjab to help the indebted farmers, many of whom were forced to end their lives after incuring heavy debts. Mrs Bhattal indicated that a delegation of the party would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi to press for this demand.

The resolution thanked the Prime Minister for increasing the MSP of wheat and for the Rs 100 per quintal bonus on paddy. The resolution demanded that the state government also give a similar bonus to the farmers on paddy.

The PPCC urged the Prime Minister to take steps to ensure distribution of wheat and rice at affordable rates to the poor through the PDS system following the hike in the MSP of the two principle foorgrains.

Another resolution passed at the meeting hailed the appointment of Rahul Gandhi as general secretary of the AICC.

UNI

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