Punjab to Challenge central industrial package in court

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Chandigarh, Mar 11 (UNI) The Punjab Government will move be the Supreme Court against the special industrial package being provided by the Central government to the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

''As this incentive has affected Punjab, we will be moving the court to seek justice,'' Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia told the State Assembly during Question Hour today.

Replying to a question by Randeep Singh Nabha (Cong), the Minister claimed that the Central incentive had not led to the shifting of any industry from the border state. '' However industrialists of the state taking advantage of these incentives have set up their new units in these states'', he said while admitting industrial expansion had been a hit in Punjab.

Mr Kalia informed the House that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had written ten letters to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on this special package being given to the neighbouring States. The CM has asked the Prime Minister to extend similar incentives to Punjab, a border state, he added.

At this stage Mr Badal intervened to tell the House that he had discussed this subject with the Prime Minister and there may not be any further extension of this special package to the neighbouring states.

When Partap Singh Bajwa and Darshan Singh Brar, both of the Congress wanted to know who had sanctioned this special package, the Chief Minister admitted that it was done so during the period of the NDA-government. '' However the extension of the package was granted by the present UPA-government'', he added.

Mr Randeep Singh Nabha wanted to know whether the state government had framed any policy to create a conducive atmosphere for attracting industrial investment in the State. The Industries Minister replied that an industrial policy was being framed for Punjab by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and it would be made public soon.


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