New Delhi, Feb.26 : Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders demanded a tax holiday for industries in Punjab during a rally held here today.
BJP President Rajnath Singh said industry was stymied in the state and needed support. He said that several units had migrated to the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal, since those states enjoyed tax breaks.
"The demand for a tax holiday made by entrepreneurs of Punjab is justified as they are facing a lot of problems. I want to reiterate that the tax holiday should be granted to the industries (of Punjab),"said Singh.
Punjab Chief Minister and SAD chief Prakash Singh Badal criticised the Central Government for not paying enough attention to the underprivileged sections of society and for not taking steps to prevent farmers' from committing suicide because of heavy debts.
He contended that Punjab was being discriminated against despite the fact that it was a major contributor to the country's food bank.
"The expenditure graph is rising faster than the growth in income. Farmers are not getting enough returns. As a result, instances of farmers committing suicide are on the rise," said Badal.
The rally was organised to voice the concern of farmers and entreprenuers of Punjab over the plight of debt-ridden farmers, farm labourers, industries and the Sikh communities. It was also organised to project the Akali Dal on the national political canvass.